What Is a Mancoon Cat?

A Mancoon cat, more commonly called a Maine Coon cat, is one of the oldest natural cat breeds in North America. The breed was first noticed in the state of Maine, which is how the Maine Coon cats got their name. The Mancoon was even named the state cat of Maine in 1985. The Mancoon cat breed is found all over the world, because these cats can survive and thrive in nearly any kind of climate, even those that are extremely cold. Read on to learn more about the Mancoon cat breed.

  1. Breed History

    • Numerous legends surround the origin of the Mancoon cats. One early (but biologically impossible) theory declared that the breed was the result of domestic cats mating with raccoons. Another popular legend states that the Mancoon's ancestors belonged to Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France in the 1700s, who arranged for her beloved, long-haired kitties to be smuggled out of the country and sailed to Maine just before she was beheaded. Because the Mancoon shares a great resemblance to the Norwegian Forest cat, another myth credits the Vikings with bringing the Mancoon to North American shores in the 11th century. Most likely, the ancestors of the Maine Coon breed were long-haired pets that immigrated with the European colonists.

    Breed Popularity

    • The Mancoons were cat show favorites in the mid- to late-1800s, but the breed's very existence was threatened in the early 1900s when the exotic, long-haired Persians were imported from the Middle East. The Mancoon's popularity decreased so severely that they breed was declared extinct in the 1950s. This inspired the establishment of the Central Maine Cat Club (CMCC) and the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA), both of which worked hard to preserve, protect and promote the breed. The Mancoons have clawed their way back into people's hearts, and the Cat Fancier's Association (CFA) currently ranks Maine Coons as the second-most popular cat breed in the world.

    Breed Traits

    • Mancoons are one of the largest breeds of domestic felines, with males weighing from 13 to 18 lbs. and females weighing 8 to 12 lbs. Adult Mancoons stand from 10 to 16 inches high, and can reach lengths of up to 14 inches. They are typically solid, sturdy, muscular, large-boned and broad-chested. Mancoons have a lot of soft, silky fur and most sport a lion-like ruff around the neck. Maine Coon cats require only minimal grooming because their coats are self-maintaining and water-resistant. Mancoon cats typically have long, bushy, raccoon-like tails.

    Breed Temperament

    • Mancoon cats are called "gentle giants," and their affectionate, easygoing nature makes them a great addition to families with small children or other pets. Most Mancoons like to be near their human companions, but are rarely lap cats. Maine Coon cats are more intelligent than the average cat, which makes them easier to train than other feline breeds. Mancoons are very playful their entire lives, with the guys being more clownish than the more dignified girls. Mancoons have high-pitched, squeaky voices, and a vocabulary that includes chortles, trills, cheeps and chirps.

    Breed Health Problems

    • Although Mancoon cats are typically healthy and hardy, they also have a tendency to become obese. There are also several inherited health problems that are common to the breed. These feline health conditions include hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), polycystic kidney disease (PKD) and feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). Luckily, veterinary tests are available to test Mancoons for the genes responsible for these conditions.

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