About Maine Coon Cats
Maine coons are large, affectionate cats who love to play and hang out with their humans. This cat breed is typically known for its massive size—up to 40 inches in length—but Maine coon owners know and prize these cats for being loving family pets.
Maine coons are surprisingly popular, especially considering at one point this breed almost faced extinction. In 2019, the Cat Fanciers’ Association listed the Maine coon as the fifth-most popular cat breed. The average Maine coon kitten costs between $400 and $1,500, depending on pedigree.
The Maine coon is the largest domestic cat breed, and largeness is certainly one of its defining physical characteristics. The size of a typical Maine coon comes in at 10–16 inches tall and up to an impressive 40 inches in length. These sturdily built felines usually weigh 8–18 pounds and have muscular bodies with wide chests and solid legs.
As if their big-boned build wasn’t enough, the ample fur in the Main coone’s coat makes these majestic animals look even bigger. Their long coat is silky and smooth and grows shorter near the shoulders. Maine coons come in a variety of colors and patterns. You can find solid white, cream, red, blue, and black Maine coons, as well as tabby, bi-color, particolor, tortoiseshell, shaded, and calico Maine coons.
Other defining physical features are large pointed ears often topped with wisps of hair, expressive oval-shaped eyes, and a long, bushy tail.
“Maine coons have a heavy, shaggy coat which requires maintenance brushing to ensure it doesn’t get tangled or matted,” says Catherine Lenox, DVM, DACVN, a board certified veterinary nutritionist with Royal Canin.
Your Maine coon will need regular, dedicated grooming and will require anywhere from weekly to monthly bathing. Their long coats are usually silky smooth, but when they start to look greasy or stringy, it’s time for a bath. They also require weekly brushing to keep their long hair and undercoat from getting tangled and matted. These cats do shed quite a bit, and regular brushing will also help get rid of loose hairs. Don’t worry—the Maine coon loves any sort of attention it can get, so grooming is usually a pleasant task.
Maine coons don’t have any special exercise needs—they’ll keep the same activity schedule of most cats, with long hours of sleep and playful bouts of jumping and running through the house. Cat toys and cat trees can help them work out some of that energy.
These super-intelligent cats are easily trainable. Some owners have described the Maine coon as “dog-like” for their ability to be trained—they can learn to walk on a leash outdoors or even play a round of fetch. They take quickly to basic housetraining and litter box use, but keep in mind these large cats will require a large litter box to help them comfortably do their business.
Maine coons should be socialized early on. If you’re bringing home a Maine coon kitten as a family pet, be sure to let the various members of the household—small kids included—gently handle the kitten daily. They should also be introduced to other pets if possible. These early introductions will keep your cat from becoming shy and reserved.
Feed your Maine coon high-quality cat food and monitor their diet to prevent them from overeating. Check-in with your vet to learn how much and how often to feed your individual cat.