The ears of the Maine Coon cat are one of its most distinguishing features.
Often described as lynx or bobcat like with tufts of fur on the ends.
Traditional folklore has the Maine Coon cat as a decedent of the wild bobcats that still inhabit Maine. Anyone who looks at those fabulous ears can see why!
Many people will recognize a Maine Coon cat by the tufts coming out of large attentive ears.
They help to give them that regal, intelligent look. In fact, the ears are very indicative of the breed and are part of the standards used to determine the registration status.
According to the American Cat Fancier Association, the ears should be large and tall so they set high on the head, and wider at the base.
They should taper at the tip so that they look pointed and lynx or bobcat like. Ideally, tufts of hair come out from the inner ear to extend beyond the outer edge of the ear.
Tufts of fur at the tips of the ears are felt to help protect the ears from the harsh winter weather in the Northeast where they originated.
The paws are also tufted and the tail is long and fluffy.
The tufts on the ears may add an additional two to four inches of height.
They also help to filter sound into the ear and also protect it from debris.
This as well as their large size is why Maine Coons have been mistaken for wild bobcats.
Don’t think you can sneak up on your furry friend. A cat’s ears are an amazing organ.
A cats hearing is much better than humans and even dogs.
They can hear things 4 – 5 times farther away and have a much broader range of sound frequencies.
The outer ear acts like a satellite dish in catching and funnelling sound waves into the middle and inner ear.
Cats with large ears, like the Maine Coon, are at an advantage because of the greater surface space of the ear. In addition, the cat can rotate their ears 180 degrees so that they can pick up sounds around them.
The shape of the ear canal in cats ears are also what help it keep its balance as it leaps and bounds.
Owners of Maine Coons need to pay special attention to their pets ears.
While the tufts function to help keep that extremity warm, they can also hold in the dirt or unwanted ear wax.
Just as the coat of the cat needs weekly grooming so do the ears.
This is best done during playtime when your pet is feeling relaxed and social as the ears are very sensitive to touch.
Healthy external ears will be clean and pinkish in color.
Wipe out the ears weekly with a warm, slightly damp cloth or cotton ball. Do not put water or cleansers down into the ear.
Check the insides of the ears for any excess dirt or ear wax. Do not try to stick a Q-tip down into the inner ear as you can do harm to your pet.
If the inner ear looks dirty or smells bad take your cat to the vet for a checkup.
Most of all enjoy your Maine Coons beautiful features! Ear tufts are just one of the things that make a Maine Coon cat such an enjoyable and beautiful pet.
If you’d like to see how a professional does it, watch this video;
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One