The Maine Coon is one of the largest cat breeds: in 2010 Stewie was named the Guinness Book of Records Longest Cat, coming in at 123 centimetres (481⁄2 inches) from nose to tail. There is an unlikely legend that the Maine Coon first arrived in America when Marie Antoinette sent her beloved cats there to escape the French Revolution – they made it, she didn’t. The Maine Coon has adapted to the climate of North America with some flamboyant features that we like to think wouldn’t have been out of place at Versailles: hairy toes and ears, a bushy tail, a magnificent mane, and they can also be polydactyl.

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