Known for their medium to long hair, can a Maine Coon have short hair? These “gentle giants,” as they are often nicknamed, are one of the most popular cat species in the world. They are also known for their relatively bulky physique, hardy health record, thick dense fur, and very friendly and loving characters. Originating from Maine (United States), these amazing long haired beauties have some of the most fascinating stories about their origins, that you will ever hear. Keep reading to find out if your short-haired cat might be related to the famous Maine Coon.
Purebred Maine Coon cats do not have short hair. Mixed Maine Coons might though, since they are genetically different to purebreds, being a combination of two different cat breeds. Mixed Maine Coons may have short hair, or patches of short hair over their long bodies.
In this article, we will take a look at whether a Maine Coon can have short hair, or not. We will also answer some of the most commonly asked questions about Maine Coons and their coats, and provide some handy tips and tricks for keeping the Maine Coons fur looking healthy.
What Does the Maine Coon’s Fur Coat Look Like?
To survive the harsh winters of Maine, Maine Coons have developed a thick, long layer of fur that, at first glance, looks quite shaggy. But when you stroke a cat from this breed, you will notice that the coat is very silky and smooth. It is this unkempt look that sets the Maine Coon apart, and we don’t see that from many other cat species. It is quite usual for Maine Coons to have long hair, although the length varies from cat to cat. Some have long hair, whilst others have medium to long hair.
Specifications Of The Maine Coon’s Fur
It’s relatively easy to identify a Maine Coon cat since these cats have quite a presence about them. However, if you are new to the breed, take a look at my article ‘How to identify a Maine Coon Kitten‘.
If you look at the table below, you can get a quick summary of the Maine Coons fur:
|Length||Medium to long|
|Fur Characteristics||Shaggy, silky, uneven, rough appearance, fluffy, smooth at touch|
|Color||75 colorings, including: white, black, red, orange, brown, silver, golden, or a combination of two. Solid colors, Bicolor or Tricolor|
|Pattern||3 main patterns: Solid, Tabby, Torties|
|Grooming Requirements||Regular brushing with occasional trimming. Moderate to high grooming requirement|
To give you a better understanding of what to look for, take a look at these factors in greater detail below:
The usual length of a Maine Coon’s fur is medium to long for the most part, at least for purebred cats anyhow. Fur length does vary across the Maine Coons body however, with the undersides of their body often having shorter hair, compared to the long hair around their mane and tail. Naturally, however, purebred Maine Coons have long hair.
Can a Maine Coon have short hair? It is not usual to see the cats from this species with short hair. However, it is possible to find various Maine Coon mixes with short or shorter hair than you would expect, since mixed Maine Coons carry the genetics of another cat species, that may have shorter hair.
2. Fur Characteristics
A Maine Coon’s fur appears shaggy at first glance, but once we touch it, we find out that it is very thick, smooth and silky. This is a distinctive feature of the Maine Coon’s fur – its scruffy appearance and relatively rugged look.
We see all sorts of colors with Maine Coon furs, in fact, there are approximately 75 different colorings! This breeds fur color can range from white or black, to orange, gold, brown, or silver. Some Maine Coons even have a combination of two or even three colors.
The three main Maine Coon patterns are:
Just to make things complicated, each of these main patterns can also be found in a large range of different shades, including:
Even within the Maine Coon pattern, there are also many sub-patterns. For example, the tabbies can also be:
For more information on this complicated subject, check out my article “What Colors Do Maine Coon Cats Come In?“.
5. Grooming Requirements
Typically, the Maine Coon’s fur requires quite a lot of attention. Although the cat will take care of grooming the hair to some extent, it is often recommended that we brush the cat regularly (every 2-3 days), and even trim the coat from time to time (only if required).
Grooming is important, since it prevents hairballs from forming and also removes matted hair. These are my favourite grooming tools, which help keep our Maine Coons hair healthy.
Bathing is sometimes an option if you cat is particularly dirty, or if you cat has excess dander etc.
Why Do Maine Coons Have Such Thick Fur?
A Maine Coons fur plays a very functional role, since they originate in Maine, United States, where it can be extremely cold during the winter months. The Maine Coon cat breed has thus evolved to survive the harsh New England climate.
Whilst the Maine Coons thick fur protects them from the colder temperatures and adverse weather conditions during the Winter, it also offers protection in the Summer months. This is because their fur protects the Maine Coons delicate skin from the rays of direct sunlight, which can cause sunburn. Owners will definitely notice that their cats fur becomes notably thinner during the warmer months though, since their fur sheds massively as Spring time approaches.
Do All Maine Coons Have Long Hair?
Yes, most purebred cats have long hair. However, cats that were mixed with other species might have shorter hair.
Do Maine Coons Shed a Lot?
We will see an increase in shedding at the beginning of spring and fall. The cat’s fur is starting to adapt to warmer temperatures, and that is done by dropping. This will lead to a thinner coat, and it will enable the cat’s skin to breathe more during the summer months. This way, the cat will adapt to warmer temperatures, and it will cool down easier.
It is a good idea to see the vet if the cat starts over shedding.
For more information on fur shedding, read my article “Do Maine Coon Cats Shed A Lot?“.
Maine Coon Fur Problems
Maine Coons can have fur problems due to their thick coat. The most common issues include hairballs, matted fur, dirty fur, and moderate to excessive shedding. These problems can be prevented with regular grooming, a high-quality diet, and various supplements such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 supplements.
