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Maine Coon owners guide: Everything you need to know about these giant cats

A Maine Coon cat
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Maine Coons are some of the most striking cat breeds ever, but they aren't exactly the most common household cat. 

The Maine Coon's origins are unknown, but there are rumors and tales. Some believe them to be the cat descendants of your bog-standard Domestic Shorthair bred with Scandinavian cats brought to North America by Norseman, while others say they're the product of Marie Antoinette's Turkish Angora or Siberian cats who left France when she was in danger and were eventually bred with Domestic Short hairs. 

Whatever their origins, these big cats have great personalities and are easy to train, but their food intake (which requires some of the best cat food) and grooming requirements may deter you if you're considering owning one. 

When considering getting a specific breed, research is essential to ensure they're a good fit for your home. As always, seek adoption options as much as possible, and learn as much as you can about the breed so there aren't any surprises. A cat is a pet for life, and Maine Coons are no exception. 

But don't fret - you may not be too familiar with what to expect when owning a Maine Coon cat, but we've got you covered here. From size, temperament, shedding, and dietary requirements, here's everything you need to know about owning a Maine Coon. 

How big is a Maine coon? 

Maine Coons are quite large cats. Maine Coons can weigh between 12 and 18 pounds, whereas a standard domestic shorthair cat is usually between 8-10 pounds.

Male Maine Coons are bigger than the female, and in some cases they can get close to 30 pounds in weight and be around four feet long, as seen on social media by some Insta-famous Maine Coons like Samson aka Castradamus (opens in new tab)

What is the temperament of a Maine Coon? 

Maine Coons are definitely gentle giants. They're considered very sweet-tempered and gentle, and are very affectionate with their owners. Often, they enjoy being held and scratched, and they're obviously extra-nice to cuddle thanks to their large size and lush coats. 

Expect them to come in for headbutts and climb into your lap whenever possible. They are incredibly loveable and are reportedly easy to train. Maine Coon owners claim they are great mousers, so make sure you have toys available that mimic the hunt. 

Maine coon cat eating her food and licking her mouth

(Image credit: Getty Images)

Are Maine Coon cats hypoallergenic? 

Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic, but may still be an option for those who suffer from mild to moderate allergies. 

People who suffer from cat allergies are usually allergic to a specific protein found in saliva, urine, and dander - not the actual fur itself. So while Maine Coons have luscious coats, they don't shed more than your average cat, and the fur itself is not the issue here. But they still have the protein, so they can still trigger allergies.

What do Maine Coon cats eat? 

Maine Coons, like any cat breed, are carnivores. They require the nutrients that can only be found in animal products, so you should make sure their food is rich in animal protein. Maine Coons need around 24 to 35 calories a day per pound of body weight, and since they can be quite large, that could mean up to 875 calories a day. For example, an average cup of dry cat food is about 300 calories, while a six-ounce can of wet food is about 250.

You'll want to ensure your cat is getting a mix of dry and wet food to ensure they are getting enough water, and always make sure you provide fresh water for them, as well. 

maine coon looks up from food dish

(Image credit: Getty Images)

 Are Maine Coon cats good pets? 

"Good" is a very subjective term here, but Maine Coon cats are considered to be affectionate and gentle cats. They aren't super active so they'll do well in an apartment, but you should make sure they still get some exercise so they don't get overweight. They can reportedly be a bit chatty, so keep that in mind, and they are a larger breed than most cats, so if size is an issue, this may not be the right cat for you.

All cats are different, and breed standards should not be considered the gospel when it comes to adopting a cat. Do your research and prepare your family and home for a newcomer, and maybe a Maine Coon will be the perfect pet for you.