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.