Maine Coon alert - we need something big and fluffy to hold onto

Another stupendous Maine Coon. We are seeing lots of them these days. Are breeders making them bigger and bigger? When will it stop? They are going to be as big as Labradors soon.

There is a cup in the background. Is this an award for the biggest Maine Coon on the planet?! I've seen Maine Coons as big but not many. This is a very rare cat. He is a ginger tabby. If you believe that personality can be linked to coat type, you'll believe that ginger tabbies have good, reliable characters. They are popular. This cat was born to lead.

Huge ginger tabby Maine Coon
Huge ginger tabby Maine Coon. Photo: Twitter.

So why is he so big? Answer: selective breeding. You can create large cats by breeding large cat with large cat. It takes time and careful selection of foundation cats. It is inbreeding but done carefully to maintain health as inbreeding can negatively impact health.

The gene responsible for the ginger cat is symbolised by the letter O and it is known as 'orange'. The cat's pigment physiology is altered. Only yellow pigment is produced instead of a mixture of yellow and black in the tabby and black for the non-agouti. In this genetic mutation the black striping of the classic tabby is replaced by red striping of the same pattern 'while the intervening agouti areas become yellow or rich beige'. Quote from Robinson's Genetics.

The accepted date of origin of the Maine Coon is the 1860s. This is a reference to the moment when Maine barn cats were turned into purebred Maine Coons through selective breeding and registration with the first cat associations in the US. The cat fancy started in the late 1800s in the UK and the USA quickly followed. The USA is now the biggest purebred cat marketplace by far.


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