Maine Coon Cats vs Regular Cats: What Are the Differences?

Written by Kyle Glatz
Updated: February 28, 2022
Image Credit iStock.com/Frank Anschuetz
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The Maine Coon cat breed is well-known to cat lovers for its unique looks and distinctive personality. Of course, the Maine Coon cat shares many similarities with regular cats since they are both members of the Felinae family. Nevertheless, if you were to look at a Maine Coon cat and compare it with a typical tabby, you would immediately know they are distinct from one another. We’re going to show you the differences between the Maine Coon cat vs regular cat, so you know how to spot one and why people adore them!

Comparing Maine Coon Cats and Regular Cats

Maine Coon  vs Regular Cat
Maine Coons have a number of key differences that include size, lifespan, coat, and sociability.

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Maine CoonRegular Cats
Lifespan9-13 years12-18 years
SizeWeight: 8lbs-25lbs
Height: 16in
Length 19in-40in including tail
Weight: 7lbs-10lbs
Height: 9in-10in
Length 30in including tail
Fur coat– Long-haired coat with silky, fine hair.
– Fur especially long on chest and neck areas
– Short or long fur
– Even their longest fur is usually not as long as a Maine Coon  
Body Shape– Large, rectangular body shape– Can range from compact, cobby bodies to large bodies.
Ears– Large ears with tufts of fur around the edges– Varying sizes with tufts of fur on the interior.
Sociability– Friendlier and more social than most other cats– Many cat breeds range in sociability from friendly to loners.

The 6 Key Differences Between Maine Coon Cats and Regular Cats

Tallest cats - Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon cats are larger and heavier than regular cats.

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The main differences between Maine Coon cats and regular cats are their size and body shape. Although Maine Coon Cats are still members of the same family, this breed is known for being a lot larger than the average cat. A regular cat typically weighs about 10lbs, but a Maine Coon cat can weigh up to 25lbs! The biggest Maine Coon cat reportedly weighs 34lbs, about as much as a cinderblock.

Most typical pet cats have a compact body shape that is called cobby, but they can also have a somewhat elongated body type that is called foreign. The Maine Coon cat has a large, rectangular body shape that comes from its unique musculature.

The difference in size and body shape are just two of the most obvious differences between these animals, but several others exist including their ears and social nature. We’re going to explore these aspects in greater depth below.

Maine Coon vs Regular Cats: Lifespan

The Maine Coon is a large cat breed, and it tends to suffer from some unique health problems that aren’t found in regular cats. For example, these cats are the most likely breed to suffer from hip dysplasia, and they have a high rate of heart problems as well. These problems contribute to a shorter lifespan.

A Maine Coon’s average lifespan is between 9 and 13 years, but a regular car will live between 12 and 18 years. Of course, there are always outliers like Rubble, the oldest Maine Coon cat that was 31 years old!

Maine Coon vs Regular Cats: Size

Maine Coons are larger than regular cats, standing 16 inches tall, growing 40 inches long, and weighing up to 25lbs. Regular cats weigh about 10lbs, measure 10 inches tall, and have a length of about 30 inches including their tail.

Maine Coons are much more muscular and athletic than a typical cat. With their large size, it’s no small wonder that many people jokingly refer to them as small dogs rather than large cats.  

Maine Coon vs Regular Cats: Fur Coat

Largest Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon cats have thick, silky fur and manes.

Maine Coons’ fur is longer and thicker than a regular cat. When it receives proper care, a Maine Coon’s fur can reach several inches in length, and the fur will be smooth and silky. Regular cat breeds are known for being short-haired most of the time. Even long-haired regular cats rarely have hair as long as a Maine Coon’s.

Maine Coon cats also have manes, slightly longer fur around the neck. This fur is not as pronounced as a lion’s mane, but it will be noticeable. Of course, these are absent on regular cats, but the presence of a mane helps determine if a cat is a Maine Coon or simply another large breed.

Maine Coon vs Regular Cats: Body Shape

Siamese Cats - Classic Siamese Cat
Regular cats can have cobby or foreign body shapes, but a Maine Coon is rectangular in shape.

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Maine Coon bodies are rectangular, they have strong muscles relative to other cats and that contributes to their large frame. Other cats can grow about as large as a Maine Coon, but they would still not have the same body shape. Regular cat breeds can take many shapes and come in many different sizes.

However, their body shapes are rarely, if ever, similar to that of a Maine Coon. Some cats, like the Norwegian Forest Cat, might have a rectangular body shape as well, but they have other distinct differences from the Maine Coon.

Maine Coon vs Regular Cat: Ears

Another element of the Maine Coon that separates them from other cats is their ears. Maine Coons’ ears are noteworthy because they have significant tufts of fur that grow from the inner area of their ears. Their ears are already larger than most cats, and they can be even more distinct because they possess tips of fur on the tops of their ears, making them look like a lynx.  

Few regular cat breeds have such large ears along with hair tufts and lynx tips, so the Maine Coon’s ears are another identifying feature of the breed.

Maine Coon vs Regular Cats: Sociability

Maine Coon close-up
Maine Coons are known for being very playful and sociable.

Maine Coons are often called the “dogs of the cat world” because of their size and sociable nature. They are highly intelligent animals, and they will be loving and playful to those to whom they are close. Maine Coons are friendlier than regular cats and they are also much less skittish around others they don’t know.

Another interesting facet of the Maine Coon cat is their calls. Unlike regular cats that communicate with humans by primarily meowing, Maine Coons tend to use chirps, trills, meows, and purring to communicate with humans. They’re vocal cats, but they are not vocal in the way that most people are used to hearing.

Maine Coons and regular cats have many differences, but that doesn’t mean it’s always easy to tell them apart. Some people believe they have a Maine Coon only to find out it is a similar breed instead. Still, if your cat has most of the features that we’ve discussed here, then the chances are it is at least part Maine Coon. These loveable animals make for amazing pets!

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About the Author

I am a freelancer specializing in SEO content writing. I write in a variety of niches such as video games, animals, and managed service providers. I've been writing full-time since 2018, so I've been doing remote work before it was cool. When I'm not working, I can be found reading, trying to catch up on my tv show backlog, playing video games, and starting stories that I'll never finish.

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