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European Maine Coon: what’s the difference?

Do you like big and unique-looking cats? Well, I have a perfect suggestion for you, a cat breed that, no matter how hard it tries, doesn’t go unnoticed because besides being a beautiful cat, it is a furry giant. Yes, it’s the European Maine Coon!

Likely, you have already heard of this breed because they are trendy cats. Not only are they physically attractive, but they also have a desirable temperament. They have the combo that makes the perfect cat.

If you are thinking of integrating one of these furballs into your family, there is a small detail you should know before choosing your new pet, and that is that although the breed is called Maine Coon, there are two versions of it, the European Maine Coon and the American Maine Coon. In this piece, I will tell you everything you should know before bringing your new family member.

European Maine Coon vs. American Maine Coon

In another article, we analyzed the Maine Coon vs. a regular cat. You probably expect a long list of notable differences again, almost as if they were two different cat breeds. Let me stop you right there because, as the name rightly points out, the main (and almost only) difference is their place of origin. As you read, the European Maine Coon is bred in Europe, and the American Maine Coon is reproduced on the American continent.

This small detail makes for slight differences in the cat’s appearance since the European breeders focus on highlighting specific physical characteristics of the cat, and the American breeders, instead, highlight others.

European Maine Coon breeders like the cat to have a wilder look, very similar to the lynx, so they only breed those cats with longer and hairier ears and those with a squarer muzzle. On the other hand, the American Maine Coon breeder seeks a more natural and refined look so that these cats may appear smaller, with less exaggerated ears and faces.

Although some cats have a more defined face and longer ears than others, they share the same general characteristics regarding appearance, behavior, and health.

And contrary to what one might think, although it is common for cats to originate in Europe or Asia and arrive in America by ship, with the European Maine Coon the story is the other way around. These cats find their origin in the streets of the state of Maine, in the United States, and it was not until 1980 that they finally crossed the Atlantic and arrived in Europe, where they quickly became popular.

European Maine Coon: Physical Appearance

This giant cat weighs between 12 and 18 pounds, with the male slightly larger and heavier than the female. Although it is a large cat, it has an athletic body and a powerful musculature. In addition to their incomparable size, they are characterized by their long, pointed ears adorned with crazy flecks of fur, and let’s not forget their long, furry tail.

european maine coon - physical appearance

This cat has a double coat of long, thick fur, perfect for the winter and suitable for the rainy season, as its second coat is waterproof. The coat of these cats can come in any color, from the classic brown to the rare tortoiseshell pattern. The same goes for their wide eyes. They are usually green but can be any color and shade, including blue.

His high cheeks complement his wild look and strong jaw. It is a cat that looks elegant, without a doubt.

European Maine Coon: Personality

They are called the gentle giant, and not for nothing are they one of the most popular cat breeds. The Maine Coon, although its shaggy appearance suggests otherwise, is a highly affectionate cat, amiable and social with its close circle, and is also super playful. We are talking about one of the most intelligent cat breeds, so they enjoy learning tricks and playing with toys that challenge and stimulate their mind.

They are also very curious. Most of the time, they follow their humans to find out what they are doing. You have to win his affection because this quiet cat is a bit reserved, he thinks very well before opening his heart to just anyone, so if you have already won him over, you can be sure that he will love you forever and will be the most faithful companion in the world.

european maine coon - personality

They are energetic, docile, and entirely independent cats. To complete this magic formula even more, they are perfect for any family, with or without children, and they even get along well with other pets.

Grooming needs

As you can imagine, these cats are high maintenance, and although they are usually spotless by themselves, you will need to brush them often. We recommend daily brushing to avoid knots and constant shedding, although you can do it every other day. If you’re looking for a cat that doesn’t shed, the European Maine Coon is not for you.

European Maine Coon: Health

This hardy cat is generally very healthy, whether from Europe or America, but like all cat breeds, it is not entirely safe from danger. These are some of the conditions that by genetics and physical characteristics can affect a Maine Coon:

  • Hip Dysplasia: Due to their large size, they are prone to this condition which refers to a defect in the formation of the hip socket, which due to its malformation doesn’t support the femur, causing instability, pain, and in severe cases, osteoarthritis and difficulty walking.
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA): An inherited genetic disorder that can be identified as early as five months. It happens when the neurons of the spinal cord stop working, which are the nerves that control the muscles of the cat’s limbs. Although it causes weakness, it does not prevent them from walking, although they may stumble.
european maine coon - health

European Maine Coon: Final Thoughts

If you already know that a Maine Coon is your ideal cat, don’t hesitate. You won’t regret it. What better than having the best of both worlds, affectionate, independent, and beautiful? Don’t forget it.

You would be less likely to find a Maine Coon at the local shelter, so you will have to look for an official and responsible breeder, but don’t worry, as it is a trendy cat. There are breeders on every corner. European Maine Coons tend to be a bit more expensive, costing up to $2,000, while you can get an American Maine Coon for $800.

Do you have a European Maine Coon? What do you think of this magnificent cat breed? Let us know in the comments!

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