Are European Maine Coons Bigger Than American?

Do you fancy Maine Coon cats and have always been curious about the differences between the European and American breeds? Let’s put an end to this long-standing debate. Are European Maine Coons truly bigger than their American counterparts, and if so, what makes them stand out?

Maine Coons are renowned for their exceptional hunting skills, gentle nature, and unique physical appearance. However, when it comes to size, which continent boasts the most massive Maine Coons?

To answer this question, we must delve into the physical features of both breeds. European Maine Coons (Norwegian Forest Cats) possess a broader head, stockier build, and bushier tail. They can weigh up to 25 pounds and grow up to 20 inches tall at the shoulder. Conversely, American Maine Coons have a more elongated and slender look that makes them appear taller but without the muscle mass of their European counterparts. They can reach up to 18 pounds in weight and up to 16 inches in height at the shoulder.

But size isn’t everything. There are numerous other factors that determine these feline’s temperament and behavior. So stick around as we uncover more fascinating facts about the dissimilarities between European and American Maine Coons.

Overview of Maine Coon Cats

If you’re searching for a feline companion that can match your love and affection, look no further than the Maine Coon breed. These gentle giants have captured the hearts of cat lovers worldwide with their impressive size, fluffy coats, and friendly personalities.

The Maine Coon is among the largest domestic cats globally, with a muscular build, long bushy tail, and tufted ears that give them an exquisite appearance. Males can weigh between 13-18 pounds, while females typically weigh between 8-12 pounds. However, their size varies depending on where they come from.

European Maine Coons are believed to be larger than their American counterparts because of differences in breeding standards and practices. European breeders prioritize bigger cats as they were initially bred as working cats for their hunting skills and ability to withstand harsh climates. In contrast, American breeders focus on other traits like coat quality and personality.

Despite these variations in breeding practices, both European and American Maine Coons share many characteristics that make them excellent pets. They have a friendly, affectionate nature and bond closely with their human families. These cats are highly intelligent and playful, making them great companions for both kids and adults.

Regardless of whether you choose an American or European Maine Coon, you’re guaranteed a loyal furry friend that will shower you with love for many years to come. But remember, the most critical factor is finding a cat that suits your lifestyle and personality.

Breeding Practices in Europe vs America

These practices are a significant factor in determining the size of Maine Coon cats in each region.

In Europe, there is a long-standing tradition of breeding large cats for hunting and other purposes. As such, European Maine Coons are generally larger than their American counterparts. European breeders prioritize size and strength, utilizing selective breeding to produce bigger and more robust cats.

American breeders, on the other hand, tend to focus more on the overall appearance of the Maine Coon rather than size alone. This has resulted in the development of a wide range of coat colors and patterns that are not as common in Europe. While size is still important to American breeders, it is not their primary focus.

Diet also plays a role in the size difference between Maine Coons in Europe vs America. European breeders typically feed their cats a raw or homemade diet consisting of high-quality meats and natural ingredients. This diet provides cats with all the nutrients they need to grow and maintain their size and overall health.

Conversely, many American breeders rely on commercial cat food, which may not always provide cats with optimal nutrition to reach their full potential size. Additionally, some American breeders may also focus on breeding cats with smaller frames or narrower builds, contributing to smaller overall sizes.

History of European Maine Coons

The history of European Maine Coons is a captivating tale that dates back centuries. These majestic felines are believed to have descended from long-haired cats brought to America by the Vikings, which later crossed with domestic cats, resulting in the Maine Coon breed we know today. However, it wasn’t until the 1980s that European breeders began importing American Maine Coons to enhance the breed’s quality and selectively breed for European Maine Coons.

European Maine Coons are renowned for their larger size, muscular build, and longer coats compared to their American counterparts. The selective breeding process aimed to create cats with a more robust physique and thicker, fuller coats that could withstand colder temperatures. European breeders prioritize size and strength, feeding their cats a raw or homemade diet consisting of high-quality meats and natural ingredients.

