Can Maine Coons have short hair?

Proper Maine Coons i.e. Maine Coons with a pedigree and who are purebred cannot have short hair. This is because the breed standard insists that the coat of this popular cat breed is "heavy and shaggy; shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach and britches. Frontal ruff desirable. Texture silky with coat falling smoothly" - Cat Fanciers' Association breed standard.

Maine Coon showing the medium longhaired coat
Maine Coon showing the medium-longhaired coat. Photo copyright Helmi Flick



This description of the desired coat precludes the possibility that the Maine Coon can have short hair. This is a medium-longhaired cat with a shaggy coat and perhaps the reason for these very clear guidelines by the cat associations is that the cat originates in the barn cats of the state of Maine in the USA. These cats were suited to the climate of that state during the winter months. Therefore, the breed standard is faithful to the original cat going back hundreds of years.

The shorthaired coat is completely different to that of the Maine Coon. You will see a silky, single coat on a Siamese or Bengal cat. A comparison of these cats with the Maine Coon shows a huge difference.

There are many non-purebred Maine Coon cats advertised for sale on the Internet. They are sometimes described as 'Maine Coons' and sometimes, more honestly, described as 'Maine Coon mix' cats. This means that they are not purebred but it is claimed that they have some Maine Coon genetics in them. I believe that on many occasions this description is designed to entice people to adopt the individual cat when, in fact, it is untrue. Often these cats look like standard, medium-longhaired random-bred cats. They are great cats worthy of adoption but not Maine Coon mix cats.

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