Why are Maine Coon cats so big?
Maine Coon’s are lovely big cats that are very popular (Click here to see the coziest cat beds for Maine Coons). But many people have always wondered and theorized on why they are so big in comparison to the average cat. Let me explain…
Why are Maine Coon Cats so big? The theory has it that it is because of the temperature of their natural habitat. It is believed that they are naturally bigger to reduce the rate at which it loses body heat. But this has never been proven or confirmed.
Now you know why people believe they are so big, let us now look at the effects of their size and how they are bred to this big size.
What are Maine Coon cats?
Maine coons (Click here to see the difference between the Maine Coon, Siberian & Norweigan Frest Cats) are one of the largest cats that you’ll find.
They are natives to the American state of Maine. They are also the state cat. Where they originated from is still a mystery to this day.
Does the size of the Maine Coon affect their sale price?
Maine coons, as you may or may not know, are quite expensive. You can easily expect to pay upwards of $1,200, or even more. The question is why are they so expensive? Could this be because they’re so big?
The reality is, it’s not their size that makes them so expensive, The real issue is the costs associated with breeding them. Let me explain…
Firstly, breeders have to feed the female Maine Coon and the kittens on high-quality food that is quite expensive. This is to make sure that they end up with the best kittens at the end of the process.
Not only this but they have to maintain the male cat who can also be quite difficult to deal with.
Dealing with a difficult Male Maine Coon
In particular, the male cat cannot be neutered, for obvious reasons, so he is likely to spray and mark his territory in the breeders’ house.
This will cost money to clean up and will make the room quite smelly. It’s actually quite inconvenient for the breeder. Unfortunately, these costs are passed on to you, the customer.
All of this maintenance, food and other related costs, which I will explain in more detail later on in the article, inflate the cost of these Maine Coon cats.
How do breeders breed the Maine coons to such a big size?
Breeding the Maine Coons to this size is a long process. It all starts off with handpicking the best male and female. This is to make sure that they have the best chance of delivering high-quality kittens.
They have to make sure that they have a female that has good teeth, genes (meaning they’ve got no parents that may have known health conditions) fur and snout.
If the breeder does not have a male Maine Coon to breed, they will have to pay for a high-quality male Maine Coon as well which is also adding to their expense but will ensure they get a big healthy kitten at the end.
Health checks will need to be done to ensure that both the male and female are in good health before breeding. After this due diligence, the breeder has to make sure that only the selected male and female spend time together. Just in case an un-vetted male tries to intervene, are you with me?
Bear in mind that these are not outdoor cats. So the majority of their time will be kept indoors. Again, this is to make sure that they kept to a high quality and reduce the chances of them mixing with bad company.
Checking for a Pregnant Maine Coon
After this process, if the breeder is lucky and he believes that the female is now pregnant. He will have to take the female Maine Coon to the vet’s to verify the pregnancy.
Be mindful that there is a chance that when he gets this check, she may not actually be pregnant at this time. However, he will still be responsible for actually paying for this test.
Unfortunately for the breeder, this test may need to be done a few times before he actually has a successful pregnant female.
Once a pregnancy has been established the breeder then has to make sure that he feeds the pregnant female high-quality food. This food will keep her energy levels high.
This is important to have a successful and healthy pregnancy and healthy kittens.
Looking after the Maine Coon Kitten to help them grow big and strong
Once the kittens are born the job does not end there. The breeder has to continue to feed the kitten, as well as the mother. This is to make sure that they are in good health.
Also, there is a chance that one of the kittens may actually be quite weak. If this is the case, as this is actually a valuable product for the breeder, they have to make sure that a kitten has immediate attention.
The best way to do this is to actually manually feeding the kitten, or setting up a meal schedule using an automatic cat feeder (Click here to see why I like this one best). To make sure that they get all of the valuable nutrients that they need.
Finally, they will need to get documents to prove the health condition of the kittens. This is to make sure they sell well. This document will be passed on to the buyer.
How big are these Maine coons in comparison to other breeds?
An average cat, in comparison to a Maine Coon, is quite small. However, the Siberian cats, especially the females, are almost the same size as the Maine coons.
However, the male Maine Coon is slightly larger than the Siberian.
Is the male Maine Coon bigger than the female?
Yes, but let me give you an example of some of the sizes. So you can get an idea of the difference…
The male Maine Coon
The male Maine Coon can grow up to 25 pounds in weight and 16 inches tall. Its actual length (snout to tail) can be up to 40 inches.
The female Maine Coon
The female Maine Coon is slimmer than the male as you may expect. She grows up to 18 lbs in weight. However, the actual length is very similar to the male.
But, with regards to her actual height, she is a bit shorter than the male growing up to 16 inches.
Do Maine coons need to eat a lot because they are so big?
Many people believe because Maine coons are so much bigger (but, what happens if it’s not big yet? Click Here) than the average cat they must eat loads and loads of food (What about fish? click here) to maintain their size.
This is a big Myth!
However, this is a big myth. They are just naturally big and in fact, obesity is a big problem for Maine coons. This could be partially due to the fact that a lot of keepers believe they need to overfeed them to maintain their size.
In reality, they need a good balance of protein, vitamins, and carbohydrates to keep them happy just like any other cat.
But how much should these Maine coons actually eat?
For a kitten, you’d expect them to consume anything from 30 to 45% of their intake as protein. As an adult, you can scale this back. They will have up to 40% protein.
Typically cats eat regularly with small amounts. Meaning, they don’t really have big hearty meals throughout the day. You can expect him to be eating up to 20 small meals during a day.
Each of these small meals could be anything as small as 25 to 30 calories each time. This is to help them Digest The Food correctly and keep them healthy.
To give you an idea of the type of food that they can consume, I’ll give you an example…
For example, a piece of dry cat Kibble may be about 3 calories. So, you can expect an average small meal for a cat to be about 10 to 15 pieces of this kibble.
However, bear in mind that you do still need to feed them other things such as meat and fish to keep their food balance correct. As well as other vitamins. But this needs to be fed to them in moderation obviously.
Another thing to consider, Maine Coon cats (Could it eat a chicken? Click here) take a long time to reach their full maturity. Therefore, you should be feeding them kitten sized portions for at least the first 8 to 9 months.
Q: How long do Maine coons live for?
You can expect a Maine Coon (Click here to see when it will get its full coat) to live anywhere from 10 to 12 years. Obviously, this can fluctuate either way, depending on how well they are looked after.
There are some known health conditions for them but with constant screening, good maintenance and keeping up their health checks, you can help to reduce the risk of these problems.