Breeders Characteristics Health

Maine Coon and Bengal Cat Mix: Everything You Need to Know

Around the world, cat lovers continue to mix cat breeds to create something exotic and new. Reigning king amongst these breeds, at least due to their size, is the Maine Coon Bengal Mix.

The cross-breeding of the Maine Coon and the Bengal cat has resulted in a cat that is intelligent, beautiful and often a little eccentric. The Bengal cat brings fierce intelligence and a wild quirkiness along with distinctive leopard-like markings. The Maine Coon brings its stunning looks and size, and its affectionate chatty personality

Owners of the Maine Coon Bengal Mix will be aware that they are a very vocal breed, not unlike the Maine Coon itself. Full of meows and a surprising array of chirps and purrs, they are great company to keep. They have a feral look due to the leopard style rosettes that can cover their fur.

What Is A Maine Coon Bengal Mix?

The Bengal cat is the result of crossbreeding domestic cats, especially the spotted Egyptian Mau, with wild Asian Leopard cat, which is a type of a small jungle cat. 

The Maine Coon’s origin is unclear but it has been present in the US since the 1800s. It was declared extinct in the 1950s, a premature decision, given that the breed survived and has had a resurgence in popularity in recent years. 

The Maine Coon Bengal mix is an American hybrid that has resulted in beautiful and intelligent cats that are now a recognised breed in their own right. Prized for their spotted or rosette coats, they are sold in many parts of the world. 

How does each cat compare?

In general, the Maine Coon and Bengal mix will have a mix of typical traits from the two breeds, both in terms of mentality as well as their physical appearance.

If you have met a Maine Coon Bengal Mix, fallen in love with it, and you have now decided to buy one of your own, be aware that you might get a very different personality from your cat. You might get a kitten that grows up to look like a typical Maine Coon, but with the more wild and playful side of the Bengal, or vice versa. 

Owning a Maine Coon Bengal Mix – What to expect.

As stated above, when owning a Maine Coon Bengal mix, you can expect to see traits from both of the breeds. 

Mixes that show more of the Bengal ancestry tend towards being slimmer and more muscular with a slightly more arched spine and a broad face. Those cats that exhibit more of the Maine Coon are likely to be bulkier. The mix is usually a little smaller than pure breed Maine Coons, but they have an athletes physique, being more muscular and solid. Kitten will also have a noticeably larger body than that of an average kitten of the same age. 

Kittens that are showing more of the Maine Coon ancestry will have the trademark fluffy eats, whilst Bengal orientated kittens will have smaller and pointier ears. The coats of this mix tend towards being blacks and browns, although more unusual variants can have silver, charcoal and even blue. 

Beyond this colouration, their coats can be spotted, marbled or covered in rosettes, showing up their Asian leopard cat background. The fur length tends to be short to medium (unlike the Maine Coon which typically have a lot of long hair) and this can be particularly noted on their tails. 

Taking the best from both breeds, the Maine Coon Bengal Mix is intelligent and can learn a wide range of tricks and habits, both positive and negative. Care should be taken to train such cats to avoid any problematic behaviour. They are clever enough to learn how to turn on taps, flush toilets and open doors. 

They love playing and can be trained to play fetch and other simple games. They are very active and love to play. Don’t expect a cat that is going to simply sit in the sun and bask all day, although they certainly do this too! They will climb up everything and crawl into any space they can.

Be aware of this and if your cat goes missing, check around the house for tight nooks and crannies there they may have gone to explore and become stuck. If let outside, they will spend a long while exploring.

Unlike the stereotypical cat, this breed loves water. They will lap water from their paws, rather than drink directly from the bowl, and they will splash and play with water whenever they can.

The Maine Coon Bengal Mix with family and pets.

The Maine Coon Bengal cat mix retains some of its predator ancestries and will hunt small prey such as mice, birds and rabbits. Whilst they are great company for you and other large pets in the house, they should be kept away from hamsters, guinea pigs, rabbits and so on. 

They love attention and will seek out your affection frequently, although they infrequently are lap cats. They enjoy playing with their humans and can chatter and purr in a variety of ways to make their preferences known. You can expect them to be gentle around your children and other cats and dogs if careful introductions occurred.

Maine Coon Bengal mix health issues

Cross-bred cats (and dogs) typically live longer than purebreds. A healthy Maine Coon Bengal Mix between 10-15 years, though some will inevitably live longer. 

Unfortunately, both the Maine Coon and the Bengal cat have their selection of health issues that your mixed breed cat may be unlucky enough to have some of. 

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is a degenerative disorder that causes abnormal development of the ball-and-socket joint in the hip resulting in instability and pain. It is not life-threatening but extremely painful. 

Patellar Luxation

Bengal cats can suffer from knee cap dislocation, called Patellar luxation. This is an inherited condition and can result in limping or hind-limb collapse. 

Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency

Pyruvate kinase deficiency in cats is an inherited hemolytic anaemia that is passed down from parents to offspring. An affected feline has an absence of the regulatory enzyme which is responsible for the metabolism of energy used to create more red blood cells. This leads to a loss of circulation, resulting in anaemia. 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

This degenerative condition can cause damage to the retina and a progressive loss of vision. It can lead to blindness. 

