The Maine Coon is a large domesticated cat breed. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America. The breed originated in the U.S. state of Maine, where it is the official state cat.
The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 19th century, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now the third most popular pedigreed cat breed in the world.The Maine Coon is a large and social cat, which could be the reason why the Maine Coon has a reputation of being referred to as, "the gentle giant." The Maine Coon is predominately known for its size and dense coat of fur which helps the large feline to survive in the harsh climate of Maine, the state from which they originated. Relaxed and laid-back, Maine Coons are not overly dependent, but they are people-oriented. The Maine Coon is often cited as having "dog-like" characteristics.Due to the large size of this feline, professionals have noticed certain health problems arising in the breed, including feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia.