How large is a Maine Coon?6 December, 2007
The other day I was chopping up liver and kidney in the kitchen for the cats. Teddy was obviously ravenous because he started by head-butting me as if to say hurry-hurry-hurry, and when I didn’t respond, he rose on his hind legs, and suddenly I felt these two paws grasp me on either side of my waist.
I’m about average height – 5 ft 4 – which is not short. This was the first time I’ve had a cat large enough and long enough to grab me around the waist. It was pretty unnerving.
Maine Coons are long cats, that’s part of the breed standard, a kind of rectangular-shaped body. My husband calls them the bendy buses of the cat world. Their length is deceptive. They look quite compact until they stretch up to use the scratching post, or when they run. Suddenly it’s like an accordion has unfolded and they look really elongated. Where did all that cat suddenly come from, you think.
They’re also one of the larger breeds of cats. A fully-grown male Maine Coon can weigh from 12 to 20 pounds. A female from 10 to 15 pounds. At the recent Supreme Cat show, I saw a Maine Coon male who weighed 25 pounds! Not a cat you’d want to invite onto your lap!
One of the kittens in a previous litter went to a home with a Yorkshire Terrier. I found out later that by six months old, the kitten had caught up with, and was outstripping the Yorkie in terms of size!
Another interesting trait of Maine Coons is that they’re a slow-maturing breed. They take up to four years to attain their full size. I’ve noticed that they grow in spurts. Sometimes they look really long and lanky, and you wonder if you’ve got a Maine Coon or some sort of reptile hybrid, and then suddenly they decide to grow width-wise and look more proportionate again.
Teddy is 2 years old. If he can grab me by the waist now, what will he be doing when he reaches 4 years? Putting his paws on my shoulder and looking me in the eye? It’s a good thing that Maine Coons are known as gentle giants of the cat world!