The Maine Coon is a uniquely large cat and its breed is known for being a domesticated one. This particular cat can be distinguished from others due to its unique appearance that comprises of a noticeable ruff-like area around the chest, a long bushy tail and a relatively large size.
It likes to socialize and is known for its kind and jolly nature. Normally, you would not be able to spot a Maine Coon at a young age because they are always expected to be larger than other cats when compared. However, this is not always the case. So, what is the average weight and size of a Maine Coon?
Owners can usually evaluate the condition of a Maine Coon kitten by holding it in their hands. A kitten should have a pooch like belly and by the time it grows up to 3 to 4 months, the legs and ribs should no longer be prominent and the haunch area should have a hard layer of muscle on it. The weight gain of a female kitten may reach upto 2 pounds at 3 months whereas a large male may reach 8 pounds. From 3 months to 7 months of age, the weight gain is expected to be 1 pound per month on average. It obviously won’t be exactly there; the range can vary from half a pound to 2.5 pounds a month.
There is no way to know for sure whether your kitten will reach 20 pounds or above. At times, due to genetics (discussed further on), the kitten may end up being only 16 pounds or somewhere around there. You can keep a track of your kitten’s weight through a scale such as a baby scale but it is important to ensure the weighing is done on the same scale for consistent results.
Fully grown Maine Coon cats can grow to really large sizes. For instance, a Maine Coon by the name of Stewie held the title of the longest cat in 2013, with a size of 123 cm fromthe Guinness-Book of World Records. Similarly, other Maine Coons have also claimed this title. However, the average height of an adult, for both male and female, can vary between 25 and 41 cm.
The maximum height can reach 120 cm, which includes the length of the tail with a capacity of reaching 36 cm by itself. The importance of the tail size can be seen by the fact that length and furriness of the tail can allow people to mistake a Maine Coon cat for a totally different animal such as a racoon!
The weight of adult cats may vary between the genders. Males are generally larger than the females and can end up weighing anywhere between 15 and 25 pounds on average. The average weight for females, however, can vary between 11 and 20 pounds. The growth rate of this particular breed is considered to be twice that of other domestic cats and it takes them a total of 4 to 5 years to reach their full size and weight. Domestic breeds of cats, however, usually take about 1 to 2 years to fully mature.
The following factors influence the overall measurements of your cat and not taking care of these areas usually results in the cat being heavier than the average Maine Coon.
• Diet: Like all other pets, you need to ensure that your Maine Coon cat has a healthy diet. It should be rich in all the nutrients required for their growth and should not include anything that could detrimentally affect its growth. An example may include dry mix of good quality coupled with wet food. Consult a vet and do your research on what other items are considered as healthy for Maine Coons if you wish to make them grow to their full weight and size in a healthy manner.
If you simply feed them with empty calories, the cat will keep gaining weight unnecessarily and may look big and healthy like it should be, but in reality, it’ll just be big and not in a physically fit way.
• Exercise: Characteristically, Maine Coons are muscular and it is important that they get plenty of exercise. As they have a lot of energy, it is smart to get them plenty of toys to keep them occupied and play with them consistently as well. You could simply take them for a walk if you want. If these cats do not get sufficient exercise, they may end up fat and unhealthy. This may seem as if they are reaching their full size naturally, but in reality, the risk of them getting weight related diseases is increasing.
• Genetics: An owner can’t really influence this area. If a particular cat was born from large sized cats then it is highly likely it will grow up to be just as large. This is not always going to happen, as sometimes Maine Coon cats may end up having a different size and weight than their parents. All of this is dependent upon genetics.
Based on all the aforementioned information, a healthy weight should lie amongst the average ranges provided above. If your adult cat (or kitten in its early growing stages) is above the average weight, it may be becoming overweight and vice versa. The earlier example of Stewie is an example of a rare cat and that should not be the aim for your cat as an owner.
Forcing a Maine Coon to go beyond what is healthy for them can result in many problems so it is best to avoid such practices. If you want your cat to be healthy, give it a proper diet, plenty of exercise and allow it to grow to its maximum potential on its own. The weight it will achieve in light of careful observance of these factors will be optimum for it.
The Maine coon is a very special breed and is loved by many. It is a popular choice for a pet due to its playful nature. It is important to keep in mind that although a Maine Coon is generally meant to be larger than other cats, forcing it to be bigger or heavier is never a good idea. Allow it to grow at its own pace and you will end up with a healthy and happy companion!