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Maine Coon vs Regular Cat: What You Need to Know

Maine Coon vs. normal cat – what makes a Maine coon cat different? If you’re trying to imagine the sheer contrast between a Maine Coon cat and a typical cat, there are quite a few differences to take into account.

For one, the Maine Coon’s features and size compared to an average cat is quite remarkable.

The notably larger cat breed is a special class, with its thick shaggy fur, large round eyes, and dog-friendly temperaments. Compared to normal cats, Maine Coons have a faster growth rate and an array of other distinguishing features.

These kitties are highly intelligent and are considered healthier than other breeds of cats.

Although the Maine Coon cat is commonly categorized as an ol’ domestic long-haired cat breed, this kittie is its own unique breed.

How are Maine coons different from other cats? There are significant differences and similarities between Maine coons vs regular cats, from their appearances, personalities, care, and more.

Let’s take a look and compare some things between our beloved meow machines.

maine coon tabby cat staring with very pointy ears


Maine Coon vs Normal Cat: Physical Features and Differences

When comparing the difference in physical appearance between a Maine Coon vs a house cat, it’s remarkable to know what makes these large kitties so different.

1. Maine Coon Coat vs Normal Cat

A regular house cat’s coat consists of medium hair, a domestic shorthair, or something of that kind. A Maine Coon, on the other hand, has a gorgeous thick, shaggy coat and features different types of coloring (over 75 different colors) and in a variety of patterns. There are medium hair Maine coons out there though. However, for the most part, these little beasts have long, luscious hair.

Maine coons come in a variety of colors. These can range from solid white and cream, to blue, red, and black. These kitties can be tabby, tri-color, tortoiseshell, parti-color, and calico colors too. There’s a Maine coon for every person out there.

ginger maine coon cat
Maine coon

This, combined with their signature ears, beautiful eyes, and long whiskers, means you have a unique cat.

Maine Coon’s long-haired coat is a defining feature of the cat breed compared to normal cats.  Their coats are super fine and silky, depending on the amount of grooming you give your long-haired pussycat.

Don’t feel overwhelmed with the amount of beautiful fur to detangle; there is never any trouble with the right brush.

The fur is naturally longer around the chest and neck area, on the belly, shanks, hind legs, and ribs. On the contrary, our regular kitties don’t have this permanent winter coat. Maine coons also have water-resistant coats, so they won’t take hours to dry off if they happen across some water. They’re the best type of swimming cat.

tabby cat licks human finger

2. Maine Coon Ears vs Normal Cat

The Maine Coon cats appear to have large earmuffs (ear floof) covering their ears. Their ears are wide and pointed, similar to a lynx’s ear tips, with tufts of fur around the ear. These tufts grow out of the inner ear and the edges.

A regular house cat’s ears are not as dramatic as these cats with pointy ears and can range between different sizes, shapes, and the amount of hair around the edges. Regular cats can have tufts growing from their ears. However, these will usually only grow from the inner ears.

3. Maine Coon Size Compared to Normal Cat

How big is a maine coon compared to a normal cat? The most obvious thing about the Maine Coon versus an ordinary house cat is its size. Most domestic cats are small in stature, with the average feline weighing around 10 lbs in weight and reaching about 9 to 10 inches in length.

On the other hand, Maine Coon cats are large and can weigh up to 25 lbs in males and 18 lbs in females. These giant kitties can reach between 10 to 16 inches tall, making them rather sizable felines.

ginger cat rubs against person's legs

Of course, weight and height aren’t the only metrics we can use to compare Maine Coons and other regular felines. Let’s look at length too. From the cat’s nose to the base of its tail, both male and female Coons share an average length of 19 to 30 inches. An average house cat can only reach an adorable average of 15 to 20 inches.

How big is the biggest Maine coon cat? The biggest Maine coon cat’s weight is 34 lbs. His name is Ludo and he’s a big boi. Meanwhile, Mymains Stewart Gilligan (Family Guy, anyone?) was the longest Maine coon, with an impressive length of 48.5 inches.

