Can you tell the difference between the Maine Coons and Persians in these vintage pictures in the slide show above? I am sure you can but there ain’t much in the difference. There are five Persians and three Maine Coons. Persians were more common than the Maine Coon in 1903. A Maine Coon won America’s first cat show. He was a neutered cat.
You can stop the slide show by placing the mouse cursor over the image. You can move the slide show manually using the arrows left and right.
Before the word “coon” was tacked onto the word “Maine” (stupid idea, I believe) the cats from the state of Maine were simply called “Maine cats”. It makes sense and I wish that was still their name. They were handsome, long haired cats that looked like random breed cats, which is what they were 😉 . Well, technically they were random bred cats but were more purebred than today’s purebred Maine Coon, I suspect.
Admittedly, the quality of the images is not great. However, my overriding impression is that back around 1900 the cat breeds that were in existence then – very few compared to today – all looked more or less alike, which is the way it should be because the domestic cat is alike no matter where you are. The early cat clubs referred to show cats by their coat not their breed. One chapter of The Book of The Cat is entitled: Long-haired or Persian cats. You take your pick.
Today, the Persian is completely different to the Maine Coon. The former is cobby and very long haired. The hair is even. The face is flat and the head round. The ears are tiny and so on. The Maine Coon has large ears, a long elegant body and shaggy medium length hair. The face is “normal” and the muzzle strong. Chalk and cheese basically.
Today’s clear difference between these top cat breeds is due to “refinement” and advancements etc. to these cat breeds, so say breeders. Personally, I long for the natural appearance. I love naturalness. I don’t like artificiality and human interference. That is just my personal viewpoint and I totally accept the views of others even when they are opposite to mine.
The pictures: They are probably in the public domain. If not I would argue fair use because publishing them here will have no impact commercially on the copyright owner and also they are published here for educational and charitable reasons. I hope that suffices. It not please leave a comment and I will respond promptly.
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