In contrast, American breeders tend to focus more on appearance than size alone, relying on commercial cat food that may not always provide optimal nutrition for larger frames. These differing breeding priorities have resulted in differences in physical appearance and temperament between these two types of Maine Coons.

Today, European Maine Coons remain a popular breed in Europe and are often seen at cat shows. They continue to be selectively bred for their size, temperament, and appearance, making them a sought-after breed for cat lovers worldwide. Their larger size and thicker coat make them stand out from their American counterparts, making them a beloved breed among cat enthusiasts worldwide.

History of American Maine Coons

These cats have a rich backstory that dates back to the early days of the United States. It is said that European settlers brought these cats over on their ships as mousers. Once on American soil, they quickly adapted to their new surroundings and became an essential part of life in the frontier.

One of the earliest references to a Maine Coon cat was in the book “The Book of the Cat,” published in 186The author describes a long-haired cat from Maine with tufted ears, a bushy tail, and a gentle disposition. This cat was an excellent hunter and companion, and its features became synonymous with the breed.

In the late 1800s, Maine Coon cats gained popularity as show cats, and breeders began improving their appearance. This led to the development of various color patterns and body types, but the original traits that made them excellent hunters and companions remained intact.

Today, American Maine Coons are known for their large size, long hair, and friendly personalities. They are one of the largest domestic cat breeds and can weigh up to 25 pounds. Their coats come in a variety of colors and patterns, including tabby, tortoiseshell, and solid colors.

Size Comparison between European and American Maine Coons

These majestic cats are known for their impressive size and gentle personalities, and it’s fascinating to compare the physical differences between the two breeds.

European Maine Coons are the bigger of the two, with a more robust bone structure, longer body, and broader head. They are absolute giants, with males weighing between 13-18 pounds and females weighing between 8-12 pounds. In comparison, American Maine Coons weigh the same, but their build is not as impressive.

One of the most significant physical differences between these two breeds is their coat length. European Maine Coons have a longer coat that adds to their overall size and presence. In contrast, American Maine Coons have a shorter coat that highlights their muscular build.

It’s important to note that while these generalizations hold true for the breed, every cat is unique and may not fit within these parameters. Factors such as genetics, diet, and exercise can all play a role in a cat’s overall size and appearance.

Factors Affecting the Size of Maine Coon Cats

These majestic felines are known for their larger-than-life size and physical prowess, but several factors can affect their ultimate size.

Genetics is the primary factor that determines the size of Maine Coons. This breed has a genetic predisposition for larger size, with some breeders even selectively breeding for larger cats. European Maine Coons, in particular, are often known for their larger size due to different breeding standards and practices.

However, genetics alone cannot determine the size of Maine Coon cats. Their diet and nutrition also play a critical role in their growth and development. A well-balanced and nutritious diet can help ensure proper growth, while a lack of proper nutrition can stunt growth and result in smaller cats.

Environmental factors also significantly influence the size of Maine Coons. Cats that live in large, open spaces and have plenty of opportunities for exercise are more likely to grow to their full potential size than those who spend most of their time indoors or in small living spaces.

Gender is another factor that can affect the size of Maine Coons. Male cats are typically larger than females, so if you’re looking for a particularly large cat, you may want to consider adopting a male Maine Coon.

It’s important to remember that every cat is unique, and various factors can influence its ultimate size. However, by providing proper nutrition, exercise, and a good living environment, you can help your Maine Coon reach its full potential size and live a healthy and happy life.


In conclusion, after examining the physical features of both breeds, it’s safe to say that European Maine Coons are generally larger and more robust than American Maine Coons. But don’t let size be the only factor in your decision-making process when choosing a furry companion.

Both European and American Maine Coons have similar temperaments, making them excellent pets. They’re friendly, affectionate, intelligent, and playful – all qualities that make for a great addition to any family.

While genetics play a role in determining the ultimate size of your cat, factors such as diet, exercise, gender, and environment can also affect their growth. It’s important to provide your feline friend with proper nutrition, plenty of exercise opportunities and a good living environment to ensure they reach their full potential while living a healthy and happy life.

Ultimately, whether you choose an American or European Maine Coon comes down to personal preference.