There is something unique about all cat breeds. While some cat breeds are known for their flat faces, many are known for their fluffy coats. Maine Coons fall into the category of fluffy cat breeds. Known for their majestic manes, bushy tails, and large stature, Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds. For their gentle and friendly nature, they are often called the gentle giants of the feline world.
A long-haired fluffy coat is a prime feature of Maine Coons, and it will be very unusual for a Maine Con to have a short-haired coat. But often, people claim that they have short hair Maine Coon. So what’s that all about? Can a Maine Coon have short hair? Well, the answer is a bit complex and hence needs a bit of explanation. Continue reading to learn if short-haired Maine Coon is a possibility.
Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair?
No! Pure Maine Coons cannot have short hair coats, but mixed Maine Coon can have long-haired, short-haired, and medium-haired coats.
If both parents of your Maine Coon kittens are Maine Coons and still there are one or more short-haired Maine Coon kittens in the litter, chances are that at least one of the parents has another breed in their family tree.
However, note that purebred Maine Coon kittens sometimes may appear to have short hair, especially when they are too young (four to six months). Eventually, the hair grows large as they age until the fourth birthday of these kitties when the fur is developed completely. To learn more about kitten development, check out our Kitten Growth Chart.
Why Do Maine Coons Have Such Long Hair?
For the record, the Maine Coon breed comes from the state of Maine in the United States, where winters are harsh with an average temperature of only 15 degrees Fahrenheit. Therefore, the reason for having a large hair can be found in evolution: over time, Maine Coons have developed a long coat to make survival in the New England climate possible. Furthermore, the fur is somewhat water-resistant, which keeps the kitties stay dry and warm during cold days.
The coat protects Maine Coon kitties from summers also. The fur keeps the direct sun rays that may cause sunburn at bay from hitting their delicate skin. Besides, since these cats shed heavily during summer, their coat gets thinner as warmer months approach.
In addition to protection from the weather, the long Maine Coon coat performs the following functions as well:
- It safeguards the skin from the teeth and claws of other cats and animals in the wild.
- It indicates the mood. When a cat feels threatened, the heckles stand up to look large and aggressive.
- It synthesizes essential nutrients, vitamin D, for instance.
More About the Maine Coon Coat
The Maine Coon Coat Specifications
Length: Medium to long
Hair Characteristics: Shaggy, silky, rough, uneven, fluffy, and smooth
Patterns: Solid, tabby, tortoise, bicolor, and calico
Colors: Black, white, ebony, red, orange, blue, gray, cream, beige, tan, chocolate, brown, or sable
Grooming Requirements: Moderate to high
The Maine Coon coat has a distinctively long appearance and consists of glossy but slightly coarse and silky soft insulating hair of intermediate length. Perhaps the characteristics that set apart the coat most are its shaggy unevenness and somewhat unkempt look.
The shortest hair is found at the top of the head, behind the ears, and around the ankles and the wrist. However, going from front to back, the hair starts becoming longer, especially on the tail. Likewise, the longest hair is found along the length of the tail, behind the hind legs, on the tummy, and around the neck. As for the tufts of fur, the longest ones sprout from the ear tips. They are one of the few cat breeds with ear tufts.
Maine Coons come in a variety of coat colors and patterns, including solid, tabby, tortoise, bicolor, and calico. But pure white Maine Coon and tricolored Calico Maine Coons are the most popular among feline lovers. They also look bewitching in the orange tabby coat.
Maine Coon Coat Grooming and Maintenance
When it comes to the grooming requirements for Maine Coons, they range from medium to high. Nevertheless, the properly maintained coats look and feel great, and, therefore, it is advisable for Maine Coon owners to do the followings:
The Maine Coon coat should be brushed at least twice a week, though it is better to do it daily. This will make sure that the coat looks beautiful and knot-free. Furthermore, it reduces the probability of cats ingesting their fur and thus developing problems such as hairballs in their system. Also, note that skipping regular brushing sessions can complicate the knots and may make it painful to untangle them in the future, making a visit to a professional groomer necessary. Get a pair of quality cat brushes and brush your cat daily. It will not only keep the coat healthy but will also strengthen your bond with your cat.
