If you have been wondering “Why is my Maine Coon small?” you wouldn’t be the first to be concerned.
Some owners wonder “Can Maine Coons be small?” After all, one of the Maine Coon’s most iconic attributes is its large size. But is this always the case? If you’ve just adopted a young Maine Coon, you may be concerned that it is unusually small.
In this article, we’re going to look in-depth at the possible reasons why your Maine Coon is small.
The average Maine Coon weighs between 8 and 25 pounds. A small Maine Coon is uncommon and one that weighs less than 8 pounds is likely a mixed breed rather than purebred. Unlike other cat breeds, Maine Coons take longer to reach full size, so it is also possible that a small Maine Coon is not yet fully grown.
While it is more common for a small Maine Coon to be either young or a mixed breed, there are a few rarer causes of small size in Maine Coons.
Read on to discover all of the possible reasons behind a small Maine Coon!
Why Is My Maine Coon Small?
The average Maine Coon weighs between 8 and 25 pounds. If your Maine Coon is smaller than 8 pounds, there are a lot of possible reasons behind its small size.
The table below summarises 15 key reasons why a Maine Coon cat might be small:
|Slow Growth Rate||Maine Coons reach full size by 3-5 years|
|Poor Nutrition||Lack of nutrient in diet|
|Under-eating||Cat not eating enough|
|Hybrid||Cat is of mixed breed|
|Hyperthyroidism||Thyroid produces too much hormone thyroxine|
|Small Parents||Offspring less likely to be large|
|Runt of the litter||Mother has Y-shaped uterus, causing smaller kitten|
|Premature Removal From Mother||Kitten removed from mother too soon. Lacks correct nutrients|
|Parasites||Cat is infected by parasites|
|Enzyme Deficiency||Causes smallness and various health issues|
|Viral or Bacterial Infection||Causes loss of appetite, diahhrea|
|Cancer||Health issue. Seek urgent veterinary advice|
|Portosystemic Shunt||Rare condition that causes circulatory problems|
|Underlying Illness||Cat suffering from another health issue|
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:
- Slow Growth Rate: Unlike other cat breeds, Maine Coons have a very slow growth rate. It takes on average 3 to 5 years for a Maine Coon to grow to its full size. If your Maine Coon is young and seems small, it’s likely your cat simply hasn’t fully matured yet.
- Poor Nutrition: Cats require balanced nutrition to grow properly. If your cat’s diet is high in carbohydrates but low in protein, it won’t be receiving the nutrients it needs to grow to full size.
- Under-eating: If your Maine Coon is small, it may not be getting enough food. If you suspect your Maine Coon is not eating enough, consult your vet to find out how many calories your cat should eat every day.
- Hybrid: If your Maine Coon is unnaturally small, it could be that your Maine Coon is actually a hybrid. It’s possible that your cat had one parent that was a Maine Coon and another parent of a different breed, resulting in a smaller size.
- Hyperthyroidism: Hyperthyroidism is a health condition where your Maine Coon’s thyroid produces too much of the hormone thyroxine, which leads to an increased metabolism. This means that your cat will burn through calories much faster, causing it to become underweight. Hyperthyroidism can also cause vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, and greasy, unkempt fur. (Sources 1,2).
- Dwarfism: A genetic mutation known as dwarfism can cause some Maine Coons to be unnaturally small, although this condition is especially rare in Maine Coons (source).
- Small Parents: If a Maine Coon’s parents were both smaller in size, their kittens are likely to be small, as well.
- Runt of the Litter: If a mother cat has a Y-shaped uterus, one of the foetuses can develop in the smaller part of the uterus, and it is born a runt. Runts usually grow up to be quite small in comparison to their siblings (source).
- Premature Removal from Mother: Most breeders and shelters will not allow owners to adopt a kitten before it reaches the age of 8 to 12 weeks. If a kitten is removed from its mother at a young age, it will not receive the proper care and nutrients it requires, which can lead to stunted growth (source).
- Parasites: If your Maine Coon is unnaturally small, it may be suffering from a parasite, which can cause your cat to become underweight. Parasites such as ringworms and stomach worms can infect your cat’s body. These parasites can lead to a loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea, which can all contribute to weight loss (source 1,2)
- Enzyme Deficiency: Some Maine Coons may suffer from a kind of enzyme deficiency, which leads to a small size, as well as other symptoms such as neurological problems, odd proportions, and clumsiness (source).
- Viral or Bacterial Infection: An untreated viral or bacterial infection can cause a loss of appetite, vomiting, and diarrhoea, all of which can contribute to dangerous amounts of weight loss.