4. Maine Coon Eyes vs Normal Cat

A Maine coon’s eye color vs. a regular house cat’s eyes is very distinct. Their eyes are large and come in a range of shades from amber, copper, green, green-gold, and everything in between.

tabby cat with green eyes and green colour being held by man in tartan shirt
Maine Coon with Green Eyes

White Maine Coon cats may also have blue or odd-colored eyes. Most regular kitty’s eye colors are blue, yellow, hazel, green, or mixed.

5. Maine Coon Whiskers vs Normal Cat

Do Maine coons have long whiskers? If you’ve seen the Main Coons whiskers, you’ll certainly see they are more distinct than those of regular cats. Besides looking rather cheeky, Maine Coons whiskers are the longest of any domesticated cat breed.

dark-maine-coon cat showing maine coon personality

These kitty whiskers are beautifully placed on their wide faces, with their solid chins and high cheekbones to complement their structure. Normal cats tend to have a more triangular face shape with many sorter whiskers.

6. Maine Coon Tail vs Normal Cat

The luxurious long tail is another difference between the Maine Coon cat and regular cat. It’s super fluffy and long and can grow between 12 to 18 inches in length.

ginger tabby with very fluffy tail outside on a lead
Who wouldn’t chase this tail?

Their tails often flip up while walking around the house, like a flag, waving back and forth, dusting the air. In comparison, an average cat’s tail can look a bit like a thin noodle, only reaching up to 10 inches in length.

7. Maine Coon Lifespan vs Normal Cat

Because the Maine coon is a large cat breed, it has a predisposition to certain health problems only faced by bigger cat breeds. Maine coons also have health issues unique to them, which does shorten their lifespan when compared to a normal cat.

The average lifespan of a Maine coon cat is around 9 to 13 years, while a regular cat can live between 12 and 18 years. The fact that they don’t live as long as normal cats just means we must give them so much more love to make up for the time.

8. Maine Coon Face vs Normal Cat

Maine coons have a very unique facial shape. It’s square-ish and elongated, with a distinct concave-like slope between its nose and forehead. European Maine coons have longer faces with very prominent cheekbones. The height of fashion, darling.

dark ginger maine coon cat stares at camera showing maine coon personality
Maine Coon

Regular cats have more rounded faces with a triangular jaw structure. They don’t have any prominent slope from their forehead. It’s just a round, chubby, adorable face.

9. Maine Coon Bodies vs Normal Cat

Maine coons are muscular creatures. They’re quite jacked, honestly. Their bodies have a rectangular shape with stronger frames compared to their house cat counterparts. This contributes to their larger frames.

Regular cats might be big and muscular. However, they will never have the body shape of a Maine coon. Their distinct rectangular shape is specific to this breed. The Norwegian Forest cat might have a similar rectangular shape. They are still very distinct from Maine coons though.

Personality Differences

You might be wondering, are Maine coons cuddly creatures? The best thing about a Maine Coon is its personality. Despite the cat’s notably large size attracting attention, what really keeps you is its companionable, affectionate personality.

maine coon cat on a tree

For all that size, these gentle giants are not fearsome but rather cuddly. Commonly agreed, the Maine Coons temperament includes qualities of being friendly, engaging, outgoing, and people-orientated.

Domesticated cats are affectionate in their own weight but lack some unique characteristics you’ll find in a Maine Coon. Maine Coon cats are also highly trainable and have personalities similar to dogs rather than cats.

Maine coons are even known as the ‘dog of the cat world’. Their size and sociable temperament really make a strong comparison to most dogs. They are very friendly cats and tend to be less skittish around strangers, so these cats won’t be running away from your friends.

Maine coons are vocal cats, but not vocal in the way you’d think. Regular vocal cats just tend to do a lot of meowing. However, Maine coons will chirp, trill, purr, and meow at you. You can have a full conversation with these fluffy beasts and they will give you different responses each time. And when they do speak, it’s such a small, high-pitched meow that you might wonder if you actually heard something or not. They’re such gentle giants.

The fact that they’re such social creatures usually makes people think they’re needy cats. However, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Maine coons are incredibly independent and can go a whole day without looking for attention from someone. In the end, though, they will come to you, whether it’s for pets or food.


Maine coons are incredibly compassionate, intelligent, and empathetic. They have been known to cheer people up when they’re sad or at least comfort them. They also keep an eye out for babies and toddlers, making sure they’re okay and won’t get hurt.

