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Maine Coon cats are gentle giants; they have easy-going temperaments and enormous, bodies. These cats are second in popularity only to the Persians; and are, in fact, the original true-blue American breed. Maine Coons are not only highly intelligent and devoted, but also playful, and roughly clown-like in their antics.

Maine Coons have an extremely lovable personality and they enjoy human companionship. However, your pet will probably bond greatest with you, or your immediate family. This breed is fascinated by water, and can spend hours roughly it, but unfortunately not in it.

Another aspect of their personality is their good-natured playfulness. Given that most cats are highly solitary creatures, this sociable breed is extremely popular with cat lovers and kids. They also enjoy hunting, and make for alert and swift hunters. Belying their muscular body structures, the Maine Coons have a voice fit for a mouse! It is quite a surprise initially to hear the pip-squeak type mews coming from such a big creature.

The Maine Coon is one of the heaviest cats around, with females weighing from ten to 14 pounds, while the male cats go up to 18 pounds. However, Maine Coons have a slow development rate, and take about three to four years to reach full size. A full-sized Maine Coon is a powerfully built, muscular creature with well-developed shoulders, chest and legs.

Maine Coons have a weather-resistant coat. The fur is of medium-to-short length, water resistant and has a naturally silky texture. In fact, the cats have longer fur on the abdomen and britches as compared to the fur on their broad shoulders; this serves to give the cat an even larger appearance. Grooming Maine Coons is a relatively easy process; they require just routine brushing thrice a week to remove dead hair.

The most common Maine Coon in terms of color and pattern is the household Brown Tabby. In addition to this, these cats come in a variety of other shades and patterns ranging from black and white to shocking lavender.

The Maine Coons also have a rich historical background; they reached America from Europe during the colonial days. Having remained a favorite of breeders in the 17th century, the breed almost reached the point of extinction during the 1900s. However, a foresighted group of cat lovers kept the breed alive, and it gradually regained its popular status by 1970. Today the cat enjoys the No. 2 position among America's favorite cats.