Fur is the iconic characteristic of most cat breeds, however, does Maine Coon fur grow back?
This guide is for you if you are a Maine Coon owner and want to know everything about the fur of these large cats, and how you should ideally manage and take care of it.
Just as humans grow back their hair after a haircut, the same is the situation with Maine Coons, they also grow back their fur after a haircut or full body shave. However, the duration of fur growth can vary depending on the cat’s nutrition, care, and overall health. Maine Coons that are under stress or malnourished will have slow fur growth.
Maine Coons make wonderful companions, but you must be knowledgeable about how to care for their fur, as well as whether or not to shave your Maine Coon’s fur.
Dr. Abdul Basit Javed (DVM, RVMP) our small animal veterinarian has put together this informative article for you, so read on.
Keep scrolling to also discover the results of an independent survey conducted by Katrina Stewardson on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, where viewers were asked if they thought Maine Coons were waterproof.
Keep reading to learn the unexpected and somewhat surprising research findings of this poll, later in this article.
Does Maine Coon Fur Grow Back?
Maine Coons are one of the oldest cat breeds native to the United States and are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
Despite being large they rarely get aggressive and are often called ‘gentle giants’. They like to be near their owners and make excellent pets.
Maine Coons have beautiful long flowing fur which gives them their characteristic look. Their fur is made up of the following three layers:
- Longer Undercoat (middle coat)
- Shorter Undercoat (inner coat)
- Outer Guard Coat
Maine Coon cats have three layered fur. Whilst some people assume the Maine Coon is double-coated, their undercoat is actually of two lengths.
So, does cat fur grow back if cut?
Maine Coon fur will grow back if shaved or cut, but this process of re-growth takes roughly 4-6 months or longer if the cat is malnourished, or in poor health.
However, the Maine Coon cat’s fur might never grow back if there is scar tissue.
Maine Coon Fur Types
Before answering this, let’s first describe the fur of a Maine Coon and its functionality in a little more detail, since there are different Maine Coon fur types and colors.
Maine Coons have an undercoat made up of downy hairs as well as some long hairs.
Because the undercoat is two lengths, it is often referred to as the inner coat and middle coat separately.
The purpose of both of these layers of fur is to trap air, insulating the cat and protecting it from cold.
As the Maine Coon transitions from kitten phase to adult, it develops an outercoat also known as the third or outermost layer of fur, made up of guard hairs.
Guard hairs are:
The glossy appearance comes from the oily secretions on the guard hair which also makes them water repellent. Guard hairs repel water and dirt, keeping the coat clean.
However, when it comes to cutting or shaving the fur of a Maine Coon you must know that it is an unnatural process and cats rarely need it unless recommended by a veterinarian.
Or, if you are living in a very hot climate and your Maine Coon constantly remains under heat stress.
When their fur is trimmed or shaved, Maine Coons do re-grow it in a span of months usually 4 to 6.
The duration of fur regrowth is determined by various factors, including:
- Physical Activity
- Overall Health Of The Cat
If the Maine Coon is malnourished or in poor health, it can take more than 6 months for its fur to grow back to its normal length.
Why Should I Cut My Cat’s Hair?
In general, a Maine Coon cat’s hair should not be cut because it is unnatural for them.
In the wild or in the streets how many cats do you see that have no fur even on the hottest of days?
For household cats, trimming or shaving their hair is not necessary unless recommended by a veterinarian or if they are having problems with their hygiene, particularly around their:
- Paw Pads
1. Medical Reasons
Many cat owners ask, do you cut Maine Coon fur?
As a veterinarian, I always advise clients that the primary reason for cutting Maine Coon cat fur is in relation to medical concerns.
If you do not groom your cat on a regular basis, their hair might become tangled and mats can form.
Since these mats can be painful and cause skin irritations and infections, a vet may recommend shaving the matted regions or shaving the cat’s entire body.
If your cat develops a skin wound, a vet may shave the area around the wound to prevent hair from entering the wound and causing infection.
Shaving may also be performed during physical examinations to closely examine the abnormality lying beneath the thick fur, and during surgeries to keep the surgical site clean and to prevent infections.
2. To Reduce Heat Stress
People who own long-haired cats such as Maine Coons wonder do long haired cats need haircuts?
