Originally a working cat, the Maine Coon is solid, rugged, and can endure a harsh climate. A distinctive characteristic is its smooth, shaggy coat. A well-proportioned and balanced appearance with no part of the cat being exaggerated. Quality should never be sacrificed for size. With an essentially amiable disposition, it has adapted to varied environments.
Should be proportionate to the overall length of the head and should exhibit a slight concavity when viewed in profile. The profile should be relatively smooth and free of pronounced bumps and/or humps. A profile that is straight from the brow line to the tip of the nose is not acceptable, nor should the profile show signs of having a "break" or "stop".
Muscular, broad-chested. Size medium to large. Females generally are smaller than males. The body should be long with all parts in proportion to create a well-balanced rectangular appearance with no part of the anatomy being so exaggerated as to foster weakness. Allowance should be made for slow maturation.
Head: Medium in width and slightly longer in length than width with a squareness to the muzzle. Allowance should be made for broadening in older studs. Cheekbones high.
Neck: Medium long.
Muzzle: Visibly square, medium in length and blunt ended when viewed in profile. It may give the appearance of being a rectangle but should not appear to be tapering or pointed. Length and width of the muzzle should be proportionate to the rest of the head and present a pleasant, balanced appearance.
Chin: Should be strong, firm and in line with the upper lip and nose. When viewed in profile the chin depth should be observable and give the impression of a square, 90-degree angle. A chin lacking in depth, i.e. one that tapers from the jaw line to the lip, is not considered strong, firm or desirable.
Ears: Shape - large, well-tufted, wide at base, tapering to appear pointed. Set: approximately one ear's width apart at the base; not flared.
Eyes: Large, expressive, wide set with an opened oval shape. Slightly oblique setting with slant toward outer base of ear. Eye color can be shades of green, gold, green-gold or copper. White cats and all cats with white may have blue or odd eyes.
Legs: Substantial, wide set, of medium length, and in proportion to the body. Forelegs are straight. Back legs are straight when viewed from behind. Paws large, round, well-tufted. Five toes in front; four in back.
Paws: Large, round, well-tufted. Five toes in front; four in back.
Coat: Heavy and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches. Frontal ruff desirable. Texture silky with coat falling smoothly.
Tail: Long, wide at base, and tapering. Fur long and flowing.
A coat that is short or overall even.
Delicate bone structure. Undershot chin, i.e. the front teeth (incisors) of the lower jaw overlapping or projecting beyond the front teeth of the upper jaw when the mouth is closed. Crossed eyes. Kinked tail. Incorrect number of toes. White buttons, white lockets, or white spots. Cats showing evidence of hybridization resulting in the colors chocolate, lavender, or the Himalayan pattern.