Science Magazine Vol.XXII, published in 1893.


nº 559 - page 220:

 “Coon Cats ”

Speaking of cats , i saw, in a private house in Chicago recently, two cats which the owners called "coon cats". They had been obtained in the edge of the forest around Moosehead Lake, and it was claimed that they were hybrids, or descendants of hybrids of the domestic cat and the raccoon. Tehy were larger than the ordinary house cat, had very coon-like countenances and bushy coon-like tails taht were always expanded. One had the habit of ascending something high and resting streched out, and their motions when in a little hurry were a coon-like gallop.

The claws were retractile, the foot digitigrade. I did not examine the dentition, but could find nothing but appearance that indicated a coon kinship. They interbred with teh common cat. Can some one tell me more about them?
J.N. Baskett
México, Montana, 28 de Agosto


nº 563 - page 279, 1:

“Coon Cats ”

Seeing Mr. J. N. Baskett´s note on page 220 of the current volume of Science, concerning coon cats, i venture to inform you that i was struck with the extraordinary appearence of one of these cats owned by Mr. Will Carleton, who had it with him in the Catskill Mountains the present summer. I asked him about the cat and he told me that the same fable which Mr. Baskett relates, but he went on to say that of course the story was incorrect and that in his opinion this peculiar race of cats from Maine is descended from some Persian or Angora breed brought down to Maine by early French settlers from Canada. I believe that this was surnrise on Mr. Carleton´s part, but it seemed reasonable to me and if you receive no more satisfactory explanation in reply to Mr. Baskett´s question, you are at tliberty to use this.

L.O. Howard
Washington, Capital, 9 de Novembro


nº 563 - page 279, 2:

“Coon Cats ”

In answer to Mr. J. N. Baskett´s question regarding "coon cats" in your issue of Oct.20, 1893, i would say that this cross-breed of animals has been known for many years, more particulary in the State of Maine. The error attributing these mongrels to a cross between our domestic feline, and the raccoon, Procyon lotor, ia as general as it is ridiculous; for it stands to reason that animals of different families could not interbreed. The notion is about as ridiculous as a prevarent story among the ignorant that (cat) owls bear their young alive.

The subject of "coon cats", or sometimes called mule-cats, has been repeatedly discussed in many papers, andit is now generally conceded that this hybrid is the result of an alliance of our domestic tabby with some Oriental feline - probably the angora. This cross would show the long, bushy tail of the Oriental species. But. Mr. Baskett is in error in supposing these animals plantigrade, and if he secures a skull, which he can easily do, he will find that the dentition is pronouncedly feline.

These cats are quite common in parts of New England, and may be purchased at a very reasonable figure, and according to the demands and the supply in the cat market. Few persons are able to distinguish between genuine Angoras and these hybrids, and many are the unsuspecting buyers who have paid a high price for a common "ccon cat" worht not more than two dollars.

Morris Gibbs


Source: Science Magazine- Vol.XXII - 1893