Maine Coon Cats

I had mentioned in a post a while back that we own a Maine Coon Cat. Since a number of people find their way to OpTempo by looking for information and pictures about Maine Coon Cats I thought that I’d write another brief post on this amazing breed of cat.

First of all, here’s a picture of our cat:

He’s still quite a big boy, weighing in at about 22 pounds right now. Since we moved to our new house he’s getting more exercise now since we have stairs. Since he’s almost 5 years old now he’s probably reached his full size potential. Maine Coon Cats, unlike most other domestic breeds, grow slowly.

Maine Coon Cat Size

Here he is next to one of our other cats, a full sized 7 pound adult cat. He makes the other cat look like a kitten, doesn’t he. If you do a search of Maine Coon Cat images you’ll find other examples of their prodigious size.It is important to remember that this size comes into play in a number of ways.

Maine Coon Cat and Regular Cat on Couch

First, Maine Coons tend to be ground hunters. Yours probably won’t leap high into the air to go after a toy. However, they love to chase things on the floor so think about this when you buy toys for them.

Also, due to their weight, they’re more susceptible to injury from falls or dropping than ordinary house cats. It’s best to handle them more like a small to medium sized dog than the way you would handle a limber 6-8 pound regular adult cat.

Lastly, their size can cause them to develop joint problems and the like as they get older. This is something you should watch for as the cat gets to be about 9-10 years of age.

Maine Coon Cat Scratching

Of course, being a cat, Maine Coons love to scratch. The problem is that where a regular cat might rip a small hole, these large cats can gouge a huge hunk of material out of your furniture. Not only that, they can easily scratch up countertops and cabinets with their often clumsy leaps. It’s like having a lion cub around the house!

We try to keep our cat’s claws clipped back to alleviate this kind of problem. Fortunately, his  disposition is good, as is true of most Maine Coon Cats. We’ve also found that he loves those cardboard box scratchers laced with catnip. It’s always fun to watch him do a vigorous scratching session on the box and then mellow out to the catnip.

Maine Coon Cat Hygiene

Maine Coon Cat in a diaperOK, here’s a delicate subject. Yes, Maine Coon Cat poops are proportionally larger too. Even though they have a disposition that allows you to put a diaper on them, this doesn’t work. What it means that they require more litter box space than your average cat. This means that unless you run across a very, very, large one, covered little boxes are out of the question. Small to mid sized boxes don’t work well either since the cat will often accidentally miss his target. Get a big box that offers the cat plenty of room.

If your cat is shy, or if you want to build your own litterbox cover to hid the box, you can build a Maine Coon Cat sized frame with PVC pipe. You can then use whatever material you want as a cover. This is a good and inexpensive way to build a litterbox cover that fits you cat’s size. Of course, you could make it a full woodworking adventure if you wanted but I didn’t want to do that myself.

Also, Maine Coon Cats have thick fur from their heritage. And, yes, it’s thick around the rear end too. This means that often the cat will get excrement in their fur. No fun for you or the cat. Combat this problem by getting your cat a sanitary cut at the vet or groomers or learn how to do this yourself. This haircut removes hair from this area and keeps your cat, and whatever they come in contact with, cleaner and more sanitary.

OK, that’s all I’ve got to say for now about Maine Coon Cats. Feel free to leave your own comments about them.


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Comment by Living in Hawaii
2008-04-12 18:54:20

LOL … would you believe that your cat is bigger than my dog? :D

Keep havin FuN!

Comment by jfc
2008-04-13 08:45:36

Hi Todd,

Everybody who comes to visit us always says, “That’s a big cat!” :)

Comment by purrfectcatbehavior
2008-05-19 13:49:38

Hi great post and good blog, came via Splork of lost ball in high weeds fame ;-)

Love the cat and in my day job I am a cat vet with my partner interesting in the UK the average DSH (domestic short hair) is @ 6lbs so this is a monster cat. Would be like operating on a dog ;-) but they all seem to have great temperments and hence do not need much of our help professionally ;-)

Keep up the good posts especially the feline and IM ones


Comment by jfc
2008-05-19 14:00:09

Hi Paul,

Yes, he’s a big cat. Fortunately he’s been very healthy and only required regular vaccinations from the vet. He was already fixed when we got him from the animal rescue organization. He has a good temperament but can be stubborn, particularly when he’s taking up my foot space in bed. :)

Comment by Kitchen Remodeling
2009-01-24 11:29:18

That is one big cat.

