Maine Coon cats have grown exponentially in popularity within the last decade. One very unfortunate side effect of this has been the proliferation of BYB (backyard breeders) presenting kittens for sale as “Maine Coons” when they are anything but pure bred or even mixed.
There are certain traits that are associated with this breed that can help you to know whether you are looking at the real thing or not. At one point in time these naturally bred cats were pretty rampant in Maine, but times have changed and the reality is Maine Coon cats are not very likely to be running around feral. They are being bred by breeders today as pets and as show cats.
Unless you know the parents are certified Maine Coons then there is no way to tell for sure whether your cat is a Coon as well.
A Maine Coon cat is large. They are large as kittens and large as adults. They have rectangular bodies and they take about 4 years to reach full maturity. They have a “ruff” around the neck that is discernible, and they have large paws as well.
A telltale sign of the Maine Coon cat is their fur. It is very thick and medium to long. They evolved to survive the harsh Maine winters so they have tufts of fur on their paws as well as that long silky coat with the thick under coat.
Their ears are “lynx” like with tufts of fur on the ends. The ears are largely where the bobcat/Maine Coon folklore come from. They have ears that look very much like a bobcat’s, and again they are built for warmth so their ears are covered in thick fur that ends in a wisp at the point.
They have large, intelligent eyes that are slightly rounded.
When you combine all of the above and you come up with a cat that has a personality that is simply amazing, that is how you might know you have a Maine Coon cat. They are super friendly and outgoing and really work hard at relationships!
Their size is one key factor but their personality is the most important. These cats are a happy breed that are easily approachable.