The Official State Cat– Maine Coon

40

Bobby Wankhede
Maine Coon is very new to India. It is estimated that there must be only around 25 Maine Coons in the country. Let’s learn about the unique features and demeanor of this beautiful sociable breed.
Maine Coon is considered to be one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. She has a distinctive physical appearance and valuable hunting skills. She is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically a native of the US state of Maine where she is the Official State Cat.
 
Gentle Giant!
Maine Coon is a large and sociable cat, hence her nickname ‘Gentle Giant’. She is known for being friendly, affectionate and goofy – they are not only huge in size but also huge in personality. Maine Coon loves to be around her family members and sometimes they act like a pack animal.
 
Unique characteristics
Characterised by a prominent ruff along her chest, Maine Coon features a robust bone structure, rectangular body shape, an uneven two-layered coat with longer guard hair over a silky satin undercoat and a long, bushy tail. The breed’s colours vary widely, with only lilac and chocolate disallowed for pedigree. Average weight for females is 3.9–6.5kg and that of males is approximately 5.4–8kg. But you do come across cats who grow up to 12–14kg. The ears are big to compliment the head size and always should have tuffs.
 
Grooming & health care
Being a natural breed Maine Coon is quite sturdy health wise, but a common health problem of this breed is hip dysplasia which could be either genetic or due to overweight. It’s quite important to keep them fit. When it comes to grooming, they are not high-grooming maintenance cat. They just need a regular combing/brushing and a couple of washes depending on their coat and skin conditions. But they do need a good diet to help them grow well as they have a big bone structure.
 
Busting some myths
Maine Coon is not just a large cat with long ears, there is much more to this breed. Usually not all Maine Coons grow that big. Females are smaller than males. They are a slow maturing breed, they keep growing till 3-5 years of age to the complete size. Maine Coon is a semi longhair breed, they are not bushy like Persian or other longhair breeds.
 
Playful nature
Reputed for her intelligence, Maine Coon is often cited for her playful nature and gentle personality. Yes, the look they give when they are alert and looking at a bird or a toy. To pet a Main Coon and living with this breed around you is a super fun, making everyday a new memory.
‘Capricorn Pets’ and cattery ‘Myy Bells’ in Mumbai. He has been breeding Persians and Exotic Shorthairs with Maine Coons being added in his breeding programme. He works with Cat Fanciers Alliance of India and The Feline Club of India.)(Bobby Wankhede is a professional feline groomer, instructor and breeder. He runs pet store and salon