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What is a Tabby Maine Coon Cat – Complete Guide


Have you ever seen a cat that looks like they’re 20lbs and spills over their owner’s arms with their thick fluffy hair all over the place? If so, you’re probably looking at a Tabby Maine Coon cat. These are incredibly large cats who sport unique coat patterns, a loving personality, and also rare cat colors too. There is much more to them than just that. So, what is a Tabby Maine Coon Cat?

A Tabby Maine Coon cat is a large breed with tabby coat patterns. The patterns include Mackeral, Spotted, Blotched, or Marble. They weigh between 10 – 25 lbs and are 40 inches in length. Tabby Maine Coon cats have the M pattern on their forehead. They come in a variety of colors including Silver, Cream, Red, Orange, Patched, and Torbie. 

Because I’m so fascinated with them I decided to research everything about them. In this guide you’ll find a complete breakdown on how the Tabby Maine Coon cat came to be, it’s unique physical characteristics, life stages, and where you buy one for yourself. 

Where Tabby Maine Coon Cats Began

To understand what a Tabby Maine Coon cat truly is, you need to understand how they came to be. Here’s a bit of the backstory on Maine Coon cats from past to present. 

Maine Coon cats are said to have begun their life in the country in Wiscasset, Maine, hence their name. It’s rumored that they were bred from Marie Antoinette’s cats that she sent over to Maine on a ship.

Another rumor has gone around claiming a raccoon and somewhat wild/domestic cats had a baby and created the Maine Coon. However, this has been proven impossible due to what we know about biology.

Whether some of these rumors are true or not, we may never know. Breeders nowadays believe Maine Coons are from an overseas long-haired cat that mated with a short-haired domestic cat.

From the start of cat shows, the Maine Coon cats were quite a popular competitor. In 1895, a Tabby Maine Coon named “Cosie” was the first of the breed to win a cat show held in Madison Square Garden.

There was a period in the 1900s where the Maine Coon cats were kind of put on the back burner because another exciting cat emerged, which was the Persian cat. Luckily, they became well known again in the 1950s. They became so popular that six people that loved to breed these beautiful cats created the Maine Coon Breeders and Fancier’s Association, which has since gained quite a bit of popularity and members.       

Personality Of A Tabby Maine Coon

Tabby Maine Coon cats tend to be super affectionate and loyal. You will typically hear them chirp around the house and make other fun, cute noises. If they have access to a window and get to watch a bird outside, you’ll be sure to hear a mixture of chirps and trills as they get super excited.

They have an excellent reputation for getting along with other cats and dogs. This makes them the perfect animal to add to your growing family without fear that they will have issues with any new animal friends you bring to your home. Sometimes the Maine Coon breed is considered to be dog-like because of their personality. They are the “gentle giants” of the cat world.

They’re extremely smart and playful. They’ll have kitten-like tendencies throughout their lives, wanting to goof around. Male cats tend to be a little more rambunctious than female cats.

Be prepared for their love of water. Don’t be surprised if you find them waiting for you at the sink in the morning, wanting to play. Running water can be quite fascinating for these furry companions. Consider getting them a water fountain for their water dish. They’ll be in heaven!

Tabby Maine Coon cats are extremely intelligent. Some people will train their cats to play fetch and other games, which makes them even more dog-like. If you want them to be like a dog, you may also be able to train your cat how to walk on a leash.  

Keep their intelligence in mind when you’re getting one of these furry friends. There’s a will, there’s a way, and if they see something they want, they’ll find a way to get it!

Tabby Maine Coon Cats Were Cloned

When you think of cloning, you may remember Dolly, the sheep. You may not be aware that a Maine Coon cat was cloned as well. A fur mom in Texas paid $50,000 to a company in California hoping they could clone her beloved cat Nicky that had passed away.

During this process, the first cloned pet was sold, which was named Little Nicky. According to the fur mom, this cat was just like the original Nicky.  

How To Identify A Maine Coon

Maine Coon cats have a distinct appearance to them. They are large in size, have long hair, and weigh quite a bit. There are quite a few physical features of Maine Coon cats that will help you identify them.