Some of the favorite pastimes of Maine coon cats include watching you while you work, following you into the bathroom when you shower (or do anything else), playing fetch, or even just vibing in the sink. Maine coons are very chill cats and even though they want to know what you’re doing at all times, they also like their alone time. If the sink is dripping water, even better.

They do need a lot of intellectual stimulation though, so definitely find some interactive toys to keep them busy. They have the potential to learn tricks on the fly and are more family-friendly than other felines.

Territorial Behavior

There is no difference between the Maine Coon and any regular kitty marking their territory. With any breed, this act is achieved through scent glands, and it should not cause any problems in your household. However, this can also depend on how often your kitty does this.

Maine Coons and regular cats mark their empire by leaving their scent in a location or on an object to declare it as theirs. They can do this by scratching or rubbing themselves on what they want to mark – or spraying urine.

ginger cat scratching itself using its back paw

Cats, in general, use their scent glands in their paws, cheeks, and flanks. By merely rubbing these parts onto an object (including you), they transfer their scent to it.

Psst…If you have an issue with your kitty clawing at your furniture, get her a scratching post.

Cleaning & Grooming

Maine Coon owners should groom their beautiful long-haired pussycats every week, ideally 2-3 times. Like any other long-haired felines, regular grooming and good shampooing can help remove any excess hair and prevent their silky fur coats from becoming matted and tangled. Maine coons shed like nobody’s business. However, it’s easily handled with a good grooming routine.

silver siberian cats grooming each other

Like most long-haired kitties, such as the Norwegian Forest, taking care of their coat relies on more than just regular brushing. Aside from combing to prevent matting, their diet also plays a significant role in the overall health of your kitty’s coat.

A diet with a good amount of fatty acids such as Omega-3 and Omega-6 will help ensure their beautiful, silky coats stay healthy.

cats nails being clipped

Normal – shorthaired – felines, on the other hand, don’t require as much grooming, maybe a bath here and there, and weekly nail clipping. These cat breeds typically spend up to 50 percent of their time grooming themselves, keeping themselves clean.

Health Problems

Maine Coons are relatively hardy breeds; however, they’ve inherited a few genetic predispositions compared to normal cats. One of the unprecedented health issues a Maine Coon cat can face is hip dysplasia. Although it’s more common in large breeds of dogs, it could also develop due to the breed’s size.

Veterinarian listening to cat's heart maine coon vs normal cat

Another unique health issue Maine Coons may face is feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). It’s one of the most prevalent heart diseases in cats and is often found in Maine Coons ( typically middle-aged or older felines).

These beautiful kitties may also face spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), another genetic disease. It’s typically found early on in a kitten’s life (usually by 3-4 months); though it is not fatal, it can cause weakened muscle development. So when you compare a Maine coon kitten vs a regular kitten, they do have some more health problems.

Cat in a veterinary clinic hairdresser doing beauty care

Another disease found in Maine Coon cats is Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD), also found in Persian cats.

Both Maine Coons and normal cats face common feline diseases such as Feline Lower Urinary Tract Diseases (FLUTD), diarrhea, eye problems, vomiting, and more.

These kitties definitely need a lot of exercise to stay as healthy as they can. Maine coons can be leash trained, so a great bonding opportunity between you and your fluffball can include a nice walk. They also need to spend time outside as they love nature, so this kills two birds with one stone. Do keep your Maine coon away from birds though or they’ll be killing more than two with a smile on their whiskery face.

A Footnote: Maine Coon vs. Domestic Cats

The Maine Coon and normal cats share a murky ancestry yet are still loved on par around the world. Each breed of cat is unique in its own way, with special features and personalities to make you fall in love with any purrr-fect little furball.

maine coon cat staring at camera from window sill

Ultimately, whether it’s a regular cat breed or the Maine Coon cat, choosing either kitty will provide you with a cherished little paw’tner for life.

What do you think the biggest difference is between the Maine coon compared to a normal cat? Please share, I’d love to know more.

maine coon cat tabby on white background
maine coon cat

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Terry White

Friday 16th of December 2022

Very good coverage of most things a person needs to know about the most amazingly wonderful cat breed. Thanks 😊

Michael J Broad

Wednesday 3rd of August 2022

Nice work. Well done.

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