By Robin Darch
We love our pets don’t we? Choosing the right family pet is a serious project. The pet you choose will be part of the family for years to come and will likely always be remembered. For children, a pet is an important part of their life. They learn a lot from pet ownership, including responsibility, caring for others, relationship skills, and more.
Whatever pet you choose, keep in mind the impact a pet has on every member of your family. If you are planning to add a cat to your family, you should consider a Maine Coon Cat (often incorrectly spelt Mancoon cat). They are one of the oldest breeds of cats in the United States and make a great addition to any family.
Next to the Siamese cat, the Maine Coon Cat is the most popular breed of cat there is. These cats were the only cat breed native to the United States, but now there are Maine Coon Cat in every corner of the world. Harsh winters in the Northeastern part of the US caused this cat to evolve as a breed that can withstand the cold.
There is a myth about the origins of the Maine Coon Cat. It’s bushy tail has led people to believe that it was originally the result of a cat mated with a raccoon. The Maine Coon Cat’s coloring also adds to the myth. That’s how it got the name Maine Coon first, then Maine Coon Cat afterwards.
Amateur historians have their own myth about the Maine Coon Cat. They say the cat originated from pets that Marie Antoinette sent to the US. That story says a Captain Clough rescued her long-haired cats and was preparing to rescue her from the guillotine as well, but was only able to save the cats.
Real historians have their own theory. They say Maine Coon Cats are likely a cross breed between short-haired cats here and long-haired cats from overseas that were brought here by the Vikings or New England seamen.
Whatever the origin of the Maine Coon Cat, it is one of the most loved breeds in the US and beyond. Why else would there be so many legends behind this breed? People love their Maine Coon Cats and help add to their mystique through speculating on their origins.
The breed almost disappeared in the early 1900’s after being very popular in the 1800’s. In the first part of the 20th century Persian, Angora, and Siamese Cats, along with other exotic imported cats became all the rage and the Maine Coon Cat was only popular among a few breeders.
You will recognize a Maine Coon Cat when you see one, but especially if you get the chance to pet one. Their coat of hair is water-resistant and thick and has a feel like no other cat’s coat. The Maine Coon Cat is built for survival in harsh climates. It’s hair is longer on the undersides while shorter on the top of the neck and back to keep them from getting tangled in bushes.
Maine Coon Cats tend to be long, broad and muscular with larger bones than other cats. Their large round paws enable them to walk on snow similar to a human with snowshoes. The Maine Coon Cat’s tail is as long as his or her body and bushy. To keep warm they wrap their tail completely around themselves like a fur coat.
These huge cats are very loyal to the family that adopts them and they have a personality that belies their great size. They are good-natured and fun-loving pets that are good around children. The voice of the Maine Coon Cat is something you will have to get used to. It’s a high-pitched squeak that doesn’t seem to fit such a large cat.
I hope this article has helped you to learn more about Maine Coon Cats and that it will encourage you to adopt one as part of your family.
Robin Darch, of PRT Specialised Services Limited has a website, My Pet Cat to help you find all the information you need about pet cats, cat grooming, and cat training.
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