How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon: Important Key Characteristics [2023]

Do you want to know, How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon Cat? Maine Coon cats are renowned for their striking Appearance, Temperament, and Unique Features. If you suspect that your feline friend might be a Maine Coon, this comprehensive guide will help you identify the distinguishing characteristics that set them apart from other cat breeds. Without any further discussion let’s start.

How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon:

Check if it has a large, muscular body with a long, bushy tail and tufted ears, as these are common physical traits of Maine Coon cats. Additionally, observe if it has a thick, water-resistant coat that can come in different colors and patterns, including tabby and tortoiseshell. Lastly, look for characteristic features like large, expressive eyes and a prominent ruff around the neck, commonly seen in Maine Coon cats.

1. Physical Appearance:

Maine Coons have distinct physical characteristics that set them apart from other cat breeds. Here are some key features to look for:


Maine Coons are one of the giant domestic cat breeds. They commonly weigh between 10 and 25 pounds, with males being larger than females. If your cat is significantly larger than average, there’s a good chance it could be a Maine Coon.


Maine Coons have a thick, long, and shaggy double coat that helps them withstand harsh weather conditions. Their fur often has a silky texture and can come in various colors and patterns. Look for tufted ears, a bushy tail, and a prominent ruff around the neck.

Facial Features: 

Maine Coons have a square-shaped head with high cheekbones, a strong chin, and a long, rectangular muzzle. Their eyes are large and wide-set, usually in shades of gold, green, or copper. Look for their distinctive lynx-like tufted ears.


Though not exclusive to Maine Coons, this breed often exhibits extra toes. If your cat has more than the typical number of toes on its paws, it could be a good indicator of Maine Coon heritage.

Remember, while these physical traits are commonly associated with Maine Coons, they are not definitive proof of breed. If you suspect your cat is a Maine Coon, consider a DNA test or consult with a professional cat breeder to be sure.

2. Behavior and temperament:

  1. Maine Coons are known for their friendly and outgoing nature. They are social cats who enjoy being with their human companions and are often dubbed “Gentle Giants.”
  2. These cats are brilliant and curious. They like to explore their surroundings and may investigate things with their paws, often using them like hands.
  3. Maine Coons are usually good with families and other pets, making them an excellent choice for households with multiple animals or children.
  4. They have a playful nature and enjoy interactive toys and games. Maine Coons often retain their kitten-like playfulness well into adulthood, finding joy in chasing toys or playing hide and seek.

Remember that while these characteristics are commonly associated with Maine Coons, they are not definitive proof. If you suspect your cat may be a Maine Coon, it is always best to consult a veterinarian or a breed expert for more accurate identification.

3. Comparison to Other Breeds:

Maine Coon cats, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Siberian Cats share some physical similarities due to their thick fur and large size. However, there are distinct characteristics that set Maine Coons apart from these similar-looking breeds.


Maine Coon cats have a distinct American origin, with a history that dates back to the 1800s in the state of Maine. In contrast, Norwegian Forest Cats are native to Norway, and Siberian Cats originated in Russia.

Size and Weight:

Maine Coons are considered one of the largest domestic cat breeds, with males typically weighing between 13 and 18 pounds (5.9 to 8.2 kilograms) and females ranging from 8 to 12 pounds (3.6 to 5.4 kilograms). While Norwegian Forest Cats are also large, Maine Coons tend to be heavier. Siberian Cats are slightly smaller than Maine Coons, but typically larger than the average domestic cat.


Maine Coons have a unique water-resistant double coat that protects them from harsh weather conditions. Their fur is thick, long, and shaggy, with a full, bushy tail. Norwegian Forest Cats also have a double coat, but it is typically not as long as that of Maine Coons. On the other hand, Siberian Cats have a triple-layered coat that is denser and helps them adapt to cold climates.