Health Issues In Maine Coons

Below are the health issues most common in maine coons.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

Like a human, a cat’s heart is hollow and made of muscle. It is located in the centre of the chest and has 4 chambers that work together to pump blood around the body. And just like us, they carry the risk of genetic or acquired heart disease.  

All cats carry a potential risk of suffering from heart disease. Sometimes, the signs are obvious. Other times the indications of a serious heart problem can be hidden for years, presenting itself suddenly with serious deterioration of health and ability, or even perhaps death. Check out our article on HCM. 

Hip Dysplasia

Maine Coons are susceptible to the same hip dysplasia that affects Bengal cats. As described above, this degenerative disease will result in pain and a loss of quality of life, but it is not life-threatening. 

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

This is a genetic disease that affects some Maine Coons. It is not life-threatening but can result in weakened muscle development.

Health Issues In Maine Coon Bengal Mix

Given the range of genetic issues that can affect both breeds, it is no surprise that the Maine Coon Bengal mix runs the risk of carrying the genes that can cause these hereditary diseases.

Genetic testing is available for kittens to identify the presence of any problematic genes, although it is worth noting that the existence of these genetic markers does not specifically mean that the kitten will go on to manifest the disease itself. We recommend that you check out our article on buying from a reputable breeder, which helps to reduce the risk of buying a kitten with problematic gene anomalies. 

Caring For A Maine Coon Bengal Mix

Grooming

In the main, the Maine Coon Bengal Mix has a shorter-haired coat than the pure breed Maine Coons. This means that your cat will take care of the majority of their grooming themselves, although we would recommend giving them a weekly brush to support them in this. Being a crossbreed, some mixes will tend a little more towards the Maine Coon in terms of length and volume of hair and so you may need to consider twice-weekly brushing. 

Exercise

Keep your cat stimulated physically and mentally. Both the Maine Coon and the Bengal cat both require activities to help keep them healthy and avoid negative quirks and behaviours creeping in. If you plan to keep your can as an indoors only cat, make sure to give them a solid half an hour a day playing with joys, chasing lights and generally running around. Make sure your house has a space that your cat can unleash a short sprint. 

Training

Consider trying to train your cat with a variety of tricks to help keep them engaged mentally and also to get the best pet you can. Maine Coon Bengal Mixes can be trained with a clicker, and it is possible to take them for walks, play fetch or solve food-based puzzles. 

Just remember, keep it fun. if the cat doesn’t want to engage, nothing is going to work. Let them disappear or snooze as they see fit, rather than fight them in an attempt to get them into your routine. 

Socialising

The Maine Coon Bengal Mix generally mixes well with dogs, as long as the dog is willing to return the favour. It is also child-friendly if socialised from an early age. Socialising your kitten can also ensure that your cat is friendly to everyone and not overly attached to one specific person, which can result in problematic behaviours in time.

Diet

All cats are carnivorous. Larger breeds, such as the Maine Coon, the Bengal cat Maine Coon Bengal cat mix should not be fed on inferior cat food that has replaced meat proteins with carbohydrates such as corn/rice/soy. Not only is this lower quality food, but your cat is going to demand more, resulting in over feeding. 

How Much Do Maine Coon Bengal Mix Cats Cost?

It might be a crossbreed, but don’t expect a cheap cat when buying the Maine Coon Bengal Mix. In the states it typically sells for several hundred dollars. However, this is nothing compared to a purebreed Maine Coon.

Bare in mind that this cost, whilst not cheap, is unlikely to include any genetic testing and therefore there are a lot of potential problems that you may encounter. As such, we recommend that you obtain insurance on your new pet to assist you in the event of any genetic complications.  They may not sell for the same price as the pedigrees but can still be pricey.

Legality

The Bengal cat is bread from the wild Asian Leopard cat. As such, it is bigger and more muscular than most domestic cats. As a result of this, the Bengal cat and any cross breeds from it can be illegal in certain states in America, depending on the number of generations removed the cat you are buying is from its wild ancestors. 

In the UK, only the first generation of Bengal cat requires a license. As any Maine Coon and Bengal cat mix would make it a 2nd generation (minimum) from the Asian Leopard, no license is required to own this breed.

In the States it is a more complex picture. Many states have rules regarding generation 1 to 4 of Bengal cats and you should check with your local authorities before purchasing, if in any doubt. A reputable breeder will be able to guide you. You aren’t going to get arrested, but you may be fined and the cat may be removed and destroyed. From the 5th generation there are generally no restrictions, other than in Hawaii where Bengal cats are banned entirely. 

Where Can You Find Maine Coon Bengal Mix Breeders?

You can find maine coon kittens for sale online on several places but beware. As with our advice on buying Maine Coon cats, you should look around to find reputable breeders. There aren’t likely to be many in your local area, but online forums may help guide you. Be sure to never agree to buy a cat until you have seen it’s parents and litter mates.

The breeder should have had your kitten vaccinated and also be able to provide a health certificate to confirm this has been done. No reputable breeder should allow you to remove the kittens from their mother before 8 weeks, and many will ask you to wait for 13 weeks. 

Our Conclusion

Buying a Maine Coon Bengal Mix comes with a little uncertainty. Which parent it takes after most you are only going to discover as the kittens grow up. Either way, you can expect to receive an energetic, fun loving cat that shows intelligence and a distinct personality.

Socialise them and train them early and you can minimise negative traits and promote happy, playful ones. Overall, we heartily recommend the breed.