Whether you are planning to adopt a Maine Coon or start breeding these beloved felines, you may want to compare the European Maine Coon vs. American Maine Coon before making the big decision.
Well, while all Maine Coons are known for their large size, big bone structure, shaggy coats, and long tails, there are some differences between European and American Maine Coons.
Relative to American Maine Coons, the European Maine Coons are bred more often to the extreme to look a little wilder or more natural, with lion-like, chiseled muzzles, larger ears, and pronounced lynx tipped ears. Breeders affiliated with the CFA tend to breed “refined” Maine Coons, while the breeders affiliated to TICA breed wild-looking Maine Coons.
During breeding, some breeders focus on some essential elements of the cat’s anatomy, including overall size, ears, and muzzle, which make these elements bold. This is what makes all the difference.
In this, you wind everything you need to understand about the European Main Coons vs. American Maine Coons.
European Maine Coon Vs. American Maine Coon
We all know that Maine Coon is a long-haired domestic cat breed native to Maine, US. So, what is a European Maine Coon?
The European Maine Coon and American Maine Coon are the same breeds. However, the two have some very noticeable physical differences.
Essentially, American Maine Coons are Maine Coon cats bred in the continental United States, while European Maine Coons are Maine Coon cats bred in Europe, mainly in the UK and Russia. Moreover, it is worth noting that some American breeders in America breed European Maine Coons.
Despite having some noticeable differences, both the European and American Maine Coons possess all the standard Maine Coon attributes.
Maine Coon Cats
Here are some prominent Maine Coons attributes that both the European Maine Coon and American Maine Coon possess.
1. They Are Large
Relative to “normal” cats, the European and American Maine Coons are visually large.
They have long bodies, and all other parts are in proportion to create a well-balanced rectangular appearance with no parts that look exaggerated.
2. Large, Long, Shaggy Coat
Maine Coons, whether bred in America or Europe, are well known for their heavy, silky, and shaggy coats. The coat is usually longer on the stomach and britches and shorter on the shoulders.
They also have a frontal ruff.
3. Wedge-Shaped Heads
Comparing the European Maine Coon vs. American Maine Coon heads, both have medium-wide heads that are slightly longer in length than width.
In addition, an interior view of their head should exhibit a slight concavity.
However, some parts like the muzzle and ears are more distinct in European Maine Coons.
4. Short Legs And Large Paws
Another standard attribute of Maine Coons possessed by both the European and American Maine Coons is substantial, medium-long legs that are in proportion to the body. The forelegs are straight, while the rear legs are straight when viewed from behind.
In addition, they all have large, round, and well-tufted paws.
5. Long, Bushy Tails
All major standards for breeding Maine Coons (TICA, CFA, and FIFE) emphasize that Maine Coons should have long, bushy tails, wide at base and tapering.
6. Large Eyes
Both European Maine Coons and American Maine Coons have large, expressive eyes with an opened oval shape. The eyes also tend to have the same colors.
It is clear that European Maine Coon are not a separate breed because they possess standard Maine Coon attributes. All in all, they are physically different from the American Maine Coons.
European Maine Coons
Relative to American Maine Coons, European Maine Coons are distinguishable with the following attributes.
- They have stronger and squarer muzzles and chins.
- They have signature lynx-like ears – taller ears with bigger ear tufts.
- They tend to have higher cheekbones.
- They are bred to have a more feral or wild appearance, while their American cousins have a softer, more refined look.
- It is not uncommon for the European Maine Coons to have piercing, almond-shaped eyes, while most American Maine Coons have slightly oblique-shaped eyes.
Considering the physical differences between European Maine Coons and American Maine Coon, it makes perfect sense to say that breeders affiliated with CFA breed Maine Coons with a more refined look while breeders affiliated to the TICA and FIFE breed Maine Coons with a more feral or wild experience.
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) is a breed standard that governs many American breeders, while The International Cat Association (TICA) is a breed standard that guides most breeders in Europe.
The TICA breed standard applies internationally. That’s why some American breeders can breed European Maine Coons without any significant hassle.
Maine Coons are considered native to Maine, US because they have been in America since colonial days, and perhaps longer. However, how they came to Maine in the first place and where their progenitors came from remains steeped in mystery.
In this regard, there are many legends about the origin of this breed, with some being more permissible than others.
One folklore myth alleges that Maine Coons are a raccoon/domestic cat hybrid. While Raccoons and Maine Coons have some similarities in appearance, it is genetically impossible for such a union to exist.
Another legend claims that Maine Coons are descendants of Bobcats, which is also disregarded because it is genetically impossible.
