The Maine Coon is classified as a semi-longhaired feline and is distinguished from others primarily by its size, its bone structure, overall rectangular shape, and flowing thickly luxurious double coat. The standards mentioned here is what judges at cat shows would look for when judging a Maine Coon
Having evolved in a harsh climate, this breed’s background of domesticated cat in a somewhat harsh countryside environment is mirrored in the characteristic appearance of this breed. These cats should have a sturdy and rugged appearance, with the alertness of a seasoned hunter and a coat that protects against both rain and snow.
The head should be medium sized, with the bridge of the nose being the same distance away from the ear line as the tip of the nose. Older males will usually have the appearance of jowls, or double chins of fur, hanging from the lower jaw.
The nose should the mostly square with a firm chin. The cheeks are fairly full on this breed with high cheekbones and a level bite. Acceptable eye colours for show cats of this breed are all shades of green, gold or copper. Only pure white cats may have odd or blue eyes in show cats of the Maine Coon breed.
The body style should be large to medium size with a solid muscular build and deep chest. The long body should be in proportion to the length of the legs, to create the characteristic rectangular appearance show judges look for. The rump should be of a square shape.
The tail should be at least the length of the back, and should be wide at the base, near the spine, tapering in thinly towards the tip. The tail fur should be flowing, but not bushy. Indeed, the whole coat should be plentiful and flowing, as opposed to being bushy. The belly fur should be full and shaggy, with the characteristic ‘breeches’ (a type of pantaloon style short trousers) on the hind legs.
There are a huge number of variations of colour and pattern for Maine Coons, ranging all the way from pure white to bi-coloured and even smokey/coloured/white. If you are considering acquiring a Maine Coon for showing purposes, it would pay you to delve more deeply into the show standards, but bear in mind that juvenile cats’ markings will probably change over the four years it takes them to reach maturity.