Most of the Maine Coons we have seen happen to be long haired. They are not naturally short haired cats. If you see a short hair Maine Coon cat, it is probably a mixed breed or had its hair clipped short or shaved.
- Can Maine Coons have short hair?
- Maine coon characteristics
- Characteristics of the Maine Coon coat
- Functions of the Maine Coon coat
- Maintenance of the Maine Coon coat
- Indications of the Maine Coon coat
- Maine coon personality
- Maine coon size
- Maine coon price
- Maine coon mix
Can Maine Coons have short hair ?
The most striking feature of Maine Coons is its hair. Maine Coons possess a heavy, long, fur coat which is the most attractive external characteristic of this type of cat. Almost all purebred Maine coons possess long fur. The likelihood of Maine Coons being born with short hair is very less. They can have short hair in certain areas of the body.
If you happen to see a short hair Maine Coon cat, it is most probably due to these two main reasons.
- The short hair Maine Coon happens to be a mixed breed.
- Professional grooming and trimming has given the short hair Maine Coon cat its short haired appearance.
Maine Coon characteristics
Maine coons are really big, furry or rather fluffy cats. They look adorable and capture the hearts of most people. They come in various colors and patterns giving you a wide range to choose from.
Characteristics of the Maine Coon coat
The beautiful coats of Maine Coon cats can vary from cat to cat. The variation can be in color, length, texture, pattern etc. Cats of the same litter can have coats that look different. Some cats do not develop their full coat until about 2 years of age.
- In order to survive the harsh winters of Maine, where the Maine Coons originated, these cats have a thick, long layer of fur.
- The coat of a Maine Coon cat consists of distinctive long, glossy, slightly coarse guard hairs and medium length silky soft insulating hairs.
- Some other characteristics of Maine Coon cat’s coat happen to be long tufts of fur between their toes, long hair within their ears and also long tufts sticking from their ear tips.
- The tail of most Maine Coon cats are fluffy and they also possess neck ruffs, just like a collar.
- Although the fur gives a shaggy, uneven appearance, it is smooth to touch.
- Purebred Maine Coons have long to medium length hair.
- However, the length of the fur can vary across a Maine Coon’s body.
- The shortest hair of a Maine Coon can be found on the back of its ears, tip of its head, around its wrists and ankles.
- When going down its head, the fur becomes medium length and longer towards its tail.
• Maine Coon fur comes in various colors.
• Approximately 75 different colorings can be seen.
• These colors range from white, black, blue, orange, cream, gold, brown and even silver.
• A combination of several colors can be seen in some Maine coons.
• Three main patterns can be observed on the fur of Maine coon cat.
• They are solid, tabby and tortoise.
• These three main patterns can also be found in a large range of different patterns such as solid, bicolor, tricolor etc.
• The Maine coon pattern can also be sub divided into sub patterns. For instance, tabbies can be classic, mackerel or ticked.
Functions of the Maine coon coat
Maine coons originated in Maine, in the United States, where the winters are extremely cold and harsh. Thus the Maine coons have evolved to survive this harsh climate.
Some say that as a Maine coon grows older, it develops a third layer. This is supposed to be water repellant, making it perfect for running in the snow. The paws of Maine coons are slightly tufty, somewhat like snowshoes.
Let’s take a look at some of the functions performed by this special coat.
The thick fur regulates the temperature of Maine coons. It protects them from cold temperatures and adverse weather conditions in winter. The fur can shed in warm months and become thinner to keep the cat cooler.
Prevent sunburn and dehydration
The thick fur protects the sensitive skin of Maine coon cats from direct sunlight, preventing sunburn. It also helps keep the moisture in, preventing the skin from becoming dehydrated.
Receive sensory data and act as mood indicator
The Maine coon’s coat is practical in nature. It gives them sensory data, like whiskers, when prowling. A cat also puts up its hackles to look larger and aggressive when threatened.
Protect from other cats and accidents
The fur acts as a buffer from scratches and scrapes. If it gets into a fight with another cat, which they rarely do, or even when playing with other cats, their claws will not make their way into the skin due to the thick fur.
The fur also helps manufacture various nutrients such as vitamin D.
Maintenance of the Maine coon cat coat
I’m sure most of you have seen cats groom themselves by licking their fur. Unfortunately, in the case of Maine coons the case is somewhat difficult. Licking their long hair alone won’t keep it from getting knotted or matted. In fact, it can be quite painful when they try to tug it out of their skin.
Brushing a Maine coon using a grooming brush several times a week is the best solution to this problem. It will keep their coat shiny, making the cat look majestic as well as knot free.
