The Maine Coon is a truly fabulous cat breed, with stunning long thick hair, and extra large proportions. Originating in Wiscasset, Maine during the 1800’s, this hardy cat breed is considered one of the largest domesticated cats in the world. They are often referred to as ‘gentle giants’ due to their large frame and gentle nature, and are so big that they make ‘normal cats’ look like kittens! Only the Norwegian Forest Cat breed comes close in terms of matching their large dimensions. So how big can a Maine Coon cat get? Keep reading to discover how big your Maine Coon kitten could grow.
Maine Coon cats grow more slowly than other cat breeds, reaching full adult size between 3-5 years of age. Male Maine Coons usually grow larger than their female counterparts, however both can reach up to 40 inches (101cm) in length, and between 14-16 inches in height. An average adult male Maine Coon weighs between 15-25 lbs (6.8-11.3 kg), compared to an average adult female Maine Coon that weighs between 8-12 lbs (3.6-5.4 kg).
How Big Is The Average Maine Coon?
As one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, the Maine Coon cat really stands out in the crowd. With an impressive stature that dwarfs most other cat breeds in sight, you wouldn’t be the first to be mesmerized by this extra large cats sheer dimensions! … I’ve literally lost track of the number of times visitors to our home that just stop and stare at our male Maine Coon. It’s not because he has done anything wrong, and he’s definitely not the largest this breed has to offer, yet many people are still baffled by how big our cat is!
If you’ve never owned one of these massively popular cats, you are missing out because they are great companions and offer more love than any other household pet I know.
To get a good understanding of how big can a Maine Coon cat get, take a look at our table below which details average Maine Coon adult sizes. Whilst this cat breed does vary in size, it’s clear to see that even the smallest adult Maine Coon will be larger than the average sized cat.
|Maine Coon Size||Male||Female|
|Weight (lbs)||15 – 25||8 – 12|
|Weight (kg)||6.8 – 11.3||3.6 – 5.4|
|Height (inches)||10 – 16||8 – 14|
|Height (cm)||25 – 40||20 – 35|
|Length (inches)||19 – 40||19 – 40|
|Length (cm)||48 – 101||48 – 101|
As you can see from the table above, the average male Maine Coon weighs substantially more than the female Maine Coon. You shouldn’t assume at this point that the female Maine Coon will always be smaller than their male counterpart though, since there is a clear size cross-over when it comes height. In fact, it is completely possible for a female Maine Coon cat to be taller than a male Maine Coon cat.
Additionally, both cats have the potential of growing up to 40 inches in length, which makes for a seriously long cat. And, since there are always exceptions to the rule, it would be wrong if I didn’t draw your attention to ‘Stewie’ the Maine Coon cat that stole the record for being the longest cat in the Guiness Book World Records. All I will say, is that if you think 40 inches is long, you’ve not seen anything yet!! Click here to discover more about Stewie’s claim to fame.
Male Vs Female Maine Coon Size
If you are keen to own a large cat, then the Maine Coon cat breed is the one for you. Both male and females will inevitably grow into impressively large cats, though in general the male of the species will ultimately be larger than their female counterparts.
Future owners should always be aware that male vs female Maine Coon sizing is not set in stone though, since there is a wide size cross-over between the sexes. If you look at the table above you can see that it is fully possible for a female Maine Coon kitten to grow larger than a male Maine Coon kitten.
For those of you still debating whether you would like a male or female Maine Coon, check out my ‘male vs female Maine Coon‘ characteristic comparison. This article covers everything you will ever need to know about the Maine Coon personality traits, whether male or female.
Maine Coon Size Compared To Normal Cat
If you’re wondering how big can a Maine Coon cat get, when compared to the standard cat you see walking down the street everyday, take a look at this snazzy graphic that I put together for you.
As you can see, when compared to a ‘normal’ sized cat, the Maine Coon really does look like a giant beast! Yes, there is a small level of cross-over in terms of these cats weight, however, in general the Maine Coon is substantially longer and taller than the majority of cats you see wandering around. This simple graphic therefore clearly shows why so many people are taken aback when they first meet a Maine Coon cat, since they are larger than some of the smaller dog breeds!
Why Are Maine Coon Cats So Big Compared To Normal Cats?