- Cancer: If your Coon is unnaturally small or seems to have lost weight, it may be suffering from cancer. If you notice other symptoms alongside your cat’s small size, you should take your Maine Coon to the vet immediately.
- Portosystemic Shunt: This is a rare condition that causes circulatory problems in a cat, causing problems with growth as well as possible mental disorders (source).
- Other Underlying Illness: There are many possible illnesses and conditions that can lead to stunted growth in a cat. Keep a careful eye on your Maine Coon, and if you suspect something is wrong, never be afraid to consult your vet.
How Big Will My Maine Coon Get?
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, but they can still vary wildly in size.
One key factor in determining how large your Maine Coon will grow to be is gender. Female Maine Coons are often much smaller than males. On average, a female Maine Coon will weigh between 8 and 12 pounds, while male Maine Coons usually weigh between 15 and 25 pounds. This means that, if you have a female Maine Coon, there is a chance that your Maine Coon might grow to be the same size as the average house cat.
When it comes to height, Maine Coons usually measure between 10 and 16 inches.
You can expect your Maine Coon to grow to a length between 19 and 40 inches.
There’s no way to know for sure how large your Maine Coon will grow to be, but taking in factors such as parent size and gender can give you a better estimate.
How Big Can a Maine Coon Mix Get?
If your cat is a Maine Coon mix, it becomes harder to determine how large your cat will be. There’s a chance your Maine Coon mix could grow to be just as large as a purebred Maine Coon, but there’s also a chance it will be as small as the other parent.
Unfortunately, genetics are really a game of chance. There’s no hard and fast rule to discover how large your cat will be. The only way to know for sure is to wait and see.
How Small Can A Maine Coon Be?
The smallest that a fully grown and healthy Maine Coon cat can weigh is 8 pounds, stand at a height of 10 inches, and measuring a length of 19 inches.
If your purebred Maine Coon weighs less than 8 pounds and is already fully grown, then it is likely underweight or suffering from an underlying condition.
Maine Coon Size Compared To Normal Cat
Maine Coons are much larger than the average house cat.
Most normal cats weigh between 8 and 10 pounds, while Maine Coons weigh between 8 and 25 pounds on average.
Normal cats typically stand at a height of 9 to 10 inches, but Maine Coons measure between 10 and 16 inches tall.
Unsurprisingly, Maine Coons are also longer than normal cats. While most cats measure about 18 inches long, Maine Coons are usually between 19 and 40 inches long.
Maine Coon cats also boast an impressively large tail, measuring at an average of 16 inches long, which is about 4 inches longer than the average house cat.
If you are interested in learning, make sure you checkout my fact filled article “Maine Coon Cat Size Dwarfs Standard Moggies!“.
Maine Coon Growth Rate
Maine Coons usually take about three to five years to reach their full size.
Take a look at this Maine Coon weight table I produced, to get a better idea of how large your Maine Coon cat should be, relative to their age.
If you are interested in comparing the Maine Coon cat Vs Ragdoll, make sure you click on the picture below.
Maine Coon Growth Stages
While each cat grows at a slightly different rate, there are a few different stages when you can expect Maine Coon growth spurts to occur. However, keep in mind that all Maine Coons grow at individual rates, and the following information won’t necessarily apply to every cat.
- Newborn to 3 months: A newborn Maine Coon kitten will weigh between 0.19 and 0.37 pounds on average. They will grow rapidly over the next few weeks however. By the time your kitten has reached three months old, you can expect it to weigh between 3.3 and 5.29 pounds.
- 3 to 7 months: During this stage, you can expect your kitten to gain about two pounds every month. After this first growth spurt, your Maine Con’s growth rate will slow down for a while.
- 8 months: After around 8 months, most Maine Coons experience a second growth spurt, although this can vary wildly from cat to cat.
- Week 50: When your Maine Coon is a little over a year old, you can expect it to experience its third and final growth spurt. After this, your Maine Coon’s growth rate will slow down significantly, and it will grow at a slow yet steady rate for several years.
- 3 to 5 years: After a few years of steady growing, your Maine Coon will finally reach its full size when it is between 3 and 5 years old.
How To Keep A Maine Coon Growth Chart
Maine Coons grow so large that many owners worry their cat is overweight. As a result, many Maine Coon owners don’t feed their cat enough, leading to health problems.
Keeping a Maine Coon growth chart is an incredibly helpful tool to ensure that your Maine Coon is growing at a healthy rate.
You should measure your cat’s weight, height, and length once every month and record it either in a notebook or a spreadsheet.
Your cat’s growth rate can vary rapidly from week to week, so to avoid any confusion, it’s best not to measure your cat too frequently.
