The Maine Coon has a rich, varied, and interesting history.
Many speculate that with some similarities in looks that a domestic Maine Coon is a descendent of the bobcat breed.
There are many questions that arise when delving into the topic.
Let’s start with the most asked one though. Are Maine Coons descended from Bobcats?
Maine Coon cats are not descended from Bobcats. Maine Coons have some similarities but they are a different species so genetic breeding is impossible. Bobcats are wild throughout the US while Maine Coons are slightly smaller and a much more domesticated animal.
Although not descended from Bobcats, lynx’s or raccoons, the Maine Coon has an interesting and vibrant history itself.
No doubt some of the similarities in looks and appearance come from the same adaptability to the natural climate and terrain so they have similar looks.
So much so, that it is quite possible to mistake a Maine Coon for a wild cat.
Maine Coons are a domestic cat but part of that attraction is the history and the wild look tempered with a very gentle personality.
Bobcats are a completely different type of cat.
Which is larger and stronger may be decided on the individual cat, but the Maine Coon is much more suitable for domestic ownership.
As the topic garners some interest I thought I’d try and find some of the similarities as well as the differences between the two cats.
When looking at the imagery of a Bobcat it’s not too dissimilar to a more wild looking Maine Coon.
Their physical appearance, while not identical, does have a certain resemblance.
Thus, speculation exists around the wild Bobcat being part of the genetic breeding of the modern day domestic Maine Coon.
The history of the Maine Coon doesn’t do anything to dispel this myth with many versions of their history relating to the European cats breeding with native American animals.
Popular folklore is rife with speculation about the breeding of Maine Coons with Bobcats, or even Raccoons.
However, this is genetically impossible.
Any breed of cat mating with a Bobcat would not produce offspring so the answer is a definitive no.
Maine Coons are not descended from American Bobcats.
Although descended from wild cats, Maine Coons and Bobcats have had very different paths.
Down through the centuries Maine Coons have been bred for their cuddliness, intelligence and tolerance of cold climates.
They are good natured animals that like human company but Bobcats are a different story with strong predatory instincts they need to hunt in order to survive.
The Maine Coons is a medium to large domesticated cat breed, and although it is said to have been introduced to the US in Maine where it is the official state cat, they are now much more widespread.
Maine Coons are kept in all 50 states of the USA and are prevalent throughout the world.
The vast majority of the world’s population of Bobcats reside in the continental United States.
It’s a species that dominates North America including Canada and Mexico.
Bobcats can live in the harsh climates that were once the preserve of the Maine Coon from the dense cold forests of Canada to the more arid climates of Mexico.
Typical habitats for a Bobcat are forests, woodlands, swamps, deserts, and proximity to human habitations.
Maine Coons in domestic service will have a lifespan typically between 10 and 13 years.
Indoor Maine Coons can live slightly longer, if they are fed a healthy balanced diet and get regular exercise.
In the wild a Bobcat is said to have a lifespan of between 5 to 12 years, although an average might be between 10 to 12 years.
From the domestic cat breeds the Maine Coon is considered a large breed.
Female Maine Coons are 8 to 12 lb (3.6 to 5.4 kg) and male Maine Coons are a little larger with a range of 13 to 18 lb (5.9 to 8.2 kg).
The length of a Maine Coon will range between 48 to 100 cm in length.
Bobcats are considered fractionally larger on average.
Although Maine Coons can grow larger than Bobcats, they are around 10 to 15% smaller on average.
Bobcats can vary in size depending upon where they are located.
Bobcats are said to be larger in North American climates and smaller around the borders of Mexico.
A Bobcat will stand up to 50cm shoulder height, weigh around 8.6 kg (19lbs) as average but can be around 35lbs at the top end of the range.
Maine Coons are one of the most beloved and popular breeds of domestic cat in the world, and especially the US.
They have a personality that lets them integrate well into a household, get along with owners and other pets while being loyal and overly friendly.
Many families have dogs and Maine Coons get on well with most dog breeds.
Maine Coons are affable and earn their nickname of ‘gentle giants’. They can get along with just about anyone.
They are a cat breed that has many dog like qualities.
Quite unlike the domesticated Maine Coon a Bobcat is a wild animal.
Bobcats are quite elusive to humans and will melt away into the wild rather than being approachable.
Bobcats are bigger than your average housecat, but are a little larger than Maine Coons.
Bobcats are sometimes referred to as wildcats and is named after the ‘bob’ of a tail.
Bobcats are often ‘trapped’ for their fur and the wild population is said to be around 1 million.
While Maine Coons are fearsome mousers their prey is often of the mouse, small birds, or squirrels.
Bobcats are much more aggressive hunters as they do not generally receive food other than from hunting.
The prey for Bobcats involves rabbits and animals of equivalent size as well as mice, rodents, and squirrels.
Maine Coons relative to Bobcats are slightly smaller, more fluffy and have a more domesticated nature.
Bobcats are larger with a shorter coat and have long legs to help them hunt their prey better while the Maine Coon is not as athletic in hunting behaviour.
Both cats can be found in North America but Bobcats are larger in the more northern climates.
The most notable difference between these two beauties of nature is size – Bobcats are slightly larger compared to Maine Coons which makes it easier for them to escape from predators or other animals that would otherwise eat them if they were smaller.
Although similar, there is no genetic relation between the Maine Coon and the wild Bobcat.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One