Where is the Maine Coon from?

Settlers to New England
Settlers to New England. Image: MikeB

The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America's New England area and has been around since the late 1800s. The pre-Maine Coon cats (forerunners of today's Maine Coon) from that area were probably hybrids of shorthaired domestic cats and longhaired cats from overseas, specifically longhaired cats from Europe and the UK brought over with immigrants (inc. pilgrims) who landed in New England including the state of Maine.

Maine in 1890
Maine in 1890. Image in the

Although that answers the question it is rather vague. I'll add a little bit of detail. But before doing so I think it is fair to say that the Maine Coon cat is from America as the cats that made the breed were in America for 400 years as random bred cats before breeders took some of the early pre-Maine Coons and created the breed through selective breeding. 

Let's say that the Maine Coon is America's domestic cat.

Back in the day when the first settlers to the continent of North America arrived from continental Europe and Great Britain in the 17th and 18th centuries there were no formal cat breeds anywhere. All domestic cats were formally moggies.

So, when they imported longhaired cats to the US, they were the first longhaired cats in America, ever; provided that you agree that the Vikings did not import longhaired cats from Norway 500 years earlier!

The point made there is that we don't know the Maine Coon-in-America backstory for sure. If you go back a 1000 years the forerunner of the Maine Coon may have been Norwegian moggie longhaired cats.

If you go back 400 years, they'd be British or European long haired and shorthaired cats. But if the question in the title is limited to the past 200 years of less, I think it is fair to say that the Maine Coon comes from America!

It just depends on how you want to interpret the history of the breed.


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