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Why Do Maine Coons Have Ear Tufts – Unique Cat Features


When you think of a Maine Coon cat, the first thing you probably think of is the enormous size. Another aspect of Maine Coon cats is their very obvious ear tufts. That’s the wild wispy hairs coming from inside their ears. You may be wondering if all Maine Coons have ear tufts or is it just yours. It’s such a unique appearance feature for this cat breed and worth exploring. So, why do Maine Coons have ear tufts? 

Maine Coons have ear tufts to help keep dirt and debris out of their ears. Ear tufts help prevent infections or irritation. Nearly every Maine Coon cat you come in contact with will have ear tufts.

Ear tufts, which are sometimes mistakenly called Lynx tips, aren’t just for show. Even if they are super cute, they serve a purpose for your cat! Let’s talk a little more about why cats (not just Maine Coons) have ear tufts and what these ear tufts might look like. Just remember: like everything else on a cat, it is probably going to be unique to each cat. 

Why Do Some Cats Have Tufts On Their Ears

Cat ear tufts aren’t just cute – they serve a purpose too. Cat ear tufts help keep debris out of a cat’s ears. 

Having extra fur – called ear tufts or incorrectly called Lynx tips – keep debris out of a cat’s ear. Cat’s ears are tall and open, so there’s a chance foreign material can easily get inside. Smaller particles get caught in the hair before it can reach the ear. Any debris can get caught in the fur rather than go into the ear, possibly causing an infection or irritation. 

Think about it: Humans have hairs in their nose and ears too, right? Sure, we hate our hair there and trim it, but it primarily serves the same purpose as a cat’s ear tufts. 

Do All Maine Coons Have Tufted Ears

Yes, all Maine Coons have tufted ears. 

Since the tufted ears serve an essential purpose, all Maine Coon cats have tufted ears, but there’s no reason to think that every Maine Coon will have the same length of fur on its ears. Some Maine Coons might have long, wispy tufted ears while others have shorter, stubby fur on the tips of their ears. I’ve noticed that most Maine Coons have wispy hairs that each past the edges of their ears.

Although tufted ears are a characteristic of Maine Coon cats, there’s no average length of tufted ears. A Maine Coon with short tufted ears is no less of a Maine Coon cat than another with very long tufted ear hair. 

When Do Maine Coons Grow Ear Tufts

If you’ve ever seen a kitten, you know that they’ll largely look like they do when they’re an adult cat. Well, just smaller. A short-haired kitten won’t suddenly have majestic long hair when they get older. Their fur might get a little longer with age, but there probably won’t be any surprises with your cat. That includes Maine Coons. 

Maine Coons will probably have their ear tufts once they get bigger as kittens. We’re talking a few weeks here. A Maine Coon kitten who was just born might have some sparse hair, but within a few weeks, you’ll probably see the Maine Coons’ ear tufts begin to grow. 

Some Maine Coons might develop fuller, longer ear tufts with age, but they won’t ever magically appear overnight. 

What Color Are Maine Coon Ear Tufts

For the most part, Maine Coons have white ear tufts, but the colors can potentially be different colors. 

I did some searching on the internet, but I’m not sure if there are any definitive hours about why Maine Coons cats commonly have white ear tufts. This isn’t just Maine Coon cats either; most other breeds of cats have white ear tufts.

The only time I’ve seen a cat without white ear tufts is when the cat is entirely black. My pure black cat is the only one of my cats that does not have white ear tufts, but he isn’t a Maine Coon. My Maine Coon cat is mostly different shades of brown, and his ear tufts aren’t pure white, but they’re a very light shade of brown.

It seems that ear tufts often correspond to the color of the cat.

Do All Maine Coons Have Lynx Tips

Many people assume that all Maine Coons have tufted ears, so all Maine Coon cats have Lynx tips on their ears too, but that is not the case. Lynx tips are those long pieces of fur that grow from the tips of the ears (hence the names). 

When you think of a Maine Coon, you probably think of its long Lynx tips on the top of its ears. They almost look comical because they’re so long. 

Those long Lynx tips are probably the standard on Maine Coon cats, but the Lynx tips aren’t always the same length on all Maine Coon cats. 

I have a Maine Coon cat, but his Lynx tips aren’t that long. When he was younger, his Lynx tips seemed longer, but once he grew into his ears (I’m sure you know what I mean if you raised a kitten), the fur on the tips of his ears didn’t seem as long. 

You can expect Maine Coons to have Lynx tips, but don’t worry about your Maine Coon being “defective” if he doesn’t have long Lynx tips. It’s just part of his charm!

What Color Are Maine Coon Lynx Tips

Unlike ear tufts that are often lighter in color, Lynx tips have varying colors depending on the color of the cat. 

Generally speaking, if your Maine Coon cat is darker, their Lynx tips will probably be darker as well. If your cat is lighter – and the hair on their ear is light too – your Maine Coon cat will likely have lighter Lynx tips as well. 

No matter the color of your Maine Coon cat, the color of its Lynx tips will probably also correspond to the color of their fur in some way. If you have a very dark-haired Maine Coon cat, you probably won’t have a cat with white Lynx tips. 

Differences Between Lynx Tips and Ear Tufts

Ear tufts and Lynx tips aren’t the same things, surprisingly. 

Depending on what you read on the internet and where you might get some different answers here. I know I sure did! However, I came to the consensus that these furry bits of your cat aren’t the same. 

Ear tufts and Lynx tips are both located on your cat’s ears, but they are in different places. If you’re looking at your cat, especially in sunlight, Lynx tips are those few pieces of fur growing straight up from their ears. 

If you’re thinking of that long wispy fur covering your cat’s ears almost like a shield, you’re thinking of ear tufts, which are also called ear furnishings. Strange, right? Those ear tufts serve your cat in different ways, but they’re not the same as Lynx tips. 

Cat ears are one of the cutest parts of a Maine Coon cat, especially with their wild ear tufts and Lynx tips. Sometimes people get ear tufts, and Lynx tips get confused. Although they’re both located on the ear of a Maine Coon cat, they are different things (and often have different common colors)! So, take a look at your Maine Coon cat. What kind of ear hair do they have (I bet you never thought you’d be asked a question like that!)?

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