One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the state of Maine (the Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat).
A native American longhaired cat the Maine Coon was recognized as a specific breed in Maine where they were held in high regard for their mousing talents. Through nature's own breeding program, this breed has developed into a sturdy cat ideally suited to the harsh winters and varied seasons of the region !

A number of legends surround its origin.
A wide-spread, though biologically impossible belief is that it originated from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common colouring (a raccoon-like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name Maine Coon. Originally, only brown tabbies were called Maine Coon Cats ; cats of other colours were referred to as Maine Shags

Maine Coons are very large and energetic cats, sometimes weighing up to around 11-12 kilograms (25 pounds) ; the average weight is 6 to 9 kilograms (13-20 pounds) for adult males and less (7-11 pounds) for females.
Male Maine Coons may grow to a length in excess of 1 meter (40 inches) ; as of 2006, the longest cat on record is a male Maine Coon measuring 122cm (48 inches) in length. Growth to full size often takes longer than for most cats, with Maine Coons usually reaching full size at age four or five.

The most common color/pattern in the breed is brown tabby.
Color distribution of Maine Coon Cats :

Maine Coons are recognized in all colors, including tortoiseshell, except for chocolate, lavender, ticked tabby, and the point-restricted ("Siamese") pattern. Eye color also varies widely. All patterns may have green, green-gold, or gold. Blue eyes, or one blue eye with one gold eye, are possible in white coat cats. Some share similar facial markings, for example, a distinct "M" shape on the forehead.

Maine Coons have medium-long, dense fur, with longer hair, or a ruff, on their chests similar to the mane of a lion (which is why the breed is sometimes humorously called the "Mane Coon"). Their fur consists of two layers - an undercoat and an additional layer of longer guard hairs, which gives the breed their key physical feature. The fur is generally very soft. Maine Coons have long hair on the backs of their legs (called pantaloons or britches) and between their toes which helps to keep them warm in the cold. They also have bushy plumed tails and broad, angular heads, squared-off muzzles and wide-set ears topped with tufts of fur (known as 'Lynx-tips'). Their tails can be so bushy that the Maine Coon has earned the nickname the 'tail with a cat attached to it'.

On le surnomme le "doux géant". Pourquoi ?

Tout simplement parce que le Maine coon, ainsi que ses 2 cousins, le chat des forêts norvégiennes et le Sibérien font partie des plus grands félins domestiques au monde. Il est d'une incroyable gentillesse : il ne sortira pratiquement jamais une griffe, surtout avec les enfants dont il apprécie la présence.

C'est un chat très joueur qui nécessite un peu d'espace pour se dépenser, mais surtout un bon arbre à chat bien stable et bien haut. Ceci-dit, le Maine coon n'a pas besoin d'avoir accès à un jardin à condition qu'il ait été éduqué en appartement.
Il sait également se montrer affectueux et très attaché à son maître, qu'il choisira au sein de la famille.

Il fait partie des races que l'on nomme les "chats-chiens" de par ses caractéristiques comporte-mentales. En effet, il est capable de ramener un jouet pour que vous lui relanciez. Il acceptera volontiers une petite promenade en laisse. C'est un chat très intelligent, qui comprendra très vite les interdits.
Vous serez également surpris par son doux roucoulement qu'il utilisera pour vous faire comprendre ce qu'il veut. Il ne miaule que très rarement, mais s'exprime en parlant.
C'est aussi un chasseur hors pair qui vous débarrassera de tout ce qui vole ou rampe.

While Maine Coons are highly people-oriented cats, they are not overly-dependent. They do not constantly pester you for attention, but prefer to "hang out" with their owners, investigating whatever activity you're involved in and "helping" when they can. They are not, as a general rule, known as "lap cats" but as with any personality trait there are a few Maine Coons that prefer laps.
Most Maine Coons will stay close by, probably occupying the chair next to yours instead. Maines will follow you from room to room and wait outside a closed door for you to emerge.
A Maine Coon will be your companion, your buddy, your pal, but hardly ever your baby.

Maine Coons are relaxed and easy-going in just about everything they do.
The males tend to be the clowns while the females retain more dignity, but both remain playful throughout their lives.
The Maine Coon Cat is well known for its loving nature, kindly disposition and great intelligence.
Maines are especially good with children, dogs and other cats and have always been a popular and sought after companion.