Do Maine Coons Have Fur Or Hair? Maine Coons are characterized by their long, shaggy coat, huge bushy tail, prominent ruff, and even hairs sticking out of their ears and between their toes!
So, you would be forgiven for looking at a Maine Coon and wondering if Maine Coons have fur or hair! After all, many humans would probably kill to have something as luxurious as a Maine Coon’s coat translated to human hair.
Although Maine Coons look like beauty contestants with blown-out hair, all that hair is actually fur.
The Structure of a Maine Coon’s Coat
Purebred Maine Coons, and many part breeds, are longhaired cats, but their coat structure is fairly unique in the feline world.
First of all, this breed has a double-layer coat – shaggy and long on the top and silky underneath. This double-layer helps to insulate a Maine Coon from the cold, recalling their origins as northern cats (specifically the northeast coast of the US).
Maine Coons also have a pronounced ‘ruff’ around their shoulders and chest, which further protects them from the elements and longer fur on their belly and hind legs, to shield them from snow, and tufts between their paws to help them walk on ice on snow.
In the winter, they develop an extremely thick coat and in the summer, it’s much lighter. They also tend to have long hairs growing out of their ears and ‘lynx’ tips, again, to protect vulnerable parts of their body from the cold.
This structure means that Maine Coons require regular grooming to keep their coats healthy and functioning as they should. All that fur can get matted if it’s left alone for too long and then it won’t work to insulate your cat properly.
Maine Coons also rarely require trimming, unless they have really bad mats, but they may enjoy having a bath sometimes! This breed is notorious for actually enjoying the water and being strong swimmers.
Although Maine Coons look shaggy, their fur is actually quite thick, soft, and smooth, assuming it’s well taken care of and there are no underlying health conditions. They also have a huge variety of coat colors – 84 in all – and three types of fur patterns (solid, tabby, and tortoise).
The many colors that a Maine Coon coat can have, is one of the most attractive features of this breed, along with that silky soft, and long coat!
Care of a Maine Coon’s Coat
Maine Coons require daily brushing in order to keep their fur healthy, otherwise, they can develop mats or other problems. They rarely require trimming (only if you have a cat with severe mats and at the direction of your vet), and they rarely require bathing.
It’s important to turn grooming time into something enjoyable for your cat by offering treats once finished and choosing a time of day when your cat is relaxed and happy.
Get a good comb and brush for long hair and start at the abdomen and work your way up. It will probably take a chunk of time every day, but most Maine Coons enjoy the attention.
Just like any other animal, a Maine Coon’s coat should have a certain level of oiliness to it in order for it to be healthy. However, an excessively oily coat can be a sign of health problems like allergies, diet issues, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism, as well as other issues.
Having a proper diet will also help a Maine Coon’s coat stay healthy and strong.
Can Maine Coons Ever Have Short Hair?
Purebred Maine Coons are not short hair cats – they are medium to long hair. There are areas of the cat with shorter hair such as the back of the ears, but this is very much a medium to longhair cat breed.
If you have a Maine Coon with short fur, it’s not a purebred though it may be a part breed and the short fur came from the other part.
The other reason why you may see a short Maine Coon coat is because the owner trimmed it. However, this isn’t usually advisable because that coat helps with temperature regulation, protects the cat from injury, and keeps it safe in cold winters.
The coat also protects a cat from allergens and irritants and helps it create nutrients. Plus, it takes a long time to regrow that coat! Trimming should only be done under the direction of a vet or groomer.
The luxurious coat of a Maine Coon cat is one of its most distinctive features, along with its size. Although it looks like long hair, this coat is still considered to be fur and should be treated as an important part of the cat’s body.
Take care of it with daily grooming and a good diet, and you’ll have a beautiful – and happy – companion for a long time. And you’ll get a lot of very compliments from everyone who meets it!
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.