Updated 03/23/2013 05:00 AM
Pet Pointers: Maine Coon cats
It is estimated that there are more than 86 million domestic house cats in the United States, making them the most popular pet in America. Among the mostly domestic short hairs are some purebred cats, including the Maine Coon. In this edition of Pet Pointers, Lisa Chelenza has more about these big, beautiful cats.
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The Maine Coon is one of the oldest cat breeds in North America and the official cat of the state of Maine. The Maine Coon is unique compared to other cat breeds due to their adaptation to the harsh New England climate, giving them a water resistant coat, full round paws that act as snow shoes, big eyes to allow for better night vision, and furry tails and ears as protection from the cold.
Doctor Michael Moynihan is a big cat fan and a fan of these big cats, not for their looks, but for their personalities.
“They're actually very gentle. You see their gigantic size, that's kind of cool because they look like a wild animal. They actually have a cooing sound and they don't make a lot of noise and they are giant babies. They will curl up at night and wrap themselves around your arm. How something is so scary looking and yet be so gentle is kind of cool,” said Dr. Michael Moynihan, a cat owner.
Their legendary size is due to their muscular frame and tall bones, but not necessarily their weight. Fit males are about 18 to 20 pounds, and females tend to max out at around 15 pounds. But many regular American short haired house cats are also in that range. Their coat comes in various colors from solid to shades of tabby including silver, like Mozart. Regular weekly brushing will help keep their coats in silky shape and most cats love the attention.
If you think a Maine Coon cat could be right for you, do your own research and consider adoption first! Right now in shelters across the U.S., there are an estimated 70 million homeless cats waiting to be adopted.