How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Maine Coon?

How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Maine Coon

Identifying whether a cat is a Maine Coon becomes tough when you don’t purchase it from a breeder. Numerous cats with long, shaggy fur are wrongly thought to be Maine Coons, simply because many people don’t know the specific physical features of this cat breed.

Remember that even if your cat does have some of the traits, it may not be a purebred Maine Coon and could be a mix of different breeds. However, this does not make your cat or kitten any less special, and no matter what your cat turns out to be, your furry friend is someone you can love and cherish.

This article will discover some of the basic traits that Maine Coon cats have, and give guidance on how to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon, or a mix of this breed and another breed (or multiple breeds, which is also a plausible scenario).

Physical Traits of a Maine Coon Cat Breed

Maine Coon Physical Traits

While the best way to confirm if your cat is a Maine Coon is to get it from a breeder, this might not be feasible for everyone. If your furry friend is already a cherished member of your home, here are some physical traits to observe that can help you determine if your cat is a Maine Coon.

1.    Size

Being one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, most purebreds will be visibly larger in size as compared to the average cat strolling down the street. Indeed, it would be tough not to notice one of these large cats passing by, as they are genuinely bigger than certain small dogs!

Here are some normal vital statistics regarding the physical size of the purebred Maine Coon cat.

Average Maine Coon Size Male Female
Height (inches) 10 to 16 8 to 14
Length (inches) Up to 40 Up to 40
Weight (pounds) 20 to 25 10 to 15

See Also: Maine Coon size comparison to dogs.

2.    Body Shape

Many cats have sleek and slender bodies ideal for prowling and sneaking around your house undetected. Although Maine Coon cats are highly athletic, their bodies are much bulkier compared to other felines.

Indeed, Maine Coon cats frequently have rectangular-shaped bodies, a result of the diverse muscle comprising their frame. This shape makes Maine Coon cats very powerful and athletic. If your feline lacks a robust, rectangular build, it is probably not a Maine Coon.

3.    Fur Type

The distinctive trait generally known for identifying this Maine Coon breed is its fur. As you probably know, Maine Coon cats have long and shaggy fur, which tends to shed quite a lot. So, it’s common to find fur scattered all over your household, especially in the summer months.

The length and thickness of the fur change through the year. During winter, the fur grows even more to assist the cat in staying warm. When summer rolls around, the fur begins to thin out, adapting to the higher temperature and forcing you to clean up more fur than habitual.

4.    Mane

Numerous Maine Coons will exhibit a longer mane around the neck compared to the rest of their body fur. This mane will become thicker during the winter months and is more noticeable as it grows longer. Although the summer months don’t entirely get rid of the long hair around the neck area, it might be less pronounced.

5.    Tail

Maine Coon tail is generally long and covered in thick, extended fur. They often hold their bodies and tails very proudly and are commonly more tranquil and composed demeanor around people compared to various other breeds. However, some cats are simply born wary of humans, and despite your friendly efforts, this trait might remain unchanged in your furry friend.

6.    Ears

Maine Coon cats possess different ears that set them apart from other domesticated cats. Maine Coon ears are frequently compared to lynxes because they feature tufts of fur at the end. In numerous ways, Maine Coon ears make the cat resemble a bobcat. This ear structure helps them retain warmth during cold winters.

7.    Eyes

Maine Coon eyes are generally sizeable, frequently described as having a highly intelligent expression. This might mean that the Maine Coon eyes are simply large, creating an appearance of intelligence, or perhaps they know something that they choose not to divulge!

8.    Paws

Even as kittens, you will notice that the Maine Coons have notably larger paws than the average cat, and this characteristic will never change. Numerous people use the size of a Maine Coon’s paw as an indicator of how big their Maine Coon will grow since the cat tends to proportionally ‘fit’ their paw size. The Maine Coon’s large paws help them in their survival in cold winter climates, where other cat breeds struggle. This is especially true because their huge pads enable them to walk on top of the snow, rather than sinking in it.

Take a closer look at your Maine Coon paws, and you might observe lots of tufts of fur coming out of their paws. These tufts serve to keep a purebred Maine Coon warm when it’s cold. Moreover, Maine Coon cats are more prone to being polydactyl as compared to other cats.

9.    Jaw & Nose Features

The face of the Maine Coon cat is triangular, culminating in a wedge shape. They feature a powerful and masculine jaw with a determined little chin, and, overall, a square muzzle. Their noses are normally a little longer than those of average domestic cats, and their faces are broader in comparison to most cats. Numerous Maine Coons have an intense, smart expression, giving them an awe-inspiring and wise appearance.

10.  Growth Rate

Another key way of determining whether you have a part Maine Coon cat or a purebred is by evaluating your cat’s growth rate. This is because the Maine Coon cat breed is well known for growing incredibly slowly, often not attaining its full adult size until reaching 3 to 5 years of age.