You can also plot your cat’s growth using a Maine Coon weight chart. To do this, simply create a line chart with an X-axis representing time and a Y-axis representing weight. Once a month, record your cat’s weight on the graph. You should see your Maine Coon’s weight increase steadily over time before eventually plateauing as it reaches adulthood.
To keep a Maine Coon growth chart, you will need a measuring tape and either a baby scale or a postage scale. When measuring your Maine Coon, it’s best to have a partner nearby to record the measurements.
While most Maine Coons are rather docile creatures, not all cats enjoy being poked, prodded, and weighed. Try to measure your cat as efficiently as possible, and have a few treats on hand to keep your cat in good spirits.
To learn more about Maine Coon growth charts, read my article ‘How To Keep A Maine Coon Growth Chart‘.
How To Make A Maine Coon Grow Big
If you’ve adopted a Maine Coon, you are likely hoping it will grow to an enormous size. Unfortunately, because Maine Coons can vary so greatly in size, there’s no way to guarantee your cat will grow up to be a record-breaking behemoth.
Much of your cat’s size is determined by genetics. If you want a Maine Coon that will grow up to be large, you should seek out a breeder whose cats regularly reach large sizes, although there is still no guarantee your Maine Coon will grow up to be a specific size.
However, there are a few ways you can help your Maine Coon grow large. First, you should never purchase a Maine Coon that is too young. You should wait until a kitten is between 8 and 12 weeks old before taking it from its mother. A kitten that is removed from its mother prematurely can suffer from stunted growth.
You should also make sure your Maine Coon is being fed a nutritious diet. Cats require a diet that is low in carbohydrates and high in protein. Large amounts of protein will help your Maine Coon grow large.
However, you should never overfeed your Maine Coon. This will result in obesity, which is associated with numerous dangerous health problems.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Skinny?
Have you noticed that your Maine Coon is very skinny? Here are some of the possible reasons why your cat might be underweight:
- Poor Nutrition: Large amounts of carbohydrates and low amounts of protein can stunt a cat’s growth. Make sure your cat is getting lots of protein so it can maintain a healthy weight.
- Not Eating Enough: Your cat may be skinny because it is not getting enough to eat. Talk with your vet to find out how many calories your cat should be eating every day. Your cat may also be refusing to eat due to stress or food sensitivities. Make sure your cat has a safe, quiet place to eat so it can eat in peace.
- Underlying Illness: Your cat could be underweight because it is suffering from an underlying illness or condition, such as hyperthyroidism, infection, or even cancer. While serious illnesses are relatively rare, it’s always best to be safe. If you think your cat may be ill, take it to the vet immediately so any illness can be treated right away.
These are the TOP 7 MAINE COON HEALTH PROBLEMS. Take a look at these, to work out if you treasured feline has an issue or not.
Is My Maine Coon Underweight?
Assessing a Maine Coon’s weight can be difficult due to their long, shaggy coats.
The best way to determine if your cat is underweight is by feeling its ribs, located just behind its front legs. If your cat’s ribs feel similar to the back of your hand, then it is at a healthy weight. If your cat’s ribs feel as bony as your knuckles, however, then your Maine Coon is likely underweight.
If you suspect your cat is underweight, take it to the vet as soon as possible so you can get your cat back to a healthy weight (source).
Small Cat Breeds
- American Curl
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
Many owners expect their Maine Coon to grow large, so it’s not uncommon for people to wonder “Why is my Maine Coon so small?”
In most cases, the reason why a person’s Maine Coon seems small is because they grow much more slowly than other cat breeds. Over time, however, a Maine Coon will typically grow to be much larger than most house cats.
Some owners, whose cats have reached adulthood, may wonder “Can Maine Coons be small?” if their cat hasn’t increased much in size. If your Maine Coon is a fully grown adult but still appears small, it is likely either a mixed breed or it is suffering from an underlying health condition.
All Maine Coons vary in size, but a healthy, purebred Maine Coon will almost always be larger than most cats by the time it is fully grown.
Miniature Maine Coon
Purebred Maine Coons cannot be smaller than the average cat. Hybrid Maine Coons, however, who have ancestry of a small cat breed (like a Singapura), can be smaller while still resembling a Maine Coon (source).
Dwarf Maine Coon
Maine Coon dwarfism is much rarer than in other cat breeds, because of their large size. However, if a genetic mutation causes dwarfism in a Maine Coon, it will be much smaller than other Maine Coons.
My Maine Coon Has A Small Head
Young Maine Coons sometimes have disproportionately small heads in relation to their bodies, but its head will grow to a normal size over time.