How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon Mix?

According to the world’s largest cat registry, The International Cat Association (TICA), 58 standardized breeds are currently recognized. Many of the existing breeds are genetic mutations, crossbreeds, and crossed hybrids of other breeds.

Maine Coon cats are a type of American Longhair which have a very distinctive body style and are easy to identify if one knows the traits to look for. On the other hand, some of them are mixed breeds and look very similar to the true Maine Coon.

To know if your cat is a Maine Coon or not, you have to be able to identify the defining characteristics of the breed as outlined below.

Body Dimensions

The Maine Coon is one of the largest breeds of domestic cats, so its body size will be a good starting point to draw reference from.

A male usually weighs between 13 and 18 pounds while a female will weigh from 8 to 12 pounds. Adults can reach up to 10 inches in height ranging all the way to 16 inches.

Lengthwise, Maine Coons can reach up to 48 inches from nose to tail. The breed has a large, muscular frame, broad chest, and long torso.

Their body is rectangular in shape. A Maine Coon tabby mix or a Maine Coon shorthair mix would have a slightly smaller frame and a shorter torso.

Therefore, one of the most typical signs of a mixed coon would be slightly smaller body dimensions.

Ears and Head

A purebred Maine Coon has large ears, not too pointy – set more on the top of its head rather than the sides. The tips and insides of its heavily furred ears are commonly seen with extra-long tufts of hair, which serve to keep the cat’s ears warm in the cold Maine winter.

Its head is a little bit longer than it is wide compared to a mixed-breed Maine Coon. A purebred would also have a straight nose, whereas other longhair Maine Coon mix cats would display a tell-tale flat nose line.

Maine Coons are also said to have the eyes of a wild predator, as they seem to be more squinty – giving an air of cunning and connivance, although, this observation is probably based off of pure speculation.

shadow of blur maine coon cat sunbathing on floor


The prominent feature of a Maine Coon is its long, soft, and silky coat of hair. Its coat is uneven and has two layers – a silky, self-maintaining undercoat and longer guard hairs.

The hair on its head and shoulders is considerably shorter than the rest of the body and longer on the stomach and flank.

Of significant prominence is a ruff of fur around the neck, similar in appearance to a lion’s mane, a feature that will be seen as full and fluffy in purebred Maine Coons, and somewhat wispy or thinned out in mixed-breeds.


You can easily tell a purebred Maine Coon by its long, bushy, and voluminous tail which can reach up to 14 inches in length. It’s so furry that it looks like a raccoon’s tail – making it just that much closer in appearance to its namesake.

It should be very full – another indication of a mixed Maine Coon is if the tail seems to have lost some of its fluff or isn’t quite as bushy as it should be. In some instances, the tail might even feature short hairs.

If you observe this phenomenon in your cat, chances are high that it’s a mixed-breed and probably has DNA from other long-haired cats.

beautiful silver maine coon cat in a bright room

Other Variances

Maine Coons come in a lot of different colors and patterns. The most popular ones are brown-tabby and tiger-striped.

But there are also chocolates, reds, and pretty much every other color that a cat can possibly be. Common solid colors include white, black, blue, and cream.

Since there are so many different varieties, relying on the color or pattern will not allow you to clearly determine whether the cat is a pure Maine Coon or has mixed ancestry.

Maine Coons are also well-known for being polydactyl. In case the word is foreign to you, polydactyl cats are born with extra toes – the result of an autosomal dominant Pd gene.

While this trait is not unique to Maine Coons, it was thought of at one point that around 40% of the cat population in Maine carried the polydactyl gene.

Personality-wise, Maine Coons are loyal, cautious, and gentle but at the same time independent, dignified, and playful. They possess above-average intelligence which makes them easy to train.

They’re known as “gentle giants”, and seem to have a fascination with water, which is very strange, as most felines do not like water.


Jo Singer is a former breeder of pedigreed cats, including Siamese, Russian Blues, Burmese and Oriental Shorthairs.

10 thoughts on “How to Tell If Your Cat Is a Maine Coon Mix?”

