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Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coon cats are one of the most popular cat breeds in the US, which is fitting since they’re also one of the oldest natural breeds in America. Maine Coons are said to be native to the state of Maine (where they’re also the official state cat), but how they originated remains a mystery. One theory holds that this large, hearty cat developed from matings between a wild cat and a raccoon, but this is a myth. Another theory suggests the first Maine Coon belonged to Marie Antoinette, who sent him (along with five other pet cats) to America during the French Revolution, when she was planning to escape from France.1 The third, and most plausible, theory is that Maine Coons originated from matings between short-haired domestic cats and longhairs that were introduced to America by New England seamen or Vikings (who often kept cats on their ships to control mice).2 No matter how they came to be, Maine Coons have been adored for centuries and they quickly find a forever place in their owner’s heart. These cats are sometimes called “dogs of the cat world” because they’re loyal, playful, and, unlike many other cat breeds, prefer to stay close to the ground and often enjoy water