Maine Coon Traits:
Top Breed Characteristics

by: / Author, Mainer, Maine Coon Mama!

Let's get to know the unique Maine Coon traits! They do certain quirky things, in a certain way, and with such flair.

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What exactly makes the this breed of cat stand out in appearance? And, what sets apart the personality of a Maine Coon cat? Here are the Maine Coon traits that, when put together, really set them apart from the crowd:

Unique Physical Maine Coon Traits:

Big Kitties

Let's start with the obvious! The Maine Coon cat breed is famous for it's large size. It's almost always the first thing people notice.

Male Maine Coons can sometimes be more than twice the size of an average cat. While it's true that a lot of this is fur, a Maine Coon is simply a big, muscular cat.

They aren't overweight though! Their body type is long and healthy. Simply big kitties!

Luxurious Coats

That thick waterproof coat is designed to withstand the harsh winters here in New England. The Maine Coon breed, as the official state cat of Maine, has historical ties to this area.

ginger maine coon cat

That thick waterproof coat is designed to withstand the harsh winters here in New England. The Maine Coon breed, as the official state cat of Maine, has historical ties to this area.

Many people surmise that they came here as ship cats during the time of Marie Antoinette and the French Revolution.

Although their history is a mystery, we do know that their distinctive physical traits are the result of adapting to the climate in the state of Maine.

This is what is meant when you hear them referred to as a "natural breed." The shaggy coat repels water, insulates the body in cold weather, and regulates their body temperature in warmer months.

Long hair doesn't have to mean extensive grooming though! Usually a weekly brushing is plenty.

long fluffy maine coon tail

Bushy Tail 

Naturally, long-haired cats tend to have fluffy tails! These guys and gals boast a fabulous feather duster-like tail. It's magnificent.

Extra Toes

Many of the first Coonies were polydactyl cats, and some of them still are today. When those large paws have extra toes, it's quite a sight. 

"Special Details"

These kitties are also known for having long tufts of fur coming out from between their toes, and especially for their glorious ear tufts.

These tufts are one of the most famous purebred Maine Coon traits. It was actually the first physical trait that really jumped out at me when I met my kittens for the first time! 

Maine Coon Personality Traits:

They Are Vocal!

silver maine coon cat mid-meowCaleb has something to say

Their voice is one of the most famous Maine Coon traits! It's a major aspect of their interactive nature.

First there is the trill. When she's resting and you touch her, she might raise her head and give you a little trill.

Or perhaps he rounds the corner into the room and greets you with a trill.

The trill is a sweet, happy combination of a chirp and meow. You know it when you hear it.

And boy do these cats talk! Ask them about their day, and they will tell you! If the food dish is a little low, if they want to greet you or go in a certain room, they will come get you and tell you all about it.

red maine coon cat meowingBrutus, feeling chatty

Every morning our boy leads us down the stairs, stopping to make sure we are following, telling us all the while about his food and water, and just how much he missed us all night.

Sometimes we even say he's yelling at us!

On the other hand, many Maines have a small meow that doesn't quite match their big body, some have a silent meow, and some don't talk at all!

As they age, you may notice a change in their meow. It may get deeper, more "croaky" or even take on a demanding (yet endearing) tone in senior Coonies. After all, they've been around long enough to know what's what, and tell you about it!

Showing That Belly

brown maine coon cat laying belly upIsaac, showing off his luscious belly

Oh yes, they love to show off that big, fluffy belly! And not just show it, but many Coonies particularly enjoy a belly-rub too.

Unlike most felines, who instinctually protect their underside, these large cats really like being touched everywhere, even the tummy.

They are so confident, and secure. Such exhibitionists! Definitely one of their most endearing dog-like traits.

Doorman Greetings

Does your boy or girl greet you every time you arrive home? If he hears you drive up, and jumps down from a nice cat-nap, is right there when you turn the doorknob, I can think of no better display of devotion!

Many humans don't give as enthusiastic a homecoming! Even if she isn't the meet-at-the-door type, she is always happy to see you.

Playing In The Water

classic brown maine coon cat looking into a bath faucetConner wants the faucet on!

Only a few cat breeds actually like water, and this is one of them! Does your Maine Coon love running water from a fountain or faucet?

Maybe even get in the tub or shower, and not mind getting wet? This is such a neat and unusual feline characteristic.

