How to Tell If Your Cat is Part Maine Coon? When I was growing up, I had a tiny but insanely fluffy cat. She had lynx tufted ears, a long ruff, and a draping tail. She looked a lot like a lynx or a Maine Coon, but a fraction of the size!
And our current cat also has a ruff, a draping tail, and a lot of hair in her ears, but she’s also tiny.
I joke that our old family cat anyway was a ‘micro Maine Coon’ – she was way too tiny to be a pure Maine Coon (and I knew which cat gave birth to her and she certainly wasn’t a Maine Coon), but is there any truth to this?
How can you tell if your cat is part Maine Coon?
Right off the bat, I will warn you that the only way to know for certain is to do genetic testing or have a way to be able to trace back your cat’s lineage (unlikely).
Purebred Maine Coons are easier because reputable breeders will have the proper information. But Maine Coons can also be bred to other cats, leading to all kinds of mixed breeds. Still, there are some signs you can look for to at least narrow it down.
The easiest way to distinguish different parts of a cat’s make-up is through its body type.
Maine Coons have a very rectangular body type – they are well-muscled, and their legs are medium in length against a long body.
Part Maine Coons will probably retain some of this, being more rectangular than say, an Oriental breed, and possibly stronger than they look. Purebred Maine Coons always have large paws and take up to five years to fully mature.
Part Maine Coons may not have those particular traits, hence my wondering about our “micro-Maine Coon”.
Maine Coons have large, wide-set eyes with a slightly oblique shape. They are actually noteworthy for this eye shape, so if you have a cat with it as well, there’s a better chance there’s some Maine Coon in there somewhere.
Eye color doesn’t really factor in though – cat eye color is tied to their coat color, so that will have the most impact.
The other most notable thing about Maine Coons is their long, thick, shaggy fur. They actually have two undercoats, plus an ‘overcoat’ that is the long part. They also sport manes around their necks which are much longer than the rest of their body fur, as well as tufts and wisps of hair on their ears and in their ears.
This fur is water-resistant which is why they don’t care much about water. Part Maine Coons may retain some of this and may also retain some of the extra care when it comes to grooming needs.
My family cat needed extra help with grooming because she had a lot of fur and went into a lot of dusty places.
One thing to discount is the ‘M’ on their forehead. We will talk more about this in a separate post, but the M pattern on the forehead is a distinction of coat pattern (Specifically Tabby and some torties), not breed. So, your cat may have that M, but that doesn’t make it a part Maine Coon.
Maine Coons have long and bushy tails that start out large at the base and narrow at the tips (not that it’s always to tell since they have so much fluff!)
This tail is used to help keep Maine Coons warm and can often be found in part Maine Coons as well. If you have a cat with a very bushy tail, there could be some Maine Coon in there somewhere.
The temperament of part Maine Coons is going to be difficult to get anything definitive out of because all cats can have very different personalities, even in the same breed.
But there are a few distinctive traits of Maine Coons that may carry over to a part Maine Coon:
- They like water
- They are very affectionate and loyal
- They are smart
- They chirp and trill rather than meowing
- They are trainable, interactive, and sociable
- They like to follow their owners around.
Now, not all of these things will ‘breed true’ in a part Maine Coon, but you may find that your cat has one or two of the standouts such as liking water or trilling rather than meowing.
It’s definitely not a guarantee (Siamese cats also have some very different communication styles, for example), but it may help narrow things down.
So, did I have a mini-Maine Coon when I was growing up? The jury is out and since she passed away years ago, there’s certainly no way to do genetic testing.
But it is fun to think that those lynx ears, fluffy tail, and her love of watermeant there was a majestic Maine Coon somewhere in her background.
And if you’re wondering if you have one too, some of these traits may help you figure it out. But keep in mind that the only way to really know is to get your cat’s genetics properly tested.
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.