 

Height

Males are typically 10 – 16 inches tall

Females are slightly smaller at 8 – 14 inches tall

 

Length

 

Male and females tend to be around 40 inches long
 

Weight

 

Males are around 15 – 25lbs

Females stay around 10 – 15lbs

 

Eyes

 

They tend to have large eyes that are not perfectly round
 

Tail

 

They will have a large tail that is quite fluffy
 

Ears

 

The ears are typically tapered at the top and have tufts of fur on them

Maine Coon Fur And Shedding

If you’re looking for a cat that doesn’t shed, a Tabby Maine Coon cat will not be the option. Tabby Maine Coons have long hair and quite a bit of it. You will notice a good bit of shedding from your furry friend. Yes, Maine Coon cats have dander, so if you have allergies it’s something to consider.

Luckily, these cats don’t shed an excessive amount. If you keep up with brushing them, you will cut down a lot on how much hair they leave behind.

Their fur tends to be fuller, but not necessarily thick. The front of their back typically has shorter hair, while the back gets a bit longer. When you pet your cat, you may notice that their coat seems to have a bit of an oily feel. Maine Coons are built for winter climates. They use their oily fur as a protective coat against water and the cold.

The tail on your Maine Coon will be extremely fluffy as well. They like to use their tail to wrap around themselves and help keep them warm. They also have tufts of hair on their feet to help keep their kitty toes warm.  

Tabby Maine Coon Patterns

Tabby Maine Coon cats come in multiple patterns, which is perfect since it’s easier to find a pattern appealing to you! Learn a bit more about the standard patterns of the Tabby Maine Coon below: 

 

Classic Tabby

This pattern has more of a swirl or marbled look in the fur. Their back typically has stripes going down it and they have an “M” shaped pattern on their forehead.
 

Mackerel Tabby

This pattern is actually named after the look of a Mackerel fish. Just like the fish, these cats have a pattern or stripes that run vertically from belly to spine.
 

Ticked Tabby

The ticked tabby almost doesn’t look like a tabby at all. They don’t have spots or stripes on their body, but they may on their legs and head.
 

Spotted Tabby

This pattern is just as it sounds. These cats have a spotted pattern across their body. You may see a few stripes on their head.

Tabby Maine Coon Colors

In addition to all the cool patterns your Tabby Maine Coon can come in, there are roughly 75 color combinations! For now, we’ll list the 17 most common colors (including a few rare colors). Then we’ll break down a few of the ones you’re more likely to see at your breeder.

Here’s a list of the most common Tabby Maine Coon colors:

  • Brown
  • Blue
  • Blue Silver
  • Cream
  • Cameo
  • Cream Cameo
  • Red
  • Silver
  • Brown Patched
  • Blue Patched
  • Silver Patched
  • Blue Silver Patched
  • Black Silver 
  • Black Silver Torbie
  • Brown With White
  • Brown Torbie
  • Red With White

That’s quite the list of colors! Some of those are rarer than others though. You can expect to pay much more for a Blue, Red, or Cream colored Tabby Maine Coon than you would for a brown one. 

Brown Tabby Maine Coon cats are one of the most common colors you’ll see. Since it’s so common, you’ll see a lot of breeders that go with that color. For that reason, you can expect to pay on the lower end for this cat. 

Red Tabby Maine Coon cats are a vibrant color choice. Even though they have them labeled as red, their color is more orange in appearance. The majority of red tabbies tend to be male and have a mixture of white on them.

Cream Tabby Maine Coons can have their whole body be a shade of cream, or it can be mixed in with different colors throughout the variety of patterns. The cream shades offer a look of elegance.

Blue Tabby Maine Coons don’t really look blue. They have more of a grey tone to them. This color tends to be a trendy choice among families searching for Maine Coons. If you want to search for a rare one, the Blue Silver color tends to be harder to find.

Silver is a fun color for Tabby Maine Coons because you can find it mixed with other colors. Occasionally it’s hard to tell if the kitten is silver, as it may only be in their undercoat initially.

Torbie is a mixture of Tabby and Tortoise Shell, which is sometimes referred to as patched. The coat of a Torbie typically has the markings of a tortoiseshell but the tabby’s stripes. These mixtures tend to be rarer than some of the other color combos.  

White is already a rare color for Maine Coons, so you can expect to pay a high price for them. White combined with red, brown, or black will automatically raise the price you’ll pay. 

Lifespan Of A Tabby Maine Coon

When deciding to raise a Maine Coon, life expectancy will be something to consider. Most Maine Coon cats live to be 12 – 18 years old. Some can live even longer north of 20 years old. 

Be prepared to watch your Tabby Maine Coon grow for quite some time. A standard domestic cat will typically hit their peak growth within the first year. After that, they’ll develop a little, but most of it tends just to be putting on some weight.

