Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair?


If you have a cat with all the features of a Maine Coon except for the long coat you might wonder if a Maine Coon can ever have short hair. The answer to this is simple.

Purebred adult Maine Coons don’t have short hair. However, young Maine Coons can have shorter hair which grows longer as they mature. A cat that appears to be a short-haired Maine Coon could be a Maine Coon mix or just a large cat with similar features minus the long coat.

A Maine Coon has a rugged, uneven coat and can have short hair in certain areas of its body. Medium to long hair is one of the traits of this large, loveable breed.

Can a Maine Coon have short hair? Young Classic Tabby Maine Coon

Are all Maine Coons Long-haired?

The Maine Coon can be classed as a medium to long-haired cat and even cats from the same litter can have different lengths of coat.

Maine Coons are not naturally short-haired cats. If you ever see a short-haired purebred Maine Coon it will most likely have been shaved or had its fur trimmed.

You will notice some Maine Coons with considerably longer fur than others. Bear in mind that some of these cats don’t develop their full coat until they are 2 to 4 years old.

If you have an adult cat and are convinced it is a short-haired Maine Coon it could have some Maine Coon in its genes.

The Maine Coon Coat

Appearance

A Maine Coon has a distinctive long-haired, coat which consists of long glossy, slightly coarse guard hairs and medium-length silky-soft insulating hairs.

It’s the shaggy unevenness of the Maine Coon’s coat that really sets it apart from other long-haired breeds.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? Long-haired Maine Coon
Harry

On the back of its ears, the top of its head, around its wrists and ankles, you will find a Maine Coon’s shortest fur.

Travel down its head and you will notice its fur becomes medium length and the further you go towards its tail the longer its fur becomes.

A Maine Coon’s longest fur can be found around its neck, on its tummy, on the backs of its hind legs, and along the length of its tail.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? White Maine Coon

Maine Coons have long tufts of fur between their toes, long hair within their ears and long tufts sprouting from their ear tips.

These features along with fluffy tails and neck ruffs are characteristics of most long-haired cats.

You may also notice a definite M pattern on their foreheads which can also be seen on many tabby-patterned cats and not just Maine Coons.

The Purpose of the Maine Coon Coat

A Maine Coon has a long coat for a good reason. The breed developed in the cold climate of North America.

These days Maine Coons don’t have to fend for themselves in the snow but their long coats serve the following purposes:

Temperature Control

A Maine Coon’s long coat controls its body temperature, keeping it stable whatever the weather.

Some people find it hard to believe that all that fur actually helps to keep their cat cool in the summer and that there is no need to trim or shave it.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? Cat in a hat

Protection From The Sun

A Maine Coon’s coat provides it with plenty of protection from the sun’s harmful rays.

Its ears can still be quite vulnerable where the fur is thinner so make sure your cat doesn’t snooze in direct sunlight without specially-formulated sun protection.

Protection From Dehydration

The thick Maine Coon coat helps keep moisture in and so prevents their skin from becoming dehydrated.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? Two kittens

Protection From Other Cats

Your Maine Coon’s fur helps to protect its skin from other cats’ claws and teeth.

Even two friendly cats playing together use their teeth and claws to an extent. In a real catfight that fur coat provides well-needed protection.

Collecting Sensory Data

A Maine Coon’s skin and coat combine to make up its largest sensory organ. It feels the slightest touch and can sense heat, cold, and wetness.

Mood Indicator

When a cat feels frightened or threatened it can stand its hackles up to look larger and aggressive.

Manufacturing Essential Nutrients

A cat’s coat actually manufactures essential nutrients such as vitamin D.

Coat Maintenance

Grooming

Many cats seem able to groom themselves quite well, but this is not the case with Maine Coons. They can’t keep their insulating layer knot-free just by licking themselves.

When they find a knotted section, they do have a good attempt at pulling it out but in the end, these can get out of hand and begin to join up, tugging painfully at their skin as they do so.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? Cat grooming

If you invest in a good grooming brush and groom your Maine Coon a couple of times a week, you will keep its coat looking beautiful and knot-free.

Removing as much loose hair as possible lowers your cat’s chance of ingesting fur and developing hairballs. Long haired Maine Coons suffer from this problem a lot more than cats with shorter hair.

Let your grooming regime slip and in time you will notice knots and mats developing which are extremely difficult and painful to remove.

