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Few creatures are as distinctive and affectionate as cats. Yes, they have attitude and make demands, but we owners always surrender and give them what they want. 

There are many varieties of cats. According to the CFA, there are 40 to 70 different breeds of cats. Two popular cats are the Maine coon and Tabby. So how do these two cats compare?

In case you’re thinking of adopting either a Maine Coon or a Tabby, you might be curious about how the differences between them.

In this article, we’ll examine the distinctions between the two breeds and assist you in deciding which one suits you best.

maine coon vs tabby infographic

Differences in Appearance Between Maine Coons and Tabbies

One of the first comparisons we will make is on appearance. The appearances of these two cats are particularly distinctive. 

Maine Coon cats have become increasingly popular over the last 10 to 15 years. People love them for their beautiful coats, which come in approximately 74 patterns.

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People describe these patterns as smoke, tri-color, bi-color, shaded, tortoiseshell, and many more.

Tabby cats have been popular for many years. A Tabby cat is any domesticated cat with an M pattern on its head. It turns out a Tabby is not a breed but is a coat pattern. 

Tabbies come in many patterns: lined, striped, dotted, swirly, and flecked. In addition, tabby patterns can be seen in various breeds, including the Maine Coon. 

Although these cats have differences, many people have mistaken Maine Coons and Tabbies for being the same cat.

Keep in mind that any cat has the potential to be a Tabby, but not every cat can be a Maine Coon.

Maine Coon and Tabby cats on white background

Physical Attributes That Make Maine Coons Distinctive

What makes Maine Coons stand out from the rest? Consider the following.

  • A long muscular rectangular body
  • Paws that are big and circular, featuring tufts of hair between the toes.
  • Elongated heads
  • High cheekbones and square muzzles
  • Large ears with tufts
Maine Coon cat sitting in grass

Physical Attributes of Tabby Cats

  • Distinctive M Shape on its forehead
  • Stripes by the eyes and across the cheeks
  • Lines on its back and around its legs
  • Sleek body form
closeup of Tabby cat laying dowm

Maine Coons are usually much larger than most Tabby cats. Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 pounds, while the average Tabby cat weighs around ten pounds. 

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Another distinction between the two is their whiskers. Domesticated Tabby cats usually have shorter, finer whiskers. Maine Coons have long, thick whiskers that stand out on their faces. Some people believe the whiskers give Maine Coons a bulkier appearance. 

You will also discover unique distinctions in the two cats’ tails. Maine Coon cats have some of the longest tails in the cat kingdom, often measuring up to 16 inches. On the other hand, male Tabby cat tails only grow as long as 11 inches. 

Tabby cat tails are typically smooth and have short fur. Maine Coon cat tails are very fluffy and taper at the end. 

Tabby cats and Maine Coon cats typically grow to around the same height, at around 16 inches. However, depending on the breed, Tabby cats may be slightly shorter. 

How Do the Personalities of These Cats Compare?

Both cats are highly affectionate, playful, and friendly. Maine Coons and Tabbies enjoy being around their owners and other humans.

One thing that makes Maine Coons stand out from Tabby cats is that they often act like dogs. Maine Coons will show affection by licking their owners just like a dog.

They also prefer to stick around their families instead of remaining aloof. 

Tabby cats are more independent. They like being alone but also bond well with their human owners. Both Tabby Cats and Maine Coons enjoy people and rarely meet a stranger. 

Maine Coons also love water, something many cat breeds hate. These cats will seek out water and play in it. Some will even swim. Depending on the breed, tabby cats are typically more hesitant to enter the water. Training them to be near water as kittens is the best approach.

closeup of Maine coon cat face

Comparisons in Shedding

Some people mistakenly believe short-haired cats do not shed, but this is incorrect. Both Tabby cats and Maine Coon cats shed equally. These are not hypoallergenic cats and may produce allergic reactions. 

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Comparisons in Lifespan

When comparing the lifespans of Maine Coon cats and Tabby cats, Tabby cats live a little longer. Tabby cats live 12 to 18 years, while Maine Coon cats live 13 to 14. 

Which One Is Right For You?

Both of these cats are beautiful and have loving personalities. Despite these differences, each Maine Coon cat and Tabby cat is unique. These gorgeous and fun cats are excellent additions to families.

No matter which you choose, you will fall in love with them quickly.

Tabby cat on a leash in the grass

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