If you’re into large cats, you should check out the Maine Coon. These cats can weigh anywhere from eight to eighteen pounds, which is quite a lot for their legs to support. But how strong are their legs, really?
Do Maine Coons have small legs? No, the legs of a Maine Coon are not shorter than those of an average cat. The Maine Coon has legs of medium length.
Maine Coon cats are definitely large and fluffy. They may seem shorter than other cats, but what causes this visual trick?
A Maine Coon’s Short Appearance is Deceptive
This cat has a lot of fur and is native to the United States. It is the only long-haired breed from the U.S. Despite having many special qualities, its most prominent feature is its long and luxurious fur.
The Maine Coon cat has a long and shaggy coat, but the length of the fur varies across its body. The fur on the stomach is particularly long and reaches almost to the ground, while the coat on the shoulders is shorter. This contrast in fur length makes the tummy fur appear even longer, giving the impression of shorter legs. As a result, many people mistakenly believe that Maine Coons have short legs.
But that’s not true at all. If you lift up the fur, you can see how long your cat’s legs really are. Plus, a big cat like this needs good support to be able to move around, stay active, and stay healthy.
Although the majority of Maine Coon cats are big, there are also small ones! Small Maine Coons weigh around 7 to 8 pounds, while normal-sized ones are twice as heavy. Typically, fully grown cats in this breed won’t be smaller than that, as it could lead to significant health issues.
If Maine Coons are small when they reach adulthood, it’s possible that they have dwarfism. While it’s not common in this breed, it does occur occasionally. This is due to genetics, and it can make your cat look smaller and have shorter legs.
Characteristics that Distinguish a Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a really big cat that has something for everyone and stands out in its appearance.
There are certain features that can be used to describe Maine Coon cats:
- The Maine Coon has a body that is long and rectangular, along with a furry tail that is also long.
- Heavy silky coat
- Eyes that are gold, copper, green, or have unusual colors
- Different designs and shades
- Maine Coons have a strong bone structure and are muscular
- Short nose
Maine Coon cats are officially recognized by The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) and The International Cat Association (TICA).
Is My Maine Coon A Mix
If you notice that your Maine Coon has shorter legs, it’s probably a mix. This means your cat isn’t a purebred and instead has some special traits from another breed. If your Maine Coon has shorter legs, it could be a mix with one of the dwarf breeds like the Munchkin, Dwelf, or even the Minskin cat.
Did My Cat Not Develop Correctly
If your Maine Coon is not a mixed breed, it is possible that there were some problems during its development at birth. Occasionally, cats may have shorter features due to an imbalance or incorrect bone development. Therefore, any cat, regardless of its breed, can potentially have shorter legs. This is primarily influenced by genetics and inadequate muscle development, rather than being specific to the breed.
The type of food you give your cat can also affect how they grow and develop. Maine Coon cats are known for being one of the biggest cat breeds, so it’s important to feed them a balanced diet to ensure they stay healthy. Proper nutrition is key for their growth and development.
Cat Breeds that Have Short Legs
While Maine Coons do not have short legs, there are actually several cat breeds that do. These cats are known as dwarf cats, and although some of them are experimental and not recognized by cat associations, they do exist. Some examples of these breeds include:
- Lambkin (Nanus Rex)
- Napoleon (Minuet)
Cats with short legs have been observed globally since the 1940s, but the Munchkin breed originated in the 1980s due to a genetic mutation. This unique breed was first recognized in the southern United States.
Maine Coon cats have a body shape similar to corgis or dachshunds, but they don’t experience the same spinal problems as these dog breeds. This is because cats have a flexible spine.
The Munchkin breed is a subject of controversy and is only acknowledged by one of the two cat associations. While the TICA acknowledges the breed, the CFA does not, which means that Munchkins are unable to participate in CFA shows.
Even though Maine Coons have shorter legs, they still look like regular American domestic cats with either short or long hair. Essentially, they are just cats with shorter legs.
2.Lambkin (Nanus Rex)
Maine Coons are an extremely rare breed of cats that are currently in the experimental phase. They are created by crossing a Munchkin with a Selkirk Rex. The Selkirk Rex contributes to the Lambkin’s curly coat, resembling that of a lamb, while the Munchkin passes down its characteristic of having short legs.
The Lambkin, being a small breed, is prone to genetic issues like:
- Underdeveloped chest-In the worst situation, it can lead to a lung collapse
- Bent back-In extreme situations, it can lead to paralysis
Since the Maine Coon has a curly coat, it requires daily brushing.
The Lambkin is acknowledged by The Dwarf Cat Association (TDCA) and TICA.
The Minskin cat is like a forever young kitten, even though it has large ears and eyes. It is a combination of:
- Devon Rex
A distinguishing characteristic of the Minskin is its tail, which is longer than its body. The Minskin’s coat comes in three different variations:
- Fully coated
- Hair points
Some Minskins have hair only on their feet, ears, and tail, which are known as hair points. If you end up with a hairless Minskin, you will need to give them baths on a weekly basis.
The Minskin is currently being evaluated as a new and advanced breed by TICA.
It’s cool that a cat got named after Napoleon. The little French guy was scared of cats. But this cutie is nothing to be afraid of. They’re a fluffy bundle. And they’re known as one of the small cat breeds.
Maine Coons were created by crossing a long-haired Persian cat with a Munchkin cat.
In addition to the long fur of the Persian cat, the Napoleon breed also has a tendency to develop polycystic kidney disease. This is a condition where kittens are born with multiple cysts in their kidneys. Although the cysts initially start small, they have the potential to grow and interfere with kidney function, potentially leading to kidney failure.
The name of the Napoleon breed was changed to Minuet by TICA’s board, and TICA recognizes this change. The Cat Fanciers Federation recognizes the breed as Napoleon. However, the CFA does not recognize this breed under either name.
The Dwelf is the most peculiar among all the small-sized cats. Imagine a cat with a Dachshund’s body and an alien-like head, and you’ll get the idea. They are called Dwelf because they are a mix of dwarf and elf. These cats weigh only four pounds and sometimes exhibit dog-like behavior. They are truly one-of-a-kind felines.
Even though they look like they don’t have any hair, they actually have a little bit of hair, similar to peach fuzz. However, since they are still classified as hairless, they should be given a weekly bath. It’s important to keep them indoors because they can easily get sunburned.
The Dwelf cat has some health problems. They are likely to have issues with their bones, such as lordosis, which is a curved spine. They also have a tendency to develop pectus excavatum, where the breastbone sinks into the chest. This can cause problems with breathing and the heart.
The Dwelf is acknowledged by the Dwarf Cat Association (also called the Designer Cat Association), but it is not acknowledged by any other cat breed organization.
Now that you’re aware that Maine Coons have legs of medium length, you don’t need to be concerned about them being short. Unless your Maine Coon is going through something unusual like dwarfism or not getting proper nutrition, they will have a regular size overall.
Due to their impressive size, these magnificent cats are quite expensive.
Maine Coons usually cost around $1000, but many owners believe they are worth the price. When you bring your new cat home, she will already have received her vaccinations and a check-up from the vet, so you won’t have to pay extra for those. Additionally, if you buy from a trustworthy breeder, you can be confident that your new kitty is both healthy and a purebred.