The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America: it was born in nature and there it survived thanks to its physical force and intelligence. The name "Maine" has origin from its first appearance in the state of Maine , while "Coon" takes origin from the raccoon. Initially the idea was that the Maine Coon descended from ancestors of domestic cats and raccoons (not genetically possible).
Another idea is that the Maine Coon originated between the mattings of domestic cats and wild bobcats, which could explain the tufts of hairs that are so commonly seen on the tips of the ears. The generally accepted theory is that the Maine Coon is descended from the pairings of local short-haired domestic cats and long-haired breeds brought overseas by English seafarers or 11th-century Vikings. The connection to the Vikings is seen in the strong resemblance of the Maine Coon to the Norwegian Forest Cat, another breed that is said to be a descendant of cats that traveled with the Vikings. [Wikipedia]
The Maine Coon has a big height and a muscled and compacted body. Males weight 8 kg on average but can reach and exceed 10 kg; females weight about 6 kg. The body is solid and muscular, which is necessary for supporting their own weight, and the chest is broad. Maine Coons possess a rectangular body shape and are slow to physically mature. The head shape is medium in width and slightly longer than width with a squarness to the muzzle. Ears shape is large, well-tufted, wide at base, tapering to appear pointed. Eyes are large in shape, expressive, wide set with opened oval shape.
The coat is heavy and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches.
Legs substantial, wide set, of medium length and in proportion to the body: Paws are large, rounded, well-tufted.
The Maine coon is known for its good and steady temper, and is often called the "gentle giant". It is kind, patient, very social and likes to stay close to humans. The Maine Coons are generally not known for beeing a "lap cat", but there are many exeptions. They are loyal to their family, playful, independant and not clingy. Their gentle disposition makes them relaxed around dogs, other cats and children. They are above averige intelligent, and can be tought a lot of things if you spend some time teaching them. They are attentive and willing to learn.
Maine coons are known for their charming sounds. They don't sound like "regular cats"; their "language" is surprisingly mild and soft for their size and wild looks. They make themselves understood by making different sounds for different situations.
Maine coon cats love playing with water; they are world champions in spilling it. Thus a heavy and steady water bowl with a tray underneath is recommended. Some theorize that this personality trait comes from their ancestors who lived aboard ships most of their life.