The Maine Coon cat is the most beautiful cat there is. They have tufted ears, a bushy tail and loads of fur all over. The fur is even on their paws, which helps protect against cold and wet on their pads. The body fur is also water resistant. This helps if they are stuck outside in the rain or are running through snow. The fur will not retain the water causing their skin to become damp for an extended period of time.
This majestic feline originally came from Maine, naturally. They are built for chilly weather and the damp. The Maine Coon Cat actually has three layers of fur. The first two inner layers of fur grow in different lengths, yet they both provide the insulation to keep them warm in the cold weather. The outer layer of fur is oily, which makes it somewhat water resistant, also aiding and protecting the cat from the elements.
However, there is a slight difference for the Maine Coon Cat. They are not born with full tufts and thick coats. The full fluffy fur does not come in until the Maine Coon cat is approximately 2 months old. The time it takes for the full amount of fluff to be fully grown can take up to four years. The fur and the fluff will continually grow for the first four years. The ear tufts may be seen after only a couple of months. Do not get upset if you have a young Maine Coon cat and the fur and fluff is not there. It just takes time.
Some may argue that not all Maine Coon cats have the fluffy long fur. That is wrong. A full breed Maine Coon does and always will have the fluff that they are known for. If you were told that your cat is a Maine Coon, yet there is no sign of the fluff after 8 weeks, the breeder likely lied to you. Breeders of Maine Coon felines are held to a very strict guideline. This is so that there are no short hair Maine Coon cats. The long and beautiful fur is what makes the Maine Coon such a gorgeous and desirable cat.
One could say that the fluffy fur of this beautiful feline is quite unique. There is actually a myth made about the Maine Coon cat. It is said that the rings on the tails signify the relationship to the raccoon. This is totally untrue. There is no way it is genetically possible for a raccoon and cat to breed. Sat side by side, the tails are strikingly alike. There are many animals that have fluffy tails. This does not mean that there is any relation between a Main Coon cat and any other animal other than other Maine Coon cats.
Another way that one would know that a Maine Coon is not related to a raccoon, a raccoon has only a small amount of colors in the fur. The majestic Maine Coon has the possibility of being multiple colors. There is a wide variety of colors that Maine Coon cats can be. I believe they have determined it to be 84 different combinations of color. No raccoon can even come close to that.
To make it a short explanation, the fluffy and furry tails and body fur are meant as a protection from the cold winter weather that happens in their native zones. The third coat of fur on the Maine Coon Cat is considered the guard coat. Again, this coat is water resistant and has a somewhat oily coating. This protects from the moisture of rain and snow. It is not just colors that have a wide variety, the pattern of the coloring on the Maine Coon cat is also subject to wide variety.
You are probably wondering what sort of hassle it is going to be to keep this long haired gorgeous beauty clean. To start with, just like all other cats, the Maine Coon cat is going to shed. Other long haired cats are shedding heavily, seemingly not stopping. A Maine Coon Cat will shed a medium amount of hair versus other breeds of long hair house cats.
So you may want to enjoy the slow growing period of fur on your Maine Coon cat. Grooming is essential for all animals, especially long haired cats. When the grooming is not done routinely, matting can take place. Matting can not be slowly picked apart, it has to be shaved off. So continue routine grooming as well as vet visits.
The long fur may act like a dust mop as the cat moves around. Especially if the cat gets into some out of the way spots in your home. You may notice that your gorgeous furry feline has collected dust clumps or other hair and debris. A little extra grooming will take care of that mess. Like all cats, the Maine Coon cat will be grooming him or herself. That is what animals do. However, know full well that cats with long fur can develop fur balls, or more commonly called hair balls after they have groomed themselves.
This will involve coughing and probably some vomiting. Do not be afraid, this is normal for Maine Coon cats, as well as all other cats. Grooming is not an issue with the Maine Coon cat. With their cuddly disposition, and enjoyment of receiving attention, they will sit still to be brushed for a short time more than once a week. They enjoy when their humans rub them and brush them.
So as you sit back, holding the Maine Coon cat that you just adopted, you are looking and wondering how long this is going to take. Your cat is likely still young, there are up to four years of waiting for their long and fluffy fur to grow in. Enjoy the time.
If there is no sign of the fur growing in at all, there is a likely chance that you have gotten a mixed breed. Again, serious Maine Coon cat breeders are kept to strict rules. They must breed with other purebreds in order to be a true Maine Coon cat. A well and sound piece of advice, be sure that you obtain a form of registration of pure breeding from the breeder or the adoption center where you are getting the cat from. Do not trust pet shops that swear it is a true purebred. If they cannot provide the proof for you, walk away and stop trusting that person.
The amount of fluff may vary even in purebred Maine Coon Cats. This cannot be specific in the breeding line. There may be times that a Maine Coon does not have that huge amount of fluff and beauty. But, remember, there are NO short hair Maine Coon Cats.
You may be wondering if the tail fluff will grow at the same pace of the rest of the fluffy fur. The really young Main Coon kittens will not have a fluffy tail. The tails do not begin to grow the fluffy fur until the cat reaches between 4 and 6 months of age.
The Ear Tufts
Sadly this is another area that not all Maine Coon Cats develop tufts. Most Maine Coons do, but you will sporadically find one or two that do not grow the ear tufts.
The Mane or Ruff
Yes, at times the mane on your Maine Coon cat may resemble that of a lion. They are not related. The mane on your Maine Coon cat is highly iconic though, even leading some to call the cats ‘Mane Coon’ cats. This is the fluffy fur that seems to take the longest to grow on a Maine Coon. The mane on the Maine Coon will generally begin to fill in and grow at about 9 months of age. So the kitten is not even full grown yet. Sadly though, there are some Maine Coon cats that do not grow a mane. This happens very seldom, but it does happen. So do not count on the mane to let you know if you received a true purebred Maine Coon.
For those that do grow the mane, the mane will become very distinctive in the winter months. It may even resemble a fur stole wrapped around their necks. The winter months is the time that the Maine Coon relies on the mane as well as all the other long fur that it has. They need it all to protect them from the frigid temperatures that can happen in the winter. Granted, no one wants their pets outside in the winter, however, cats can be sneaky.
There may be a time that your gorgeous fluffy furball escapes out the door as you are leaving. The cat may even sprint out and away from you extremely quickly. Fear not, the cat will be okay for a short time outdoors. They have a built in sense of self preservation, they have thick fur all over them and including on their paws. This thick, long fluffy fur is there to protect them from the dangerous cold.