The Maine Coon and Siberian Cat (also known as Siberian Forest Cat) are beautiful cats from cold climates. Both are large and have long, shaggy coats, perfect to protect them from harsh, winters. Is there a reason why these two cats are so alike?
Are Maine Coons and Siberians related? Although Maine Coons and Siberians are similar cats they are not related. If it’s true that all domestic cats descended from a 12,000-year-old Middle Eastern wild cat then Maine Coons and Siberians are related to this extent. However, there is no relationship between the two breeds today.
The Origins of Maine Coon and Siberian Cats
Maine Coons are native American cats, originated in Maine, the most northern state in the US. Their double fur coats protected them in temperatures that have been known to drop as low as -50° F.
Siberian cats originated in the Taiga of Siberia, a forested area with a subarctic climate. Their triple-layered coats helped them withstand temperatures that could fall to -65°F.
The Maine Coon became a recognized breed in the 1870s but was probably around for some time before this. There is much speculation about this breeds origins but lack of documentation means it is impossible to verify when Maine Coons developed and how.
The earliest records of Siberian cats date back to the year 1,000. It wasn’t until 1990 that the first Siberians arrived in the United States.
What is the difference between a Maine Coon and a Siberian Cat?
Head and muzzle
A Maine Coon has a square face and a long, broad muzzle whilst the Siberian’s face is rounder and its muzzle shorter.
Both Maine Coons and Siberians can have Lynx tips. On some cats, these can be very obvious and on others, they are barely visible.
A Maine Coon has large, pointed ears whereas a Siberian’s ears are medium-sized with rounded tips.
A Maine Coon’s eyes are large and almond-shaped. They are set at an oblique angle.
A Siberian’s eyes are large, wide-set and more rounded.
Both cats are strong and muscular.
The Maine Coon has a long, rectangular body and a tail that equals its length.
A Siberian cat has a rounder body and a medium-length tail.
A Maine Coon has large feet with tufty fur sprouting between each toe. This enables them to walk easily across snow without sinking and also protects their paw pads from the cold.
Siberian cats also have large paws but their toes don’t appear as tufty as those of a Maine Coon.
The Maine Coon is a marginally bigger cat, though the Siberian is by no means small.
Maine Coon males range between 13 and 18 lbs whilst females weigh between 8 and 13 lbs.
Siberian males weigh between 11-17 lbs and females between 8 and 12 lb.
Maine Coons and Siberians have long, rugged, uneven coats. Both develop neck ruffs, and on some cats, these are more prominent than on others.
The Maine Coon has a double coat consisting of a warm, downy undercoat and a top coat of guard hairs.
Siberians have a dense triple coat consisting of a thick, downy undercoat, a middle coat of awn hairs and a top coat of guard hairs.
On both cats, the guard hairs are oily and water-resistant.
Both cats come in a vast array of colors and patterns. The Siberian can also have a golden or sunshine coat which is unique to the breed.
Can a Maine Coon and Siberian mix
It is possible to breed Maine Coons and Siberians. Ensure both cats have been screened for genetic conditions to ensure healthy kittens.
Some Maine Coon and Siberian crossbreeds can look more like Maine Coons and some will appear more like Siberians. Of course, some kittens will be a perfect mix of both breeds.
It is perfectly possible for a Maine Coon and Siberian Cat to live happily together. The most successful relationships occur when both cats are introduced as kittens.
Introducing an adult cat to another adult or a kitten can be tricky. For lots of tips on introducing a Maine Coon and another cat, read Can Maine Coons Live with Other Cats.
Maine Coon vs Siberian Personality
Maine Coons prefer not to be alone so think carefully about your lifestyle. They thrive better with another cat or you around.
You’ve probably heard Maine Coons referred to as gentle giants because they are exactly that.
It is possible to keep a Maine Coon indoors if you enrich its environment and allow it space to expend energy.
Toys are a must because Maine Coons are ever-playful.
Siberian cats are sociable, gentle and affectionate. They love the company of people so make perfect pets.
They love outdoor life so you should consider thoroughly cat-proofing your outside space if at all possible. Otherwise, make sure you give a Siberian enough space to exert energy indoors.
Siberians have playful natures so be prepared to invest plenty of time amusing yours.
Entertaining Maine Coons and Siberians
Though they are not related, Maine Coons and Siberians are very similar to care for. Both have plenty of energy and love to play.
Outdoor life suits both cats as it provides so much enrichment and allows them to keep physically fit and healthy.
If you have to keep either of these cats indoors you can ensure they get the exercise they need as follows:
- Leave as many doors as possible open to allow room for them to run around
- Make sure they can climb safely. An ideal way to do this is by providing a climbing tree such as the Armarkat Cat Tree (follow the link to see reviews and the latest price on Amazon)
- Provide a variety of toys to prevent boredom setting in
- Give access to views from windows as cats love to view the outside world even if they can’t access it
Conclusion – Are Maine Coons and Siberians related?
Despite the similarities in their size and appearance, Maine Coons and Siberian cats are not related. It’s easy to understand why people might think they are related or have trouble telling one car from the other.
They are, however, very similar cats and either would make perfect pets, especially for families with children.