Maine Coons are known for their friendly and pleasant nature. They are often described as “gentle giants,” as they are generally very affectionate and enjoy being around people. Norwegian Forest Cats and Siberian Cats have friendly personalities, but Maine Coons are known for being outgoing and friendly.


Maine Coon cats are revered for their high intelligence. They are quick learners and can quickly adapt to new situations. This intelligence allows them to learn tricks and even basic commands. Norwegian Forest Cats and Siberian Cats are also intelligent breeds, but Maine Coons are often considered one of the most intelligent domestic cat breeds.


Maine Coons are typically quiet and are not known for excessive meowing. They tend to communicate through chirps and trills. Similarly, Norwegian Forest Cats are not overly vocal. However, Siberian Cats are known to be more talkative and quite chatty.


Generally, all three breeds share good overall health. However, they may be prone to certain breed-specific health conditions. For Maine Coons, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (a heart condition) and hip dysplasia are potential concerns. Norwegian Forest Cats may be susceptible to hereditary kidney disease and heart issues. Siberian Cats may have a higher predisposition to polycystic kidney disease and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

4. Growth and Development:

The slow growth rate of Maine Coons is a characteristic specific to this breed. Maine Coons may continue to fill out and gain muscle mass even after reaching their full size. Kittens have proportionally larger heads and eyes than their bodies, which become more balanced as they mature.

As Maine Coons mature, their body structure becomes more robust and sturdy. Maine Coon kittens may have shorter and less bushy tails than their adult counterparts. The size and shape of their ears may change as they grow, becoming more well-known and larger in proportion to their head size. Maine Coons may have a different coat color or pattern in kittenhood that can change or develop further as they mature.

The growth rate of Maine Coons is impacted by various factors such as genetics, nutrition, and overall health.

5. Responsible Ownership:

Regarding responsible ownership of a Maine Coon, there are a few key points to remember. First and foremost, it is essential to consider adopting this Gentle Giant from reputable breeders or rescue organizations. By adopting, not only are you giving a loving home to a deserving cat, but you are also helping to reduce the number of cats in shelters.

Responsible ownership of a Maine Coon involves considering adoption, providing a suitable environment, ensuring proper nutrition, and offering regular exercise opportunities. By prioritizing these aspects, you can create a happy and healthy life for your Maine Coon companion.

how to tell if your cat is a maine coon


If your feline companion exhibits most, if not all, of the physical and behavioral characteristics mentioned above, there’s a good chance that your cat is a Maine Coon. However, remember that with official documentation and a breeder’s certificate, determining a cat’s breed can be more manageable. Regardless of its breed, your cat’s unique personality and unconditional love will always make it a treasured companion.

In conclusion, identifying a Maine Coon cat involves observing its physical attributes, demeanor, and genetic background. Whether you own a certified purebred or a lovely mixed breed, Maine Coons’ charm, playful nature, and striking appearance make them beloved family members. Remember, no matter the origin or classification of your feline friend, the love, care, and companionship they offer is what truly matters.

FAQs On How To Tell If Your Cat Is A Maine Coon:

Q.  How do I know if my cat is Maine Coon or Siberian?
A-> Norwegian Forest Cats and Siberian Cats have friendly personalities, but Maine Coons are known for being outgoing and friendly.

Q.  What is the difference between a Maine Coon and a regular cat?
A->  Maine Coons are typically larger, have longer fur, and possess distinctive physical features such as tufted ears and a bushy tail compared to regular cats.

Q.  What is a Maine Coon mistaken for?
A->  A Maine Coon is sometimes mistaken for a Norwegian Forest cat and Dogs.

Q4.  What is the closest relative to the Maine Coon?
A->  The closest relative to the Maine Coon is currently believed to be the Norwegian Forest Cat.

Q5.  What 2 breeds make a Maine Coon?
A->  The Maine Coon cat breed is believed to be a result of natural breeding between domestic cats and longhaired breeds brought to America by early settlers, along with a possible influence from the Norwegian Forest Cat.

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