Cat Coats, Manes, Fur & Whiskers

This section is all about coats, manes, fur, whiskers, colors and more. Head to feet (or tail), it's probably been asked here!

Here are our archived questions and answers related to coats, manes, fur, whiskers, colors and more. Just scroll down to read more about:

  • "Coat Colors! How Long Will They Keep Changing!???"
  • "Polydactylism"
  • "Buddy's Breaking Whiskers"
  • "Mane Shedding?"
  • "Tail Carriage of Maine Coons? / Scented Fur?"
  • "The Length Of Time To Develop Coon Tail Etc."
  • "Are female red tabbies unusual?"
  • "What the Hey? Single Black Whisker on Red Cat"
  • "Is a Maine Coon a Longhair or a Medium-Hair?"
  • "Cats Paws"
  • "What other longhaired breeds have those lynx tips?"
  • "Can a sudden change in fur consistancy signal a problem?"
  • "Difference between blue and silver?"
  • "Pure bred neutered male hasn't gotten his fur coat yet"
  • "Coat Changing Colors"
  • "My 6 Week Old Maine Coon Doesn't Have A Mane?"
  • "Does Color Have Anything To Do With Size?"
  • "Rough and Ragged Tongue"
  • "I was recently adopted by a stray Maine Coon"
  • "We Have A True Maine Coon, But My Friend Has One As Well"

Coat Colors! How Long Will They Keep Changing!???


Leo 6 months

Leo Sophie

Do foods or temperatures effect this???

Help! I have had the most unusual things occur! My Shaded Silver Male Maine Coon Leo arrived a very soft-shade of steel grey over all..but now-he is Lighter on the stomach-neck-tail base!

On top this his hair on top has actually gotten ticked to a deep almost Blue-so dark its BLACK by comparison only on the top 1/2 or so! Now he almost has the appearance of being a tabby at times! Not that He isn't magnificent -But Will His coat keep on changing and will this be for life-and what other factors could be effecting this?!

Also I am in the process of adopting a almost solid white kitten we have named Sophie- with tips of red blush -which I am told is a Cameo! Will this kitty now only 4 weeks-change also and what determines this!? Thanks so much!



Yes, a kitten's coat will change as they grow. When they are little, they are so soft and fluffy!

As they age, their outer layers come in. Also known as the guard hairs, these are a little darker and sleeker than the softer awn hairs and down hairs underneath. They give a cat more weather protection for the outdoors, a natural evolutionary development.

Once Leo and Sophie reach adulthood, their coat color should stay the same. Some cats can even get white hairs as they reach an older age, so changes can still occur.

My Leo is the cat on the top left of this page. He's a Red Silver Cameo Classic Tabby. You can see Leo's page to see lots of pictures of him from a tiny kitten to adulthood, and really see how he changed. Since reaching adulthood he's been the same, though.

Thanks for sharing Leo and Sophie, they are adorable!

All The Best,


by: Kim Kranker
(Fort Worth, Texas)

About Polydactylism: In this site's description of Maine Coon traits, history, etc., you mentioned certain Maine Coons were "double-pawed."

I'd never heard of this before, although I'm now on my second Maine Coon & have tried to read up on them as much as possible -- in articles & books from all sources. What is/was this "double-pawed" feature? I can't picture it in my mind . . . Can you describe in more detail, as I'm very curious?!

Thx much!!!

Kim Kranker


Hi Kim!
Well, 'double-pawed' is a slang term used here in Maine for polydactylism. A polydactyl cat is one who has extra toes. Here in Maine, and I suspect elsewhere, it's considered a very sweet, cute and endearing characteristic.

Interestingly, polydactylism is more common in the genes pools of cats on the East Coast of the US & in Soutwest England. Makes sense, since Maine Coons originated here in Maine!

A polydactyl cat can have one extra toe on one foot, or more. Back 'in the day' when Maine Coon cats were developing, many of them were polydactyl. But, when they became recognized by the CFA as show cats, they had to abide by the rule of no polydactyls! So, the dominant genes for this popular trait were effectively 'weeded out' by breeders.

A few dedicated breeders still carry on the tradition of polydactylism, though, and breed polydactyl Maine Coon kittens.

