8 Characteristics of Maine Coon Cats

One of America’s oldest and largest natural breeds, the Maine coon has some very unique characteristics. This large, friendly cat has a distinctive physical appearance and exceptional personality. Keep reading as we look at the characteristics of Maine coon cats.

8 Characteristics of Maine Coon Cats

Although its exact origins are unknown, the Maine coon is believed to be a cross between native American shorthairs and longhairs brought over by early European settlers. Today, the Maine coon remains one of the most popular cat breeds in North America and Europe.

Maine coon cats are one of the oldest breeds of cat in North America. These big fluffy felines have unique and distinct personalities and looks. Follow along as we learn more about the characteristics of Maine coon cats.

1. Colors

Maine coon cat
Maine coon cat

Did you know that Maine coon cats come in a variety of colors? Here’s a look at some of the most popular Maine coon cat colors.

Maine coon cats can be either short-haired or long-haired, and their coat can be any color or pattern. The most common Maine coon cat colors are brown tabby, tortoiseshell, and black.

However, you can also find Maine coon cats with blue, red, cream, silver, or white fur. While Maine coon cats with solid-color coats are beautiful, many people prefer the ones with more unusual markings, like lynx points or calicos.

2. Fur Length and Texture

The Maine Coon’s fur is one of its most distinguishing features. The coat is thick, which helps protect the cat from cold weather and keep it waterproof. The fur is also long and dense, which helps keep the cat warm in the winter.

Maine coons have three different fur types: short, medium, and long. The most common fur type is medium. Maine coons with short fur typically have a fine and silky coat, while those with long fur have a thick and plush coat.

The longest-furred Maine coons often have a mane around their necks that resembles a lion’s mane. They will shed like other cat breeds.

3. Body Shape and Size

Maine coon resting outside
Maine coon resting outside | image by Ralph Nordenhold via Flickr

Probably the Maine coon’s most distinctive feature is its massive size. They are very large cats! Maine coon cats are large, muscular cats with a rectangular body shape.

They are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, and their size is often described as “impressive.” Males typically weigh between 13 and 18 pounds. Females usually weigh between 9 and 12 pounds. Of course, they can always be bigger with overfeeding so it’s important to feed them a healthy diet.

4. Tail Length

There are three main types of tail length in Maine coon cats: long, medium, and short. The long tail is the most common, and is typically 12-16 inches in length. This is the longest tail of any cat breed.

The medium tail is less common, and is typically 8-12 inches in length. The short tail is the least common, and is typically 4-8 inches in length.

Overall, Maine coon cats as a breed are not born with naturally bobbed tails. Some might be born this way but it’s not a breed standard.

5. Eye Colors

Maine coon cat with green eyes
Maine coon cat with green eyes | image by Dan Hershman via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

When it comes to eye color, Maine coons can have just about any color imaginable. Eye color varies just as much as coat color. Their eye colors include green, blue, and copper, or a combination of all or mixed colors.

Some have heterochromia, meaning they have two different colored eyes. The most common eye color is green.

Maine coons can also suffer from eye problems like strabismus (crossed eyes), astigmatism (blurred vision), hyperopia (farsightedness), and myopia (nearsightedness). Many of these problems are genetic.

6. Personality and Temperament

Maine coon cats are known for their large size, gentle disposition, and intelligence. They are often described as “dogs of the cat world” because of their loyalty and companionship.

They are can be trained to walk on a leash like a dog. You have to start when they’re young, but many people take their Maine coons on walks with a harness and leash. They are also known for being gentle giants.

Maine coons have a reputation for being one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They are also known for being very curious cats. They will often follow their humans around the house to see what they’re up to.

Maine coons are also known for their playful personalities and love of attention. They are notorious for their lively nature. They love to engage in a good game of “chase the string.”

While all Maine Coon cats share some common characteristics, each cat is an individual with his or her own personality and temperament. Some are shy while others are outgoing. Some are laid back while others are active and playful.

7. Health and Lifespan

Female maine coon
Female maine coon | image by Dan Hershman via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Maine coon cats have some of longest lifespans of any cat breed. They can easily live to be 15 years old when taken care of, and many live to be 20 years.

Generally, Maine coons are considered to be a hardy and healthy breed. They big and tough cats that aren’t too prone to injury, but they can have some health issues.

Common health issues in Maine coon cats include heart disease, hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy. Most of these are genetic but can also be environmental.

8. Vocalizations

Maine coon cats are known for their vocalizations, which include trills, chirps, and meows. Hey, is often described as “chatterboxes” because of their propensity to make a wide variety of sounds.

Maine coon cats make a unique sound called a “chatter.” This is a mix of a purr and a meow. This chatter is thought to be used as a way to communicate with their human family members.

Maine coons are not typically shy when it comes to making noise. They have range of meows and will vary how they vocalize those meows to you.

You will definitely know when a Maine coon cat wants your attention because they will let you know. They have been known to “talk back” when you speak to them.