Check out my favourite grooming brushes, which I use to keep our Maine Coons fur in a healthy condition.
What Does The Condition Of Maine Coon Fur Tell You?
A Maine Coons fur can tell us more about a cats health problems, or smaller unseen issues than you would first expect. Since this breed are very good at hiding their health problems (and obviously cannot tell us), owners should therefore inspect their cats fur regularly for signs of an issue.
The table below gives you a quick summary of Maine Coon fur issues to watch out for, and what each issue might indicate:
|Poor Coat Condition||Sign of a poor diet|
|Greasy Fur||Indicates various factors, including change of appetite, activity levels, or weight. In more severe cases, it might be an indicator of something more serious: bad teeth, diabetes, or even bladder infections|
|Matted Fur||Indicates various factors, including change of appetite, activity levels, or weight. In more severe cases, it might be an indicator of something more serious: bad teeth, diabetes, or even bladder infections|
|Over Shedding||Indicator of a medical disease|
|Excessive Grooming||Indicator that cat is stressed|
Fur Grooming Requirements of Maine Coon
As we have already noted, regular grooming is recommended for Maine Coon cats. Here are the most common requirements:
At the very least, you should brush the fur once or twice a week, or even daily, if the coat is not in good condition.
The cat will groom on its own, but owners can help improve their cats fur via regular brushing.
2. Hair clipping
In some cases, a cat’s fur may require clipping, especially where severe matting is concerned. In general though, an owner can use a dematting tool like this to remove matted fur without hurting their precious Maine Coon.
Here’s a quick video of our Maine Coon having his long thick fur groomed and brushed, with a Furminator:
Shaving a Maine Coon is ultimately down to each owners personal preference, and their individual and unique personal circumstances. If this is something you are interested in though, please make sure that you have considered all the factors in advance, before taking such drastic action. Once shaved, it will take a long time for your Maine Coons long hair to regrow, to its former glory.
Always put the welfare of your cat, over your own personal preferences. Shaving a Maine Coon is more serious than you might first think, since is a serious change for your Maine Coon. Consider this action seriously.
In extreme cases where the hair has become matted, owners should consider shaving their Maine Coon cats fur to remove the issue.
Shaving a Maine Coons hair is a somewhat emotive subject. Before you try it, make sure you read my article on the Maine Coon lion cut.
Some owners like to bathe their cats, though this is not usually a necessary requirement unless your cat is particularly dirty, or suffers from greasy hair etc. If you are keen to bathe your Maine Coon though, you might be relieved to hear that whilst most cat breeds hate bathing, the Maine Coon is the complete opposite, since they love playing in water. Many owners have therefore successfully taught their Maine Coon cats to have baths!
Introduce the concept of bathing whilst your Maine Coon is still a kitten since older cats are far harder to train, and more stubborn! If your cat loves bathing, bathe your cat no more than once per month.
Ok, hands up! When I first bought our Maine Coon kitten I didn’t even realise that this breed could, or should, be bathed. I therefore never introduced the concept of washing in the bathtub to ‘Pippin’ (our Maine Coon) whilst he was still a kitten. Thankfully his fur has never needed to be washed though, since he does a pretty good job of cleaning himself. He also prefers lounging on our clean heated wooden floors all day long, rather than roaming in our dirty back garden.
The more I learnt about this breed, the more fascinated I became. Therefore, I decided to introduce our Maine Coon to bathing at the grand old age of 7 years old! As you can see in the funny video below, our Maine Coon was definitely not a fan of this new concept!!
How to Tell The Difference Between A Maine Coon And A long-haired Domestic Cat?
The most significant difference is in the texture of the fur, which is scruffy-looking for Maine Coons. Also, Maine Coons will be considerably more stocky and bony than most domestic cats.
Below is a snapshot comparison of the Maine Coon vs Normal cat:
Short Haired Maine Coon Cat For Sale
It is most likely that you won’t come across purebred short-haired Maine Coon kittens and cats. However, it is possible to find Maine Coons that have been mixed with other species that result in the short-haired cat look.
If you are interested in buying a Maine Coon, check out my article ‘How to Buy A Maine Coon Cat‘ so that you don’t get caught out by unscrupulous sellers.
When Do Maine Coons Get Their Mane?
It takes a number of years for a Maine Coons fur to fully develop. Therefore, don’t be surprised if your cats fur has not fully-grown, until they between four or even five years.
When a Maine Coon reaches approximately five months old, they will develop a furry tail.
The famous Maine Coon mane is not likely to have developed until they are roughly two years of age.
Should you Trim Maine Coon hair?
You can trim the hair if you think it is too long, or if you want to get it in order a bit more. However, the cat’s body will naturally adapt to any changes, and they will be just fine with their long, scruffy fur.
Maine Coons are associated with long, scruffy fur coats, and a bulky physique. It is not likely to find a purebred Maine Coon with short hair. However, a part Maine Coon has mixed genetic that may potentially include the genetics of a short-haired cat breed.
Can a Maine Coon have short hair? … Naturally, these cats are associated with long, silky fur, which is a distinctive feature of this species. Some people do decide to trim their beloved Maine Coons for aesthetic reasons though.
The Maine Coons long fur plays some vital roles for this particular cat breed. Namely, the coat protects the cat against cold weather, and the sun, whilst also serving as a sort of protection system for the Maine Coon.
In summary, can a Maine Coon have short hair? The quick answer is no, this would be highly unlikely.
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