The history of polydactylism in Maine Coon Cats and the genetics involved is really quite interesting, and there is enough to fill a whole page, so that's what we did! You can see it here: Polydactyl Cat. There was a time when it was under heated debate as to whether to let the Maine Coon cat breed keep their polydactyl features for the show ring!

Thanks for asking about this interesting subject!

Buddy's Breaking Whiskers

by: Judy -UK
(South England)

Why are Buddy's right hand side (always) whiskers break off? A friend suggested s vitamin deficiency.

OK, so Buddy's diet is Royal Canin Kitten kibble, Royal Canin kitten pouches and cooked human chicken and occasionally a tiny amount of liver or sardines(2oz) once every 5-6 weeks. His left hand side whiskers are intact.

What do you think Carrie?

Hi Judy,
It's funny you should ask this as this time! About 2 weeks ago Leo showed up with his left side whiskers all about 1 inch long, except for two! I was very concerned. Here is what I learned:

Brittle whiskers could be a diet deficiency, or just genetic. It could also be due to stress. Or a fungus. Or, the cat could have brushed up against something hot or sharp (I don't think that's the case with Leo, but you never know :)

The most common reason is another cat has groomed the 'whiskerless' one too vigorously. That's the one I'm leaning toward, since it's never happened before.

As for Buddy, he's your only cat so I'm thinking that they are brittle. I would ask your vet about it at Buddy's next checkup.

As for the Royal Canin, I know it is very popular among Maine Coon cat owners because it's marketed as a breed-specific diet. I'm in the process of writing an article about it. That's all I'll say for now, so stay tuned!

Anyone else have tips or ideas to share with Judy when it comes to breaking whiskers?

All The Best,


Broken whiskers
by: Helen

I had a cat that broke out only one side of her whiskers after she was stung by fire ants on that side of her face. She groomed and groomed and groomed and broke them off.

I caught my DSH chewing on my Coon Cat's whiskers once. He didn't seem to notice what was going on.

I think if it was a nutritional problem you would notice brittle hair in the coat as well. By the way, do you happen to have children in the house who might have given your cat a beard trimming? I've had that happen too.

Bud's Whiskers
by: Buddy's Mum

Our sons are grown up; are grandson visit (10) but is generally supervised when playing with Bud.

I've asked around locally and the consensus is I may have been feeding him too much meat. He geta Ropyal Canin kibble and pouches. I didn'td realise that there could be too much meat.

thanks for your input.

Mane Shedding?



We've recently noticed that our Maine Coon almost looks like her mane isn't as full as it was before. Is it because she's losing it because of the springtime?



It could be due to springtime shedding.

Also, as she gets older her fur can seem a bit longer in general, giving her mane a longer, smoother, less short & pronounced look.

Hope this helps,

All The Best,


Gorgeous kitty you have there. Just in case, if the losing hair/possible shedding starts to mat, I have become enamored with the purple handled Furminator I got for my Buster. It is well tolerated and takes the mats right out and he doesnt have to be shaved. I use it on Missy who does not mat and it takes out the old hair just fine and I still have flesh on my hand.

by: Terry

Wow, I know spring is here, because my boy is shedding like a madman-- furminator every day, plus vacuuming up the lovely little fur-clumps that cover my black slacks!! Yes, the fur does change based on season, as well as grooming -- I occassionally can get my scissors near the wild hair for a so-called haircut, but it grows in uneven! Ozzy loves to be shaved in the summer, so that will happen soon. Hair is flying at my house!

Mane Shedding
by: Shelley

I used to have a Maine Coon that looked just like yours. Every summer his mane would shed and shorten, and every winter it would grow in full and long again. One time he visited my mother's house, which was in a colder climate, and his mane got fuller than I've ever seen it before. So it's all seasonal. Not to worry. Your cat is gorgeous!

by: Dawn

My cat, Blizzard, is not a pure bred Maine Coon, but definetely is part Maine Coon. I was searching on line to see if they loose their mane every year. I noticed it last year at this time and it grew back a few months later. He is loosing it again. I find this odd because it is almost winter here and it seems to grow back in the spring. He is an indoor cat so I don't know if that has anything to do with it.

Tail Carriage of Maine Coons? / Scented Fur?

