The Maine Coon is one of the most loved breeds nowadays. Many cat fanciers are just crazy about this large long-haired beauty with an outstanding personality.
Its popularity could lead some people to ask whether these cats are significantly different from normal cats. By normal I think of an average domestic cat.
After all, they belong to the same Felinae family and should be similar in many ways. While they certainly have some things in common, there are some essential differences between the Maine Coon breed and regular cats.
Let’s see just how different are these two in the following Maine Coon vs normal cat debate explanation.
Maine Coon Vs Normal Cat Overview
|Maine Coon||Normal Cat|
|Weight||10-25 pounds||8-10 pounds|
|Height||10-16 inches||9-10 inches|
|Length||18-30 inches||15-20 inches|
|Coat type||Heavy, long, double-layered||Long, short, smooth, coarse|
|Coat colors||More than 75 different colors||Multiple colors, colors
combinations, and coat patterns
|Ears||Large, upright, with long tufts||Pricked, folded, curly, large, small|
|Eyes||Large, wide-set, oblique-shaped||Mostly rounded and average-sized|
|Body shape||Long, muscular, rectangular||Various types of body shape|
|Temperament||Sweet-natured, intelligent, social||Can vary depending on the breed|
|Health problems||Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, Spinal muscular atrophy||Gastrointestinal problems, dental issues, obesity, eye problems|
|Lifespan||12-15 years||13-17 years|
The first and the most obvious difference between a Maine Coon and a regular cat is their size.
According to the Maine Coon growth chart, this cat is very large. Its average weight goes from 10 to 25 pounds. It’s 10 to 16 inches tall, while its total length can go from 18 up to 30 inches.
Large size is one of the features the Maine Coon breed is mostly known for. On the other hand, an average domestic cat weighs 8 to 10 pounds.
It stands at a height of about 9 to 10 inches, and measures approximately 15 to 20 inches in length.
Coat Type And Colors
A coat type is something that sets Maine Coons from other breeds.
This cat has a heavy, silky, and long coat, while normal cats can have either a long or a short one. Also, their coats can be both smooth and coarse to the touch.
Both Maine Coon and normal cats can have various coat colors.
These can be solid colors like red, cream, black, blue, chocolate, etc. Also, there are tabby coat markings in various patterns – classic, mackerel, and ticked.
Furthermore, both these cats can have bi-colored coats. For instance, you could like the amazing black and white Maine Coon.
I think there are so many color options with both Maine Coon and regular cats that every cat fancier will find its favorite!
Maine Coons are also recognized for their large and upright ears, adorned with long tufts of fur growing from their inner ears.
Normal cats can have several different ear types. They can be large or small, curly, pricked, folded, and so on.
The Maine Coon has large eyes, set-apart, and oblique-shaped. These cats usually have green or gold/yellow eyes.
Normal cats typically have average-sized and rounded eyes. Their eyes can also come in other colors, such as hazel, copper, amber, and brown.
The Maine Coon breed has a very long and muscular body. It’s also recognized for its specific rectangular shape. These cats also feature a broad chest and a long torso.
On the other hand, normal cats can have various body shapes. According to the Catonsville Cat Vet Center, there are six common body shapes in felines.
The substantial body shape describes a cat whose body isn’t rounded or stocky. Cobby body shape refers to a cat with a compact frame and broad shoulders.
Semi-cobby cats have stocky and rounded bodies, while semi-foreign felines have elegant and long ones.
A cat with a foreign body shape is athletic and slender. Finally, an oriental or skinny body shape describes a cat with a slender, almost skinny body.
Temperament And Behavior
Anyone would probably easily recognize and differentiate a Maine Coon breed from other cats. Simply, this cat has distinctive physical features that just make it impossible not to notice it.
However, an even more amazing thing about this breed is its temperament.
The Maine Coon is a friendly, loving, and gentle cat. It gets on well with anyone – from their owners, children, and other pets, to even strangers!
This cat is highly active and intelligent, and its owner will be able to teach it some fun tricks. Anyone who has a lot of free time at disposal may find the Maine Coon breed as a perfect family companion.
It’s important to note here that Maine Coons thrive on love and attention. So, they not only enjoy having their owners very close, but they need to have them around to stay happy and satisfied.
When it comes to a normal cat’s temperament and behavior, there isn’t a single definition for it. Some felines are social and outgoing, while some are more aloof and solitary.
Some of them are highly energetic and others may prefer to longue on a sofa with their owners for the entire day.
Some cats are suitable for living with children and even other pets, while others are more satisfied with being the only cosset of the family.
Therefore, all Maine Coons share traits such as gentleness, intelligence, and friendliness. For the other cats – you’ll need to consider factors such as socialization and breed to find out more about their temperament.
There are some general health problems that cats often suffer from, regardless of their breed, age, and gender.
Gastrointestinal issues are one of the most common ones. Many cats will face diarrhea and vomiting at least a couple of times in their lifetime.
There are many causes of these issues, such as an upset stomach, a change in diet, or even hormonal conditions like hyperthyroidism.
Many domestic cats also struggle with obesity. Malin Öhlund and his associates  point out how 7 to 63% of domestic cats in different populations are overweight. Obesity decreases a cat’s quality of life and can shorten its life expectancy.
Furthermore, domestic cats can also experience eye problems. Some of the most common ones are eye infections, cataracts, glaucoma, and corneal ulcers.
There are also a couple of characteristic health issues with the Maine Coon breed. Many of these cats suffer from hip dysplasia. This is a genetic disease and affects this breed more commonly due to its large size.
Another medical condition prevalent in the Maine Coon breed is the Spinal muscular atrophy. The Langford Vets explains that this condition causes the loss of spinal cord nerves that control muscles in the limbs.
This condition leads to muscle weakness and affected cats are typically too weak to jump correctly.
Also, many Maine Coons develop Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. This condition leads to thickening of a cat’s heart ventricular walls, which results in a decreased efficiency of heart function and can cause congestive heart failure.
Maine Coons typically live 12 to 15 years. Normal cats’ life expectancy is estimated to be from 13 to 17 years.
Of course, a cat’s lifespan depends on factors such as its lifestyle, regular vet visits, nutrition, and so on.
How to differentiate a Maine Coon from a regular domestic cat?
Well, this shouldn’t be too challenging a task, since there are some specific appearance traits that make the Maine Coon breed stand out from the rest.
These include a large size, a rectangular body shape, a heavy and long coat, large ears, and wide-set eyes.
On the contrary, a regular domestic cat is typically smaller than a Maine Coon. Its body can come in various shapes. Its ears can also be seen in a couple of shapes, and its eyes are typically round and not too large.
A normal cat’s coat can be both long and short, coarse or smooth.
The Maine Coon is widely known for its gentle, loving, and friendly temperament. A normal cat can also feature all of these traits, but this depends a lot on its breed and lifestyle.
I would like to emphasize at the end that Maine Coon are outstanding felines for sure. However, I think other domestic cats are also worthy of every attention.
Can you share some things you find are very much different in the Maine Coon breed compared to other cats? Looking forward to hearing from you!
 Öhlund M, Palmgren M, Holst BS. Overweight in adult cats: a cross-sectional study. Acta Vet Scand. 2018 Jan 19;60(1):5. DOI, Retrieved November 2, 2023.