maine coon myths Vikings


Many myths and legends center around the origin of the Maine Coon breed

These include Viking ships, Marie Antoinette, raccoons and lynxes

The truth is probably less romantic – domestic cats of early settlers developing by natural selection into the Maine Coon breed

Origin Story Legends


The origin stories for the Maine Coon Cat rival the tall tales of Paul Bunyan (another Maine native).

The most enduring of the Maine Coon Myths says that the cats arrived on Viking longboats where they were employed as vermin killers. This is a task that Maine Coons are proficient at.

However, it is more likely that the Viking cats were Norwegian Forest cats, which are native to Viking lands.

After years of interbreeding with native Maine cats, the Maine Coon could have been the result.

maine coon myths arie antoinette

Marie Antoinette

Another folktale centers around Marie Antoinette. Marie wasa a cat lover. When she realized that the situation in France was dire, she hired a captain, Samuel Clough, to transport her and her cats to North America. The cats arrived. Marie did not. Again, years of interbreeding could have resulted in the development of the Maine Coon line.

maine coon myths - raccoon


There is a weird myth that Maine Coons are the result of interbreeding between the stray cats of early settlers and raccoons. There are some similarities in the appearance of the coats of raccoons and Maine Coons. But this interbreeding is not scientifically possible.

maine coon myths - lynx


Finally, many people see the similarities between Maine Coons and native North American lynxes and wonder if that is the actual origin story.

maine coon myths and legends

The Truth?

However, most investigators feel that domestic cats in the 17th and 18th centuries, brought to Maine as  pets, developed by natural selection into the Maine Coon breed we know and love. Only the hardiest, largest and furriest cats would be able to withstand Maine winters.

Whatever is the truth, these romantic Maine Coon myths and legends add endearing features to the story of Maine Coon cats.

  • It’s interesting to learn more about this beautiful animal!

  • The “facts” that people will come up with?!
    Love the top picture. They look like serious business!

  • This was so interesting, I love the idea that Marie Antoinette escaped with her cats!

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