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

When my kitties were little and we had formal mealtimes, I would give the food call (FOOD-FOOD-FOOD-FOOD-FOOD-FOO-ood!), they would all come running, the two shorthairs with their tails straight behind them and the long-haired "Miniature Main Coon" with her tail bolt upright. No vet was ever able to explain why.

Is this a characteristic of long-haired cats in general? Do Maine Coons do this? Is there a structural reason for it, as for the tail carriage of Arabian horses?

The second thing I THINK I figured out the reason for. Foofly's (Fufluns) fur often smelled sweet, but not the other cats'. Then I realized she must be rubbing against pots of lavender and rose geranium out on the patio and the scent stuck to her fur.

Hi Jessy,

As for the sweet smelling fur, you are probably right about the lavender. I don't think there is anything unusual about the scent of a Maine Coon!

I have had another question a while back about Maine Coon kittens shaking their tails. It's similar, but not quite the same question.

I know my Alice has her tail sticking straight up a lot, though Leo doesn't. And, I haven't heard about it being a breed-specific trait. I think it's just one of those things that some cats do!

All The Best,

The Length Of Time For A Maine Coon To Totally Develop Coon Tail Etc.

by: Sher
boo boo abby road
Boo ~ Boo Abby Road

I believe I have a Maine coon cat. She is Boo~Boo Abby Road in the picture section. She is very Fluffy and her tail is very fluffy..but not like a duster yet.

How long does it take to grown the tail and body weight?

She is only 6 lbs at this stage. She was under weight when we recused her. What is your thoughts?


Hi Sher,

A Maine Coon will have a huge tail at a pretty young age. My two had the full tail well before their first birthday, actually by around 5 months.

It's hard to say. Is she 6 lbs and full grown? I know she still needs to put on a bit more weight, but she looks full grown to me in the picture. If so, she could be a mix. That would explain the tail.

Or is she 6 lbs and still a kitten, say 4-8 months, give or take? If that's the case, you can expect the tail to keep getting fuller. But it would be soon.

All the best with Boo~Boo Abby Road, she sounds like a real love-bug :) Rescue cats are the best. They really appreciate their family :)


Are female red tabbies unusual?

We are awaiting the arrival of our pure bred ginger tabby kitten from the breeder when it is 13 weeks old (now 9 weeks).

The breeder has just told us that the vet has confirmed that he is in fact a she!

She is currently as big as the males in the litter, very fluffy and very playful! Mum is calico and dad is cream. Is this unusual?


It is unusual! Cat genetics are acutally quite interesting, and not a simple matter. A breeder with years of experience would probably give the best answer.

We have some info about this on our page all about the Red Maine Coon Cat

Another source, the famous book That Yankee Cat: The Maine Coon has what must be the most detailed explanation of Maine Coon colors, genes, and female Reds that I've ever read. I definitely recommend it!

Best wishes for you and your special little girl! It will be so much fun for you :) Please send us a picture for the photo album when you get her!



Non-purebred colours
I don't know about Maine Coons. We have two and love them very much but not interested in breeding. In the general non-purebred cat population, about 20% of red/orange or red/orange with white cats are female. It's interesting how colour goes along with other characteristics in non-purebred cats. All calicos and torties are female and white cats, especially those with vari-coloured eyes, are often deaf.

What the Hey? Single Black Whisker on Red Cat

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

Foofly--that's for Fufluns, Etruscan god of wine, because she spent her first night in our house behind the wine rack--is our "miniature Maine Coon."

She is a red kitty with white ear furnishings and white whiskers. except for one set of black whiskers, by which I mean a single black whisker on each side of her muzzle. She also has a few black markings at the bottom of her mouth on the inside. Otherwise she's solid red shading to buff, with tabby markings on head and legs. Her tail is so plumy I can't tell for sure whether there are any stripes there or not.

So, is this common? Does it mean she's a very peculiar variant on tortie/torbie/calico? Or does it mean nothing whatsoever?

Sorry, no picture. I'm a complete and total technotarda, according to a friend. That means "technologically challenged."

Hi Jessy,

Sometimes it can be hard to tell the difference between a tortie, torbie, or calico. It sounds to me like she is somewhere in there, though :-)

As for whether it is common, uncommon, or peculiar to have such coloring, I can't say! It is true, though, that red cats are more often boys.

