Maine Coons are considered the largest domesticated cats. These gentle giants are affectionate, friendly and intelligent. Meanwhile, Persian cats have a calm nature and a commanding air of royalty. Cat lovers who prefer elegant, long-haired cats might find either of these the ideal pets. In this article, we discuss some of the differences between the two breeds so you can compare and decide which you like best.
Maine Coon vs Persian: What Are The Differences?
History and origin
Maine Coons originated in the state of Maine, USA, and were said to have been brought from Europe on ships. Meanwhile, Persian cats were bred in Turkey and Persia – the latter now known as Iran. These cats were brought to Europe where many were impressed with their luxurious coats. Queen Victoria of England also admired these cats and they were eventually brought to the USA around the 1800s.
Maine Coons are massive cats with muscular bodies. They weigh around eight to 25 pounds, and measure 19 to 40 inches long and around eight to 16 inches tall. Persian cats are smaller than Maine Coons, weighing around seven to 12 pounds. They are 10 to 15 inches tall and 14 to 18 inches long.
Maine Coons have medium-sized, wedge-shaped heads that are longer rather than wide, and high cheekbones. Persian cats, on the other hand, have large, round heads.
Maine Coons have large ears with a wide base and lynx tips. The ears may also have thick fur which protects them from cold weather. Persian cats are endowed with short, round ears that are set far apart.
Maine Coons have long, furry tails that are wide at the base. Some of them have distinctive rings around the base. Persian cats have short, fluffy tails proportionate with the rest of their bodies.
Eye shape and color
Maine Coons have large, slightly oblique, expressive eyes. Their eye colors include gold, green, copper and blue. Persian cats have large, round eyes that are set far apart. Their colors include green, blue, copper, yellow, gold, blue-green and amber.
Muzzle and neck
Maine Coons have squared muzzles while Persian cats have flattened muzzles and rounded cheeks. Maine Coons have medium-long necks that are moderately thick, and Persians have short, thick necks.
Maine Coons have medium-long, thick, rugged coats. They tend to have longer fur around the paws and on the shoulders and chest, which makes them look like lions. Persian cats have long, silky fur with an even length, although the ruff is usually longer.
Maine Coons have long, rectangular bodies as opposed to Persian cats that have round, evenly-proportioned bodies.
Personality and temperament
Maine Coons have gentle, playful personalities. They are affectionate and generally relaxed and calm. They are sociable and crave human attention.
Persian cats are also affectionate, but are more docile compared with Maine Coons. They are also more reserved, especially around strangers.
Maine Coons have a patient, easygoing nature and get along well with other pets and small children. Persians, on the other hand, while rarely aggressive, can be provoked and tend to be irritable. They do best with pets that are calm and quiet, and do not like rowdy ones.
Maine Coons are very intelligent with dog-like personalities, while Persians have relatively low intelligence and are undemanding. They tend to lounge around rather than play or climb cat trees.
Maine Coons are moderately vocal and popular for their chirps and trills, but Persians are the opposite – they are quiet and do not meow much. They also get easily annoyed, so they are ideal pets for families with older children.
Maine Coons are popular for their massive bodies and sweet personalities. They are intelligent and have thick, fluffy coats that come in a variety of colors. Persian cats are smaller, with long, silky fur and elegant appearance. There are also many other differences between the two breeds when it comes to physical attributes, history and personality.
Image: istockphoto.com / Sergei Ginak