You must invest in a quality hairbrush to do the job effectively. Safari Self-Cleaning Slicker Brush is equipped with stainless steel pins that make sure Maine Coons get properly groomed without any irritation.
Sometimes, it is advisable to clip hair, especially when the coat is marred with health problems such as severe matting. However, clipping the hair too short is neither necessary nor recommended. Moreover, making the coat too short does not reduce the shedding problem.
Like hair clipping, there is no need to shave Maine Coons unless there exists some health problem. Additionally, shaving cats may require sedation which can put them at unnecessary risk. Similarly, cats may not like the sudden feeling of having all of their fur removed.
Bathing Maine Coons is also unnecessary. However, it may be particularly important if your cat is dirty or suffers from greasy hair. Bathing her might strip her coat of natural oils that may leave the skin in a dry, flaky state.
Where most cats hate water and their bathing sessions, Maine Coons tend to love water. So bathing your Maine Coon cat will be a fun activity. If you have never bathed your cat before, check out our guide on bathing kittens.
Should You Make the Hair of Your Maine Coon Short Yourself?
Yes, and no. If you prefer short hair for your Maine Coon, you can give her plenty of haircuts, such as a lion-style hairdo. But, remember, a haircut with only a slight amount of clipping is advisable. If the hair is not cut too short, haircuts do not hurt these cats; in fact, it is an awesome way of keeping them cool and comfortable in hot summers. However, as already discussed, you should refrain from cutting the hair too short as doing so is not recommended. It should only be done when any health issue is concerned.
Signs of Poor Maine Coon Coat Health
Unfortunately, some health issues can render the softness and plushness of the long Maine Coon coat unattractive. Cats are generally good at hiding their signs of sickness, but Maine Coons seem to have some extra expertise in this area. To spot unhealthy coat in your Maine Coon, you need to be watchful of the following signs:
Patched or Straggly Coat
The coat will look overall in poor condition, patched or straggly in particular, if your Maine Coon does not eat healthily. You can manage this issue by simply ensuring a good amount of protein and omega-3 fatty acids in her diet. However, if the problem persists, you should contact a vet.
ACANA First Feast High-Protein Kitten Dry Cat FoodPacked with high-quality proteins and omega fatty acids, it supports healthy muscles and silky shiny coats in cats.
Matted and Greasy
Thyroid problems in cats can lead to greasy and matted coats. Other common reasons include bad oral health, diabetes, and infections. Nevertheless, if the thyroid is the reason, other symptoms such as a change in appetite and activity levels may also prop up.
Maine Coons may shed throughout the year, especially during the beginning of the spring and fall seasons. However, if your kitty has a big shedding session outside these times, know that it is a health concern and needs immediate vet attention.
Stress can cause overgrooming in felines. Besides stress, there can be a lot of other reasons as well. You might find your newcomer kitty excessively grooming herself mainly because she might be stressed out by the sudden change in environment.
How to Know if Your Maine Coon Is Purebred?
Unfortunately, there is only one way of finding out whether your Maine Coon is purebred or not: buying from a reputable breeder. Such breeders must be able to prove the purebred nature of their litter by showing paperwork.
How to Know the Difference Between Maine Coons and Other Long-Haired Cats?
Maine Coons have some specific features that set them apart from other long-haired kitties. For instance, they are the largest of all domestic cat breeds (up to 16 inches in height), they are very fluffy all over the body, and they can weigh up to 20 pounds (the average household cat weighs no more than 10 pounds on average), and they are stockier and bonier.
Conclusion: Can a Maine Coon Have Short Hair?
As evident from the above discussion, a Maine Coon can only have short hair if she is not purebred. However, if you own one, you can trim her hair to make them look short, but you need to be a bit cautious of certain things mentioned above.
Having known about the gentle giant of the feline world, know about the Harlequin Great Dane – the gentle giant of the canine world!