She sounds lovely, nonetheless,
All The Best,

Is a Maine Coon a Longhair or a Medium-Hair?

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

You'll see them described as both. Also, one book claims they shed most of their coat in warm weather and other sources simply say they MAY shed down to a much shorter length, ruff and tail excepted. Some of these sources seem to think Persians are the only true longhairs.

Pet rescues and vets seem to slap the label DMH or DLH on a found cat with no apparent rationale that I can see.

So, what do you think? Is a Maine Coon cat a longhair or medium-hair, or can it be either? Do the terms "longhair" or "medium-hair" have any real meaning?

Hi Jessy,

Good questions. I think that, as in most things in life, it's subjective. There are Maine Coon cats with huge, fluffy, magnificent coats. There are purebred Maine Coon cats with less fluff in the middle, and a more 'pronounced' mane & tail.

As for shedding, that again depends on the author's experience with Maine Coon cats and on their perspective. A lot does depend on the living conditions of the cat.

The winter coat coming in is a physical response to the change in weather, as is the shedding in the spring.

If an owner has a Maine Coon cat that they let outdoors, whether in an enclosed area or not, they will see these seasonal changes.

In warmer climates or when cats spend the winter indoors as mine do, there is little change in the coat from season to season.

Also each cat can vary. My Leo has the classic fluffy coat. And Alice's fur is thinner, very fine & silky, not prone to matting. (It's a very beautiful coat :) They are from the same litter!

The Persian does have more fur. It is a 'true' longhaired cat, and it's fur is all one length, flowing gracefully.

The Maine Coon, on the other hand, used to be called 'the Shag' because of it's shaggy coat. It should be medium length on the body, longer around the mane (neck), tail, and under the belly.

The technical term for this? Medium, or shaggy. But the term longhaired is often be used, especially by folks who don't know that there is a meduim length in cats coats. And this is fine in everyday language, too. Compared to shorthaired cats, the Maine Coon cat coat is pretty long!


Light and shedding
by: Helen

The length of daylight vs darkness influences shedding and length of hair. We used to put our show horses under strong lights (to imitate the longest day of summer) so they would have short, shiny show coats for the FtWorth and Houston Fat Stock Shows held in January and February. The down side of this is that when you take away the lights your horse will begin to hair up and get shaggy, even if it is in the heat of July.

I have also overheard exhibitors at major cat shows talking about using light to influence hair growth.

There are only two major divisions at cat shows, shorthair and longhair. The different breeds compete to get their "best", then the best longhairs, or shorthairs, compete for Champion Longhair or Shorthair, then judges choose Best of Show between the shorthair and longhair champions. It takes multiple judges and a lot of time to get through all the cats.

Cats Paws

Do Coon cats always have dark pads on their feet?


The pads of the feet and the tip of the nose are referred to as "leather". And just like in cats of other breeds the leather can be different from cat to cat.

A dark tabby or black Maine Coon Cat will have black leather, and a light colored cat such as a White or Red Silver will have very light leather, like a light rose color. Medium colored cats might have brick red leather.

The breed standard dictates that each cat will have complimentary leather according to it's coat color.

They are all beauties!

Hope this helps,


The cat in question is a dark tabby. He has just moved to FLA. Seymor has just had a 4 month old puppy moved into HIS house. I am not there but the stories so far are great. I will witness this first hand in 2 weeks. Thanks for the info.

by: Maine Coon Cat Nation

Sounds Great!
Good luck with him!

What other longhaired breeds have those lynx tips?

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

Just adopted a little red mackerel tabby with white longhaired kitten, and he has the ear furnishings, toe tufts, and the adorable lynx tips, but does not otherwise suggest Maine Coon.

Of purebred longhaired cats, which breeds besides the Maine Coon have the lynx tips?

Hi Jessy,

Congratulations on your new addition! He sounds scrumptious! Well, as you know my area of interest is the Maine Coon. But, there are a couple more that come to mind.

A Norwegian Forest Cat will have the tufts, and looks very, very similar to a Maine Coon. Also, a Siberian Cat may have them. They may be as prominent as a Maine Coon, or less, depending on the cat.

