When you think of a big cat, you picture a lion or a tiger. But did you know that a domestic cat breed that can grow into huge cats as well? A Maine coon cat is a good example.
Maine coon cats are usually mistaken as bobcats. That is how big they can get! Where they originated from still remains a mystery, though.
In a theory that has never been proven, Maine coon cats are so big because of the temperature of their natural habitat. It is believed that their size works wonders to reduce the rate at which they lose body heat.
In fact, they have a slow growth rate compared to other breeds. These coons can achieve their fully grown size between 3-5 years of age.
It’s no wonder how people are fascinated by how eye-catching this beautiful giant is.
Factors affecting the size of Maine coon cats
Like in humans, genetics plays a big role in the size of your Maine coon. The length and height of a Maine coon can depend heavily on its parents. However, there are also studies showing that their size is not solely determined by genetics.
The health of your cat is one of the essential factors on why your Maine coon cat is big. Although they are expected to be large, regular exercise assures you that your coon is at its best shape. A good fifteen minutes to twenty minutes of exercise is all the cat needs to keep it healthy.
Although born to be naturally gigantic cats, giving your Maine coon cat a proper diet is a must. Most people think that because Maine coons are large cats, they need to be fed with loads of food to maintain their size. The problem with some owners is they tend to spoil their cats and forget that they need to put it on the limit. Too much food will only result in an overweight Maine coon.
Thick, shaggy fur
Their long, shaggy multi-layered fur makes them look even bigger. Maine coons’ fur gives off an illusion that they are heavier and larger.
Myths on Maine coons’ size
Maine coons have royal ancestry.
The background behind this is when a former Queen of France, Marie Antoinette, tended to flee France by ship during the French revolution. The said ship was headed for the United States and was captained by Samuel Clough. The story said she convinced the captain to permit her six pet Turkish Angora cats aboard too. These cats were said safely arrive in Maine, United States, and were of the Maine coon cat breed.
Maine coons are part raccoon.
Raccoons are round, fluffy creatures with bushy tails and a black mask of fur that covers their eye area. Sounds like a Maine coon, right? They also have the same size and both are good climbers. However, scientists are quick to debunk this myth, saying that this story is a physical impossibility.
They are descendants of Norwegian Ship cats.
There are people who believe that Maine coons and Norweigian cats are related.
The story is that Vikings who traveled the seas kept long-haired cats on their ships to keep their mice population at bay. It is thought that Vikings preferred using Norwegian Forest Cats for this role, due to their impressive hunting skills and hardy nature.
During one such stop off, it is suspected that one of the long-haired cats mated with a short-haired domestic cat, producing the Maine Coon cat breed that we are familiar with today.
Common questions about why Maine coon cats are so big
What is the largest Maine coon cat?
Stewie, a Maine coon, recently holds the record “the biggest cat”. He is 48 inches long and 33lbs. In addition, if you are watching the news, you probably know Omar. Omar, a 14 kg Maine coon cat, measures from 120cm from nose to tail according to his beloved owner. In today’s world Guinness record, the official longest cat is Ludo who is 118.cm and also a Maine coon.
How big is a full-grown Maine coon?
As you see, they grow larger than any breed. It takes 3-5 years for a Maine coon cat to reach their fully grown stage and they can grow until 4 years old! The size of full-grown Maine coons varies according to their gender.
- Male. Male coons can typically weigh into 15-25 pounds and can stand at about 10-16 inches. They are about 40 inches long.
- Female. Naturally smaller than males, a full-grown female can average between 10-5 pounds in weight and measure 8-14 inches tall.
What health problems do Maine coon cats have?
According to experts, Maine coons are prone to hereditary health issues. A hereditary disease, Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, diagnosed in a Maine coon causes enlargement to a heart muscle. Another one of its common health problems is obesity. This is why it is important that their weight is monitored and the best solution is you give them a proper diet. Hip dysplasia is also common for Maine coons.
You shouldn’t expect them to weigh light as a feather since the average Maine coon cat weighs between 19-40 inches and in a staggering 15-25lbs (6.8-113kg)! It is no wonder why they are called gentle giants. Not to worry, though. They are big on affection and joy, too!