With their long coats and Lynx-tipped ears, Maine Coon and Siberian cats are so alike that it is difficult to tell them apart. Does this mean they are related breeds?
Maine Coons and Siberians are not closely related, as Siberians originated in Russia over 1000 years ago and Maine Coons are a 200-year-old native American breed. That said, all of today’s domestic cats are descendants of a 12,000-year-old Middle Eastern wild cat meaning Maine Coons and Siberians do have common ancestors.
What is the difference between a Maine Coon and a Siberian Cat?
Table of Maine Coon and Siberian cat features
|Muzzle||Broad and long||Narrow and short|
varying Lynx tips
small Lynx tips
|Feet||Large, well-tufted||Large, medium tufts|
|Size||Medium to large||Medium|
|Coat||Downy undercoat |
and guard hairs
|Downy undercoat |
awn hairs and
|Various, including a|
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 and 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.
How to quickly tell a Maine Coon from a Siberian cat
The ultimate way to tell if a cat is a Maine Coon or a Siberian is by examining its registration documents. These have a records of a cat’s breed and lineage.
Trying to establish if a cat is a Maine Coon or a Siberian can be attempted by comparing the cat to photos of each breed. But is very difficult to know a cat’s breed just by looking at it.
There are a multitude of long-haired cats, thorobred and mixed that the cat in question could be. If you are sure a cat is a Siberian or a Maine Coon then the muzzle shap and ear tufts might help you to determine which it is.
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. It is well-known that Maine Coons can happily live with other cats.
The Origins of Maine Coon and Siberian Cats
Maine Coons are native American cats that 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 around 50 years prior to this. There is much speculation about this breed’s 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 cats are Maine Coons related to?
It is thought Maine Coon are related to various breeds but all suggestions are theories that are impossible to prove.
Many believe they are descdendants of viking cats, some think they are related to Marie Antoinette’s Turkish Van cats and some say they are the result of cats from ships mating with native New England cats.
What cats are Siberians related to?
Siberian cats are descdendants of wild cats that evolved to survive in the forest areas of Siberia over 1000 years ago.
Like all cats, they found their way into people’s homes and hearts (probably in search of shelter and food) and developed into the popular dometicated breed we know and love today.
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 from 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 directly related. It’s easy to understand why people might think they are related or have trouble telling them apart.
They are similar in nature and either breed make perfect pets, especially for families with children.