There may be others, that I haven't thought of, too. It's possible that your boy could have any of these mixed in his lineage.

Take Care, and share some pictures when you get a chance!


Red Mackerel Coons
by: Toni Bondy

Hi there,

What about your new kitten doesn't suggest Maine Coon? So far he sounds like he could have quite a bit of Coon in him.

I have a classic red mackerel with white and he's all Maine Coon, but doesn't have the typical longer ruff around his neck.

I'm waiting to see if it develops as he ages (he's only 8 months old) or if he'll be a shorter ruffed Coon. They come in both varieties and actually, most of the red macks I've met have had the shorter ruff.

Is it his personality? Each Maine Coon is different. I have had one who hated to play in water, and one who dashes into the kitchen sink and turns on the faucet by himself for playtime.

One had a very quiet trill, no meow at all, and the other is extremely loud and vocal. He also chirps, but not often and usually only when he's tired and wants to cuddle.

My first Maine Coon was a lap cat, my second is a "beside me on the couch" cat.

One played football with a ball of wadded up tin foil, the other wants nothing to do with footballs. LOL

So, yours might have a lot of Maine Coon (or Norwegian) in him, or just a little bit.

Reply to Toni
by: Jessy

Well, he's not very big--2 lbs 3 oz at 9 weeks--though his paws are on the big side, I think. And he meows nonstop, even while he's purring.

Not small!
by: Toni Bondy

Here's some info from a well known Maine Coon breeder:

"Average weight of an 8 week old kitten is 2 pounds.

A kitten a few ounces one way or the other just cannot be judged to become the big one with any kind of accuracy.

I have had a huge kitten end up not large at all and a small kitten end up huge!"

Give yours plenty of good quality food and wait it out. Since they grow for up to 3 years you just might find that yours is well over the typical 9-11 pound female Maine Coon size once she's done growing.

Big paws are a dead giveaway that she's still got a lot of growing to do too. =)

He, Not She
by: Jessy

And he expects me to run the water in the sink for him, which he much prefers to water in a bowl. He climbs up my jeans to get there, but leaps down on his own.

He crosses his paws while relaxing.

Can a sudden change in fur consistancy signal a problem

by: Jared Farrington
(Bozeman, MT)
brown tabby cat
Brown Tabby

I came home today to find her a little lethargic and un-characteristically Whiny. Her coat feels dryer than usual and almost coarse. Should I be worried?

Hi Jared,
This one is too hard for me to answer. It sounds like a health question for your vet. It's never good for a kitty to be lethargic. This can signal a number of health concerns.

If her fur is coarse & dry, I would wonder about dehydration. To test for dehydration check the gums with your finger. They should be wet/slippery, not tacky. Also, pinch up some of her skin on her neck (gently) It should pop back down. If dehydrated it will stay up or fall back down slowly.

But really, it sounds like you already are worried. Many vets have an after hours call center, & many towns have late-night emergency care. You can call them with her symptoms to get an idea if she needs to be seen.

Or try an online ask a vet service. This is a great way to get an answer with health concerns.

Good Luck,

Difference between blue and silver?

by: Jane
(Staffordshire, UK)


We have 3 Maine Coon kittens who are now 6 months old. I was just digging out their paperwork to confirm to the breeder that we've had them neutered when I noticed the 2 girls colours were described as blue tortie and white, yet when we bought them they were described as silver tortie and white.

Not that it matters at all - but I just wondered if there's a difference?!

Many thanks

Hi Jane,

This is a great, intriguing question! In short, the answer is that there is a difference between blue and silver, albeit a very subtle one.

Blue cats can be solid or tabbies. Silver are tabbies. Either can have (or not have) white.

Here are some excerpts from the official Maine Coon standard:

Description of colors:

Solid Colors: Blue is described as one level shade of blue, lighter shades preferred; free from shading, markings or ticking and sound to the roots. Nose leather and paw pads blue. Eyes shades of green, gold or amber.

There is no Solid Silver. Blue seems to be a darker color than silver.

Here are the Tabby descriptions, which help us to see the difference:

Blue Tabby: The ground color should be pale bluish ivory. Markings are very deep blue, providing good contrast to the lighter ground color. Warm fawn patina over the whole. Nose leather and paw pads rose. Eyes shades of green, gold or amber. White lip/chin trim allowed.

