There is no feeling quite like running your fingers through a Maine coon’s fluff and tufts. These gentle giants have a coat which exists for petting. If you have a young Maine coon, you may notice its fur is not as plush as you’d imagine. Do not despair. Like most good things in life, it takes time.
When will my Maine coon get fluffy? Maine coon kittens begin to develop a fluffy coat around eight weeks old. Your Maine coon’s fluffiness will gradually continue to develop until your cat is four years old. Ear tufts will become prominent only after a couple of months. A Maine coon’s neck ruff can be noticed starting around nine months.
The answer above only scratches the surface of what a Maine coon’s fluff is all about. Continue reading to obtain a deeper understanding of a Maine coon’s fur and what goes into maintaining it.
Understanding a Maine coon’s coat
A Maine coon’s fur is unique. In fact, the cat’s uncommon fluff has earned the breed its own urban legend. The tale states that Maine coons and raccoons are ancestors. Though it is a genetic impossibility, you can understand how the story came to be.
Like raccoons, Maine coons have large, busy tails often decorated with rings. Side by side, the tail similarities are striking.
There are other animals, like arctic foxes and squirrels, that also share fluffy tails. What do Maine coons have in common with all these other animals? Their coats exist to brave the harsh New England winters.
A Maine coon’s coat consists of three layers. Two of the layers are undercoat fur. It is insulating, and a Maine coon’s hair will thicken during cold months. In the summer, your Maine coon will shed some of the undercoat to help keep cool.
As a Maine coon grows older, it develops a third layer, called a guard coat. This fur is long and thick. It is water resistant, which makes Maine coons perfect for running around in the snow. With all these layers it is no wonder why Maine coons are so irresistibly fluffy.
Unlike raccoon fur, however, Maine coon fur comes in a variety of different colors. Listed below are some of the varying colors a Maine coon can have.
There are also a variety of patterns a Maine coon coat can have.
The cost of all that fur
With all of that glorious Maine coon fluff comes responsibility. It is important to understand what comes along with that big, bushy coat of fur.
- Medium shedding. Owning a Maine coon goes hand in hand with owning a lint roller. All of that dense fur means shedding is inevitable. However, not more than with other cats.
- Can get dirty. Long hair on a Maine coon can sometimes act like a feather duster. You may notice pieces of litter, dust, or fibers attached to your Maine coon’s coat.
- Matted fur. Matting occurs when long strands of your cat’s hair become tangled with debris and are neglected. It becomes dense and harder to brush out the longer you wait. Staying on top of grooming is key.
- Hairballs. Your Maine coon will do plenty of its own grooming. Unfortunately, pieces of that long hair will be ingested. Eventually, it will come back out as a hairball. Because Maine coon fur is so plush, you may notice more hairballs when compared to other breeds.
Tips for grooming a Maine coon
Like other cats with long coats, grooming a Maine coon is necessary. Luckily the breed’s soft fur and easy temperament makes grooming no trouble at all. It is ideal to spend five minutes brushing your Maine coon at least twice a week.
This will help to prevent long fur from matting.
It is important to also have the right tools for keeping your kitty’s fur in shape. The best kind of brush for grooming a Maine coon is a wide, soft bristled brush. It will easily go through fur and is not abrasive against your cat’s skin.
Also, it can pick up dirt, loose fur and dander hiding in your Maine coon’s fur.
It is also recommended to have a fine tooth comb for your Maine coon. If a mat starts to develop, a fine tooth comb is useful for brushing out the tangled fur.
If mats develop and it is difficult for you to brush them out, you should take your Maine coon to a groomer as soon as you can. The longer you wait, the larger the mat will become. Avoid cutting out the mat yourself with a pair of scissors.
The tangles can be very close to your cat’s skin. Cutting it yourself leaves an opportunity for cuts and discomfort.
If you want to make sure your Maine coon’s coat is in good condition, look for the tell-tale signs of a healthy coat as listed below.
- Little to no dander
- No bumps
- Not greasy
- No bald patches
In addition to grooming, it is important to maintain a proper diet to keep your Maine coon’s fluff in good condition. A diet consisting of omega fatty acids is essential for a healthy shine. Proper hydration is necessary as well. A dehydrated cat’s coat will be lackluster.
If your Maine coon needs an extra grooming boost, you can use cat grooming wipes. They are designed to help rid the fur of dirt and saliva buildup. These wipes can help reduce shedding. Additionally, you can find wipes that are fragrance-free and hypoallergenic.
Also, here are a couple of our articles, that will help you with grooming your Maine Coon:
How do you tell if your kitten is a Maine coon mix? Maine coons are known for having strong, square bodies. Also look for large eyes, long fur, and ear tufts. Also, it is typical of this breed to have outgoing personalities. If your kitten displays several of the listed traits, it is possible that your kitten is part Maine coon.
- Our Maine Coon Identification Guide will help you with that!
What is the average lifespan of a Maine coon cat? The average lifespan of a Maine coon is 10-13 years. Nevertheless, it is not uncommon for a Maine coon to live 15+ years. There are a lot of factors that determine the longevity of your cat. Proper diet, exercise, and a stress-free environment combined with veterinary check-ups will ensure a long life.
Do all Maine coons get big? Maine coons are the largest domestic cat breed but just like people, they can come in all sizes. Females typically range from 10-15 pounds. Males range from 15-25 pounds. The average height of a female is 8-15 inches while a male’s average is 10-16 inches.