One of the things that Maine Coons are known for is for being big. Most Maine Coons are between 10 and 15 pounds (females) and 15-20 pounds (males), with some getting even bigger than that.
They are not only fluffy cats, they are big cats. But are Maine Coons the Biggest Cats? (Obviously, we are talking about domesticated here. Even the biggest Maine Coon has nothing on a Siberian Tiger, although the largest ones are the size of dogs!)
In short: Maine Coons are considered to be the Biggest of the domesticated cat breeds. Obviously, we are talking averages here – there are going to be some small Maine Coons that are smaller than say, a Norwegian Forest Cat (which is also a big breed). But your average Maine Coon dwarfs all other cat breeds. But why?
Before breaking down what’s going on here, let’s do a quick size check.
Most domesticated cats clock in between 9 and 11 pounds and are about a foot and a half long and just under a foot tall, with a foot-long tail, give or take.
Some breeds are a bit larger, and males tend to be bigger than females. The breed determines a lot of this with some breeds like Siamese being smaller and leaner than other breeds like British Shorthairs.
Maine Coons though are easily double that. They can be up to 16 inches tall, and the average weight is 8-25 pounds! A male Maine Coon can be two and a half times larger than regular domesticated cats.
And length-wise, there is no comparison: Maine Coons can be up to 40 inches long which is massive compared to the 18 inches of the average house cat and doesn’t even take into account the fact that they add an additional at least 11 inches for their tail.
Maine Coons also have larger paws and often have an extra toe on at least one paw.
Why Are Maine Coons So Big?
There are a few things going on that make Maine Coons the Giants of the cat world.
First of all, breeding. Since the large size of this cat is what makes the breed of the cat, breeders will breed together large specimens to create even larger ones. So, if there ever were any small Maine Coons, they’ve long been bred out.
Second, Maine Coons originate in colder environments and are thought to perhaps be descended from Norwegian Forest Cats, though there’s no proof of that yet.
They do hail from the northeast coast of the US, which is noted for being snowy, cold, and wet. The coat and size of Maine Coons mean that they don’t lose heat as quickly, keeping them warm in cold environments.
These cats were living wild in the forest at the start of their life, so they had to be big to stay warm and be successful predators.
Finally, Maine Coons have a slow growth rate. Unlike most domesticated cats who reach their full size in 1-2 years, Maine Coons take three to five years to finish growing, giving them the chance to develop larger bones and muscles and thus contribute to their massive size.
The Biggest Maine Coon Cat?
Maine Coon cats get big anyway, but some of the record holders are jaw-droppingly big.
Such as Kefir, a Maine Coon who is under two years of age living in Russia and is already 12.5kg and hasn’t finished growing yet! He gets regularly confused for a dog.
The current record holder is Barivel in Italy. He is 120cm long. The record holder before that was Ludo who is 118.33cm long. And the longest cat ever was Stewie who was just over four feet long with a 16m long tail! (Though Kefir may well catch up with him!) As you can see, Maine Coons get pretty huge.
Feeding a Maine Coon
As you can imagine, the grocery bills for a Maine Coon are much higher than they are for a regular-sized cat. Maine Coons should eat upwards of 9 ounces of wet cat food per day or 3 oz of dry food. The biggest Maine Coons can easily go through a few cans of wet food per day and still be perfectly healthy.
It is important to note though that these cats, like any other, will eat so long as there is food in front of them. If you want to prevent them from getting overweight and having health problems, feed Maine Coons on a schedule, such as morning and evening.
That way, you can better control their intake and make sure they don’t gain too much weight. Like any other cat, Maine Coons should primarily eat a diet of meat and high protein (especially since they have even more muscle to feed), and make sure they have access to clean water.
Maine Coons hold the distinction of being the largest of the domesticated cat breeds. They are also, thankfully, one of the gentlest breeds around!
And they still act like smaller cats, which means you may find yourself regularly having a lap full of fluff or a very large bedmate come nighttime.
Maine Coons should be fed properly to prevent gaining too much weight and exercised regularly to keep their muscle mass high and to keep mentally stimulated.
Otherwise, enjoy having a gentle giant in your home for years to come!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.