Do short-haired Maine Coons exist? Are they purebred?
Maine Coons are a popular cat in many UK households due to their gentle, friendly nature. The breed is characterised by their lionesque mane that requires day-to-day maintenance. But can Maine Coons also have short hair? In this article, we delve fur-ther (pun intended) into the fluffy feline’s profile, answering questions like:
- Do short-haired Maine Coon cats exist?
- What type of coat do Maine Coons have?
- What are Maine Coons’ grooming requirements?
Wait, can Maine Coons have short hair?
Maine Coons are known for their muscular physique, large hairy ears, and majestic coats. While the fur length varies across the feline’s body (e.g. the mane and tail are much fluffier than the underbelly), purebred Maine Coons have medium to long hair.
If you have a short-haired Maine Coon, they were probably crossbred! The gentle giants can be mixed with various shorthair breeds, including the UK’s favourite British Shorthair.
But why aren’t there any purebred short-haired Maine Coon cats? It’s because of the breed’s origin. Maine Coons come from New England, U.S.—a region with notoriously harsh weather. The feline’s thick fur coat kept them warm during winter, shielding them from rain and snow. Maine Coons retained their water-resistant, luscious fur for centuries and only have short hair when crossbred.
When do Maine Coons get their fur?
It takes time for a Maine Coon’s fur to develop—the fluffy felines aren’t born with their signature shaggy look. The ear tufts first show when the kittens are two to three months old, while the hair ruffs begin to thicken near the nine-month mark.
This breed’s majestic mane can grow for years, so it’s not unusual to run into a “shorthair” Maine Coon kitten. Some Maine Coons don’t reach their full fluff until age four!
Keep in mind, if your short-haired Maine Coon cat lacks other crucial characteristics, such as a bushy tail, large frame, or big paws, they’re mixed.
Maine Coon fur characteristics
Maine Coons come in all shapes and colours, but only purebreds have long coats!
Purebred Maine Coons have extremely thick and smooth fur—a voluminous, glossy top coat—and two dense undercoats. The gentle giants also have distinctive “fur collars” around their necks, fluffy tails, and ear tufts.
Other notable Maine Coon fur characteristics are listed in the table below:
Medium to long
Black, white, brown, silver, blue, red
Solid, tortoiseshell, tabby, mackerel, smoke, ticked
Maine Coons mixed with shorthairs can share some of these characteristics, especially the colour and pattern. If the cat was crossed with a breed that also has thick fur, like a Burmese cat, they can have an equally dense and smooth coat as their purebred cousins.
Grooming requirements for Maine Coons
While shorthair Maine Coons may not need as much TLC as longhairs, they still benefit from day-to-day care. So, what are the basic grooming requirements for Maine Coons? The fluffy felines should be brushed three to four times per week, with occasional trimming and bathing sessions.
Here’s a breakdown on how to tend to a Maine Coon’s fur properly:
- Brushing—When brushing, it’s best to start from the belly and work your way up to the tail, neck, and head. Cats with longer fur should be brushed in upward movements to avoid entanglement. When the weather gets colder, purebred Maine Coons should be tended to once a day, especially during rain or snow season. The moisture can easily get trapped in the cat’s luscious fur, resulting in matting.
- Bathing—A lot can get stuck in a Maine Coon’s thick fur, from dandruff to dirt and faecal matter. Both long-haired and short-haired Maine Coons should be bathed at least once a month to keep their coats nice and clean. Remember not to use human shampoo on your cat since they can react poorly to certain chemicals. Purchase specially-formulated pet-friendly products instead
- Trimming—Shorthair Maine Coon cats don’t need pruning, but their purebred cousins should be trimmed from time to time. The longer the fur, the more likely it is to tangle and eventually mat. It’s best to “take a little off the top” with a pair of sharp scissors or an electric trimmer and then comb out the loose strands
The longer the fur, the more care it requires!
Source: Chloe Lewis
What’s the best brush for Maine Coons?
When buying a brush or a comb for your cat, it’s important to consider the length and texture of their fur. Felines with medium to long hair need a slicker brush with sturdy metal bristles that can untangle their coat. A shedding comb for longhair breeds with pins made with stainless steel is another useful tool for disentangling hair and removing dirt.
A short-haired Maine Coon cat can be groomed with a softer brush since their fur is less likely to get matted. You can use a slicker or bristle brush or a regular flea comb.
Other ways to maintain a Maine Coon’s fur
Along with frequent grooming sessions, Maine Coons also need:
- Hairball control
- Well–balanced meals
Purebred Maine Coons with long, thick fur often struggle with excessive hairballs. As they groom, the long-haired felines ingest a considerable amount of loose strands that later form a clump in their digestive system. The hairs can bundle up into a sizeable furball that’s hard to regurgitate, inducing mild to severe stomach problems.
