The Maine coon cat was recognized as the official state cat of Maine in 1985. Well established more than a century ago, Maine coon cats are one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. Though tabby coloring is most well-known, Maine coons come in many colors.
Maine coon cats are tall, muscular, and big-boned with long, smooth, heavy, water-resistant coats and long, bushy tails. Males average 13 to 18 pounds (it is not uncommon to reach 25 pounds). Females average 9 to 12 pounds.
These beautiful cats are superbly equipped for Maine's harsh winters. In addition to their unique luxurious coat, the ears are more heavily furred (both inside and on the tips) than many breeds, and Maine coon cats have big, round, tufted feet that serve as snow shoes.
Most coon cat breeders believe that the breed originated as a mix of the pre-existing shorthaired domestic cats and foreign longhairs (possibly Angora types introduced by New England seamen, or longhairs brought to America by the Vikings). Cats are also recognized as state symbols in Massachusetts (tabby cat) and in Maryland (calico cat).