Assuming you are buying a cat, as opposed to a kitchen, you should be looking for a solid sturdy creature, with a silky coat that could best be described as being ‘shaggy’. The tail should be as long as, and sometimes longer than the actual cat itself. They have a beautiful ‘ruff’ around the neck that usually starts at the bottom of the ears, nearest to the head, similar to the ruff of a lion.
Legs of a Maine Coon should be powerful and long, with big feet and tufted fur underneath. Large ‘feathered’ ears with a plume of longer hairs at the tip, more correctly called tufts, are part of this breeds characteristics.
Bear in mind that the male is almost always heavier than the female. The Maine Coon does shed its winter coat in summer, so this breed will require grooming particularly well at certain times of the year, to avoid unpleasant ‘hairballs’ in the digestive tract.
As regards to colouring, there seems to be a popular misconception that any mix of colour is possible. Whilst they may look attractive, lilac, Siamese Points, and chocolate are definitely not traditional Maine Coon colours. If you are aiming to show your Maine Coon then you should bear in mind that the cat should not be more than one third white. Blue or odd coloured eyes are only considered acceptable by show judges in pure white cats.
But don’t despair, there are more than sixty colour combinations recognised in the Maine Coon GCCF Standard, so there is plenty of choice. If you are considering a Maine Coon kitten, please do remember that the colour you see at eight weeks of age may bear little resemblance to the fully-grown colour of your companion.
As to character, these are playful, intelligent and faithful companions who adore the company of other felines as well as their human friends.
A relative newcomer to Cat Shows, the Maine Coon is now ranked as the seventh most popular breed with the GCCF (Governing Council of the Cat Fancy).