As one of the oldest natural cat breeds in America, this popular cats history will likely remain shrouded in mystery and intrigue, forever. Whilst many have tried to explain why the Maine Coon cat is genetically so much bigger than a normal cat, ultimately no one has the answer to this long-standing puzzle because without categorical evidence, the Maine Coons lineage remains a mystery.
Folklore myths claim to hold the answer to a Maine Coons size. However, whilst many stories have been linked to this large cat breed over the years, only three myths have really stood the test of time. Could these myths hold the key to this mysterious breed? … You decide.
The three key folklore myths relate to:
- Mating between raccoon and semi-wild domestic cat
- Maine Coons descend from Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Angora cats
- Vikings introduced long haired cats to Maine, United States
I shall briefly cover each of these myths, so that you can assess for yourself whether they can account for why the Maine Coon cat is so much larger than ‘normal’ cat breeds.
1. Raccoon And Semi-Wild Domestic Cat
The theory of this myth is that a more tame raccoon once mated with a semi-wild domestic cat, therefore producing the Maine Coon cat breed that we know and love today. As bizarre as this folklore myth might sound, some individuals still believe the Maine Coon cats is related to the raccoon.
So why did the myth become popular? The table below details the factors that were given in evidence to support the theory that raccoons are biologically linked to Maine Coon cats.
|Bushy Tail||Both animals have a bushy tail|
|Black Ring On Tail||The raccoon and Maine Coon each have a black ring around the end of their tails|
|Visually Similar||These species are considered visually similar|
|Love Water||Both animals are fascinated with water|
|Semi-Prehensile Paws||The Maine Coon and raccoon have semi-prehensile paws that they use to help grasp food more easily|
|Size||The raccoon and Maine Coon are of a similar size|
|Great Climbers||These species are well known for their superb climbing abilities|
Scientists have discounted this particular myth, despite its widespread popularity, claiming it is biologically impossible.
2. Descendents Of Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Angora Cats
The love story between Marie Antoinette and her six Turkish Angora cats is a powerful folklore myth, that would give the Maine Coon cat breed a truly regal history, if it were true. But is it?
According to this folklore the former Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, made a desperate attempt to flee France during the French Revolution. Legend has it that she arranged with Captain Samuel Clough to be a stowaway on his ship, headed for the United States. She is thought to have loved her six Turkish Angora cats so much though, that she was unable to leave France without them. The Captain thus agreed the cats could be loaded onto his ship, as well.
Sadly, despite her best efforts, Marie Antoinette was captured and executed in 1793. It is thought that Captain Samuel Clough honoured his bargain though, and made sure that the former Queens treasured cats made it to their final destination of Wiscasset, Maine safety.
Once on dry land, these cats were set free and are thought to have mated with the short-haired domestic cats already residing in Maine, creating the Maine Coon cat breed we know and love today.
3. Vikings Introduced Long Haired Cats
The final and potentially most likely of the three legends relates to the Vikings, who spent much of their time at sea. It is thought that they kept Norwegian Forest Cats on their ships, to keep their ship mouse population at bay. According to this folklore, one of these long haired cats is thought to have mated with a short haired domestic cat already residing in Maine, United Stated, thus producing the Maine Coon cat breed of today.
This legend has stood the test of time because the Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat have always been considered very similar. Take a look at my article “Maine Coon Vs Norwegian Forest Cat: Key Differences” article, to see why.
Maine Coon Growth Spurts
Just like other cats, the Maine Coon will go through a number of growth spurts before reaching their ultimate adult size.
a) Slow Growth
Maine Coon cats are known for being extremely slow growing creatures, not reaching their full adult size until ages 3 – 5 years. This is unique in the cat world since the majority of ‘normal’ cats reach full size by 2 years old.
Unfortunately, because this is not a very well known fact, owners often start overfeeding their Maine Coon around the 2 year mark. Whilst this is done with good intention, since owners become concerned that their cat hasn’t reached their anticipated proportions, this regrettably leads to Maine Coon obesity.
b) Kitten Growth Spurts
Never underestimate the potential size of your Maine Coon kitten, since your cat will inevitably surprise you by their never ending growth. The majority of their growth spurts will take place during the first year of their life, but the growth process definitely doesn’t stop there.
It’s not just their body that grows large either, it’s also their features i.e. ears, tail, paws. Take note of these features whilst your cat is still a kitten, since these aspects will also slowly grow, in line with your Maine Coons overall body size. Ultimately, a purebred Maine Coon cat is said to be completely in proportion, with no part of their body being overemphasised.
c) Estimating Future Size
One quick (yet non scientific) way of estimating the adult size of your Maine Coon kitten, is by looking at the size of their paws. If they are quite big paws, remember that a purebred Maine Coon will ultimately grow into a equally proportioned adult cat. Therefore, if the paws still look big as your cat ages, there is likely quite a bit more growth to be expected!
d) Maine Coon Growth Chart Table
For those of you wondering how big can a Maine Coon cat get, and when should you expect to see growth spurts, take a look at my table below for a rough idea:
|0 Months||Kitten is born|
|3 – 7 months||Kitten grows roughly 1-2 pounds every month. They develop a firm layer of muscle on their legs and haunches. Their ribs will not be prominent|
|9 – 12 months||Growth spurt ends|
|1 – 5 years||Cat grows slowly until they reach their full adult size|
|3 – 5 years||Cat reaches full adult size|
|7 years||Cat moves into the senior years of their life|
|10 – 15 years||Average Maine Coon lifespan|
Biggest Maine Coon
I originally thought my friend was pulling my leg when they told me about Stewie, the 48.5 inch long Maine Coon cat. I mean, can you even imagine how massive that cat must be?! So I checked ….
The verdict is that this story is true! Check the 2010 Guinness World Records book out if you don’t believe me, since Stewie really did achieve the title for “the longest cat of his breed’, measuring an immense 48.5 inches in length (that’s 123.19 cm!). His tail alone was thought to measure a whopping 16 inches! This long cat also smashed the average Maine Coon size too, by weighing an incredible 33 lbs (15 kg)!
It’s natural to assume that the cat grew immensely big as a result of owner intervention, however you would be wrong. In fact, the owner of Stewie clearly states on record that no special diet was followed at all. Instead, the reality is that their cat just never stopped growing, like they expected him too!
Another Maine Coon trying for the title of ‘longest cat of his breed’, is Ludo. This cat has been measured at 46.58 inches (118.33 cm). If Stewie’s length measurements are correct though, Ludo cannot win the title.
In 2017, the title for “longest cat of his breed” was challenged by a Maine Coon cat named ‘Omar’. According to his owner, this large Maine Coon measures a staggering 120cm, from his nose to the end of his tail (source), yet this cat is still not as long as Stewie!
Omar is thought to weigh 30.87lb (14kg), which is far more than the average Maine Coon cat that usually sits within the 8 – 25lb weight bracket.
This Maine Coon has always been fussy with his food, and kangaroo is the only meat he will eat. Could this Maine Coons unusual diet of raw kangaroo meat be held accountable for why he has grown so big?
What Does A Large Maine Coon Look Like?
I could try explaining the sheer size of the Maine Coon cat breed until I’m blue in the face. However, sometimes a picture speaks a thousand words, and in this case these Youtube videos are a really great way for my readers to immediately visualise the real life proportions of a Maine Coon cat.
The first video is of a 4 ft Maine Coon cat known as Samson. He has been awarded the record ‘New York’s biggest cat’ and is a truly magnificent sight.
The second video is of a large black-silver Maine Coon cat. The Maine Coon pictures is a total GIANT!
I love the Maine Coon cat breed more than any other cat breed in the world. They might not be the smallest creatures around, but their big personalities are a great match for their large physical build. So, if you love your pet to be intelligent, playful and fun throughout their life, consider buying a Maine Coon kitten. If it helps, take a look at this handy buyers guide for details on what to watch out for.
So exactly how big can a Maine Coon cat get? As one of the largest domesticated cats in existence, it’s safe to say that a fully grown Maine Coon will not be fitting in your handbag anytime soon. If you’re happy to have a dog-sized cat though, with a corresponding dog-like personality to match, the Maine Coon cat breed is for you. Reaching anywhere up to 40 inches in length and 25 lbs in weight, consider welcoming this amazingly large cat breed into your family.