  1. My mix has a long body long tail but is a calico/whatever. She’s Gray, with Orange and some White. Here tail is very long an magnificent and she loves to show it off. BUT, what made me wonder is her mannerisms. She talks like no cat I have ever seen or heard. She only Meows when something’s OFF. I noticed she talks like a Maine, and even BETTER. She acts like a dog, sniffing, digging, etc. And has the GREATEST personality and facial expressions I’ve ever seen. She can talk with her FACE/ EYES…and there are other things…anyway, I know she is part Coon because of a neighbors cat being one and the female he helped impregnate…Our girl was born feral

    • Maine Coon cats can be of any color. If you google “Main Coon cats,” you’ll see that some are orange tabbies, some are all black or all white, and everything in between. Brown tabby is considered a traditional color for Maine Coons and many Maine Coons are tabby and have a prominent tabby “M” on the forehead. Purebred MCs often, but not always, have “lynx tips” on their ears. They are large cats (the largest domestic breed), very friendly, intelligent, with a personality that is described as “dog-like.” They grow slowly. Males will reach their full size between ages 3 and 5 years and they can still act a bit kittenish until they’re grown. Many purebred Maine Coons chirp more than they meow. All Maine Coons and most mixes have tufts of fur in their ears that usually extend outside of the ears, Their eyes are wide-set, large, and slant up at the outer edges. They have very long whiskers and eyebrows. Males, especially, have puffy whisker pads, a bit like a lion’s. (The eyes, whisker pads, forehead, and profile distinguish them from Norwegian Forest Cats, from which they might be descended). They have one or two short, thick, soft undercoat(s) and a long, silky outer coat of fur that is not thick (not like a Persian cat) and a ruff around their neck and often “pantaloons” – long fur along the upper back part of the back legs. Both the ruff and the pantaloons are less obvious when they shed their winter coats. The Main Coon tail is impressive – quite long and very fluffy and they often carry it upright. Their legs are sturdy and wide-set, not long for their size. They have a muscular build. Their paws tend to be large (some have extra toes), and they have tufts of fur between their toes and/or around their paw pads. Some MCs like to play in water and even in snow.

      I have a brown tabby Maine Coon male who I assume is not a purebred since I adopted him from a shelter. He has all the traits except the optional ear tufts and he doesn’t chirp. His healthy adult weight is about 15 lbs, which is at the low end for a purebred male Maine Coon. He adores his people and his “brother” cat and is very affectionate with all of us. He’s also very opinionated and tells us loudly when he needs some attention or wants food. At age eight, he can still be quite playful, which is another trait of the Maine Coon breed.

  2. I think my kitten has some Maine Coon blood. I raised her by bottle-feeding after she was brought to me by a friend. Mom was feral, and hadn’t shown up for several days.

    My “Gracie” has large ears with Tufts and lots of quite long hair in her ears. She is a ginger, but she has a large white ruff and a full, fluffy tail. Her coat has the long hair with the undercoat and longer guard hairs that are common in Maine Coons. And her eyes……they are copper/gold, and yes, she has that wild look from time to time!

    Gracie is about four months old now. It will be interesting to watch her grow up!

  3. I adopted a mix Maine Coone and what an experience! She’s loud purring and vocal.
    I have one cat that you can’t hear her purr unless your touching her from something she had when she was little but other than that she is fine and a sweet girl. And a boy cat that has extra toes and huge and weighs a healthy 20 pounds and super sweet. Dislocated shoulder from fighting other cats that can’t be fixed but he’s fine and gets alone fine. I walk Maggie, that’s our new baby on a leash outside because I still think she is too little to let loose outside alone yet and she’s fine with it. Er favorite spot is in my lap. And she is my shadow. Lol

  4. I adopted a mix Maine Coone and what an experience! She’s loud purring and vocal.
    I have one cat that you can’t hear her purr unless your touching her from something she had when she was little but other than that she is fine and a sweet girl. And a boy cat that has extra toes and huge and weighs a healthy 20 pounds and super sweet. Dislocated shoulder from fighting other cats that can’t be fixed but he’s fine and gets alone fine. I walk Maggie, that’s our new baby on a leash outside because I still think she is too little to let loose outside alone yet and she’s fine with it. Er favorite spot is in my lap. And she is my shadow. Lol

