Are Maine Coons the best?

Are Maine Coons the best purebred cat? The answer depends on you and what your preferences are with respect to the appearance of domestic cats. What distinguishes each cat breed from the other is their appearance because, at heart, their character is very similar if not identical subject to variations between individuals because each cat has their own character. There will be some variations on character between the breeds but less than the experts profess to be the case.

So, what you are buying or adopting when you select a Maine Coon is a cat with a certain appearance and there is no doubt that Maine Coons have a very definitive appearance which is large and distinguished. You know what they look like otherwise you wouldn't be here.

Maine Coon kittens
Maine Coon kittens. Photo: Helmi Flick.



So, if in your eyes the appearance of the Maine Coon cat is exactly what you want and is the sort of appearance that attracts you then they are the best cat breed. I know I'm stating the obvious but I think the point needs to be made. If you do find the appearance of the Maine Coon attractive you would not be alone because they are probably in the top three of the most popular purebred cats in the world. They may even be the most popular at the moment.

However, for a very long time, and it may still be the case, the Persian was top of the list based upon the number of Persian cats that were registered with the cat associations. That does not mean that they were always adopted but one assumes that they were. 

I would argue that the Persian has lost the top spot because people have learnt, via the Internet, that the Persian has inherited quite noticeable health problems such as breathing issues due to their smushed faces (only applicable to the contemporary Persian). 

The Maine Coon also has inherited health problems such as hip dysplasia, patella luxation and HCM but by and large it is a cat with reasonable health, a sweet disposition and a wonderful appearance.

If you did a poll of hundreds of thousands of people who wanted to adopt a purebred cat it wouldn't surprise me if the Maine Coon came out on top as the most desirable and therefore the best at 2021. The breed is being discussed on the internet more than ever.

In 2016 and for three years before that date, according to the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) the Exotic Shorthair - the shorthaired version of the Persian - was the most popular cat breed and therefore arguably the best.

Although there is a philosophical discussion to be had about what "the best cat breed" means. Does it mean the most popular in the eyes of the public or does it mean the best in an absolute sense by which I mean the healthiest, most attractive et cetera? The most popular does not necessarily mean the best because the public doesn't always know the health aspects of the cat breeds which is a very important factor. Between the Maine Coon and the Exotic Shorthair, I would argue that the former is slightly healthier than the latter.

You will see, by the way, lists on the Internet of which cat breed is the best but I would take them with a pinch of salt. There is no absolute list which is completely correct because there are no absolute criteria for measuring the best. Please remember that.

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