For cat lovers, Maine coons can make an interesting breeding mix due to their wonderful traits. Apart from their large size, these cats also have a bushy coat and a bit of a wild look. And, while purebreds have been preferred traditionally, mixed breeds are becoming increasingly popular as they often receive the best genes from both feline parents.
Maine coons, when partnered with other cat breeds, can produce beautiful, unique kittens that make a great addition to any family. One such popular crossbreed is the Maine coon American shorthair mix.
Curious about what this kitty might be like? Let us uncover the details below!
What is a mixed Maine coon?
Maine coons are among the most loved cat breeds the world over. They have large, tufted paws, smooth, shaggy coats, bushy tails, and a mane of hair around their faces, making them resemble miniature lions. Despite their large size and heavy-boned body, these beautiful cats are known for their affectionate and playful nature – hence their nickname, the “gentle giants.”
Purebred Maine coons are priced for their beauty, rarity, and popularity. However, it is possible for some cats adopted from shelters to possess some genes from this adorable cat breed. If you find your cat’s physical features a bit similar to a Maine coon’s distinctive characteristics, then your furry companion might just be a Maine coon mix.
Unless your cat is genetically tested, determining the parents’ breeds can be a little tricky. Your cat might still look large and fluffy, but this does not guarantee any Maine coon lineage. Check your cat’s eyes, paws, body frame, fur, and temperament – the more resemblance they have to a Maine coon, the higher the chance that your pet is a mixed Maine coon.
Aside from the physical traits, a mixed Maine coon is likely to be outgoing, sociable, smart, and affectionate, just like their parent cat breed. They also tend to be adaptable and friendly toward everyone, including young kids, dogs, and other cats. So, if your fluffy friend is a mixed Maine coon, you are in luck! Not only will you enjoy the company of a beautiful, fluffy feline; you will also experience a rewarding relationship.
What does a Maine coon American shorthair mix look like?
For cat lovers, Maine coons are one of the most special breeds due to their unique beauty, above-average intelligence, and gentleness. But, while a purebred Maine coon displays all these desirable traits that are particular to the breed, it is possible for a mixed Maine coon to inherit some of these qualities, too.
It would not be wrong to say that a mixed Maine coon can be as interesting and delightful as a purebred one. However, your cat’s physical traits and temperament might vary depending on the breed of the other feline parent.
In the case of a Maine coon American shorthair mix, the kitten might inherit most of its traits from just one parent, or equally from both. For example, it is possible for the cat to have dense, short hair despite being a Maine coon mix. Some Maine coon American shorthair cats might also inherit both long and short hair while still retaining the lion’s mane – the potential outcomes are almost limitless!
Here are a few traits that a mixed kitten might obtain from her Maine coon and American shorthair parents:
1. Maine coon traits
One can easily distinguish a Maine coon by its prominent shaggy coat and large size. These gentle giants exist in different colors and patterns, with the classic red and silver tabbies being the most popular.
You might also notice a lighter shade on the body while the face, ears, feet, and tail are a darker color. But, unlike the other long-haired breeds, Maine coons have slight coarse guard hairs as well as soft and silky undercoats, making them well-suited for harsh climates.
Maine coons might be large in size, but these cats are surprisingly sweet, friendly, and even a bit goofy. Their canine-like disposition makes them ideal companions for people who love both dogs and cats and they can also be great family members in households with young children and other pets.
2. American shorthair traits
Unlike Maine coons, American shorthair cats have a medium-sized build with short, thick fur. These cats commonly have tabby coats, although some might have tortoiseshell, shaded, solid color, or tricolor coat patterns. Their eyes can be blue, copper, green, gold, or hazel. Their legs are thick and muscular – a sign of the breed’s agility and endurance. American shorthairs also possess a broad chest, thick neck, and muscular body, making them the ultimate working cat to keep rodent populations under control.
