America: Maine Coons are the first longhaired breed of cats native to North America. These breeds were once known in Europe as the American Forest Cats. Originally they were referred to as a Barn Cat as that was their main job.
In the 1850â€™s seafarers brought longhaired cats back from foreign parts and these cats mated with the local shorthair cats. The offspring were big, strongly built cats with semi long coats and brush like tails that resembled the tail of the racoon, hence the name Maine Coon. The random mating produced many colours and coat patterns. The cats developed thick dense coats to withstand the extreme Maine winters.
Special shows were held for Maine Coons as early as the 1860â€™s, which was years before the official cat, shows began. In 1953 the Maine Coonâ€™s popularity increased and the Central Maine Coon Cat Club was formed. Maine Coons are now known throughout America and are imported into the UK in the 1980â€™s and now have Championship status at British shows.