MetinkaBirmans
Icon Maine Coons

Although I am not currently breeding Maine Coons, for a number of years I bred these Impressive cats under the Icon prefix.

I currently have two desexed Maine Coons,

Fidelis Cornelius
bred by Tracey Lamb

(known as Red and seen here in summer coat)

Coolcoons Excalibar
Maine Coon

Bred by Fiona Cooper


History of the Maine Coon

One of the oldest breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the State of Maine; in fact the Maine Coon is the official Maine State cat.

A number of attractive legends surround its origin. A widespread (though biologically impossible) belief is that it originated from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and racoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common colouring (a racoon-like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name "Maine Coon" Originally, only brown tabbies were called Maine Coon Cats……cats of other colours were referred to as "Maine Shags". Another popular theory is that the Maine sprang from six pet cats which Marie Antoinette sent to Wiscasset, Maine when she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution. The Maine Coon ancestors to the hearty cats bought to America by the Vikings as guardians of their ship’s stores. These cats closely resembled a sturdy breed from Norway called the "Skogkatt", whose coat and facial features are similar to the Maine Coon cats’ Like their shipmates, the seafaring cats occasionally jumped ship. Before long it is believed they mated with the native cats of America, and the modern Maine Coon began to evolve.

First recorded in cat literature in 1861 with a mention of a black and white named "Captain Jenks of the Horse Marines". Maine Coons were popular competitors at early cat shows in Boston and New York. A brown tabby female named "Cosie" won best cat at the 1895 Madison Square Garden Show.

Unfortunately, their popularity as show cats declined with the arrival in 1900 of the more flamboyant Persians. Although the Maine Coon remained a favourite cat in New England, the breed did not begin to regain its former widespread popularity until the 1950’s when more and more cat fanciers began to take notice of them, show them, and record their pedigrees. Since 1976, all cat associations have recognised the breed for championship status. Currently the Maine Coon cat is experiencing a tremendous surge in popularity.

Maine Coons were well established more than a century ago as a hardy, handsome breed of domestic cat, well equipped to survive the hostile New England winters.

Nature is not soft hearted. It selects the biggest, the brightest, the best fighters, and the best hunters to breed successive generations. Planned breeding of Maine Coons is relatively recent. Since planned breeding began Maine Coon breeders have sort to preserve the Maine Coon’s "natural", rugged qualities. The ideal Maine Coon is a strong, healthy cat. Interestingly, the breed closest to the Maine Coon is the Norwegian Forest Cat which, although geographically distant, evolved in much the same climate, and lends credence to the theory that some of the cats responsible for developing the Maine Coon were bought over by the Vikings.

Living with a Maine Coon

Maine Coons are relaxed and easy-going in just about everything they do. Gentle and affectionate, Maine Coons make excellent pets and family members.

Through its life the Maine Coon remains a perpetual kitten, and will chase and tumble with other members of the family, including dogs. The cat is loving with its family members but tends to shy away from strangers. A Maine Coon does not particularly like being taken out of its own terrain and usually do not like to be picked up and cuddled for long periods, preferring to sit on you or nearby on a rug or sofa.

When the cat decides it wants attention however, it demands to be petted. This friendly breed thrives on such affection, breaking into loud purring when spoken to and following its people around the house.
Hearing a Maine Coon vocalise for the first time usually surprises people. Expecting a meow proportional to the cat’s size, a cat lover may be startled by the tiny voice that would seem more appropriate coming from a kitten.
The Maine Coon can be trained to walk successfully on a harness. Access to the outdoors should be under supervision as Maine Coons have tremendous reflexes and nothing escapes those eyes, bearing in mind that they were once working cats.

A Maine Coon will be your companion, your buddy, your pal and will always be there for you.
Maine Coons come in a variety of colours and patterns, but perhaps the best known is the brown tabby. Brown Classic tabby and brown mackerel tabby are the colours seen most often at today’s shows but more breeders are showing solids, tortoiseshells, smokes and parti-colours. Every cat lover can find a cat to suit his or her colour and pattern preference.

Training and Play

Kittens and adults like to play. Generally, the morning or early evening is the best time if you want an enthusiastic response, especially in an adult.

We try to discourage rough play, as this can make the kitten too aggressive,

Soft toys with no small, easily removed and swallowed pieces are good toys.

Twisted paper attached to string tied to a stick is wonderful…….but do not leave your kitten unattended as it could become tangled in the string.

If your kitten is left alone during the day, it will be very pleased to see you of an evening and demand quite a bit of attention.

Be firm and patient with your kitten…….By teaching it the house rules now, you can avoid future behavioural problems. If the kitten scratches its claws where is shouldn’t, say "NO" take it to its scratching post, and make scratching motions with its feet. Kittens respond well to a firm voice and patience. They are naturally fastidious and want to behave.

The spray bottle method…….Problems that don’t respond to "NO" can usually be modified by giving the kitten a quick shot of water from a spray bottle, during the moment it is naughty. This method removes you from the punishment in the kitten’s mind. The kitten does not begin to fear you as a source of punishment.

WHAT YOUR KITTENS NEED MOST IS YOUR TIME AND ATTENTION.

 

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