I’ve heard that the Maine Coon cat has the most ‘dog like’ disposition of the cat family. Have you found this to be true?

Comment by An C
2009-02-05 00:44:36

I breed and show Maine Coons, and I very much enjoyed your blog. The male Maine Coon can be two to four times as big as the female - its an odd thing about the adults. The male takes about 4 years to reach full size, growing up and then out. Neuters gain some fat weight but studs are generally all muscle. An average female is 9 - 12 pounds with a number of females reaching 18 and even 20 pounds. I’ve owner three studs - my first was 18 pounds, one 15 and the one I have now is about 25 pounds. Some larger kittens don’t become huge and some smaller boys keep growing - so its better to judge by looking at the size of the parents than by the size of the kitten. A large boy out of a large sire is a good bet. In a decade of breeding, I have found the personalities to vary a great deal and I personally would NOT call most of my Maine Coons “laid back” Some of them have incredibly intense personalities that under certain circumstances reveal a strong “cattitude” The males can be powerful critters who are strong and athletic - generally not for the weak nor faint-hearted in my opinion. An interesting aspect of the breed is that they CAN be very functional for those who need pest control. I have a female who was a mighty packrat slayer in her younger days. I enjoyed the picture of the diapered coon. The most important thing that I like to tell people who are getting a kitten is to develop a working grooming relationship - the kitten should be used to being brushed and nail clipped.

Comment by jfc
2009-02-05 09:14:10

Hi An C,

Thanks for all that information!

Our cat, since he’s a rescue, was neutered when we got him. He is a bit pudgy at almost 23 pounds. He can cop an attitude at times, such as insisting that my pillow should be his at night, but he isn’t high strung like some our regular cats.

So far as mousing goes, he’s a totally clueless. I guess his mom didn’t give him any training. The smaller adult cat in the photo above was an accomplished mouser, having lived several years outdoors before we brought him inside.

Comment by Alice Kabota
2009-07-24 14:12:42

Where did you find a cat pan large entough for your Maine Cone, ours only likes to go outside. She is pretty long and weighs in at 20lbs. All the litter pans I look at look so small.
Yes out cat has cattiude,she has her routine and her humans are to follow it until she decides to change it. Very shy hides when other people are around, but wonderful wouldn’t trade her for any thing.

Comment by jfc
2009-07-24 14:21:57

Hi Alice,

We bought a jumbo cat pan at PetSmart that works well for him. It’s almost as big as a small kiddie swimming pool. We also have two large sized automatic litter boxes that he’ll use but he sometimes tips over.

Comment by Karen Cadwell
2010-05-11 06:49:39

Hi Paul; I appreciate all of the information you have posted regarding Maine Coon. I’m pretty sure that is what we have!! “Babe” is a whopping 23-25 lbs and is an unbelievable ground hunter. he is a calico (they can come in various breeds right?) he has a distinct M on his head. Is is normal for this breed to be extremely large??? I could send you a picture to verify this. This was an adopted cat after we lost ours 7 years ago. Our other cat was very large also. It’s hard to go from a great big fat cat to a little scrawny one; you know what I mean?? I think our other cat got into some antifreeze or something. Finally died of kidney failure. Our replacement cat is a prize!!! Litter box just barely does it; you’re right!!! My husband and I laugh when he goes in there cauz it’s like the swinging doors from the Old West Taverns!!! What did you say about accomidating larger cats?? maybe we should think about this soon. He’s out most of the summer hunting!!!! The mole population has diminished these past couple of years; Haha. Thanks for all the info. Feel free to drop me a line back. Thank you, Karen

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