Maine Coons are popularly known as gentle giants because of their large size and gentle demeanor. These large cats have thick, fluffy fur and beautiful eyes. They are affectionate, docile and highly intelligent. Tabby cats, meanwhile, are not an actual breed: any cat of any breed could be a tabby. The word simply refers to a particular color pattern on a cat’s fur.
Maine Coon vs tabby: Can they be compared?
A Maine Coon and a tabby cannot be compared. They are two different subjects, because a Maine Coon is a breed while tabby is a color pattern or type of coat.
Maine Coon cats: Origin, physical traits and personality
Maine Coon cats originated in Maine, in the northeastern part of the USA. These felines are said to be descendants of cats brought over by European settlers. According to legend, the cats descended from those owned by Marie Antoinette, the Queen of France. While the queen’s life was not spared during the French Revolution, her cats were said to have been sent to Maine on a ship to start a new life.
Maine Coons have big, bushy tails that resemble a raccoon’s, and can wrap them around their entire body. Their ears have lynx tips: elongated, pointed tips on the top of the ears – although not all cats of this breed share this trait. Their coats are long, straight and thick, and come in an array of patterns and colors.
The breed’s coat patterns include bi-color, solid, calico or tri-color, color point and tabby. Colors include blue, blue-cream, cream, red, gold, tortoiseshell, orange, white and silver.
Maine Coons can grow as tall as 10 to 16 inches, and an average male Maine Coon can reach up to 40 inches long. They are considered the world’s longest cats. They also have large paws, and some have extra toes. In fact, at least 40% of these cats have extra digits, a condition called polydactyly. Main Coons can weigh anywhere between eight to 25 pounds, with males weighing more than females.
Maine Coons have a gentle temperament and a pleasant personality. They are sweet, personable and get along well with cat-friendly dogs and small children. These gentle giants are very friendly to their humans and children, and they make good pets. They are intelligent but not needy, and require a moderate amount of care.
Tabby cats: Origin, physical traits and personality
A tabby cat is not a particular breed, since any breed can be tabby. The term “tabby” refers to a color pattern on a cat’s coat, or fur. Multiple coat patterns can be referred to as tabby; the most noticeable indicator is the presence of an “M”-shaped pattern on the cat’s forehead.
Tabby cats date back to ancient Egypt, and the word “tabby” was derived from the French word “tabis”, which is a type of silk taffeta with a pattern similar to a tabby cat’s coat. The mackerel tabby’s coat is similar to the shape of a fish skeleton, and this was said to be the original pattern of the first tabby cats.
There are at least five tabby patterns, including the following:
- Classic tabby – also called a blotched tabby, the pattern is made up of whorls, creating a shape resembling a target on the cat’s side.
- Mackerel tabby – these cats have rings around their tails and legs, as well as bands of solid or broken stripes around the body.
- Spotted tabby – these cats have bands of spots that vary in size and may resemble stripes like that of a mackerel tabby.
- Patched tabby – this pattern consists of patches of dark, grayish brown, red and orange. These cats are also referred to as tortoiseshell, since the brown and orange spots resemble just that.
- Ticked tabby – these cats have bands of light and dark coloring in their fur, and are also referred to as agouti tabby cats.
Tabby cats vary in size and could grow from eight to 16 inches high, while on average they measure nine to 9.8 inches. They can weigh eight to 12 pounds, but this varies depending on their breed. Tabby colors are usually brown and brown/grey, as well as grey, cream, silver and orange. A rare tabby color is lavender, which can be observed among colorpoint shorthair cats.
Cat breeds with the tabby pattern:
- American Shorthair
- Maine Coon
- American Curl
- Domestic Shorthair
Maine Coons are popularly known as gentle giants because of their sweet and gentle demeanor. These large, fluffy cats have lynx-tipped ears and can weigh up to 25 pounds. Meanwhile, tabby is not a particular breed of cat; rather, it is a type of pattern on a cat’s coat. Hence, Maine Coons and tabbies cannot be compared, as these are two different subjects.
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