a gray Maine coon looking down

Are Maine Coons Double Coated?

A Maine Coon has some very identifiable features.

Apart from its sheer size and fun loving loyal personality, you can’t help but be captivated by its glorious coat.

There are always astonishing figures with relation to coats, not least of which is that there may be 130,000 hairs per square inch.

The hairs can be part of different layers of your Maine Coons natural beauty.

There are single, double, and triple-layered coats in the cat world.

So, what type of coat does a Maine Coon have, are Maine Coons double coated?

The Maine Coon coat is double-layered, split into an undercoat and a medium fur length top layer. The undercoat is dense and traps in the air to keep the cat warm. The top layer is a guard layer that repels water and dirt.

The hairs that comprise a cat’s coat all serve a different purpose.

All hair or fur (fur is thicker and associated with the body) grows from the skin in every animal.

Although you might think all cat fur is the same, there are distinct differences, and different layers can serve different purposes.

a gray maine coon close up

What Is A Cat’s Double Coat?

Although the Maine Coon has a double layered coat, there are actually several classifications.

  • hairless (such as the Sphynx cat)
  • single layered coat (only have guard hairs like the Turkish Angora)
  • double layered coat (undercoat and guard hairs like the Maine Coon)
  • triple layered coat (undercoat, awn hairs, and guard hairs like the Siberian)

Maine Coons have a double coat, composed of an inner layer made up of fine, short undercoat hairs for insulation and guard hairs for protection from water reaching the skin.

Guard hairs insulate the Maine Coon from cold and water.

Maine Coons that live in cool climates, especially if they go outdoors a lot, can undergo two shedding seasons, one in the spring, and the other in the fall.

However, indoor Maine Coons that live in warmer climates, like mine, can shed at a low level all year.

a gray maine coon close up

Do All Maine Coons Have A Double Coat?

All Maine Coons should have a double layered coat.

The Maine Coon is one of the biggest domesticated cat breeds there is.

A fully grown adult can be between 12 and 18 pounds, but can easily reach 25 lbs.

They are a large cat with A LOT of fur.

Technically speaking the Maine Coon has a double layered, medium length, straight-haired coat.

The coat can take on a ‘shaggy’ look if it’s not groomed and appears fluffy.

The powerful physique behind the fur though, makes the Maine Coon rough and ready when the cold winter comes.

Being excellent mousers, the coat helped them survive on the sailing ships and in the snowy farmlands of Maine during the beginning of the republic.

The double coat is shorter around the shoulder blades while being longer on the stomach and upper legs.

The mane develops well into life and provides a warm ruff around the neck.

Males will develop a more pronounced mane of fur though.

The whole coat of Maine Coons though should be an undercoat for warmth and medium-length hair for protection.

The coat is always the same and doesn’t change no matter the color or pattern.

a gray maine coon eyes wide open

Is A Double Coat Good For A Maine Coon?

The two layers of coat that make up the Maine Coons fur work in tandem to protect the cat from harm.

The undercoat is dense fur which acts to keep the Maine Coon warm.

The medium length guard hair is the top coat which are called guard hairs.

Guard hairs work to keep the cat’s skin clean, keep dirt off the cat, and repel water,

The undercoat tends to be quite soft and intertwined.

The guard hairs are singular with individual follicles.

The undercoat traps air close to the skin which allows the Maine Coon to regulate its temperature.

Tangles in the undercoat can pull on the skin so this layer needs regular grooming to prevent painful matting.

a ginger maine coon on a couch

What Effects Are There From Having A Double Coat

Cat’s don’t shed in unison and for the same reason.

Cats who spend time outside may shed seasonally, while those that remain indoors generally shed all year.

This is not true for all breeds.

By shedding their thick undercoat, Maine Coon mats are more likely to develop.

Hairballs are also a consequence.

Maine Coons have a thick undercoat, so surface brushing is often insufficient to keep the Maine Coon from matting.

Maine Coons need a special tool for grooming double-layered coats, called an undercoat rake.

Regular brushing has many benefits, including getting rid of excess dead skin cells and loose hair.

It also distributes the natural oils from the skin evenly along the coat.

The coat takes on a more glossy look when regular brushing happens because of this.

alita the maine coon at cat lover 2019


Maine Coons are definitely double layered with their coats.

A double-coated breed has two layers of hair

A Maine Coon’s coat contains a dense and soft undercoat that provides insulation, as well as longer guard hairs.

Their visible fur consists of a sleek coat that fends off water and air-blown particles, especially in colder climates, plus it protects the insulating undercoat to help maintain body heat.

The undercoat of Maine Coons is made up of long, continuous growth cycles that have the ability to quickly replenish should they be removed.

The guard hairs are much slower to grow back.

The Maine Coon, in response to shorter days of sunlight and cooler temperatures, grows a denser undercoat.

As the weather heats up and there is a danger of the cat overheating, the undercoat sheds, with the help of the cat grooming itself.

As the undercoat sheds, more air can flow under the guard hairs to keep the cat cooler.

When a Maine Coon’s coat is shaved, their undercoat grows rapidly while the guard hairs do not grow back.

Your Maine Coon has a well developed double-layered coat that equips the cat to deal with all eventualities.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Maine Coons have hair or fur?

All animals have hair, while the term fur tends to reflect dense all-over body hair. A Maine Coon, therefore, has both hair and fur. Both terms are correct.

Do Maine Coon cats shed a lot?

Shedding is the natural way a Maine Coon will get rid of dead hair. Depending upon the need the Maine Coon can shed a lot or a little. Indoor Maine Coons tend to shed seasonally while outdoor cats tend to shed seasonally. Maine Coons can shed a lot prior to the summer months.

What happens if you shave a double coated cat?

If you shave a double layered coat you remove the guard hairs and the undercoat. The undercoat grows back quite quickly in order for the cat to keep warm. The guard hairs can take a lot longer to grow back. The Maine Coon has medium length fur so should take 3 to 4 months to grow back fully.

About the Author


My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One