Are you suspecting that the cat you adopted from your local pet shelter is part Maine Coon? If you are suspect that your cat is part Maine Coon but you are not completely sure, you should seek the help of recognized authorities such as the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) or The International Cat Association (TICA). These authorities assess the felines of their lineage to attest to the authenticity of a cat whether it is purebred or only a half-breed. On the other hand, you can confirm your intuition with some accuracy by checking the physical and characteristic traits of your cat.
Is my cat part Maine Coon?
You can confirm if your cat is part Maine Coon by inspecting the following characteristics of your cat:
1. Check your cat’s eyes.
One way to know if your cat is part Maine Coon is by looking at her eyes. Maine Coons have large, expressive, and wide-set eyes that are slightly oblique-shaped and slant at the outer base of each ear. Kittens of this breed are born with blue eyes but this will change as they age. This breed’s usual eye color is gold and/or green, however, white Maine Coons are either blue-eyed or odd-eyed which means that one eye is blue while the other is either green or gold.
2. Look at your cat’s ears.
To check if your cat is part Maine Coon or purebred, look at her ears closely. Most Maine Coons have ear tufts or lynx tips similar to the wisps and tufts of a Lynx. They also have hair coming out of their ears as a way to protect themselves from harsh and cold climates. Also, their ears are tall instead of wide and the width of the base of their ears is almost the same as the distance between the ears.
3. Check your cat’s head shape.
Purebred Maine Coons have heads that are of medium width and slightly longer than wide. They also have prominent high cheekbones. Also, make sure to check the muzzle since Maine Coons have a square-shaped muzzle and a blunt end. Its length and width are proportionate to the rest of the head part.
4. Check your cat’s mane, muzzle and chin.
Maine Coons are like mini lions since the fur around the neck is longer than the rest of the fur. The neck fur is called the mane and it is what makes this breed look impressive and regal.
5. Observe your cat’s facial profile.
Another method to check if your cat is part Maine Coon is to check her facial profile. It should be proportionate to the length of the head and nose. It should be free of bumps, smooth and has a slight concavity. Maine Coons usually do not have a profile that is straight from the brow line to the tip of the nose.
6. Check your cat’s fur or coat.
Maine Coons have long, thick, and shaggy fur. The breed has three coats of fur, two of which are shorter undercoats, and the third is longer and it is on top of the two undercoats. Purebreds have semi-water repellent fur which explains why they are not bothered or even like water.
7. Look at her body frame.
One way to know if your cat is part Maine Coon is by looking at her body frame and shape. Purebreds have sleek, rectangular and muscular frames. They have long bodies, a medium-width neck, and a muscular, broad chest. Their bodies are medium to large and females are smaller than males.
8. Observe your cat’s size.
The Maine Coon breed is larger compared to the average cat and is considered as one of the largest domesticated cat breeds. This is considered one of the breed’s most distinct features. Males usually measure from 10 to 16 inches while females are around eight to 14 inches in height. Males weigh around 15 to 25 lbs while females are around eight to 12 lbs. Both males and females can reach up to 40 inches in length.
9. Look at her paws and legs.
Maine Coons have sturdy legs, medium in length and wide-set. The forelegs are straight and the back legs are straight when viewed on the rear side. It is in proportion to the rest of the body. Purebreds have large paws with tufts of hair coming out of it.
These tufts keep the cats warm and useful when walking through snow. These felines have five toes on each front paw and four on the back paw although some of these cats may be polydactyl which means they have extra toes.
10. Check your cat’s tail.
Does your cat have a slightly long and bushy tail? Then, she may be part Maine Coon! Purebreds have long bushy tails that are large at the base and narrow down at the tip. Since this breed evolved to survive the cool climate of Maine, USA, its place of origin, the tail keeps it warm especially when wrapped around the body. Interestingly, a Maine Coon’s tail resembles a raccoon’s tail leading some people to believe that it is part-raccoon.
Purebred Maine Coons grow at a gradual phase and they only reach their full growth potential when they are around three to five years. Here are the unique character traits of this breed:
- they are affectionate and loving pets
- they love to follow their owners around the house
- they love the water
- these cats are intelligent
- they usually chirp and trill instead of meowing
- they are dog-like cats because they are highly trainable, loyal, communicate and interact with their owners, sociable, and may be taken on a walk using a leash
More information on Maine Coons
Maine Coons are considered purebred cats but it wasn’t until 1976 that it was awarded its purebred status by the Cat Fanciers Association or CFA. To be recognized as a purebred cat, a Maine Coon’s ancestors should also be Maine Coons, and both parents were officially registered Maine Coons. Breeders of purebred Maine Coons register the kittens to prove their status along with registration paperwork for both parents and kittens. If you acquired your cat through a breeder this is usually the case.
If you have a newly-adopted cat and you suspect that she is part Maine Coon, you may seek the help of cat authorities or you may also confirm your hunch by checking and comparing the distinctive features and character traits of your cat to that of a purebred Maine Coon as discussed above. These gentle giants make great family pets and they are good companions that are sure to bring joy to your life.
Image: istockphoto.com / Bettina_Sentner