How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (2024)

Ever find yourself staring at your cat and thinking, "Are you secretly a lion?" Cat owners know this feeling well, especially when their feline friend seems extra majestic. Talking about majestic cats, one breed that many, just like you, would be wondering if the cat is a Maine Coon!

Maine Coon cats are like the gentle giants of the feline world. Their hearts are as big as their fluffy tails. Looking at them walk is like looking at a lion walking with grace. Imagine such a cat with the playfulness of a kitty. That’s Maine Coon for you. Their tufted ears look like they’ve borrowed a bit of the wild. These majestic creatures sport a luxurious coat that’s thick and soft, perfect for cuddling on cold winter nights. With personalities as warm as a sunny spring afternoon, these cars are loyal friends. But looking at them, calling them just a cat would be undermining their beauty. They’re like enchanting companions with a touch of magic in every paw step.

How Do I Know If My Cat is Maine Coon?

How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (1)How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (2)

It is unlikely that you would find a Maine Coon wandering around on the road for you to adopt. So, there’s a high chance you must have gotten it from a reputed breeder. In either case, here are some ways you can tell if your cat is a Maine Coon. (1)

  • Fur

A Maine Coon will be covered in extremely thick and shaggy fur all over the body, with some extra around their necks and tails. Imagine a lion with its mane. Yup, something like that. The coat will be heavy but silky.

  • Body shape

First of all, it’ll be a large cat with a weight of around 12-25 pounds and a height of around 10-16 inches. Their body can be described as lengthy, large-boned, muscular and powerful. They will have thick large legs.

  • Ears

Their ears are usually called as ‘Lynx ears’ for their resemblance to a Lynx Cat. You’ll see a pointed patch of fur at the tip of the ears. Even the fur inside the ears are more prominent and lengthier.

  • Face

Look for a triangular, wedge-shaped face. Their jawline game is quite strong, accompanied by a determined little chin. The golden or green colored eyes add a magical touch to this face. The distinction here is slightly longer nose and a broader face than other domestic cats.

Is My Cat Maine Coon or a Mix?

How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (3)How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (4)

Now the next question that may come to your mind is whether your cat is a purebred or a mixed one. You won’t face a lot of difficulty knowing the difference. Here are some tips for you to identify the difference – (1)

  • Size

Purebreds are usually larger than the mixed ones. If the one you’re holding weighs over 15 pounds and is around 15-16 inches tall, there’s a very high chance that you’re holding a Maine Coon and not a mix.

  • Tail

The length of their tail can speak a lot about their lineage. A Maine Coon’s tail is usually three-quarters of its body length. If the tail you’re seeing is feathery, flowing, brush-like and like that of a racoon, it must be a purebred. A good test here would be to touch their shoulders with the tail. A Maine Coon’s tail would be able to do this.

  • Coat

Maine Coon mixes do not have a prominent lion-like mane around their neck. Even if your cat has long hair but lacks the heavy and shaggy frontal ruff, you must be holding a mixed one.

If you’re yet unsure of the lineage, the last option and the one that can give you an assured answer is a lab test. You can get a generic lab testing kit, take a sample of your cat and send it to a lab for testing. Along with your answer, you may also be able to know more about your cat’s overall health condition.

Caring for a Maine Coon Kitten Tips

How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (5)How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (6)

Now that you’ve confirmed that your cat is a Maine Coon, here are some tips for you to take the best care of it – (2)

  • Diet – Maine Coons are large cats and hence the diet requirements are also more than other cats. Only choose high-quality vet-recommended food that is rich in protein for them. Make sure that at least 1/3rd of your cat’s diet comes from meat proteins like chicken, turkey, or fish. Ensure that the cat has access to fresh water all the time.

  • Grooming – The elegant fur of these cats needs regular brushing. Start with a soft bristle brush, like one made for dogs or horses. Try treats or toys to incentivise your cat to sit straight while brushing. Brushing daily helps remove dead hair which means fewer tangles and lower shedding. It also helps in distributing natural oils on the coat, making it healthy and shiny.

  • Treats – Big cats like the Maine Coons are prone to obesity. Make sure that you give treats in moderation to avoid weight gain.

  • Play – Maine Coons love playing and wandering around. Allow plenty of space for them to explore and exercise. They love climbing trees. There are plenty of pet trees available out there. A scratching post would be another good investment for them.

Apart from these specific requirements, do maintain your regular vet visits and keep a lookout for any signs of illness. Remember that cats cannot sweat. So, you need to have a look for signs of dehydration and heatstroke. Heatstroke can cause seizures, brain swelling, kidney failure, shock, and even death in extreme cases. Dehydration can cause blood pressure drops as well as seizures in your cat, just like in us humans.

Is Looking After a Maine Coon Cat for Me?

How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (7)How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (8)

The great thing about Maine Coons is that despite their size, they are known for their low maintenance. They are quite independent and will not need a lot of attention from you. They are neither shy nor aggressive, hence the perfect temperament for a house cat. You won’t even have to clean their litter box every other day. Once in two weeks should be fine. The only concern to keep in mind while taking care of a Maine Coon is the size. They will require more space than others to wander around. If you’re living in a small apartment, these cats may find it very difficult to adjust. You may want to consider another smaller breed.

Other concerns regarding the breed are the health predispositions. These include –

  • Hip/elbow dysplasia

  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

  • Polycystic Kidney Disease

  • Luxating Patella

  • Obesity

We may not be able to prevent these conditions for your kitty, but we can surely help you with the costs. With pet health insurance, you can save up to 90% of the costs. At Spot Pet, we also have a dedicated 24/7 pet telehealth line. So, if you’re yet wondering if taking care of a Maine Coon is for you or not, we are here to help you with anything, anytime.

More About Spot Pet Insurance

Cat Insurance helps to provide pet parents with additional financial support and peace of mind when it comes to the health and wellness of their pets. With a Spot plan, pet parents can receive up to 90% cash back on eligible vet bills. This way pet parents can focus on caring for and supporting their pets. Spot's also offers preventive care add-ons, which can help cover the eligible costs of spaying and neutering, dental cleaning, vaccinations, and other routine care services.

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  1. JacobP. (2023, March 3). How to Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon or a Maine Coon Mix | Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic. Lincolnway Veterinary Clinic.

  2. Top 11 tips to care for a Maine Coon. (n.d.). PetCareRx.

How Can I Tell if My Cat is a Maine Coon? | Spot® (2024)
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