One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the state of Maine (in fact, the Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat).
A number of attractive legends surround its origin. A once wide-spread, though biologically impossible, belief is that the breed originated from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common coloring (a raccoon-like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name "Coon Cat" which eventually was changed to "Maine Coon Cat."
Another popular theory on the origin of the Maine Coon is that it sprang from the six pet cats which Marie Antoinette is said to have sent to Wiscasset, Maine when she was planning to escape, with the help of New England seaman Captain Clough, from France during the French Revolution. In fact, the house that Capt. Clough was said to have built for her still stands across the Sheepscott river from Wiscassett in Edgecomb, Maine.
Most breeders today believe that the breed originated in matings between preexisting shorthaired domestic cats and overseas longhairs (perhaps Angora types introduced by New England seamen, or longhairs brought to America by the Vikings). Maine Coons were well established more than a century ago as a hardy, handsome breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters. Nature is not soft-hearted. It selects the biggest, the brightest, the best fighters, and the best hunters to breed successive generations. Since planned breedings of Maine Coons are relatively recent and carefully monitored, these cats still have their strong, natural qualities. Maine Coons are healthy, disease-resistant, rugged cats. Interestingly, the breed closest to the Maine Coon is the Norwegian Forest Cat which, although geographically distant, evolved in much the same climate, and lends credence to the theory that some of the cats responsible for developing the Maine Coon were brought over by the Vikings.
Many people consider Maine Coons the perfect domestic pets, with their clown-like personalities, very affectionate natures, amusing habits and tricks, willingness to "help" with any activity, and easily groomed coats. They make excellent companions for large, active families that also enjoy having dogs and other animals around. Their hardiness and ease of kittening make them a satisfying breed for the novice breeder. For owners wishing to show, the Maine Coon has reclaimed its original glory in the show ring. Welcome a Maine Coon into your home, and you will join the thousands who sing the praises of this handsome and lovable cat!
( speciality in breed )
>> P O L Y MAINE C O O N S <<
GENERAL: originally a working cat, the Maine Coon is solid, rugged, and can endure a harsh climate. A distinctive characteristic is its smooth, shaggy coat. A well proportioned and balanced appearance with no part of the cat being exaggerated. Quality should never be sacrificed for size. With an essentially amiable disposition, it has adapted to varied environments.
HEAD SHAPE: medium in width and slightly longer in length than width with a squareness to the muzzle. Allowance should be made for broadening in older studs. Cheekbones high.
MUZZLE/CHIN: is visibly square, medium in length and blunt ended when viewed in profile. It may give the appearance of being a rectangle but should not appear to be tapering or pointed. Length and width of the muzzle should be proportionate to the rest of the head and present a pleasant, balanced appearance. The chin should be strong, firm and in line with the upper lip and nose. When viewed in profile the chin depth should be observable and give the impression of a square, 90-degree angle. A chin lacking in depth, i.e. one that tapers from the jaw line to the lip, is not considered strong, firm or desirable.
PROFILE: should be proportionate to the overall length of the head and should exhibit a slight concavity when viewed in profile. The profile should be relatively smooth and free of pronounced bumps and/or humps. A profile that is straight from the brow line to the tip of the nose is not acceptable, nor should the profile show signs of having a "break" or "stop."
EARS: Shape: large, well-tufted, wide at base, tapering to appear pointed. Set: approximately one ear's with apart at the base, not flared.
EYES: large, expressive, wide set. Slightly oblique setting with slant toward outer base of ear.
NECK: medium long.
BODY SHAPE: muscular, broad-chested. Size medium to large. Females generally are smaller than males. The body should be long with all parts in proportion to create a well-balanced rectangular appearance with no part of the anatomy being so exaggerated as to foster weakness. Allowance should be made for slow maturation.
LEGS and FEET: legs substantial, wide set, of medium length, and in proportion to the body. Forelegs straight. Back legs are straight when viewed from behind. Paws large, round, well-tufted. Five toes in front; four in back.
TAIL: long, wide at base, and tapering. Fur long and flowing.
COAT: heavy and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches. Frontal ruff desirable. Texture silky with coat falling smoothly .
PENALIZE: a coat that is short or overall even.
DISQUALIFY: delicate bone structure. Undershot chin, i.e. the front teeth (incisors) of the lower jaw overlapping or projecting beyond the front teeth of the upper jaw when the mouth is closed. Crossed eyes. Kinked tail. Incorrect number of toes. White buttons, white lockets, or white spots. Cats showing evidence of hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, lavender, the Himalayan pattern; or unpatterned agouti on the body (i.e. Abyssinian type ticked tabby).
>> Health problem <<
Article from Uni Klinik Giessen
New to the HCM Gentest of the medical small animal hospital of the Ludwig Maximilians university in Munich was accomplished a study to the two gene tests on HCM, available in Germany, with Maine Coons. The result shows that the gene test does not bring anything. The study resulted in that Maine Coons with HCM are just as frequently positively tested in the gene test, as Maine Coons without HCM.
Therefore the investment is not worthwhile itself into a gene test simply. In the following one we printed the result of the study, which was presented on the last weekend in the context of a lecture on a specialized congress for the animal medical profession in pouring. Genetic association of the A31P- and A74T-Polymorphismen with the felinen hypertrophen Kardiomyopathie with the Maine Coon C. Schinner, K. Weber, K. Hartmann, G. Wess, Abteilung for Kardiologie of the medical small animal hospital of the Ludwig Maximilians university Munich introduction: The hypertrophe Kardiomyopathie (HCM) is the most frequent feline heart illness with autosomal dominantem hereditary course and varying Penetranz. The A31P- and A74T-Polymorphismen (SNPs) in the kardialen Myosin being thing protein C3-Gen (MYBPC3) are regarded at present as causal mutations with Maine Coon cats. In practice ultrasonic diagnoses deviate frequently from the Genotyp. From zuechterischer as well as veterinary side is unclear, how with heart-healthy Genotyp positive cats will proceed are. A goal of the study were therefore the evaluation of the clinical association of both SNPs as well as the evaluation of the clinical validity of gene tests already marketed. Material and methods: 83 Maine Coon cats and 68 cats of different races entered study. Female animals had to be older as 36 months, male older than 24 months.
The phenotype "heart-healthy" or "HCM" had to be clear to assign. The Phaenotypisierung took place by means of heart ultrasonic, the Genotypisierung by means of Taqman® Genotyping Assays. Results: 21,13% of the heart-healthy animals were positive in the gene test for the A31P- and 32.84% for the A74T-SNP. 75% of the HCM group carried the healthy allele concerning the A31P- and 50% concerning the A74T-SNPs. The allele frequencies did not differ between the groups of phenotypes significantly. On the basis the available study population no reference existed that gene tests already marketed possess a praediktiven value. A computer-assisted protein analysis arranged the effect of the SNPs on the protein as benigne. The A31PPolymorphismus is specific for Maine Coons, while the A74T-Polymorphismus occurs also at other cat races. Conclusions: With the examined patient number no association was found between the HCM and the examined Polymorphismen. The gold standard for the breed selection exists further in the annual echokardiographischen investigation.
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