Tabby Maine Coon cats don’t peak until they are anywhere from 3 to 5 years old. It’s a refreshing experience being able to watch your cat transform for that long.

Since Maine Coon cats tend to be healthier, you can typically expect a nice, long life with your kitty. On average, the Maine Coon cat will usually live anywhere from 12-18 years. It’s interesting to think that your cat could be the same age as your child graduating high school!

So keep in mind when you’re investing in your Maine Coon that these cats stick around for a long time. You want to be sure that you’re going to be able to support them throughout their life.

Health Concerns

Just like all animals, Maine Coons are also prone to different health issues. There are a few you’ll run into more with Maine Coon cats than other breeds though. Below lists some of the common problems to be aware of:

Obesity 

This is, of course, a big concern with Maine Coon cats. They can easily be overfed, causing them to become obese. This, in turn, creates extra weight on the bones and joints, potentially leading to additional health problems.

Maine Coon cats are already large by DNA, so it may be tough to tell when they need to be fed and when now. Sometimes a Maine Coon will always appear to be hungry, but it’s important to stick to the food labels and vet recommendations. 

Read this guide on how much to feed a Maine Coon cat

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

 This is commonly a hereditary trait that can be found in Maine Coon cats. It is a health issue that causes the heart muscle to be enlarged/thickened. This can be diagnosed with an echocardiogram. Your vet may have a hunch your cat has it if they hear a heart murmur during an exam.

Hip Dysplasia

This is another reason it’s crucial to watch your cats weight. Hip Dysplasia can cause little or a lot of pain, depending on how bad it is. It typically becomes worse as the years pass. The cat may be hesitant to jump up on furniture or seem sluggish when moving around.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

 This disease typically shows when they are kittens. It causes the cat to have muscle weakness along with issues walking and jumping. Thankfully, it is not usually a painful disease, and cats can live a somewhat healthy life, with some modifications.

Polydactylism

Now, this isn’t necessarily a health issue. It gives your kitty an extra toe! It’s actually kind of neat. It’s not as common now as before because people aren’t able to show cats with it. However, it is still out there.

How Much Do Tabby Maine Coon Cats Cost

If you’re interested in purchasing your own Tabby Maine Coon cat, be prepared to spend a bit of money. The cost will vary depending on if it’s a kitten, full-grown, and where you’re purchasing from. You’re going to have a lower fee when adopting from some type of shelter. When you purchase from a breeder, it will start to get expensive.

The color of the cat can impact the cost, as well as whether they are neutered/spayed or not. You’ll pay more for an intact cat, due to the ability to breed. Some breeders will make you sign an agreement that you won’t be breeding and will get the cats neutered/spayed because they don’t want you to reproduce their bloodline.

Below will give you an idea of some costs:

Adoption

$75 – $100

Shelters will be lowest cost. They will charge a small adoption fee to help recoup some costs. They’re recouping costs for vaccines, spaying and neutering, food, etc.
 

Kittens

$800 – $2,00

Kittens are typically higher cost since they’re more sought after. People love kittens. They also don’t have the health issues that may come with an older cat. If a kitten was bred from a champion bloodline and are certified, they’ll be closer to the $2,000 range.
 

Adults

$400 – $1,500

 

Adult cats tend to be less expensive. They may show more signs of health issues. You’ll know how their fur has come in, what their ears look like, how their teeth look, etc. However, if they are from a strong bloodline, they can still be expensive.

Additional Costs To Consider

Aside from the initial cost of purchasing or adopting your Tabby Maine Coon cat, be prepared to set aside some additional money to raise them throughout their lives. They tend to cost more than a standard domestic cat you may adopt.

If your cat wasn’t spayed/neutered before you adopted them, that is a procedure that can be a bit costly. Males are typically cheaper to neuter than spaying a female. The cost to spay/neuter tends to be the same regardless of the cat breed. For a male, you’ll be looking at around $200, and a female runs between $300 and $500, depending on where you go.

Owners typically look into health insurance for their new furry companion. With how much of an initial investment these cats are, you want to make sure you can keep them healthy and financially protected.

You’ll want to invest in higher quality food for your Tabby Maine Coon. Since it’s so easy for them to become overweight, it’s essential to feed them foods that aren’t prone to causing obesity. You’ll want filling food that you can feed in moderation.