It can even become a challenging one, if your Coonie takes to scooping, dumping or playing in his or her water dish!

Maine Coon Traits are Very Loving and Affectionate

fluffy cat lounging on computer keyboardShayna is such good company

These are definitely the lovers of the cat world. It's hard to put into words just how affectionate a Maine Coon is.

Nearly all Maine Coons are either a lap cat or a snuggle-up-close cat. They want to be touched, talked to, and they love that physical connection.

You can always expect purring, deep gazes, trusting expressions of devotion.

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The Happy Cat

silver maine coon lounging in cat tree belly upZephyr, just chillin'

What's a happy cat? They purr at the drop of a hat (or should I say, barely a touch). No grumpy-cat syndrome here.

No matter where they are, whether it's sunbathing in a window, grooming a fellow pet, getting in some lap time, or snoring the day away, they have one thing in common - Life is good!

So Social and Friendly

beautiful pure black maine coon kitten sitting on a microwaveHera is right in the middle of the action

You are never without a companion! Wherever you are, so is he. This is definitely one of the Maine Coon traits. They are not usually the independent type. Rather, a Coonie is a buddy, sidekick, pal, companion.

Are you always tripping over your furry pal? Racing down the stairs together? Do everything as a team?

Does he have to follow you into the bathroom, and sit on your keypad? Yes that's a Maine Coon for you!

A friendly cat who is right in the middle of everything, always ready with a helping hand! For many households, they are the ultimate family pets.

Gentle Giants

brown maine coon sleeping on couchOzzy is so relaxed

There's a reason they are well-known as Gentle Giants! This is such a general description, but it's really true.

Truly the dogs of the cat world, there is not a mean bone in their body.

These big beauties do not display territorial or aggressive behavior.

For families with children or other pets, this gentle quality is so important! It really is at the heart of the Maine temperament.

Come When Called

ginger and white maine coon caught mid run, with all feet off the floorSassy is on her way!

Have you ever noticed that you can call your Maine Coon and he will (usually) come from wherever in the house he was? Even sleeping!

It really is amazing, considering even dogs require some form of formal training to reliably come when called.

But a Maine Coon does it because he loves to please you, interact with you, and socialize with you.

He might even be talking and meowing as he trots to you. I think this simple action is the perfect symbol of the loving bond between a beloved Coonie and his or her family, and definitely one of my favorite Maine Coon traits.

All of these personality and physical characteristics come together to create a beautiful, intelligent and well-rounded family member.

It's no wonder Maine Coon kittens and cats are so desirable! Once you get to know them, you can't imagine life without them. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

What is the personality of a Maine Coon?

These felines are known for their friendly personality! They adore human company. Kittens are confident and tenacious and adults are generally easy-going, laid-back pets.

How do you tell if a cat is a Maine Coon?

Since this is a cat breed, like Persian or Siamese, and not a style, the only way to know for sure is to have papers from a breeder. Maine Coon mixes are unusual.

Breeders and cat owners are diligent about spaying and neutering kittens who are not intended for breeding.

With that said, there are some rare circumstances (such as the owner passing away or family moving) when even a purebred cat has been re-homed and it's pedigree has been lost. 

If you suspect you have a mixed Maine Coon, you can have DNA testing done or you can learn about the breed and decide for yourself how to label your fluffy beauty!

A part Maine Coon or lookalike may have similar traits. In fact, my departed beloved domestic medium haired kitty had almost every one! He will always be my "honorary Coonie."

Do Maine Coon cats have health problems?

Overall, this is a healthy breed! There are a few genetically inherited conditions to look out for, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, spinal muscular atrophy, and hip dysplasia.

The best way to avoid encountering these is to work with an ethical, reputable breeder who conducts genetic testing on their breeding cats to help ensure they don't carry the genetic markers for these health issues.

Let's review the Maine Coon Traits!

Physical Characteristics:

  • Large size
  • Long, fluffy coats
  • Bushy feather-duster-like tails
  • ​Ear tufts

Personality and Temperament

  • Gentle, friendly
  • Affectionate
  • Good with children and other pets
  • Like to play with (and in) water
  • ​Vocal 

The Maine Coon traits make them wonderful family pets due to their gentle and loving nature, playfulness, intelligence, adaptability, and striking appearance.

They will undoubtedly bring happiness and warmth to any household lucky enough to have them as part of their family.

Top of Maine Coon Traits

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