The Maine Coon is a popular domestic cat. It originated in North America where its long, rugged coat protected it from the harsh snowy winters. As well as having amazing features, it is also noted for its sizeable proportions.
How big is a Maine Coon cat? A Maine Coon can be about as big as a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and they are certainly bigger than the average household cat. A healthy Maine Coon generally weighs between 8 and 18 pounds. They are rarely lighter than 8 pounds but some do exceed 18.
The average male Maine Coon is 15.5 lbs and female 10.5 lbs, but they can weigh as much as 30 lbs! A Maine Coon cat looks big compared to an average 8 lb cat but, not so big if compared to a Savannah cat. They are one of the largest domestic cats in the world today.
How Big Can Maine Coon Cats Get?
The length and height a Maine Coon cat grows to depend heavily on its inherited genetics, but its weight can be largely affected by factors such as whether it is an indoor or outdoor cat, how much it is fed and how much exercise it gets.
Though there are reports of a Maine Coon called Omar measuring 47 inches and a Maine Coon called Lewie measuring 48 inches, the current Guinness World Record holder is Ludo, who on October 6, 2015, was 46.5 inches long. On that date, he was only 3 years old and weighed 34 lbs.
He’s probably considerably larger now. I wonder if his owner thought to ask, “How big does a Maine Coon cat get?” before she took him home!
Can You Predict the Size a Maine Coon Cat Will Become?
There is no way to accurately predict the size a full-grown Maine Coon cat will be. To a certain degree, genetics play a role but, just as with humans, there is no guarantee that Maine Coon kittens will be the size of either of their parents.
Depending on dominant genes, a litter of kittens can all grow to different sizes, some smaller, some similar and some larger than either of their parents. What is quite likely is that you will end up with a larger than average cat.
Why do Maine Coons grow so large?
These cats are nicknamed ‘gentle giants’ and it’s no wonder. They are the largest (and most popular) breed of domestic cat and are well known for their gentle nature and temperament. Very little is known about their true lineage, so there is no way of really knowing why Maine Coon cats grow as large as they do.
What is known is that Maine Coons can be extremely large cats and there is a genetic link to their size. There are various beliefs about the Maine Coons lineage. Some people think they are part raccoon or part bobcat mixed with a domestic cat (which is actually genetically impossible). The truth is no one really knows the true origin of this beautiful giant breed.
The Maine Coon is the only native American cat. It could be descended from the Norwegian Skogkatt, which may have come over with the Vikings on their travels. The Norwegian Skogkatt has many physical traits in common with the Maine Coon so it is quite possible that the Maine Coon is one of its descendants.
A Maine Coons size means it is very well adapted to survive in harsh winter climates. Its large paws help it to walk on snow and long tufts of hair between its toes help to keep its feet warm. It has extremely furry ears with extra long tufts of fur growing on the inside and on the tips to keep them warm and protected. Its long, bushy tail can be curled around its face to provide extra protection against the cold.
At what age is a Maine Coon fully grown?
Maine Coons keep growing for longer than any other breed. Most breeds reach their full size at about 2 years of age but Maine Coons can keep growing until they are about 4 years old.
How much does a Maine Coon cat weigh? By comparison, the size of the male Maine Coon is usually larger than the female. The male Maine Coon is generally larger than the female. Typically, the average weight of a full-grown male Maine Coon is between 12 and 22 pounds, whilst the female averages between 8 and 13 pounds.
A male Maine Coon can reach a height of between 10 and 16 inches (from shoulders to the ground) and a length of 40 inches from nose to tail. The female is slightly shorter at about 10 to 14 inches from shoulders to the ground and she can reach the same length as the male. Of course, there will always be some Maine Coon cats that are smaller or larger than these averages.
Above-average Maine Coons can exceed 45 inches in length and weigh over 30 lbs. Some of this length can be made up of 16 inches of tail! Cats of this size are rare and often likely to be overweight.
Can diet affect a Maine Coons size?
Yes, what it eats can definitely affect the size of a Maine Coon but your primary concern should be feeding your Maine Coon correctly right from the start.