Although not necessary, some long-haired cats require a haircut if they are kept in a very hot climate without proper air conditioning or amenities.
A veterinarian might suggest a haircut if cats from colder climates are housed in tropical regions where the temperatures regularly exceed 35 degrees Celsius, to avoid heat stress.
3. To Manage Allergies
Since they suffer from allergies, many people choose to shave their cat’s fur to reduce shedding and make their environment hypoallergenic.
However, giving your cat a haircut or shaving the fur off its entire body is not an effective long-term solution for human allergies.
Owners might also still suffer from allergies because the major allergy triggers are:
- Dander (skin cells that come off with hair)
4. Grooming And Hygiene
Healthy Maine Coons can groom themselves perfectly well.
These cats may benefit from a hair trim in these areas to maintain hygiene and cleanliness.
If there is matting in the fur between the paw pads, it should be trimmed as well to prevent infections and maintain normal gait.
5. Parasitic Prevention
A full body shave may be necessary for cats with parasite infestation, especially mites, in order to get rid of them.
In such cases, shaving the fur helps with the application of topical treatments on the skin and bathing with medicated shampoos to eliminate parasites.
6. Hairball Prevention
Only if a veterinarian believes that shaving or trimming a cat’s fur may prevent reoccurring hairball problems can a cat be given a haircut.
Giving your Maine Coon cat a haircut, however, is not a permanent cure to its hairball problem; instead, consult your veterinarian to discover additional prevention solutions.
Is It Bad To Cut Cats Hair?
A major concern with cutting your cat’s hair, especially if you are going for a lion cut for your Maine Coon is sunburn.
Maine Coons have sensitive skin that can burn if exposed to the sun for an extended period of time, resulting in:
- Painful Sores
- Skin Irritation
This is more common among cats with lighter-colored coats and those that spend most of their time indoors.
Maine Coons have a thick outer coat made of guard hairs that not only repel water and dirt but also act as a barrier to protect skin from scratches and injuries caused by everyday objects while playing.
However, if you have cut your cat’s hair, this protective layer of guard hair will be lost, increasing the risk of:
- Skin Injuries
When there is no hair on a cat’s body it is an easy target for biting insects such as ticks, mosquitoes, and others.
Mosquitoes in particular can transmit life-threatening infections to Maine Coons such as heartworm.
If shaving your cat’s body is necessary, do use pet-safe insect repellents in your home.
Lack Of Insulation
If you shave or trim your cat’s fur at the wrong time of year, and the weather has turned cold, your cat will have little insulation to keep them warm.
In such instances, put your cat in a heated environment to prevent hypothermia.
When your cat’s fur regrows, newly erupting hair can cause irritation and discomfort leading to excessive scratching and possibly injury.
Stress And Behavioral Changes
Grooming is an important aspect of a cat’s daily routine.
When you trim your cat’s hair, they may experience stress and anxiety since they are no longer able to groom their fur. These are the signs of stress to look out for.
Your cat may also display behavioral changes, so make sure it is eating well.
Take your cat to the vet if your Maine Coon cat has stopped eating following a haircut.
Slow Fur Regrowth
Post-clipping alopecia and poor fur growth is a big concern in many cats including Maine Coons. There are many reasons behind it.
Depending on the age, nutrition, and health status the fur may not re-grow to its normal length even after years.
How Long Does It Take For Maine Coon Fur To Grow Back?
Hair regrowth depends on many factors in Maine Coons, such as:
- Body Condition Of The Cat
Shaving Or Full Trim
If a full body shave (down to the skin) also known as full trim is performed on a Maine Coon, a young and healthy cat provided with a balanced diet can re-grow its fur within 4-6 months.
Some Maine Coon cats, however, might take up to 8 months to regrow their fur.
If the fur of a Maine Coon is partially trimmed or thinned out, in such cases, the fur will grow back to its normal length within a few weeks to about 3 or 4 months.
Injury Or Surgery
The exact time frame for fur regrowth on a surgical or injury site is difficult to predict because it depends on numerous factors such as the:
- Type of surgery
- Location on the body
- Materials used during the surgery
- The extent of damage inflicted by the injury
If hair follicles were lost during surgery or injury and scar tissue has formed after complete healing, hairs may not grow again in that area.