The last anecdote, which many believe, alleges that Maine Coons descended from Viking ship cats. It is a tale of a sea captain named Charles Coon, who brought his long-haired cat on his excursions. As the story goes, Coon’s long-haired cat bred with a local feral cat, and when the kittens started showing up in litters, they were named Coon’s cats because they resembled the captain’s cat.
Seafarers who used cats to keep check of mice populations on sailing ships probably brought some long-haired cats with them to America’s northeastern coast.
As it is said, Maine Coons developed into large, rugged cats through natural selection.
No matter the breed’s origin, Maine Coons were popular entrants in cat shows and exhibits in the late 1800s to early 1900s, when more exotic breeds started appearing in the country.
Although the breed was declared extinct in the 1950s, it has regained its former glory, and now Maine Coons are the second most popular cats. (Source 1)
European Maine Coon Vs. American Maine Coon Size
Despite the fact that the European Maine Coons and American Maine Coons are the same breeds, the former tends to be larger physically. All in all, the size of European Maine Coons is not significantly different from that of American Maine Coons. As such, the weight, height, and length ranges work for both.
Talking of weight, Maine Coons typically weigh anywhere between 8 and 25 lbs. Male Maine Coons tend to be larger, weighing between 15 and 25 lbs, while female Maine Coons averagely weigh between 8 and 12 lbs.
On average, length-wise, Maine Coons range from 19 to 40 inches long. In terms of height, Male Maine Coons can grow between 10-14 inches tall. On the other hand, females tend to be smaller, ranging from 8 to 14 inches.
1. Build And Shape
Both the European and American Maine Coons have well-balanced rectangular-shaped, muscled, and broad-shaped bodies. In addition, all body parts of pedigree Maine Coons are in proportion, giving these beloved cats a pleasant, well-balanced appearance.
Purebred Maine Coons have wedge-shaped heads with a visibly square muzzle. However, it is worth noting that European Maine Coons tend to have stronger muzzles and chins.
Typically, Maine Coons have a medium-long nose with a gentle, concave curve and no break or bump. The muzzle should be proportionate to the head and in line with the nose and upper lip.
If you are a first-time owner, it is important to note that the European Maine Coons have larger and taller ears with bigger lynx-like tufts compared to American Maine Coons. Besides, the European Maine Coons’ tails are relatively extra long but bushy, just like those of the American cousins.
Talking about legs, purebred Maine Coons have substantial legs of medium length. When compared with “normal” cats, Maine Coons also have large, rounded paws with tufts. (Source 1)
2. Growth Rate
Despite being bred to have slightly varied looks, the European Maine Coon and the American Main Coon are more or less the same because they are the same breed.
In terms of growth rate, they take considerably longer to grow full. In this regard, a purebred Maine Coon does not reach maturity until it is 3 to 4 years old. (Source 1)
Maine Coons are well-known for their long, furry, and shaggy coats that keep them warm, even in frigid climates. Their coat is uneven and two-layered, which helps them survive harsh winters. Even more, the coat is water-resistant, which allows them to play or swim in the water.
Usually, the Maine Coon’s fur grows shorter on the shoulder and longer on the stomach and britches. It gets extremely long around the neck, giving them an appearance of a mane. (Source 1)
Maine Coons, whether European or American, come in greatly varied colors and patterns. This means there is a Maine Coon cat just right for everyone.
You can find a Maine Coon that is solid white, cream, black, red, or blue. These beloved family pets also come in tabby, bi-color, parti-color, calico, shades, and tortoiseshell. (Source 1)
European Maine Coon Vs. American Maine Coon Personality
Both the European and American Maine Coons are known for being incredibly intelligent, fun-loving, curious, and loyal. If you are worried whether European Maine Coon temperament and personality differs from that of American Maine Coons, the good news is they are more or less the same and have an ever-loving personality.
Don’t let their big size fool you – Maine Coons have a sweet and gentle temperament and barely use their claws. They have been nicknamed “gentle giants” to reflect their personalities.
Maine Coons are highly sociable creatures and never shy away from humans. They bond with their owners and love to be around them.
The male Maine Coon is very outgoing and sociable to the extent that it can bond with strangers.
Get On With Other Pets
Maine Coons integrate well with dogs and other pets.
They are more likely to get on with other felines provided they have enough space they call their own.
Loyalty / Companionship
Maine Coons are extremely loyal felines. Once they bond with the owners, they are not likely to leave for another family. In exchange for the love they get from their owners, they return loyalty.
Maine Coon is an energetic cat breed, and it turns out that they are playful.
They are very inquisitive and curious in nature, so they will find ways to amuse themselves when their owners are not around to play with them.
Although they are not territorial, Maine Coons are also known for their impressive hunting skills. They are well-known for being excellent mousers.
They are excellent climbers, and when taken outdoors, they will love climbing trees even when chasing prey.