Silver Tabby: The ground color should be pale, pure silver. Markings dense black. Rims of eyes, nose and lips outlined in black. Nose leather brick red. Paw pads black. Eyes shades of green, bold or amber. White lip/chin trim allowed.

Now, to make it even more confusing, there is a color called Blue Silver Tabby! It is described as: The ground color should be pure, clear silver. Markings are deep blue, affording good contrast to the light ground color. Eyes shades of green, gold or amber. White lip/chin trim allowed. Nose leather and paw pads to conform to requirements for coat colors.

Now, since your kittens are torties, that brings in a different subject. Under tortoiseshell colors, only blue and tortoiseshell are listed (the latter being black, red and/or cream) I do not see silver tortie as an option. It could be that they are one and the same, referred to interchangeably.

There is a clear distinction (well, not so clear!) between the tabbies of blue, silver, or both. But there is no seeming description of a Silver Tortie in the standard! Just blue tortie. Interesting!

There is, however, a Shaded Silver Tortie: White undercoat with black, red and/or cream tipping clearly visible on both body and extremities. It's hard to say if this is their color, as it may have red and/or cream.

Perhaps a breeder will happen by this page and share their expertise? It is truly an expert question!

All The Best,



V confusing!
Thanks Carrie, it's certainly confusing! I'm so glad our boy Sunshine is a red tabby!! Jane

by: Jane

Well I now have their registration papers and they are offically:

Blue tortie tabby and white!

Pure bred neutered male hasn't gotten his fur coat yet

My 2.5 year old pure bred Maine Coon his strong muscular and very anxious.

He hasn't gotten his long fur yet even though his tail is full and his ears have extremely long tips. Bottom line is he looks like an 'in tact' male ready to mate. His head is huge, but not extra fur......we had him checked and he's definitely neutered.

His brother his extremely tall, big fur and very mellow .....they have developed differently for sure.

Question: is it possible that between 3-5 years of age, my Maine Coon will still puff out with big
fur and continue to grow larger?


It is possible that he will fill out more. He's at that middle age where he might or might not be done growing.

I've seen many photos of Maine Coons, both male and female, that do have a slightly shorter coat, still having the huge tail. It could be a genetic trait, present more from some breeders than others. He sounds very handsome nonetheless!

We'd love to post a picture sometime!
All The Best,


Give it time...
by: PPCT

Male Coonies don't often reach their full maturity until they are 3 - 5 years old. Give him a little time.

Coat Changing Colors

by: Nicole

I have a black Maine Coon that looks almost exactly like the one on your home page. But lately, his fur has been changing colors.

He's developed a white patch on his stomach and a gray smoke ring in his mane. Is this normal? Will his coat keep changing?

Hi Nicole,

Good question. When we first got our kittens, our breeder told us Alice would "probably" be a Black Smoke. I asked, well if not, then what? And he said "just plain black!"

It takes some time for the coat to come in. This is the first reason your cats coat might be changing. If he's still young, he could be developing the "Smoke" part of Black Smoke.

When you part his fur where it's short (like on his legs or head) is it silver near the roots?

The second reason is if he is just getting older. Cats, especially longhaired cats, can get some "whites" just like dogs and people. It shows up especially in black cats.

All The Best,


sounds gorgeous
by: Mic

--Sure sounds like you have a black smoke. Our Mishi is a black smoke maine coon, and it appears as if she is wearing a grey scarf. When she moves you can see the whitish, silver undercoat and the whitish rings on her tail. She is silky beautiful ...and oh so friendly. Mishi is the second coon to steal my heart.

Enjoy your coon!

Coat changing colors
by: KC

That is my black Maine Coon posted on the main page. Over the years, he slowly developed a slight brownish color in his fur. Also, as a cat ages, you will begin to see the "Tabby Gene" kicking in and your cat may even develop a slightly discingtive set of dark stripes.

