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Maine Coon Cats are a very special breed

One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is actually considered to be a native of Maine and is the Maine state cat.

One of the largest breeds, mature males can weigh upwards of 20 pounds with females averaging about 9 to 12 pounds.

The Maine Coon is a medium-to-longhaired cat with heavy, water-resistant fur. The fur is longer on the ruff, stomach and britches and shorter on the back and neck.

Maine Coons have long bushy tails; big, round, tufted paws, large eyes, and ears with long lynx-like hairs at the tips and a squarish muzzle.

Maine Coons develop slowly, and don't achieve their full size until they are three to five years old. Their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives; they are big, gentle, good-natured goofs.

Many enjoy water. The males tend to be the clowns (SEE THE COWBOY'S PAGE) while the females retain more dignity, (SEE THE BELLES PAGE) but both remain playful throughout their lives.

They generally get along well with kids and dogs, as well as other cats. (SEE THE SIDEKICKS PAGE)

Even their voices set them apart from other cats; they have a distinctive, chirping trill which they use for everything from courting to persuading their people to play with them. (Maine Coons love to play, and many will joyfully retrieve small items.)

While Maine Coons are highly people-oriented cats, they are not overly-dependent. They prefer to "hang out" with their owners, investigating whatever activity you're involved in and "helping" when they can.

Maine Coons will follow you from room to room and wait outside a closed door for you to emerge.

The preceding was partially excerpted from the Maine Coon FAQ