Typically, Maine Coons are not territorial. However, like most other pets, they want a space they can call their own.
Overall, Maine Coons have a winning personality that makes them great family pets.
They are safe around kids and aren’t distressed by loud, busy family life.
Both the European Maine Coon and American Maine Coon are recognized as being incredibly intelligent. Their intelligent and loveable nature makes them ideal pets.
Much like dogs, Maine Coons are far more intelligent than ‘normal cats’ and can be trained to do things. For instance, they can be trained to play fetch!
Comparing European Maine Coon vs. American Maine Coon vocality, the two are more or less the same.
Typically, these cats are very vocal and love to talk to their human companions.
They are well known for their chirps and trills, which are sounds they make when they are feeling content and happy.
Since Maine Coons normally don’t meow, a meow from your Maine Coon can often mean the cat craves your attention. Alternatively, maybe something is wrong with them?
A Maine Coon remains a Maine Coon, whether bred in the continental United States, Europe, or Russia. As such, European Maine Coons and American Maine Coons are prone to the same health problems.
Here are the various hereditary health problems a Maine Coon is prone to:
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM): This is the most common form of heart disease in felines and is characterized by the thickening of the heart muscle, which can potentially lead to breathlessness and lethargy.
- Hip Dysplasia: Maine Coons can potentially have this developmental defect of the hip socket. If the condition is extreme, it can cause severe lameness.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA): This is another hereditary health issue that can be a serious concern in Maine Coons. It is characterized by the death of spinal cord neurons that activate skeletal muscles of the trunk and limbs. Although it is painless, it leads to muscle weakness and degeneration.
While Maine Coons are generally hardy, healthy cats, they are prone to various hereditary health issues. Thankfully, most of these issues are preventable through vaccination.
Buying a purebred Maine Coon from a reputable breeder who provides you with pedigree paperwork is one of the best ways to skip buying a cat that is too vulnerable.
To read our in-depth review of Maine Coon health issues, make sure you read ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems’.
Maine Coons are energetic cats.
Considering that they are also prone to getting obese, it is important to ensure that your cat gets plenty of mental stimulation and physical activity to help them maintain a healthy body weight.
Both the European and American Maine Coons typically need about 30 minutes of exercise daily to stay happy and healthy.
They are also excellent climbers and can comfortably stay outdoors. This is a very emotive subject though, click here to learn why.
Oddly enough, Maine Coons can be leashed and walked like dogs.
If your Maine Coon only stays indoors, make sure to buy an extra-large cat tree (like these), or scratching post and provide the feline with plenty of cat toys to help her work out the energy.
Maine Coons are not the cheapest felines you can buy. On average, a purebred Maine Coon will cost roughly $1,000.
However, unlike American Maine Coons, the European Maine Coons seem to get more attention from their breeders to ensure that the kittens meet the stipulations of the breed standard. It should therefore be no surprise that the European Maine Coon price tends to be higher than that of American Maine Coons.
When buying from reputable American breeders, you can expect to pay higher because the cats are imported.
All in all, whether you are buying a European Maine Coon or an American Maine Coon, the price ranges between $800 and upwards of $2,000, depending on the breeder, location, and other factors.
For more information on the cost of a Maine Coon kitten, and the factors that impact the purchase price, read my article ‘How Much Do Maine Coon Kittens Cost?‘.
Maine Coons are considered a hearty and healthy breed.
These cats have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years.
European Maine Coon Breeder Near Me
Buying a Maine Coon is a big commitment.
Considering that European Maine Coons tend to be pricier, you will want to make sure that you are only buying from a reputable breeder.
Here are some of the breeders you can consider:
- EuroCoons Maine Coon Cattery
- Mountain Fork Maine Coons
- Dynasty Maine Coons
For a complete list of registered Maine Coon cat breeders in the United States, click here.
When comparing the European Maine Coon vs American Maine Coon cat, it can be hard to notice their differences until you start observing the finer details of this magnificent cat breed.
Hopeful, after reading this post, you will have gotten a greater insight into how European Maine Coons differ from their American cousins.
Most importantly, they are the same breed, despite having different looks.
Are Maine Coons Affectionate?
Maine Coon are known for being affectionate, and most of them love to cuddle. They bond with their humans and appreciate the love they get.
Why Not To Get A Maine Coon
There are two concerns when it comes to getting a Maine Coon. Firstly, the felines are expensive at around $1,000 and require a large cat tree, which can be expensive relative to regular cat breeds.
Maine Coon Vs. Regular Cat Size
Comparing Maine Coon vs. normal cat size, it is very clear that Maine Coons are significantly larger than an average normal cat. They are visually larger and weigh up to 25 lbs, whereas normal cats weigh up to 10 lbs.
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