Cat Turning Colors
by: Nicole

It just seemed so sudden. He's only 6 and his belly is almost completely white from root to ends and the gray in his main is through the entire area as well. Even as a baby he had an occasional white hair in his coat but now...he's looking like a chameleon. :)

Coat Color Change
by: Trish

I have a 14 yr old silver tabby Maine Coon who always had a black "stripe" of fur following along the full length of her spine. Over the past year the fur along her sides has darkened to a more of a charcoal gray and the distinct stripe is no longer noticeable. I can only guess that it is due to her age - wish she could stay with me forever. Absolutely wonderful cat. :)

My 6 Week Old Maine Coon Doesn't Have A Mane?

by: Jodi
(South Africa)

I bought my kitten from an unregistered breeder who says my baby is pure bred but he doesn't have a mane. How can I make sure he is pedigreed?


Hi Jodi,

Well, an unregistered breeder is just that: unregistered, as are the kittens. This means they do not have a pedigree to look at. It's a physical piece of paper, and the only proof that a cat is pure-bred.

Since this person is not registered, there is no way to tell what they know or don't know about the breed. It could be:

  • Someone who had access to 2 registered, purebred Maine Coon cats and bred them, without the consent of their breeder(s). This would have gone against their breeder contract, as these cats were not necessarily a good choice for furthering the breed.

  • Someone who mistakenly thought that since they had identified 2 cats who, in their opinion, displayed all the physical and personality characteristics of Maine Coons. Then they jumped to the conclusion that if they looked/acted like Maines, then they are Maines. This is fairly common. But, it's one thing to identify your own cat this way, and quite another to start breeding & selling the offspring, claiming that they are purebred.

I'm thinking it is the latter. Every Maine Coon cat has a mane. If this person thinks they have bred some Maine Coons who don't have manes, I think they could likely be domestic medium haired cats.

Did this person choose the mum & dad from a range of well- bred stock, ensuring that they were furthering the breed as far as looks and temperament? This is what a breeder does.

Did they screen the parents for possible health issues, so as not to pass down a genetically inherited (& possibly fatal) disease?

For your ultimate question, you will never know if your new kitten is a purebred. And he definitely is not pedigreed. But I'm sure he is adorable, and you probably love him already. So enjoy your new baby:) If he is going to develop a mane, it will be over time as his coat fills in. But just remember, mane doesn't "make" a Maine.

One last thought, 6 weeks is too young to separate a kitten from it's mum. All breeders keep their kittens until 12-14 weeks of age. This ensures that they are able to develop proper bonding, making them secure & well-adjusted. They also have time to solidify valuable cat behaviors from their mum, such as litter box behavior and interactions with other pets or people. You'll want to keep this in mind as you watch him develop.

All The Best,

Does Color Have Anything To Do With Size?

Someone told us that Silver Tabby Maine Coon cats do not get as large as the Brown Classic Tabbies.

We have just purchased a classic blue tabby male and wonder if this applies to blues as well as silver.

This is not something I have ever heard! I wonder who the someone is that had this information? It sounds like it wasn't your breeder. Your breeder is the only one to listen to when it comes to the size of your kitten, or very, very breed-specific questions like this.

It's possible that there is some truth in it (as I said, this is a whole new idea to me) but I think another possibility is that it's a bit of an urban myth. This idea seems to be one that the Brown Tabby is the "true Maine Coon," size and all.

I can tell you this: The largest Maine Coon cat on record is a gorgeous Silver Tabby named Stewie. There is a picture of Stewie on our big Maine Coon cat page. And before Stewie, the record was held for years by Leo, a Classic Red Tabby. Neither was brown!

I feel confident in saying that no matter what color your new kitten is, he has an equally good chance of being bigger (or smaller) than average.

Better clues would be genetics (are his parents big?) and bone structure. These are things only your breeder will know. Also, some breeders have commented that the littlest of kittens sometimes grow up to be the biggest! So it's a game of wait and see.

Your boy, simply because he's a Maine Coon, will be a bigger cat than you or your house guests are used to seeing. He'll be a conversation starter. And Classic Blue Tabby is a stunning color! Please share his picture with us when he comes home!

All The Best,


by: Helen

Personally I have seen large males of every color at cat shows. There is a great site with lots of information about the genetics of color at

You can get some idea of eventual size by looking at your kitten's mom and dad. My red classic MCC's sire was a huge brown/white classic. His mom was a bigger than average tortie. I had seen her sire when one year old. He was the tallest, longest bodied red/white classic I'd ever seen. I was not surprised when Bezzer Buzzer grew into a handsome 20 pound cat.

