Now that we have lived with our Maine Coons, and watched how carefully the judges at cat shows evaluate them to see how they meet the standards, we realize that all the things we love about Maine Coons are actually all the characteristics of the standard: gentle, friendly personality, big, sturdy body, shaggy coat, bushy tail, elegant head, strong chin, boxy muzzle, big eyes, big ears with lynx tips and big paws with foot furnishings.
Maine Coon Cats are tall, muscular, and big-boned, one of the largest domestic breeds. Males can weigh 13 to 21 pounds, and females normally weigh about 9 to 12 pounds.
Maine Coons don't reach their full size until they are three or four years old and their dispositions remain kittenish throughout their lives. They are called the gentle giants, or the Golden Retrievers of the cat world, and Maine Coon breeders ensure that disposition by only breeding big, gentle, good-natured cats. Even their voice, a distinctive, chirping trill, is different than other cats. They rarely meow, and when they do, their soft, high-pitched mew doesn't fit their size!
The important features of the Maine Coon are the head and body shape, and the texture and "shag" of the coat. The head is slightly longer than it is wide, presenting a gently concave profile with high cheekbones and large, wide at the base, moderately pointed, and well tufted ears. Ears are set well up on the head, approximately an ear's width apart. Lynx-like tufting on the top of the ears is desirable. The neck should be medium-long, the torso long, and the chest broad. The tail should be at least as long as the torso.
One of their most distinctive features of a Maine Coon Cat is its eyes, which are large, round, expressive, and set at a slightly oblique angle. Overall, the Maine Coon should present the appearance of a well-balanced, strongly-built, rectangular cat.
Because Maine Coon breeders strive to maintain the wonderful characteristics that make the breed so popular, it has not been bred to extreme variations. Our favorite description of the breed is that it looks like the cat you had when you were a kid. For more background, and a description of the standards, check out the Maine Coon sites we have linked to on the internet from our Links page.