How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Maine Coon?

How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Maine Coon
Image: / krblokhin

Knowing your cats breed is interesting in itself but can be vital for understanding its behavior, tending to its health and also for breeding purposes.  

How to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon?

You can tell if you cat is a Maine Coon by examining her physical traits and attributes and by observing its behavior and other characteristics and ultimately by DNA testing.

Checking your cat’s physical traits and attributes.

A convenient way to tell if your cat is a Maine Coon is by looking and checking your cat’s physical appearance and features. These are the distinctive physical features of purebred Maine Coons:

1. Body shape and frame

Maine Coons have rectangular-shaped and muscular frames. These cats have broad chests and their bodies are very long. 

2. Size

This cat breed is massive in size but only reaches its full size at around three to five years of age. Males are larger compared to females with the former weighing as much as 20 lbs while the latter weighing at around 10 to 15 lbs. This breed’s length can reach up to 40 inches.

3. Eyes

Maine Coons have big, wide-set, and expressive eyes. It is oval-shaped but appears to be round when they open their eyes wide. Eye colors are usually green, gold, blue, or coppery. Some of these cats, especially those with white coats, tend to be odd-eyed and have different eye colors. 

4. Ears

Image: / Sergei Ginak

This cat breed has large ears that are set high on the head. They tilt slightly outward and wider at the base and only moderately pointed by distinctive lynx tips. 

5. Head

Maine Coons have prominent cheekbones and a firm chin. The head is slightly longer than it is wide and the muzzle is square-shaped. The side profile is continuous and smooth. They have prominent jaws although cats neutered at a young age may tend to have softer features. 

6. Mane

This cat breed’s fur is longer around the neck compared to the fur on their body. Their mane makes them look impressive and regal, like mini lions.

7. Fur 

Maine Coons have a heavy and glossy two-layered coat that is resistant to water. Their silky fur is shorter around the shoulders, longer on the stomach, and they have a shaggy coat that runs along the belly. 

8. Coat color

These gentle giants come in various color combinations but there are five recognized solid coat colors for purebreds and these are white, black, cream, blue, and red. White Maine Coons have a pink nose and paw pads while black Maine Coons have a black nose and black or brown paw pads. Maine Coons with brilliant red fur with no shading or marking have a brick-red nose and paw pads while those with blue fur have grey nose leather and paw pads. Meanwhile, cream Maine Coons have a pink nose and paw pads.  

9. Paws and legs 

Since Maine Coons have a massive size they also have long legs, large paws and huge pads that help them to walk on snow and survive cold winter climates. Their paws also have tufts of hair coming out of it which keep them warm during cold weather. 

10. Tail

This cat breed has a long bushy tail which is larger at the base and narrow at the tip. This keeps the cats warm during harsh cold weather since they wrap it around their bodies.  

Observing your cats behavior and other characteristics. 

Observing your cats behavior and other characteristics. 
Image: / Nynke van Holten

Maine Coons tend to be talkative and may vocalize in a high-pitched sound much like chirping and trilling. They make high-pitched and tuneful chirps and trills especially if they are happy, excited, or when following you somewhere. 

Here are the other personality traits and behavior of purebred Maine Coons:

  • they are affectionate
  • they follow their owner around the house 
  • they love water
  • this breed has dog-like qualities and loyal to their owners
  • they are playful 
  • these cats are sociable 
  • they are tolerant of children and get along well with other pets 

Through DNA testing.

Aside from observing your cat’s behavior and physical characteristics, another way to ascertain your cat’s breed is through DNA testing.  Consult your vet on genetic testing as it is also beneficial for health and insurance purposes. 

These are the advantages that are derived from a cat’s DNA test:

  • your cat’s family tree and ancestral roots 
  • the personality of your cat 
  • your cat’s risk for diseases 
  • for your cat’s healthcare plan and preventive care

Final thoughts 

You can tell if your cat is a Maine Coon by checking the physical traits,  characteristics, and behavior of your cat and comparing it to the breed’s standard attributes. If the qualities mentioned above match your cat accurately, your cat may be a Maine Coon. However, if she matches with only at least three or four of the traits mentioned earlier, your cat may be a mixture of the Maine Coon breed and a few other breeds.