Persian Cats and other longhairs

Persian Cats and other longhairs, ©1964, TFH Publications, Inc.Jeanne Ramsdale
Chapter XXXIV – SEMI LONGHAIRS Maine Coon Cats (pages 260-263)

Maine Coon Cats

Tiger Boy(1958)

Tiger Boy

The Maine Coon Cats are haphazardly-bred longhairs. Their ancestry goes back to the 1850’s, when seafaring men brought many beautiful cats to Maine from foreign ports. The Maine climate proved favorable to them, and all types of plain or fancy cats were permitted to breed at random.

The natives of Maine took great pride in their cats. They considered them bigger, better, and smarter than any other cats in the world. They soon became ‘natives’, developing a thick coat as protection against the rugged Maine winters. They are found in all the solid colors – white, black, blue, and red (or orange)-as well as tabby. Intermingling has produced mixed coloration, often marked with white. Smokes and Silvers are rare.

After more than a century, these long-haired Coon cats continue to grace the Maine scene abundantly. The relative recent practice of altering pet cats seems to offer the first noticeable threat to the production of surplus Coon kittens. Because they carry mixed blood strains and have no registered pedigrees, Coons are not recognized by the cat fancy, but their beauty, intelligence, and cleverness insure their popularity as pets. Since virtually all of them are born in private homes, and little can be predicted about them before they are born, locating a specific Coon kitten available for adoption depends largely on chance.

Blu Boy1961

Blu Boy

Maine Cats were the first show cats in the United States. No definite records are available, but it is known that exhibitions were held as early as the 1860’s, centered principally in Maine.

The Central Maine Cat Club was organized in 1953 and now holds a show every year, in May, at Skowhegan, Maine. Usually seventy-five to one hundred cats and kittens are shown. From these (neuters included), a Maine State Champion Coon Cat is chosen for that year. The purebred cats are welcome to attend the show, but they cannot compete against the Coon Cats.

Mrs. Robert Whittemore, Augusta, Maine, has the only cattery that raises Coon kittens. She tells us about these unusual Maine cats:

Major Sno Sheen1956

Major Sno Sheen

The Coon comes in every color, but black and white are the most common. I choose

trying to specialize in solid-color Coons. My breeding stock includes: white, black, yellow (cream to red), gray (silver to blue), tiger, and calico. I cannot, however, keep supplied with all colors in either sex to meet all the specific requests received. Customers who have several color choices, and can be happy with either sex, stand a much better chance of finding a good pet promptly. Male or female kittens, I feel sure, make equally rewarding pets. At maturity, either sex may normally have gold or green eyes, and will weigh from ten to fourteen pounds.

The Coon Cats, of course, are longhairs, but they are not as long-haired as the Persians. The fur is inclined to be thick and a little shaggy, like that of a Collie dog. Their faces are rather long and pointed, although there are some whose heads are more rounded. Their tails are long and bushy, often striped. A Coon cat stands taller than a Persian and is longer, more like the old-time Angora.

Blu Boy 2nd, one of mine, has an interesting personality. He is very smart, loves to retrieve, rolls over, and enjoys a ride in the family car every day. He is also trained to walk with a collar and leash. He likes beef kidneys particularly well, and weighs sixteen pounds.