What Is The Difference Between A Maine Coon And A Tabby Cat?

Have you ever looked at a Maine Coon and a tabby cat and wondered what the differences are? Well, you’re really looking at the difference between Maine Coons and domestic cats, as the term “tabby” refers to a coat patterning instead of a breed. Maine Coons themselves can be tabbies.

What Is The Difference Between A Maine Coon And A Tabby Cat?

Maine Coons differ from domestic cats in quite a few ways. They are considerably more prominent, highly affectionate, and intelligent felines that like to be with their people full time. They are also trainable and full of energy.

Difference One: Maine Coons Are Larger

Maine Coons are a lot bigger than domestic cats – even the large domestic cats! They usually weigh more than double what a domestic cat does. Here’s why Maine Coons get so big compared to regular house cats.

A domestic cat often weighs around seven pounds, and they may weigh up to ten pounds. Obviously, there is scope for a lot of variation there, but this is a good average.

A Maine Coon, by contrast, can weigh more than eighteen pounds. They are also much bulkier cats, being squarer and more solidly built than domestic cats. As a result, they do not have such a dainty look overall but are wonderfully reassuring to cuddle because of their extra bulk.

Some Maine Coons can weigh over thirty pounds, although this is a reasonably exceptional weight. It’s easy to understand why these cats are considered “gentle giants” when comparing that with a domestic tabby’s ten-or-less.

Maine Coons may also have larger feet, which is particularly noticeable in the kittens.

Difference Two: Maine Coons Are Fluffier

A Maine Coon’s coat is very different from the coat of most other cats. It may look somewhat similar to the coat of a long-haired domestic cat, but it isn’t very close. In general, long-haired domestic cats have neat, even fur. However, a Maine Coon’s coat tends to be much shaggier.

Maine Coons often have a ruff around their chest, where the fur is long and thick. They may also have longer fur on their legs and stomachs, while the fur on their backs and shoulders can be shorter.

Tufty ears are another sign of a Maine Coon, although not all have this characteristic. Maine Coons generally have longer, more dramatic ears than domestic cats. Their ears are wide, pointed, and often very fluffy. They look more like the ears of a wild cat such as a lynx.

Overall, the Maine Coon’s coat is quite ragged and fluffy but not sleek – although it is usually very soft to the touch.

By contrast, domestic cats usually have even fur across most of their bodies. The fur on their ears may be shorter, but on the whole, they have a sleek look. They do not often look “shaggy” the way that a Maine Coon does.

The fur and the size are probably the most distinctive differences between these cats and other domestic breeds, but they are not the only ones.

Difference Three: Maine Coons Have Longer Whiskers

Maine Coons have particularly long whiskers, much longer than those of other domestic breeds. This can give their faces an exquisite look and is in tune with the rest of the long fur.

With their wide faces and strong angles, these long whiskers make Maine Coons look even larger than they are. In addition, the solidity of their heads, compared with a domestic cat’s more dainty, triangular head, further lends the Maine Coon a weighty appearance.

Difference Four: Maine Coons Have Big Tails

It would be hard to confuse a Maine Coon’s tail with a domestic cat’s tail. However, Maine Coons tend to have longer tails, which is in keeping with their extra size. Their tails are usually around sixteen inches long, while a domestic cat is often closer to twelve.

More to the point, the tails of Maine Coons are immensely fluffy, unlike the slim tails associated with most cats. A Maine Coon’s tail looks rather more like a feather duster or cloud of fluff, and it is a much-loved feature of this beautiful feline.

According to TheDiscerningCat, Maine Coons often keep their tails erect, especially when walking around. You may note that it looks like they are trying to get your attention by waving their tails around in the air. 

Domestic cats do also raise their tails, but usually less noticeably.

Difference Five: Maine Coons Are Very Affectionate

All cats can be affectionate, and many domestic cats will rival a Maine Coon’s loving nature, but the fact remains that Maine Coons are particularly known for being sweet, gentle, and full of love for their humans.

Maine Coons are often likened to dogs for their loyal, adoring characteristics. Although some may be wary of strangers, they are very much “family cats” and will bond strongly with their humans.

If you are seeking an exceptionally loving and affectionate pet, a Maine Coon is a good bet. Many domestic cats can be aloof and disinterested in their people (although many are also extremely loving). If you want a cat that likes to spend as much time with you as possible, a Maine Coon is a good choice.

Where a domestic cat may disappear for hours on end, whether you are home or not, you’ll generally find that your Maine Coon wants to be close to you and will sit in the same room as you and watch what you’re doing.

Maine Coons aren’t clingy, but they enjoy the company of others and will let you know this by hanging around wherever you happen to be.

Difference Six: Maine Coons Love Water

You probably don’t know many cats that enjoy spending time in the water, but many Maine Coons do. This may be a trait inherited from wild ancestors or because they have thick coats that help keep their skin dry, but Maine Coons are known for enjoying the water.

Some play with their water dishes, lie in the bottom of damp showers, or even turn on faucets so that they can play with the water flow.

Some exceptional domestic cats like water too, but this is considered rare – while among Maine Coons, dislike for water is rare. These cats, on the whole, love a bit of wet playtime. You can read more about a Maine Coons love for the water.

This is another reason they are likened to dogs.

Difference Seven: Maine Coons Are Trainable

Again, there are some domestic cats that can be taught tricks. Some will even play fetch the way a dog will. However, few can rival a Maine Coon’s trainable intelligence. These cats are very smart, and you can teach them all sorts of tricks, such as walking on a leash, fetching things, etc.

If you want a particularly clever cat, a Maine Coon is a great option. These cats enjoy the challenge of learning something new, and they are very playful, so any new game is a good game as far as they are concerned.

They also retain this playfulness even as they get older, which makes them wonderful long-term companions.

Final Word

You can’t compare Maine Coons and tabby cats directly because “tabby” simply refers to markings, and many Maine Coons are tabby cats themselves. 

However, there are some significant differences between Maine Coons and domestic cats, and hopefully, you now have an understanding of some of these.

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