There were four kittens in Bezzer's litter. He was a red classic, one was a blue classic, and two were blue mackeral striped. None of them had white. Go figure!!!!

Reply on does color have anything to do with size.
by: Linda

I appreciate the comments about the size of our new classic blue tabby. Another breeder had given that comment about silver maine coons and it really confused me. My breeder had never heard that either. J. Paul Kitty is 20 days old and just adorable. He is a poly on all four feet. His parents are both large cats. I will send pics when we get him. Thanks for the comments from yourself and Helen. Love your blog.

Rough and Ragged Tongue

by: Jessy
(Orlando, FL)

I noticed that Foofly has, along with longer whiskers, longer ear furnishings, longer and plushier tail, a distinctly rougher tongue than my short-haired cats. Is that typical of long-haired cats, whether Maine Coon or otherwise?

Hi Jessy,

I don't know! My Maine Coons have rough tounges, but not more so than other cats I've had. I've never read anywhere or heard anywhere of this being a breed trait. Or long-haired trait.

Who knows, perhaps others will add to this page with thoughts of their own?



Jessy -Rough tongue
by: Judy

Hi Jessy,
My BSH Spats had a rough tongue, so does our Maine Coon Buddy. The tongue has little hooks which point backwards it helps them do all sorts of things. which they need.

Go to and it's very informative.
Don't worry, it's natural :-)

I was recently adopted by a stray Maine Coon

by: jrdeney
(Tacoma WA USA)

I was recently adopted by a stray Maine Coon kitten in my apartment complex, I tried to find who the owner was but I guess this cat was just abandoned.

"Sophie" seems to be between 6 to 8 months old and I think since she was going "apartment to apartment" someone let her in and didn't like the long hair and cut/trimmed/whacked off her growing mane and lower bottom hair & chest wonder she took residency on my porch - she was freezing to death. She gradually won my heart and is now in my home trying to make friends with our Manx.

My question is... How long is it going to take for the new fur to grow in? If I remember my cat books, cat hair doesn't grow like human hair -- they shed - right?? and new hair grow in? She is the sweetest thing... she looks just like the photos of Maine Coon kittens & older ones... the ears tips & ear hair, hairy paws and hairy tail and long starving body.

She is now in good hands, so hopefully soon more girth & fur forthcoming.


Wow, it sounds like Sophie has been through enough in her young age! It's nice to hear she's finally home :)

Though they do shed, the shaved fur will fill in.
I don't know the exact 'speed of growth.' But it is quite slow, maybe around 6 months to grow a couple of inches.

Best Wishes to you and Sophie (and your Manx cat :)

We Have A True Maine Coon, But My Friend Has One As Well

by: Mary
(Ramsey, MN, USA)
red tabby cat

So the question is do all Maine Coons have a mane around their neck?

I sent a BAD picture. He has the big fluffy tail, hair between toes, M on forehead, and hair comes out like a bobcat, and he is ssoooo soft.


Hi Mary,

Yes, they all have the mane! I'm not sure how old your boy is, but I would look for a lot more fur, too. The cat on the right in the Maine Coon Cat Pictures square is Muska. She's a good example of a Maine Coon and how long the mane is. The tips of fur on top of the ears will be there, too.

The cat below in the Cat Store square is younger, and his mane is shorter. And at the top of this page are our two Maine Coons on the right and left corners. Those pictures were taken when they were about 6 months old, and their fur is quite a bit longer now.

Thanks for sharing your boy,


Breed Papers?
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

Hi Mary, Your cat is very beautiful, but it's doubtful that it's a true Maine Coon unless you have breeder's papers verifying the lineage. The same applies to your friend's cat.

The "M" on the forehead denotes the cat as being a tabby, not necessarily a MCC. It is only "urban legend" that only MCC display that symbol. Also, as Carrie points out, the photos within the website are examples of what MCC looks like.

Yours may be a mix of MCC and tabby and that's perfectly fine. He's a handsome boy and looks pretty contented in your photo...he doesn't care whether he's Maine Coon or not.

Top of Cat Coat/Fur Q & A's

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