  5. I took in this kitten back in July 2019. A friend’s daughter could not keep him and they knew I would not say no. He had never been like your topical house cat even as a very small kitten. He is long hair black and white and had a tail just as or longer then his big fat body. It’s now February 2020 so 7 months since I have had him and he has went from a couple lbs to 13lbs and still growing. He’s a pig all the time and loves loves loves people. He’s very wide open and into every and anything. He will drag the water bowl around the kitchen and loves bath tubs and showers. I have had him sit in the shower with me. He will knock over any drink you set down and loves soda. He sits with the dog at the table and begs and eats just about anything. He does not believe that you have personal space and torchers every other cat or dog in the house. He is not the most graceful cat and he sounds like his meow and purr is broken. I have had cats in my life but I have never had one like him. His bone structure is just big has hell and he is constantly looking to get into something or attacking something. His name is Sid and and he knows it. He’s very intelligent a little to intelligent. It’s like he wants to talk to you. He’s like a cat border collie. But I love him very much and everyone that meets him still ask about him. He plays like a wild man and has his favorite toy that he drags around the house and it usually has my bra stuck on it. He loves the TV and since I started letting him play those cat games on the iPad or my phone he in love with them and is constantly laying on top of them if he sees one laying around. And he watches you use the bathroom and will try to balance his fat ass on the back of the toilet to get the best veiw. He’s a great amount of fun but also can be very big pain in the but. But I wouldn’t trade him for anything.

  6. Recently I’ve had a visitor at my doorstep. A beautiful torbie main coon. I’m sure a mix as it is a stray and It does seem a bit small. But it may just be young . It’s come inside and met the other cats and seems to like it. But always returns to the door to leave. But here’s where it gets good. It’s a male. I couldn’t believe it so I had to triple check. It’s face ears fur and tail all give it away as being a main coon. It’s colors are black chocolate and relish tone. It’s legs are clearly striped. However the rest of its body is more of a patchy pattern. I hope to give him a forever home. He is so gentle and loving.

  7. I adopted one from the local shelter a little under a year ago. He’s currently 10 months old. I grew up with a mix, but I’m 90% sure that my little man is full. He’s already almost as big as my old mix! After reading through this page, I’m even more sure now. How did I find one in a shelter? I have no idea. Maybe an unwanted gift. Either way, I feel so lucky to have him. His favorite game is “tag”, followed closely by “catch” & “arm” wrestling. Like most, he’s amazing, but is also a pain in the butt. Example: He greets me at the door and wants up, so he can lick and chew on my face while he hooks one of those massive paws around my neck. He shows most of his love with his teeth, but bite inhibition training was a success and now he kinda just chews. He doesn’t use his clawws to play, but might hook one if he wants to grab me and pull me in. Looking forward to the next 10+ years with Figaro, a.k.a. Ro, a.k.a. Mr. Big Fluff

  8. So, I have an Orange and his mom looks like a long hair Siamese. Don’t remember the breed actually. His brother has always been long and slender and crazy. Mine however has always been very lovable, super purry, and fat and fluffy. His tail one day decided to puff! He now has a long, super fluffy, (looks like we blew it dry), tail. Has the “M” between his ears, & little, thick mittens for feet. Just wondering if without doing a dna test; if you too think he (Finn), is mixed Maine Coon. I’d send a pic,,but don’t know to where. Thanks.

    • Look on some of the websites that show Maine Coons and you can see which MC traits your cat has. I think that mine is a mix (he’s from a shelter), but he ticks most of the boxes on the description of Maine Coon traits (both physical and temperament). He’s a total love with his people and our other cat. Sometimes, he climbs up on my pillow and gives me literal hugs (with his paws wrapped around my neck) while he nuzzles his cheek against mine. When I checked out web sites that show and describe Maine Coons (and one that shows the differences between Norwegian Forest Cats and Maine Coons), I was sure that my guy is at least part Maine coon. The large, wide-set eyes (and the upward slant of the eyes), puffy whisker pads (especially in males – giving some of them a “lion” look), and the very long, very fluffy tail, and neck ruff all tell me that our guy is either a Maine Coon or an MC mix. My cat doesn’t have linx tips on his ears, but even some purebred Main Coons don’t have them, although they are necessary for show cats. I think that all tabby cats have the M on their forehead, so I’m not sure if that’s really a breed trait. Our brown tabby MC mix does have a very distinct M. We have an orange tabby short hair (no special breed) cat and he has a less distinct M on his forehead.


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