Maine coons tend to have fur problems since they have a thick coat. These problems include hairballs, matted fur, dirty fur and moderate to excessive shedding. Let’s take a look at these problems one by one.
Maine coon fur does not matt easily. However, a very active Maine coon that does not groom itself regularly, can have matting problems.
When a Maine coon’s hair has matting, clipping the matt will be the only solution. If the hair is severally matted, it will have to be shaved.
This can be a drastic step to the cat. It can have an emotional toll on the Maine coon since they are sensitive to their looks and also the fur plays a vital role in their body functions.
Long haired cats are more likely to have hair balls than short haired ones. If a Maine coon has loose fur and if it is not groomed regularly, they can swallow fur and produce hair balls. Regular grooming which can keep loose hair to a minimum can solve the problem.
A cat with a healthy regulatory system will shed. An increase in shedding can be seen at the beginning of spring and fall. The Maine coon adapts to warmer temperatures by dropping its excess fur. The coat will be thinner and give plenty of airiness keeping the cat cool during hot weather.
However, excessive shedding can be a problem. They should be given a diet high in proteins. If the problem is severe, it is better to seek the vet for proper treatment.
Maine coons that have long fur can get dirty more than the ones with short hair. The white Maine coon can show more dirt than other types. Some also suffer from greasy hair.
The best solution is to train them to have a bath once in a while. Unlike other cats, Maine coons love water. So it is not difficult to make them take a bath. It is best to train them while they are kittens.
Be sure to give them a bath no more than once a month. Over bathing can make a cat’s coat look bad since the natural oils in the coat will be stripped, leaving the skin dry and flaky. Dirty fur can also be wiped using cat wipes specially made for this purpose.
Indications of the Maine coon coat
- Maine coons are good at hiding their health problems.
- Since their fur can tell something about a cat’s health problems, checking their fur regularly for signs would be wise.
- A poor cat coat indicates signs of a poor diet. The coat will have lost its shine and also be patchy. Ensuring that the cat’s diet has enough proteins and omega 3 can solve this problem.
- Greasy and matted fur can indicate various problems such as change of appetite, activity levels or weight. Sometimes it can also show more serious issues such as bad teeth, diabetes or even bladder infection.
- Over shedding might mean a medical disease.
- When a cat is stressed, it will groom itself in excess.
- Stress can be triggered due to several reasons such as bringing a new member home, be it human or animal, moving houses and also being left alone more often. Take your cat to a vet for proper treatment, if it shows these signs.
Maine coon personality
They are known as ‘gentle giants.’ They are affectionate and yet not overly dependent on their owners. Maine coons tend to be non-aggressive and get along with other pets and also little children. They are loyal, intelligent, friendly, playful, hunters as well as water lovers.
Maine coon size
They can grow up to 40 inches in length and 10-16 inches in height in the case of males and 8-14 inches in females. The weight can range from 5-8 kg in males and 3-5 kg in females.
Maine coon price
• The price of Maine coons can vary depending on its age and health.
• It can also vary from country to country.
• Maine coons cost around $400- $1500 in the U.S.
Maine coon mix
Pure bred Maine coons are large cats. Most of them have an M shaped marking on their forehead. Their ears have tufts of fur sticking from the top as well as from their ears. They have a fluffy tail to wrap around themselves in cold weather. Their paws have tufts of fur on them to make it easy to walk on snow.
Mixed breeds can have all or most of these characteristics. However, there are some variations by which we can distinguish them.
Most mixed breeds are smaller than the purebreds. Pure bred Maine coons take at least 5 years to grow until they reach maturity while mixed ones take only 2-3 years. Purebreds also have tufts of hair around their neck, which could be lacking in mix breeds. Mix breeds might not have the fluffiness of purebreds.
Orange Maine Coon
Orange Maine Coon is a large breed of Maine Coon cats. They have orange colored fur which some people also interpret as ‘red’. For more details on Orange Main Coons, read our in depth article on Orange Maine Coons.
Can purebred short hair Maine coons exist? The answer is no. If a Maine coon has short hair, it is probably a mixed breed or has had its hair trimmed short or shaved.
We have learnt about the characteristics of a Maine coons’ coat, which gives its unique appearance. These gentle giants of the cat world have a lot to say using their coats! Who would have thought their coats did so much ?
Don’t try to shave your Maine coon in order to get a short hair Maine coon cat, unless it’s absolutely necessary. Better keep in mind that cats also care about their looks and sudden changes can harm them.
Remember to take good care of your Maine coon’s coat and groom it regularly to avoid matted fur, hairballs and other worrying stuff to your cats. Keep your Maine coon happy and visit your vet when signs show all is not good. Happy grooming to all you Maine coon lovers !