Maine Coons are one of the most adorable giant cats. Their unique personalities, habits and their soft furs are some of the reasons for their charm.
On the 6th of October 2015, Guinness-Book of World-Records recorded a Maine Coon that measured 118.33 centimetres and was crowned to be the world’s longest domestic-cat. The cat also weighed 34 pounds.
The size of the Maine Coon kitten is quite similar to any other kitten but the difference can be seen as they continue to grow. Maine Coons have a unique growth and development, and they reach their full size only between the ages of 3 and 5 years, making them one of the largest domesticated cat breeds.
At first, a Maine Coon kitten will have a pooch belly and at the age of 3 – 4 months they develop firm layers of muscles on the upper part of their rear legs, with their chest not too noticeable.
At 3 months, a young female kitten could weigh around 2 pounds while the largest male kitten could be around 8 pounds. The average weight rate can be calculated to around 2 pounds per month.
There is no cause for alarm if the cat at 6 months of age looks disproportionately young. This is because the growth rate of a Maine Coon from childhood to adulthood is much slower than any other cat breed. They pick up the pace only after 9-14 months.
A relatively smaller Maine Coon female cat that has reached full growth may weigh only about 7 pounds. However, there are exceptions where these cats have proven to weight up to 17 pounds!
Males grow to an average of 11-22 pounds but in some cases, there have been males and females achieving higher weight and size than what statistics generally suggest.
The paws of these cats tend to be larger than expected and a person who isn’t accustomed to its size may find them intimidating.
Some Maine coon cats may grow to 40 inches long while others could achieve their full growth at 5 inches long. Either way, they normally range between 10 and 13 inches tall.
Maine Coon cats may grow at a rapid or slower rate depending on various factors such as the diet they’re fed or their level of activity. Taking measurements of them on weekly basis could help arrive at an accurate number with regards to their size. Sometimes there might be noticeable changes while other times there might never be any.
The best way to keep track on their weight is to check the weight every month. You can do this at home or have it done by a vet during the cat’s routine monthly check-up. There will be a noticeable 2 pounds increase in weight over every one month period. In a few cases, the weight gain may vary depending on how well it is fed.
During the routine checks, the veterinary doctor will be able to determine whether the weight gain is healthy or not. They will also diagnose if the cat is overweight and issue a more appropriate diet to follow.
Well, there is no specific growth chart for Maine Coons, and the growth chart used is that of a typical cat to measure its height.
Notebooks are used to measure the monthly rate of growth and development so as to keep a record on the possible changes in height, weight and length.
Some concerned pet owners keep pet record books which they bring to the vet for regular check-ups. For others, such details are already kept with the vet in their clinic and updated as and when the situation calls for it.
A measuring tape or a measuring stick is used to record the precise height and length of the Maine Coon cat.
And when it comes to measuring its weight, a simple weight scale will do the job. Even though the Maine Coon cats are known to grow big, there is no need for any particular device. All it needs is to have it sit on the scale and then note its weight.
To measure a Maine Coon’s length, the cat needs to be stretched out on the floor or held mid-air by another person. You can then measure from the tip of its nose to the base of its tail or the tailbone. Most owners include the length of the tail, starting from the tip of the cat’s nose to the tip of its tail. As a general rule, you could take two measurements; one for the overall length and the other one just for the body without the tail.
The rate at which your Maine Coon grows is influenced by a wide spectrum of factors. The following are some of these.
A healthy diet – A healthy diet that is rich in nutrients is a Maine coon’s main requirement. A healthy diet comprises of amino acids, healthy carbohydrates and essential vitamins such as Vitamin A. The cat should especially be fed meat and fish, though these should not be overdone, lest it develops obesity and other diet-related conditions. A bad diet will surely prevent the Maine Coon from reaching its full height, weight and length. It may result in a fat cat but not a healthy one.
Maine Coon cats often grow into large cats that are muscular in nature, which is why their weight needs to tracked systematically. To ensure proper and maximum growth, they should be allowed to exercise once in a while. Since these feline friends are full of energy, such energy needs to be channelled through productive exercise sessions. They need toys so that they can play around all day. They also need someone with whom to keep company and play. Maine Coons enjoy taking walks. However, always ensure you take them out for walks while on leash.
Genetics – a bigger cat could also be a result of its inheritance. Genetics is one of the major factors that influence both the weight and length of a Maine Coon, although it might not grow to be as big as the parents.
Everybody wants their kids to grow tall and reach their full potential. It so happens that Maine Coon pet owners want the same for their pets and forget to regulate their food intake. This could result in obesity which is a dangerous feeding problem that may need immediate attention. Excess weight may also lead to the development of arthritis and diabetes which can be life threatening as well. Always insist on serving your pet a balanced diet and remember that a Maine Coon that’s a few pounds lighter is better than being a victim of obesity.
Even though a fully-grown Maine Coon cat might look intimidating, they really are not. They are gentle creatures with adorable eyes and huge paws. And yes, they feel like a baby when you hold them, their size notwithstanding.
Above all, how big they get primarily depends on genetic predisposition as well as how well they’re fed and the level of activity.