Bringing you the Magic of Coons
History of the Maine Coon
There are a folk tales surrounding how the Maine Coon came to be.
One myth was that Marie Antoinette loaded her precious cats on to a ship sailing to Wiscasset, Maine under New England seaman Captain Clough trying to escape the French Revolution before her plans were dashed.
Another myth was that the domestic cat bred with a racoon and the Maine Coon was evolved - obviously this is genetically impossible but looking at the tail of the Maine Coon you can see how people thought this.
The origins that seem more accepted sees Captain Charles Coon, who was an English sailor docking at the New England ports and the cats he would keep on board to keep the mice population under control would disembark and mate with the local cats and the long haired kittens were referred to as one of "Coon's cats." There are other stories surrounding the Vikings landing in New England with their Norwegian Forest Cats and they mated with the local cats.
1861 saw a black and white Maine Coon named Captain Jenkins of the Horse Marines attend cat shows in New York and Boston. Later at the 1895 Madison square Garden Show a brown tabby female named 'Cosie' was named Best Cat at the Show.
In the early 20th century, the Maine Coon's popularity began to decline with the introduction of other long-haired breeds, such as the Persian, which originated in the Middle East. In 1911 a Maine Coon won at a National Show and the breed started to decline and was declared extinct in the 1950's according to some reports. Thanks to a group of a few breeders a Central Maine Coon Club was formed in an attempt to increase the breeds' popularity and created the first written breed standard. Provisional breed status was denied 3 times leading to the formation of the Maine Coon Cat Club in 1973 before being granted provisional status in 1975 and leading to the rise in popularity.
In 1985 the State of Maine officially announced the breed as the Official State Cat.
According to the CFA the Maine Coon rated 3rd most popular cat behind the Persian and Exotic