In comparison to regular cats, the Maine Coons growth rate is particularly slow, as most “normal’ cats commonly reach full size by 2 years of age.

Maine Coon Personality Traits

Maine Coon Personality traits

When figuring out how to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon or a mix and another breed, many people mistakenly believe that ticking off all the physical characteristics is sufficient. However, this is not entirely accurate, as there are numerous characteristics that this particular breed has, which are almost entirely unique to them. Below are some Maine Coon personality traits which will help you in determining if your cat is a Maine Coon or not.

1.    Friendly

Maine Coon cats are known for their friendly and easygoing personalities, making them compatible with both kids and other pets, even dogs. If your cat exhibits these traits, you may have a Maine Coon.

2.    Love of Water

Maine Coon cats love splashing and spilling water, and they’re even observed playfully interacting with toilets. If your cat seems to have a special fascination with water and end exhibits other traits of being a Maine Coon, there’s a chance it could indeed be a Maine Coon.

3.    Dog-Like Behaviors

Numerous are familiar with the normally extroverted and faithful nature of dogs. Similarly, Maine Coon cats are renowned for their outgoing and dependable behavior. If your cat warmly greets you in the morning and upon your return home, it may be a Maine Coon.

4.    Follow You

Maine Coon cats are very smart and curious little beings. Purebred individuals, in particular, are well known for following their owners, even when they go to the toilet. They literally desire to be involved in every aspect of your activities.

5.    Voice

One effective way to identify a part Maine Coon cat or purebred Maine Coon cat is by simply listening. Unlike regular cats that primarily use ‘meow’ sounds, a Maine Coon voice is quite different, characterized by often ‘chirps’ and ‘trill’ sounds when communicating with their owners, rather than the traditional cat ‘meow’ that everyone is familiar with.

6.    Protective of His Home

Can be rather suspicious and intensely curious, resembling a police “sniffer’ dog inspecting bags for illegal substances. While this is a noticeable exaggeration, we’ve found that non-cat-loving visitors are not completely at ease with the cat’s persistent investigations into their personal belongings.

7.    Jumping

Maine Coons showcase significant smartness as they cleverly navigate their way to the top of the walls. Instead of opting to exert significant effort and force to jump straight forwards, Maine Coon cats prefer to strategize and find an easy path. It’s not that the Maine Coon can’t jump, they simply choose not to, unless it is actually important. This characteristic sets them apart from most other cat breeds.

Take a Genetic Test

If you are thinking about how to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon, another genuine way is to opt for a genetic test, particularly if you’re seeking precise confirmation of its breed. Genetic tests are about 90% exact.

This process needs a vet or other medical expert to collect a DNA sample from your cat. Normally, this is done by swabbing the inside of your cat’s cheek to gather skin cells, drawing a vial of blood, or clipping a bit of its fur. The vet will then utilize this biological sample to compare your cat’s genome with recognized Maine Coon DNA, searching for a match.

What Do Maine Coon Mixes Seem Like?

If your cat has some of these traits but not all, it is probably a Maine Coon mix. Most Maine Coon mixes usually show three or four of these traits. For instance, Maine Coon mixes generally have a muscular body, long fur, and a friendly personality.

If you’re curious about your cat’s ancestry, you can start by looking up other cat breeds and Maine Coon mixes. Comparing your cat to others can give some insight. It might be hard to find the exact mix type your cat is, but it may give you a little more information about your beloved feline companion.

In the case that your cat possesses some of the traits mentioned earlier, it’s likely a Maine Coon mix. However, identifying the particular cat breed it’s mixed with may be slightly tricky.

You may also be interested in Maine Coon mixes with the following breeds:


If you think your cat might be a Maine Coon, examining its size, body type, fur, ears, eyes, paws, jaw, nose, tail, mane, growth rate and personality is recommended. These traits tend to be very unique in Maine Coon cats and serve as crucial indicators of the breed. If your cat has all of these traits, it’s probably a purebred Maine Coon!

However, if your cat only shows a few of these characteristics, it’s likely a Maine Coon mix. Just because your cat is not a purebred Maine Coon does not make it any less special, it’s still special and unique in its own way.

You may also be interested in: Are Maine Coon Hypoallergenic.

Frequently Asked Questions

What distinguishes a Maine Coon from a regular cat?

The Maine Coon exhibits a distinctive large, rectangular body shape that comes from its unique musculature. The difference in size and body shape are just two of the most obvious differences between these pets, but various others exist including their ears and social disposition.

What do Maine Coon cats seem like?

Rugged and highly smart, Maine Coons commonly have a dark brown tabby coat, a lengthy, feathered tail, and frequently have the look of being in the wild. Renowned for their exceptional climbing abilities, they surpass the average size of a domestic cat.

What is a Maine Coon mistaken for?

The breed Maine Coon sometimes can be mistaken for the Domestic Long-Haired cat. Although they share some similarities, there are also distinct differences between them.

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