When it comes to personality, American shorthairs are smart, even-tempered, friendly, and affectionate. They are not as talkative as some other cat breeds, but from time to time you might hear them chirp or meow softly. Due to their laid-back and mellow nature, this breed can make a pleasant companion for families of all ages.
How to identify a mixed Maine coon cat
Maine coons have a few distinctive traits that one can easily identify. If you are looking at a mixed breed, some of these traits might appear similar to those of a purebred Maine coon. To confirm your suspicions, examine your cat’s characteristics as outlined below:
1. Body size
Maine coons are known to be one of the largest cat breeds. Cats that are unusually bigger than their peers are thus more likely to have the genes of a Maine coon.
An adult Maine coon can reach a height of ten to 16 inches and a length, from nose to tail, of up to 48 inches. The males usually weigh about 13 to 18 pounds, and females around eight to 12 pounds.
A Maine coon American shorthair mix might have a slightly smaller build compared with a purebred. However, the prominent Main coon traits such as the rectangular body shape, broad chest, and muscular physique will likely be inherited by a mixed breed kitten.
The coat of a purebred Maine coon is bushy yet smooth and silky. This large cat has two layers of fur – the undercoat and the coarser guard hairs. While the head and shoulders are wrapped with a shorter layer of fur, the stomach and flank are covered with a longer, waterproof coat.
Maine coons can also have different coat colors and patterns, with the brown tabby being the most popular. Some purebreds also have solid colors of white, cream, black, red, brown, or blue.
And of course, who could forget their signature look, which is the fluffy ruff of hair around the neck, like that of a lion’s mane? For Maine coon American shorthair mixes, the mane might look a little thinner than on a purebred Maine coon.
Another distinctive Maine coon trait is the long, furry tail that looks quite similar to that of a raccoon. A Maine coon mix, on the other hand, might not acquire quite the same level of fluff. Instead, the tail might have short hair or a combination of short and long hair.
A Maine coon has a large head and tall, heavily-furred ears. You might also notice extra-long tufts of hair at the tip of each ear which serve as protection against harsh winter weather.
Another distinctive Maine coon feature is the long, square muzzle. The nose should not be as flat as that of other long-haired breeds.
And lastly, a purebred Maine coon has large, slightly oval-shaped eyes that are either yellow or gold, with some tints of green. However, some Maine coon kitties might have blue eyes or a mix of both blue and green or gold.
Are all Maine coon cats long-haired?
Purebred Maine coons should always be long-haired. If you happen to see a Maine coon with short hair, it is likely a mixed breed. It is also possible that it was recently trimmed or shaved.
One thing you might notice, though, is that not all Maine coons will have the same length of hair. Some might have very long coats, while others may have medium-length hair. Maine coons do not usually grow their full coat until they reach two to four years of age.
If your adult cat is short-haired but displays a few physical traits suggestive of a Maine coon, it might have inherited a portion of its genes from a Maine coon parent. But, as mentioned previously, a visual inspection alone will not guarantee a mixed Maine coon breed. The only way to truly prove your feline is partly Maine coon is to have it genetically tested.
Common health issues for mixed Maine coons
Crossbreed kitties can be really adorable. However, while reputable breeders screen their cats for potential genetic disorders, mixed breeds often do not undergo such rigorous testing. For this reason, several Maine coon mixed breeds can be predisposed to certain health issues that commonly affect the parent cat breeds. Some of these feline health problems include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
- Kidney diseases
- Spinal muscular atrophy
- Patellar luxation
- Dental issues
- Deafness in blue-eyed cats
- Hip dysplasia
The Maine coon American shorthair mix is as beautiful as its purebred peers, making this a wonderful furry member of any family. While it is hard to precisely predict the appearance and temperament of a mixed-breed cat, know that most crossbreeds usually take the desirable traits from both their parent breeds.
So whether your cat’s traits are predominantly Maine Coon or American Shorthair, or a perfect mix of both breeds, surely you will find your furball an incredibly loveable companion at home.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi