The Maine Coon cat is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, and is thought to have originated in Wiscasset, Maine. The Maine Coon cat size has been subject to much controversy over the years though, with many people hotly debating this cat breeds true lineage, in an attempt to establish how they became to be so large.
If you thought your cat was large, the Maine Coon cat size will blow your mind! A male Maine Coons height will reach 10-16 inches, compared to the average 9-10 inches of a ‘normal’ cat. Weighing in at up to 6.8 – 11.3 kg (15-25lbs), many Maine Coon cats are almost double the weight of an average healthy cat that weighs between 3.6-4.5 kg (7.9 – 9.9 lbs). A Maine Coons long rectangular body shape reaches up to 40 inches in length, and will dwarf standard cats who have an average length of 18 inches (46 cm), when measuring their head to body length.
Maine Coon Cat Size Compared To Normal Cat
Are you a cat fanatic looking to add a fabulous pedigree Maine Coon cat to your family? If so, check out the table below to get a better understanding of the average Maine Coon cat size, so you don’t get surprised when your Maine Coon kitten doesn’t stop growing!
|Category||Female Maine Coon||Male Maine Coon||Normal Cat|
|Weight (kg)||3.6-5.4||6.8-11.3||3.6 – 4.5|
|Height (cm)||20-35||25-40||22.8 – 25.4|
|Length (inches)||19-40||19-40||18 (head to body)|
|Length (cm)||48-101||48-101||46 (head to body)|
As you can see from the table above the physical dimensions of the Maine Coon cat size versus a standard ‘normal’ cat are truly immense. Whilst some of the measurements may only appear like a few digits out, it is these extra dimensions that make the Maine Coon cat breed stand out in the crowd.
Often referred as a ‘mini lions’, ‘dog of the cat world’ and ‘gentle giant’, you cannot truly appreciate their sheer size, beauty and impressive stature until you actually meet a full size Maine Coon cat in real life.
Do Female Maine Coons Grow As Big As Males?
The male of the Maine Coon breed will almost always grow bigger than their female counterparts. There is a level of crossover however, so in cases where your female Maine Coon is genetically predisposed to grow into a large female Coon, and your Male is destined to grow into a small Coon, it is possible that the female Maine Coon may grow bigger than their male counterpart.
One easy way to tell the male and female Maine Coon apart, is by looking at their body frame. Males tend to be taller than their female counterparts. The females also have a slightly leaner physique.
When Do Maine Coon Cats Reach Full Size?
If you’ve always owned a standard moggy, you will already be aware that these cats tend to reach full size when they reach 2 years old. This isn’t the case for the Maine Coon cat breed though, since this breed is known for growing at an exceptionally slow rate, not reaching their full size until between 3-5 years old.
One of the downsides of this slow rate of growth is that it fool’s many owners into thinking there is a problem with their cat. This is because they purchase a Maine Coon kitten, expecting it to reach the immense large sizes stated in the table above, yet are disappointed when their cat is still relatively small at the age of 2 years old. Veterinary professionals report that these concerned owners then begin to panic, worrying they haven’t fed their Maine Coon cat enough food. This worry leads to them overfeed their cat, ultimately leading to obesity (a condition prone to the Maine Coon breed).
Famous Large Maine Coon Cat
There will always be exceptions to the rule, in any species that you look at. Stewie, a famous Maine Coon cat is one such example!
If you look at the 2010 Guinness World Records, you will see that a cat called Stewie was awarded with the title for the ‘longest cat of his breed‘. Why? Because rather than stopping when he reached 40 inches in length, Stewie continued to grow to a whopping 48.5 inches long (that is a crazy 123.19 cm, for my UK readers!). Stewie was also weighed at an immense 33 lbs (15kg).
Those wondering whether the owner of Stewie fed her Maine Coon cat on a specialist diet that resulted in his physical frame continuing to grow and grow might be surprised to hear that she didn’t. This basically means, that if you purchase a Maine Coon kitten, there is always the possibility that you may one day own a record breaking Maine Coon too!
Since this record was recorded, other Maine Coon owners have since come forward with their extremely large Maine Coon cats requesting that their treasured felines also compete for the title of ‘longest cat of his breed’. Two such rival competitors relate to cats named ‘Ludo’ and ‘Omar’.
Are Maine Coon Kittens Bigger?
If you compare the Maine Coon cat size with that of a standard moggy, there isn’t a great deal of difference in size whilst they are kittens. What you will notice immediately, however, is that the Maine Coon kittens features are larger than other cat breeds i.e. their paws and ears.
As the Maine Coon kitten grows their features become increasingly pronounced, because a Maine Coon kittens paws, ears and tail will continue to grow for far longer than a ‘normal’ cats.
Full grown Maine Coon cats are known for their impressively long bushy tails, large paw pads that enable them to walk on snow far easily than a normal cat breed, and their large ears. The Maine Coons fur also grows to be very long and thick, unlike most standard moggies. They also have a ruff of longer hair around their neckline which makes them look like a little lion!
Can You Predict How Big Your Maine Coon Kitten Grows?
Owners often ask me if it is possible to predict how large their Maine Coon kitten will grow. As much as I would love to tell them that I can, I am not a psychic!
The Maine Coon cat size will ultimately be affected by a cats individual genetic formation, which will vary from cat to cat. There is also the chance that the cat may possess a recessive gene in their DNA, resulting in them growing far smaller, or larger than their parents.
Why Do Maine Coons Grow Larger Than Normal Cats?
Maine Coons are known for having rectangular body shapes, and a robust bone structure. Their body is covered with thick fur which keeps them warm during the colder seasons, and is made up of two silky thick undercoats of hair which are then covered by an outer coat of long guard hair. This fur adds to the Maine Coon cat size, because it bulks this cat breed out, making them look far larger than other cat breeds.
Have you ever tried to compare your Maine Coon cat with that of a standard sized cat? If you have, you will have quickly noticed that the Maine Coon cat size truly dwarfs the majority of cat breeds. Is it simply due to differing genetics? or is there a scientific explanation that can help explain this unusual physical difference?
According to Wiktionary, the ‘square-cube law’ theory may help to explain why the Maine Coon cat size differs so wildly from other cat breeds. The premise of this mathematical principle, is that when a shape grows in size, its volume will grow faster than its surface area (source).
Why Do Maine Coon Cats Grow So Big?
The history of the Maine Coon cat size is shrouded in mystery, since the true lineage of the Maine Coon cat breed itself, is not fully known. Whilst many folklore myths continue to do the rounds until this very day, there are only three main myths and legends that have really won the hearts of the population.
The first myth talks of Marie Antoinette’s cats being smuggled to Wiscasset in Maine (United States), whilst another folklore myth claims the Maine Coon cat is genetically part-raccoon! Finally, others claim the Maine Coon cat size can be attributed to the large ship cats that sailed the seas with the Vikings.
Whatever the truth, the history of this impressive cat breed is likely to remain a mystery, forever. And that’s ok, isn’t it? because it is their truly unknown lineage which has led the Maine Coon cat to be closely associated with words such as ‘magical’ and ‘mythical’, which have served only to increase their popularity yet further.
Maine Coon Size Myths
The three Maine Coon cat size myths to have stood the test of time, are as follows.
1. Marie Antoinette’s Smuggled Cats
This exciting folklore myth has won the hearts of many people, most likely because so many of the elements in this story sound like they could actually be true!
So what happened? The myth tells a story of Marie Antoinette (the former Queen of France) desperately trying to flee French land during the French Revolution. She is thought to have found an ally in Captain Samuel Clough, who provided her with safe refuge on his ship bound for the United States. Although at first her story might seem hopeful, Marie Antoinette’s happy ending was sadly not to be because she was captured and executed in 1793.
You are probably wondering what on earth this story has to do with the origin of the Maine Coon cat? Well, legend has it that Marie Antoinette was so obsessed with her feline pets that she loaded her six precious Turkish Angora cats onto the captain’s ship. Despite Marie Antoinette’s capture, the cats resided on the ship until their original destination was reached. The ship mates then released these beautiful long haired felines into the wild when the ship ported in Wiscasset, Maine (United States). It is thought that these Turkish Angora cats then mated with the short-haired domestic cats already residing in Maine, thus creating the Maine Coon cat.
Whether this myth is true or not, is unknown. However, many do argue that the Maine Coon cats long thick hair does resemble that of the stunning Turkish Angora felines.
2. Are Maine Coon Cats Part Raccoon?
The premise of this myth is that the Maine Coon cat we know and love today was the result of a semi-wild domestic cat mating with a raccoon. Could this be true? Is it even possible?
Scientists argue this isn’t biologically impossible, yet tales of the Maine Coon being related to the raccoon still remain popular and widespread. The key reason causing this myth to gain such much momentum over the last few decades, relates to the fact that the raccoon and Maine Coon cat really do look similar!
Similarities between these two species include:
- Both species have a long bushy tail
- Maine Coon and Raccoons tend to have a black ring around the tip of their tails … How did that happen?
- Some Maine Coons have a brown tabby coloring that matches the raccoons … Could they be related somehow?
- Have you noticed how both the raccoon and the Maine Coon LOVE water? … Is there more to their water fascination than we realise?
- Both animals are rather large in size, and known for being great climbers … maybe just a coincidence, but the similarities seem to continue!
- They both have semi-prehensile paws that help them grasp food more easily.
Although this is one of the most amusing folk tales that I have ever heard told in relation to the origins of the Maine Coon cat, I can appreciate why this myth has not faded into people’s distant memories. The physical similarities really are quite spookily clear!
3. Could Viking Ship Cats Hold The Answer?
The final myth claims there is a link between the Maine Coon cat, and Viking Ship cats. Although this may also seem a touch bizarre, this folktale is possibly the most likely truth of all the myths.
Many years ago, the Vikings sailed the seas. In order to keep the ship mice population at bay, it is thought the Vikings kept Norwegian Forest cats aboard their ships to kill the mice. The Norwegian Forest cat is as physically large as the Maine Coon cat breed, and like the Coon, they are known for being great hunters.
Legend has it that when the Vikings arrived at a port, they allowed these Norwegian Forest cats off their ships, to roam free. In one such stop, it is thought that one of the overseas long haired ship cats matted with a short haired domestic cat already living on dry land. If this is true, it would explain why the Maine Coon cat shares such strong physical and characteristic similarities with the Norwegian Forest cat.
Norwegian Forest Cat V Maine Coon Cat
The Norwegian Forest cat is an extremely large cat breed. They share the title for ‘the largest domesticated cat breed’ with the famous Maine Coon cat. Both cat breeds are physically similar in size. They share many personality similarities too, and are both very intelligent cat breeds that can be taught simple tricks. The Norwegian Forest Cat and Maine Coon and are also considered extremely sociable creatures to own.
The table below, highlights the key physical differences between the Norwegian Forest Cat, and the Maine Coon cat breeds:
|Feature||Norwegian Forest Cat||Maine Coon|
|Tail||Fur on tail is long, not bushy||Bushy and fluffy long thick tail|
|Face||Triangular shaped head, with flat forehead and straight nose||High cheekbones with a wedge-shaped head. Thought to look happier|
|Fur Coat||Thick and fluffy, but even length across body||Ruff of longer hair around neckline|
|Voice||Far less vocal cat breed. Very quiet||Extremely vocal, talkative cat breed. Will trill and chirp|
Otherwise known as the American Long Hair, this mythical creature is thought to have originated in Wiscasset, Maine (United States) as a result of a Viking ship cat breeding with a local domestic shorthaired cat. This myth has stood the test of time and does appear logical in many ways, since the Vikings kept Norwegian Forest cats as their ship cats, because they were known for having superb hunting skills, like the Maine Coon cat breed is. Both cats are also physical large, with similar markings and features.
Ultimately, we will never know if this is the truth of the Maine Coon cat size, or not. However, if it is then we have the Vikings to thank for unwittingly allowing the Maine Coon cat breed to be formed.
What we do know for certain, is that the Maine Coon cat breed is one of the oldest natural cat breeds in North America. Their stunning beauty, large physical frame, and laid back temperament have also made them one of the most popular cat breeds to own in the United States. And in Maine itself, this particular cat breed is loved so much that it has been honoured with the label ‘State Cat Of Maine’!