Main Coon cats of today
Could the Maine Coon have come into existence as a result of the local domestic cats mating with cats brought over by the Vikings? There is after all a definite likeness between the Maine Coon, and the Norwegian Forest Cat. Some people think this is a more likely possibility rather than the suggestion that local cats mated with raccoons, an idea which has been discounted by the experts.
At one time only the brown Tabbie was considered to be a proper Maine Coon, any cat of a different color was called a Maine Shag Cat. The people who have studied the Maine Coon over the years are generally of the opinion that long haired cats from overseas, probably Europe, mated with the domestic short haired cat, and produced what we know today as the Maine Coon.
Maine Coons have very special personalities similar in many ways to the family dog. Call out their name, and they will come bounding towards you. Go out for the day, and on your return you will find them eagerly waiting for you on the doorstep. They love people, and other animals, and in return they like a lot of love and attention themselves.
In the early days of cat shows, going back to 1861, the Maine Coon was a popular participant, but when the Persians came along in the 1900's the Maine Coon went into decline. However their fortunes revived in the 1950's and in 1968 the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was formed with the purpose of protecting the breed. Despite this it was not until 1980 that the breed was recognized by all cat registries.
Nowadays there are many, many people who are fortunate enough to own, exhibit and love a Maine Coon Cat. The Association which was founded many years ago by a mere six breeders has now grown to well over 200 breeders, and there are over 2000 other members who are not breeders as well.