While you don’t have to purchase a special litter, you will want to be sure to buy a litter box that is large enough for your growing cat. A standard litter box will eventually be too small for your Maine Coon. Also, be prepared to replace your box every year.

Be prepared to invest in some toys for your Tabby Maine Coon. While you typically get toys for all cats, they need toys that will stimulate them and keep them interested. Since these cats act like kittens and play pretty much their entire lives, you can plan on consistently replacing and replenishing toys for them.

Cat trees and other toys they can climb on and explore are a great choice. They love having the ability to investigate everything in your house. They are long-lasting, so this will be more of a one or two-time purchase, depending on how it holds up. Cat trees will typically run $100 plus for a decent sized one.   

They love looking at all the birds and bunnies outside the window, so consider getting them a bench or window seat they can enjoy. You can plan to spend a bit more on toys for your Maine Coon because they love to play and need more stimulation than your standard domestic cat.

Besides giving your cat some toys, you’ll also want to make sure they have adequate scratching posts. All cats are prone to scratching, and if they don’t have a post to scratch on, they’ll default to something you don’t want to be scratched, like your lovely furniture.

You’ll want to purchase a scratching post that is a bit better quality and can handle the size of your cat. Make sure it’s a sturdy one that won’t get pushed over easily or one that you can mount somewhere to keep it in position.

Even though Maine Coon cats tend to be healthier, it is vital to get them their yearly check-ups. With some of the conditions they’re pre-disposed to, you want to make sure you catch them early if they are happening. This gives you the best chance of treating those conditions or keeping your cat comfortable.

Luckily, taking your Maine Coon to the vet won’t be any more expensive than taking a standard domestic cat. It’s good practice to take any cat you have to the vet yearly for a check-up, regardless of the breed. Just like you would get your yearly exam from your doctor.

Vet visits vary in cost depending on where you are. The lowest you will find in many places is around $35 for a visit, then there are additional costs if they need blood work, shots, etc. Be sure to find a vet you love and stick with them. It’s good to have a baseline for your cat. It makes it easier to tell if something is going wrong since they’ll have a history of their “normal” levels.  

Below is a cost comparison for items you’ll need to budget for that will typically cost more for a Maine Coon than for a standard domestic cat:

Item Maine Coon Cat Standard Domestic Cat
Food $750 – $1,000 per-year $200 – $800 per-year
Insurance $300 + per-year $120+ per-year
Litter Box $16 – $40 per-year $7 – $20 per-year
Toys $100 + per-year $25+ per-year
Scratching Posts $35+ per-year $15+ per-year

What To Feed Your Maine Coon

From kitten to adult, you’ll have to make changes to the amount of food you feed your Maine Coon and the type of food. When your Maine Coon is a kitten, you will need to feed them a specially formulated food for kittens. It will give them the nutrition they need without being too hard on their digestive system. You may end up feeding them kitten food for a more extended period than you would for a standard domestic kitten because of their slow growth.

When your Maine Coon graduates from kitty food, you can look into high-quality foods that offer a well-balanced diet for your fur baby. Keep an eye on the ingredients. Some of the lower cost cat foods have a lot of fillers that won’t keep your cat full and don’t offer all the nutrients they need.

When your cat reaches their senior years, look into food that is formulated for seniors. They won’t be as active when they reach their golden years, so just like humans, they won’t burn the same amount of calories they would as they were younger. Portion control is extremely important during these years.  

Are They High Maintenance

Although Tabby Maine Coons need toys and high-quality food, they’re overall reasonably low maintenance. There’s nothing special you have to do for them daily other than show them love and attention. These lovable cats are pretty laid back for the most part and will offer you loads of laughs with their silly behavior.

You will want to keep their intelligence and curiosity in mind when you’re putting things away or doing laundry. It’s not uncommon for them to start opening cabinets to see what’s in them or sneak into the dryer after you’ve taken out a laundry load.

It’s not a bad idea to keep cleaning products in cabinets they can’t get to, or you can even put child locks on those doors to prevent access. Always check the washer and dryer before closing the lid to make sure you don’t accidentally trap your fur baby.

Just keep up with some light grooming, watch their food and portion control to prevent obesity, and give them some love, and they’re good to go!

Should I Get A Tabby Maine Coon

If you’re looking for a cat that will blend in well with your family and show you endless amounts of love, these cats are for you. They’re incredibly loyal and entertaining. They get along with other animals and are great with children.

Overall, these cats are one of the best companions you can get and will be the perfect addition to your family!

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