[dropcap letter=”M”]aine’s official state cat is also the second most popular domestic breed in the United States. Its defining characteristics include a shaggy coat that’s shorter over the head and shoulders and longer toward the tail, fur between the toes, significantly pointed ears, large eyes, and a long rectangular-shaped body.
Readers shared some photos of their fluffy friends.
[infobox maintitle=”” subtitle=”The tufts of hair between the Maine Coon’s “snowshoe” paws help the cat walk on top of snow. A heavy water-resistant coat and long bushy tail, which can be wrapped around the body for warmth, also make the animals well equipped to survive harsh winters. ” bg=”black” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]
[infobox maintitle=”” subtitle=”Known as “gentle giants,” Maine Coons are among the largest and longest domestic cat breeds, with adult males weighing 13-18 pounds and females weighing 9-13. But their maturation happens slowly, lasting anywhere from three to five years.” bg=”black” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]
[infobox maintitle=”” subtitle=”Legend has it that in 1789, Queen Marie Antoinette planned to flee France in a ship bound for Wiscasset. She never made it aboard, but her six Persian and Angora cats reportedly did, leading to speculation that they propagated today’s Maine Coon. ” bg=”black” color=”white” opacity=”off” space=”30″ link=”no link”]