You should never try to increase your cat’s size by giving it too much food as this could result in your cat being heavy only because it is overweight. You don’t want an overweight Maine Coon as this is very likely to lead to poor health and shorten its lifespan.
Ideally, you should feed your Maine Coon twice a day. In my experience, Maine Coons are quite fussy eaters so make sure your cat really likes a particular food before buying it in bulk.
Basic dietary requirements
Just like any other cats, Maine Coons need certain elements in their diet, including:
- Fats and Fatty Acids
- Amino Acids
- Vitamins and Minerals
You should always buy foods specifically developed for cats as these created with the right balance of nutrition for good health. They also make it easier to manage portion control.
There are some foods formulated specifically for Maine Coon cats, but research seems to suggest that these don’t make a significant difference to a Maine Coon’s health. So it’s OK to buy any good quality cat food.
There has been much debate on cat food ingredients over the years. All cat food sold in shops should meet certain standards. When choosing food, consider your own thoughts on the matter, your budget, your cat’s preferences and seek advice from a vet.
Protein is the most important ingredient in a cat’s diet, especially for a large breed like the Maine Coon. Most vets agree that animal proteins such as meat, chicken, and fish are preferable to plant proteins. So, it is not a good idea to make your cat a vegetarian just because you are.
Where possible, you should choose food that includes real protein sources rather than those that contain “meal” or “by-products.” Many pet owners like to feed their pet a grain or gluten-free diet, believing that these ingredients are bad for a cat’s digestion. This is totally unnecessary if your pet doesn’t have a diagnosed grain or gluten allergy.
Maine Cooons can be fussy about flavors so you will need to experiment until you find their favorites. And of course, once you’ve established this, you can bet your life they’ll go off that particular variety the day you buy a month’s supply because it was on offer!
Wet versus dry food
Whether you feed your cat wet or dry food is also a matter of preference. Here are some thoughts:
- Dry foods are easier to prepare than wet foods and allow a cat to use its teeth. Some claim to be formulated to help keep a cat’s teeth clean.
- Wet foods have a higher moisture content than dry foods. This is important to maintain proper kidney function especially if your cat doesn’t drink a lot of water. It’s worth considering more wet foods for older cats.
- A mix of wet and dry food might be best to ensure the right dietary balance for your cat.
Food for each life stage
Just like us, Maine Coons require different nutrition at each stage of life. A kitten needs different food than a fully grown cat and a young adult cat’s dietary requirements differ from those of a senior cat. Most food brands treat cats of 7 years plus as seniors.
- You should feed your Maine Coon kitten a formula designed specifically for kittens. This will be carefully formulated to meet all of its dietary requirements.
- Because Maine Coon Cats reach maturity later than other breeds, you may want to keep your cat on kitten food longer. Most cats make the switch at around 4 to 5 months of age, but some vets suggest keeping Maine Coons on kitten food up until they are 9 months. You should discuss this with your vet if you aren’t sure when to make the change.
- Senior cats also have different needs. Many companies make food specially designed for older cats which you might consider, depending on your cat’s health. These are generally lower in energy to prevent your elderly cat from gaining weight in its lethargic later years.
Can its environment affect a Maine Coon’s growth?
Indoor cats will require less food per day as they generally don’t get as much exercise as outdoor cats. It can be difficult to tell if a Maine Coon is becoming overweight because of all that fur!
Many companies market food especially for indoor cats, but beware as these foods can contain fillers and lower-quality proteins. There’s plenty more information in Can a Maine Coon be an indoor cat (opens in a new window)
Outdoor cats are usually more active than indoor cats and therefore are able to eat more without gaining excess weight. Make sure your cat is getting the proper amount of food to maintain a healthy weight for its age and size.
Refer to the food package instructions or check with your vet how much you should be feeding your pet.
How large are Maine Coon cats? In truth, the size can vary wildly from one cat to the next. If you have a Maine Coon, you should be prepared for it to possibly grow into a very large cat. But the proportions it finally reaches will not bother you in the slightest because by the time it is fully grown, whatever its size you will be totally smitten with your loving loyal Maine Coon friend.
And if you are wondering whether to get one, here are the best reasons to own a Maine Coon.