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You may have seen this pictures of this larger-than-life lion-like cat breed online because they look so unreal. But Maine Coon cats do exist. This breed is originally from Maine, USA, and is the official state cat. It is a fantastic breed to join in your family — if you have the space.

But what are Maine Coon cats like, and why should you get a Maine Coon over a regular cat? A few things set this big breed apart from more common indoor cats. If you’re planning on adopting or shopping for a Maine Coon, this is the place to find all the relevant information.

What Do Maine Coons Look Like?

There aren’t many differences between a Norwegian Forest Cat and Maine Coon. First, you’ll notice that these breeds look like a wildcat or even a lion due to their thick coat, pointy ears, and long mane.

Although one of the key Maine Coon Mix characteristics that sets it apart from its feline cousins is that a Maine Coon is bigger with a broader chest. A Maine Coon’s face is also slightly broader and rounder than a Norwegian Forest cat’s face. This breed has high cheekbones, and their ears are set high on their head.

If you have a purebred Maine Coon cat, your feline will have ear tufts similar to a bobcat. Although, it may differ if they’re mixed. Their paws also have tufts and are slightly webbed to help them walk in snowy weather.

Maine Coon Cats’ Size

Female Maine Coons weigh between 10 and 15 lbs, while male Maine Coons can be much bigger, weighing up to 25 lbs. However, sizes can differ slightly in European vs. American Maine Coons, with the European breed being slightly larger.

Maine Coons have quite large tails as well. Their tails can be up to 18 inches long to keep in proportion with their bodies. For reference, a ‘regular’ cat’s average tail length is 10 inches long.

This breed can be pretty tall, too. These kitties can grow up to 14 inches if female and 16 inches if you have a male feline.

Maine Coon Kittens

If you know the main characteristics of this breed, it’s quite easy to tell if your kitten is a Maine Coon. Even as a kitten, you’ll be able to recognize their pointy ears with tufts, round eyes, and thick fur.

Their bodies are rectangular, and you may also notice that their paws are big in relation to their body. Since Maine Coons are pretty big, you can expect these kittens to grow much faster than a regular indoor cat. That said, it’ll take your pet about four years to reach its full size.

Lifespan and Health

Maine Coons can live between 12 to 15 years on average. They are generally healthy cats but are predisposed to a few health problems that could affect their lifespan.

Because of their large size, this breed is predisposed to obesity, hip dysplasia, and heart issues like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Their long fur and big build could also make it a bit difficult to spot early signs of obesity. Regular vet check-ups are important to monitor your pet’s health.

An interesting fact about Maine Coons is despite their largeness; they don’t need that much exercise. Between 20 to 30 minutes of daily movement is enough to keep your pet active.

It’s not uncommon for them to sleep for long hours. But keep in mind that exercise is vital to help keep them healthy and prevent the predisposed health issues mentioned.

A good way to help them exercise is to help your pet go on walks. This breed also loves playing in the water, so you’ll often find them pawing water bowls, swimming (if they have the chance), and playing in pools of water.

Maine Coon Temperament and Personality

Maine Coon Cats are one of the largest domesticated breeds. But with such a big body also comes a large amount of affection and intelligence. These Maine Coon characteristics are what draw many cat owners to this lion-like breed.

You might be wondering, “Are Maine Coons friendly?” In short, yes, they are. Their friendliness is only one of the many wonderful parts of a Maine Coon’s personality. They are also quite affectionate and love to cuddle their owners, family members, and guests.

But they can also become quite jealous if their owners are showing too much attention to another pet and not them. Additionally, they can also become somewhat upset if you do not offer them enough attention or if they are left alone for long periods of time.

This breed is also one of the more intelligent cats and can even be trained. They can quickly pick up tricks like playing fetch, giving high-fives, and jumping through hoops. If you do get this breed, you’ll have to make sure to spend enough time with them and provide stimulating activities and toys.

Maine Coon Cat Coats

A Maine Coon cat’s coat is thick, long, and shaggy, helping it resemble a wild cat. However, this can change depending on what they’re mixed with. If you have a breed mix like a Maine Coon Ragdoll Mix, their fur can be a bit fluffier.

A Maine Coon has thick fur with two layers consisting of an undercoat and a top or guard layer. This is due to the icy climates their ancestors are from. While their coats are shaggy, it is still very silky.

But do Maine Coon cats shed? With all that fur, yes, they do. But they shed primarily during spring and autumn. You can reduce the amount of shedding hair by brushing your pet regularly.

 Maine Coon Colors

There are a few Maine Coon colors that you can choose from. The most common coat colors you’ll find this breed in are white, black, and gray. But it’s not uncommon to find cream, blue, and orange Maine Coon cats too.

You can also find these cats with wonderful patterned and multi-colored coats too. These patterns include bi-colors, tabby, tortoiseshell, and calico Maine Coons. The rarest coat colors for this breed are silver, gold, and true red.