The Maine Coon is one of America’s oldest natural breeds, so you’re likely familiar with their huge size, playful personality, and fluffy bodies. The Orange Maine Coon has one of the most eye-catching colors, so you might be wondering how this specific bright-colored coat came to be found in the Maine Coon breed.
We rounded up everything that you need to know about the Orange Maine Coon, from their origin and history to a few facts that you might not have known about these charismatic cats.
The Earliest Records of Maine Coons in History
Like many other cat breeds, the Maine Coon is surrounded by legends. Some say that the Maine Coon breed came into existence after a domestic cat bred with a bobcat. That’s not likely, and neither is the legend that they share DNA with raccoons!
What’s more likely is that the breed’s origins lie in cats that were brought over from Europe and adjusted to the cold climate of the area that they found themselves in. Some stories say that these cats were brought over on a ship that Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France, was supposed to board. It’s thought that these cats were either Turkish Angora or Siberian Forest Cats.
The Book of the Cat, published in 1903, shares the first written reference to the breed. It’s also known that during the late 1860s, farmers in Maine held tough-fought competitions to crown the “Maine State Champion Coon Cat.”
The first North American cat show was held in 1895, and Maine Coons were exhibited proudly. In fact, a female brown tabby Maine Coon called Cosey was crowned best in show! Her silver trophy collar is still displayed in the offices of the Cat Fanciers’ Association.
How the Orange Maine Coon Gained Popularity
All Maine Coon colors were popular as barn cats all across New England. They also became well-loved family cats due to their affectionate natures. As cat shows became more and more popular, orange Maine Coons were a frequent sight. When more European breeds like the Persian were imported, local breeds like the Maine Coon fell out of favor. After 1911, there were few Maine Coons entered into cat shows.
This situation was so serious that the entire breed was registered as extinct in the 1950s. Luckily, the Central Maine Cat Club was formed at the same time, and they resurrected the breed, along with writing the first official breed standard, which mentioned orange Maine Coons as one of the accepted colors!
From nearly becoming extinct, the orange Maine Coon is now one of the most popular cat breeds all across the world.
Formal Recognition of the Maine Coon
The Maine Coon breed was formally recognized by the Independent Cat Federation in 1969. The Cat Fanciers’’ Association rejected provisional status for the breed three times but finally accepted them in 1975.
The Maine Coon Cat Club was created in 1973, with The International Cat Association accepting the breed in 1979.
Maine declared the Maine Coon their official state cat in 1985.
Top 8 Unique Facts About the Orange Maine Coon
1. Orange Maine Coon cats come in five official patterns: Solid Red Maine Coon, Red Classic Tabby Maine Coon, Red Smoked Maine Coon, Red Mackerel Tabby Maine Coon, and Red Ticked Tabby Maine Coon. You might also see them called a Ginger Maine Coon.
2. Most orange Maine Coons are males. Only one out of every five orange Maine Coons will be female.
3. If two orange Maine Coon cats are bred together, all their babies will be orange too!
4. Many orange Maine Coons develop adorable freckles on their lips and nose and around their eyes. These are usually harmless pigmentation, but if you’re concerned, get them checked out by your vet.
5. The orange Maine Coon is technically described as red in most breed standards.
6. Orange Maine Coons often love water, so if you have a pond in your backyard, don’t be surprised to see your kitty playing at the edges or even stepping in!
7. The orange Maine Coon has an incredibly thick coat, designed to keep them warm through the winter. Their large paws even act like snowshoes to spread their weight over a large area!
8. Maine Coons of all colors can weigh up to 25 pounds, with males usually being larger than females.
Does an Orange Maine Coon Make a Good Pet?
Maine Coons of all colors make excellent pets, and orange kitties are no exception. These affectionate cats love spending time with their families, but they’re not too loud or demanding. They’ll simply watch and wait until you’re ready to play with them, or maybe they’ll give a little chirp to remind you that they’re still there.
Orange Maine Coons are intelligent and playful, which makes them a great choice as an all-around family pet. They usually get along well with other cats and dogs, and many owners say their personality is quite canine! They do have a relatively high prey drive, so take care to keep them separate from any pet rodents. If you need a barn cat to keep rats and mice out of your grain, though, they’ll do an excellent job!
You can have a great deal of fun teaching your orange Maine Coon tricks like shaking paws, rolling over, and even coming when you call. Some of them will enjoy going for walks on a harness and leash, once they’ve been trained. As such a large breed, these orange fluff balls mature more slowly than many other cats, so make sure you speak to your vet for advice before switching your kitten to an adult cat food.
Once you welcome an orange Maine Coon into your life, things will never be the same! These larger-than-life cats will make you wonder what you did with your time before they came along. Maine Coons are affectionate and full of fun and love spending time with their families. Their huge size means you might need to invest in jumbo-sized accessories, like scratching posts and cat trees, though!