This would be because of the absence of hair follicles and since scar tissue has poor blood circulation.
If the area was just trimmed for surgery and no follicles were lost, it will take 4-6 months for the fur to grow back.
Maine Coons naturally shed their hair throughout the year, however, shedding is more frequent during spring and fall.
How Can I Make My Cat Hair Grow Back Faster?
Below are some of the strategies you can adopt to boost the hair growth of your cat:
If your cat has poor hair growth, consider switching to a new diet.
Make sure the diet of your cat is well-balanced and contains enough:
Poor hair growth can also be due to food allergies in cats so consider switching to a more natural diet or a hypoallergenic food that has a novel protein ingredient.
Before introducing a new diet to your cat, always consult with a veterinarian.
One of the best ways to improve hair growth in Maine Coons is by adding supplements to their diet.
Do get a recommendation from a veterinarian while selecting the supplements for your cat.
In general, supplements that contain the following are ideal for boosting hair growth in cats:
- Omega-3 fatty acids
Here are some other effective cat supplements.
Do not skip grooming sessions of your cat as this can lead to fur mating resulting in:
- Poor Hair Growth
- Fur Loss
If you have a Maine Coon, you should brush its fur at least 2-3 times per week, with these cat brushes.
Although not all Maine Coon cats like bathing, sometimes it can be necessary for optimal hair growth.
Bathing your cats helps remove dead skin and dead hair from their body and improves blood circulation.
Remember to use a pet-safe shampoo for your cat like these, and avoid human shampoos as they can harm their skin.
Mites and other parasites are a common cause of poor hair growth in cats, so make sure your cat is getting parasitic preventive medications on time.
Identify The Underlying Cause
Take your cat to the vet regularly to determine whether or not there is an underlying cause behind their poor hair growth, such as:
- Bacterial Folliculitis
- Cushing’s Disease
Why Is My Cat’s Fur Not Growing Back?
The following can be the reasons why your cat’s fur is not growing back:
If your cat is a senior, hair growth can be very slow and it can take from months to years for the fur to grow back.
In such cases, there is nothing much you can do except to provide good nutrition and care to your cat.
If you are offering an unbalanced diet to your cat that lacks essential nutrients, or feeding them cheap quality food, their fur will not grow back and will take more time.
Additionally, if your cat is allergic to the food, fur growth will be disturbed.
If your cat is constantly under any kind of stress (such as the issues listed below) there will be hormonal imbalances in the cat’s body which will lead to delayed hair growth:
- Due to the environment
- New people
- Other animals
Poor Health Status
The following diseases can also be a reason behind poor growth in cats:
- Calicivirus Infection
- Autoimmune Diseases
- Chusing’s Disease
Parasites, particularly mites (mange) can penetrate into the hair follicles of cats and destroy them resulting in hair loss and slow hair growth.
Cats that suffer from allergies will have a weak immune system and their hormones also get disturbed leading to poor fur health.
Here are some common Maine Coon cat allergies to watch out for.
Some cats have a habit of over-grooming themselves to an extent where they lick their skin so much that new erupting hairs can get pulled out leading to fur not growing fast.
Formation Of Scar Tissue
If cat fur is not growing back after surgery, have you ever thought about why it happens?
Well, this is due to the formation of scar tissue.
If hair follicles are lost during surgery and thick scar tissue forms on the surgical site, there will be no hair growth even after complete healing due to the absence of hair follicles and poor blood supply in the scar tissue.
Maine Coon Haircut Styles
The Maine Coon lion cut is one of the most common Maine Coon haircut styles.
It involves shaving the entire body of a Maine Coon and just leaving hair on the head, tail, and feet, giving the cat a lion-like appearance.
Your Maine Coon will look to have a mane like a lion.
Here are some of the Maine Coon lion cut pictures for you to see:
Teddy Bear Cut
The Maine Coon teddy bear cut involves trimming Maine Coon’s hair to a shorter length, not reaching down to the skin all over the body.
Depending on personal liking, hair on the head and tail may or may not be trimmed.
This haircut style is an excellent choice if you want to keep your cat’s appearance while making maintenance easier.
A comb cut is when the hair of a Maine Coon is trimmed with a comb attached to a trimmer.