Shorthair Maine Coon cats aren’t immune to gastrointestinal discomfort caused by hair accumulation. It’s best to preempt the potential hindrance by ensuring the feline gets:
- Moisture—Moisture assists digestion and can help break down hairballs. Luckily, Maine Coons are fascinated with water, so getting them to drink it shouldn’t be too difficult. Cats should drink around 100 ml of fluids per two kilos of their body weight for optimal results
- Fibre—A little fibre in a Maine Coon’s diet is great for hairball control. The soluble fibre in certain fruits and veggies, like cucumbers, pumpkins, and broccoli, promotes good bacteria and strengthens the feline’s stomach
- Exercise—Regular workouts are beneficial to a cat’s stomach, especially when it comes to bowel mobility. Maine Coons are playful by nature, so daily exercise will benefit not only their GI health but also their mood
- Cat grass—Not to be confused with catnip, cat grass can help with hairball digestion. It also has a soothing effect on the feline stomach and can alleviate nausea
Long- or short-haired, a well-fed cat is a healthy cat!
Source: Romain Chollet
What goes on within a cat's body is reflected in their skin and coat. When a Maine Coon’s fur becomes dull or dry, poor nutrition is a likely cause.
- Animal protein—Cats require animal protein to maintain a healthy physique and lustrous coat. Since they’re obligate carnivores, they can’t harness valuable nutrients, such as taurine, from plants alone
- Fatty acids—The omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in poultry (chicken, turkey, duck), fish (mackerel, salmon, tuna, sardine), and seafood (shrimp, prawns, and similar) nourish the feline’s skin. Healthy fats also enable wound regeneration
Obesity is another nutrition-related reason for poor fur quality. Maine Coons are naturally large and tend to gain weight easily. If they eat too much and start piling on pounds, their skin can become irritated. For example, they can get dandruff along the centre of the back or near the base of the tail.
When it comes to the type of cat food that’s best for fur maintenance, wet products are much closer to the ideal nutrient ratio. Dry food isn’t a good fit for Maine Coons because it’s highly caloric. Kibble contains multiple cereal-based, starchy ingredients the feline shouldn’t eat regularly because of their tendency to gain weight. High-quality wet food for Maine Coons delivers more protein and healthy fats while being significantly more hydrating.
Untamed food will keep your cat’s fur glossy and healthy!
Untamed works for cats of all breeds and fur lengths!
Image (c) Untamed
Untamed food is made with fresh, human-grade whole meat that’ll keep your cat’s fur shiny and their skin healthy! Each recipe follows the feline natural diet closely, meaning we don’t use plant protein, sugar, grain, or similar fillers. Our products are:
- Rich in protein—One serving of Untamed food has twice as much animal protein as the industry-standard
- Made with whole meat—We use natural meat in our poultry, fish, and seafood dishes
- Vet-formulated—Untamed food was designed in collaboration with vets, ensuring your cat’s unique biological needs are met
- Ethically made—We only use 100% recyclable packaging to protect the environment, and all our ingredients are ethically reared and sustainably caught
- Fussy eater approved—Even cats who shy away from wet food can’t resist the aroma of our fresh ingredients
How do we make our food so healthy and nourishing? Each ingredient is gently steamed to preserve its inherent biological value!
According to client feedback, our natural diet can do more than keep your cat’s fur shiny. Check out the full scope of the Untamed effect in the table below:
The Untamed effect
Within a week
After two months
Within four months
Create the perfect meal plan for your cat
Chocka Chicken in Jelly*
Premium chicken breast dipped in mouth-watering jelly
Chocka Chicken with Duck in Jelly
Fresh chicken breast spiced up with delicious duck meat, served in jelly
Chocka Chicken with Ham in Gravy
Juicy chicken breast gently cooked in natural chicken gravy with a hint of ham
Chocka Chicken in Gravy
Shredded chicken breast simmered in natural gravy
Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly*
Dolphin-safe tuna steak in jelly and appetising fish broth
Tuck-in Tuna with Salmon in Jelly
Tuna steak in jelly complemented with salmon fillet
Tuck-in Tuna with Shrimp in Jelly
Dolphin-safe tuna served in jelly with delicious shrimp
Untamed’s Chocka Chicken in Jelly is irresistible and nourishing!
Image (c) Untamed
Sign up for monthly deliveries of Untamed food
Here’s how to sign up for a customised multipack trial box:
- Take the Try Now online quiz
- Tell us about your cat
- Select the products
- Confirm your order
Order Untamed cat food online and the first supply of your feline goodies will arrive within a day. You'll start receiving scheduled monthly deliveries of Untamed meal boxes once your Maine Coon has gone through the complete menu.
If your pet has a change of heart about one of the products, you may always change your order. If you need to postpone or cancel a delivery, please let us know, and we'll be pleased to assist you.