Above: Maine Coon character – this face is very expressive, I think. He gives me the impression that he is truly aware of the photographer (Helmi) – supporting the assessment that this is a smart cat. See bottom of page for more on him.
Maine coon character — We can tell from the pictures that the Maine Coon is a sturdy handsome cat. Lets look in more depth at the character/temperament, which is equally, if not more, important.
Some breeders/owners say the MC is dignified and somewhat demonstrative. Many say that the MC is intelligent. It seems that, as for humans, we first fall for the looks; and this breed is genuinely very handsome and the coat very glamorous. The tail can be outstanding. Yet after some time we come around to being attracted to more profound things and that means the character, which is equally attractive by all accounts.
It would seem that if the characteristics that are most noticeable where ranked this is how it might look:
- Intelligent (they are however not the most intelligent cat breed)
- people orientated
- good company
- sense of humor (human concept)
- sense of proportion (human concept)
- decorative (well sure they are but I don’t think they know this as cats are not conscious of themselves). This list is perhaps a little over done as all cats have very similar characters at a fundamental level. However there are differences and the Maine Coon character is one of the better ones.
An interesting study made by UCLA (University of California, Los Angeles) demonstrated that animals that are handled and stroked by humans early on in their lives develop quicker in respect of information processing (mental ability) that those that are not handled and talked to etc. This seems similar to research carried out on humans, which is to be expected. As Maine Coons are very touchable because of their fur and appearance it may be that this has accelerated their mental development making them more intelligent than some other cats.
Maine Coons like to play in water, apparently. The Bengal cat actually likes water but this goes back to the Asian Leopard Cat who liked water and presumably hunted in it. The Maine Coon is essentially a hardy cat (there are one or two health issues however) and at the turn of the century was an outdoor cat earning his living catching rodents etc. Maybe this outdoor characteristic translates to an acceptance water (a lot of cats dislike water).
The Maine Coon character is dependent to a certain extent on the sex of the cat. Males act like boys. While the females seem to behave more like “ladies”, charming and affectionate but they get their way. Not sure if this is true. A major factor in cat character is how they are brought up by the breeder. A well socialized cat is important and that task belongs to the cat breeder first and the new keeper second.
ZAK – Maine Coon cat – photo by Michael @ PoC
I’d just like to add a bit to this page. Since writing it about 2 years ago I have met the Flick’s cat including, of course, their two Maine Coons. I like all their cats but one is close to me, Zak, a large rangy Maine Coon. What is his character like? Above all he likes to play. He looks you straight in the eye unflinchingly, which is unusual for a cat. He is athletic and he wants attention but is patient for it. I love this boy mainly because he is a bit shy and nervous but very genuine and his genuineness shines through big time.
Now back to the cat illustrated at the top of the page. He is a Japanese Maine Coon. The Japanese like their cats, you know, particularly the Japanese Bobtail an ancient Japanese cat. This Japanese Maine Coon is called Michaelangelo and he is a beautifully groomed young Brown Classic Tabby Maine Coon. Helmi and Ken photographed him in Japan in 2006. His photograph was the cover for a calendar published by Cat Fancy, the well known North American cat magazine. This was Helmi Flick’s first commissioned calendar! Well done Helmi and well done Michaelangelo as he looks so intently at the camera. This is part of the Maine Coon character.
The Yankee Cat by Maarilis Hornidge
from Maine Coon Character to home page