This way, the hair is not completely shaved, leaving a layer of fur behind for insulation.
Full Body Shave
Shaving the hair down to the skin from all sections of the cat’s body is known as a full-body shave.
The shaved Maine Coon summer look is common in areas where the climate is hot.
However, this haircut style is not advised unless recommended by a veterinarian in case of severe matting or skin infections.
How Long Does It Take For Cat Hair To Grow Back After Being Shaved?
Normally, it takes 4-6 months for cats, especially long-haired breeds like Maine Coons, to fully regrow their hair after being shaved.
By comparison, hair regrowth takes between 1-3 months for short-haired cats after being shaved.
The duration of hair regrowth in cats is determined by:
- Health Status
Will Cat Fur Grow Back After Injury?
Hair regrowth after an injury in cats depends completely on the:
- Type of injury
Hair will grow back if the hair follicles are not destroyed by the injury and a tiny scar tissue has formed.
However, if hair follicles were lost due to the injury and damage extended deep into the skin layers resulting in large and thick scar tissue, it is unlikely the hairs will grow again.
Such as in the cases of deep burns and severe road accidents where flaps of skin are removed, there will be no hair growth even after complete healing because hair follicles have been lost (source 1).
How To Care For Maine Coon Fur
Maine Coons have long flowing fur, big fluffy tails, and ear tufts.
All of these factors add to their unique appearance. However, as a Maine Coon owner, you must also exert some effort to keep your cat’s fur in good condition:
Maine Coons have thick fur, and while they are good self-groomers, they may require assistance from time to time, especially if they are sick or senior.
Brushing your Maine Coon’s fur 2 to 3 times per week is ideal, but if you are really busy, brush their fur once a week to keep the fur in good shape and free of matting and knots.
Use the following cat brushes to brush the fur of your Maine Coon:
- Raking Tool or Wire Brush: A raking tool or a wire brush should be used for the undercoat to remove any tangles and dead hair.
- Soft Bristle Brush: You can also use a soft bristle brush for brushing the outer coat and to remove any dead guard hairs and debris stuck in the fur.
- Grooming Glove: Next, use a grooming glove to remove the remaining hair from the fur and give your cat a gentle massage to improve blood circulation.
- De-Shedding Tool: Use a de-shedding tool once a week to help reduce shedding.
No single brush should be used as each type of brush performs a specific function. Ideally, for Maine Coons you should use at least two brushes.
Many Maine Coons like bathing.
A Maine Coon can be bathed once a month.
Bathing aids in the removal of dead hair and dead skin cells (dander), as well as the loosening of hair knots.
Maine Coons are among the most beautiful cats, and their fur contributes significantly to their appearance. It does, however, require maintenance.
Does Maine Coon fur grow back?
If a healthy Maine Coon’s fur is shaved or trimmed, it will regrow in about 4-6 months, exactly like human hair does after a haircut.
Cat hair not growing back is a serious concern and it happens generally if the cat is senior, malnourished, obese, or has health issues.
In general, Maine Coons do not require haircuts and can live happily with their long fur until it is properly groomed.
Haircuts should only be performed if a veterinarian recommends it; otherwise, you will inflict unwanted stress on your cat.
YouTube Research: Are Maine Coons Waterproof?
Katrina Stewardson, the Director of Maine Coon Central conducted an independent poll on 1st November 2023 on the Maine Coon Central YouTube channel.
Due to widespread inaccuracies found across the internet, this poll was designed to gauge cat lovers understanding of the Maine Coon cat breed’s fur.
Viewers were asked to vote on whether they thought Maine Coon cats were waterproof, or not.
The aim of this study was to test the users understanding of the Maine Coon cat breed.
The following results were obtained from 37 votes:
- 54% Thought the Maine Coon has semi-waterproof fur (Which IS Correct)
- 38% Said Maine Coons were 100% waterproof (This is NOT correct)
- 8% Of Voters stated that Maine Coonc cats are not waterproof at all (This IS NOT correct).
Why Is My Maine Coon Losing Hair?
Your Maine Coon might be losing hair due to old age, poor nutrition, skin infections, parasitic infestation, poor grooming routine, or due to diseases such as Cushing’s disease and others.