Often this results in a trip to a vet for a sedated groom and the necessity to clip away vast amounts of fur. Then it will appear to be a Maine Coon with short hair until its coat recovers!

Shaving

Some owners have their Maine Coons shaved. The only good reason to do this is to remove matted fur that can’t be brushed. Otherwise, there is no need to shave a Maine Coon.

Often, shaving a cat requires sedation which poses an unnecessary risk to its health. Often cats don’t like the sensation of suddenly having their hair removed and it can change their whole behavior.

Believe it or not, cats are aware of their appearance and know when they don’t look the norm anymore. And of course, all the purposes a cat’s coat serves as mentioned above are removed.

Clipping

Clipping the odd knot out is fine. Tidying around a cat’s bottom can be helpful for obvious reasons. But clipping a Maine Coons hair short all over just isn’t necessary.

Turning your cat into a short-haired Maine Coon will not reduce the amount it sheds. What you will do is stops its coat from functioning as nature intended.

Unless you have severe problems grooming a Maine Coon I would never recommend clipping its hair short.

Bathing

Can a Maine Coon have short hair? Cat in the shower
Wet cat in the bath. Funny cat. Maine Coon

Some people believe Maine Coons should be bathed regularly but this is totally unnecessary. We have four Maine Coons and they detest being submerged in water so have never baths.

They all have beautiful, clean coats. Contrary to popular belief, most Maine Coons don’t like being submerged in water. So unless you find you have a cat that loves a bath, don’t bother subjecting yours to one.

Bathing a cat strips away natural oils in its coat and can leave its skin in a dry, flaky state. Eventually, a cat’s coat can look in poor condition because of overbathing.

If your cat gets really filthy for whatever reason and a bath is the only option, then, of course, do it.

Otherwise, invest in some pet-safe grooming wipes for the odd clean-up job. Pogi’s Grooming Wipes are hypoallergenic and earth-friendly.

What a Maine Coon’s Coat Reveals

Poor Nutrition

If a Maine Coon cat’s nutrition is poor it’s coat will often show signs of this. You may notice it looks a little patchy or straggly and has lost its shine.

If you’re convinced your cat’s diet is OK a trip to the vets is a good idea but quite often ensuring your cat has the right amount of protein and healthy oils (omega-3) in its diet can fix this problem.

Greasy and Matted

One of the side effects of thyroid problems is a greasy matted coat. There will be other symptoms such as changes in appetite, activity levels, and weight.

Other health conditions such as bad teeth, diabetes, and bladder infections can give the coats this appearance. Get your Maine Coon a full health check to determine the underlying cause.

Overshedding

Maine Coons tend to shed throughout the year with a noticeable increase at the beginning of spring and fall. If a Maine Coon has a big shedding session outside of these time frames there could be a medical cause. Again, consult with your vet for their advice.

Overgrooming

Maine Coons are clean cats and do like to groom. If you notice yours suddenly increase the amount it grooms, it might be stressed, especially if it starts to pull its fur out.

Stress in cats can be triggered for numerous reasons which can be difficult to determine.

Bringing home a baby, moving house, suddenly being left alone more, and introducing a new pet into the home can all contribute to cat stress. Your vet will know the best course of action to take.

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? Red and White Maine Coons on a wall

Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair? – Conclusion

Maine Coons can have small areas of short hair but overall, have luxurious, long shaggy coats. If your Maine Coon has a short coat it can’t be a purebred Maine Coon.

Never deliberately shave or clip a Maine Coon’s coat shorter unless there is a medical reason. As you can see above a cat’s coat serves so many purposes and can tell you so much about its state of health.

Further Reading

If your Maine Coon (or any cat for that matter) seems to be suffering from hair loss, Meowing Catz has written a very helpful article, which includes home remedies for you to try. You can read it here.

If you have a cat you believe to be a short hair Maine Coon you may have a Maine Coon mix. We can help you to decide if your cat is a Maine Coon or Maine Coon mix.

Jane Pettitt

Hi. I'm Jane Pettitt and I co-own petsKB with my husband, Matt. I've always been crazy about animals and have shared my whole life with cats, We currently live with 4 gorgeous Maine Coons and have 25 years of experience with this breed. There's not much we can't tell you about them. We've also owned dogs, rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, fish, mice, and tortoises. All of our articles draw on the extensive pet knowledge base we've built up throughout our lives as pet lovers.

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