The Maine Coon is one of the largest domestic cat breeds. It has a shaggy coat of long hair, a very sweet and loving temperament, and is the only long-haired breed that is considered native to the US.
It seems likely that the breed was introduced to New England when sailors brought their own cats with them. These cats would have enjoyed some of their own shore leave or maybe embarked for good on US shores, bred with the local population, and gave rise to what we now know of as the Maine Coon.
Below are 15 breeds that are considered similar to the Maine Coon in one way or another.
The 15 Cat Breeds Similar to the Maine Coon
1. Norwegian Forest Cat
This giant breed has to be first on the list because it is closest to the Maine Coon in terms of size. It can grow as heavy as 20 pounds, which makes it a formidable size. It also has a similarly long-haired coat to that of the Maine Coon. They are good with children and other animals, even including dogs, which makes them a good choice for a family pet, which is another way in which the cat is strikingly similar to the Maine Coon.
The Manx may not be as gigantic a cat as the Maine Coon, but it is still large by domestic cat breed standards, reaching around 12 pounds. It does have a somewhat wild look because many examples of the Manx cat are tailless. It is worth noting, however, that this isn’t necessarily true of all Manx cats. Some have a minimal stump, others have nearly half a tail, and some have full tails. All are recognized as Manx cats. They will become attached to their family members but remain wary of strangers.
3. American Bobtail
The American Bobtail is most often described as being doglike in its characteristics. It will form a close bond with its owner, is the size of a lot of dog breeds, and will usually get along with any dogs that are in your household. He is also a big cat breed, with a maximum weight of 16 pounds, and he has a shaggy coat that does require regular grooming and some attention to ensure that it looks its best.
These pantherine cats look wild, grow to as much as 15 pounds, and they are very sociable and playful. They were first bred in Kentucky in the mid-20th century. Breeder Nikki Horner set about creating a cat that looked like a panther but that was a domesticated pet: a target she hit. They are extroverts and they will let you know when they are around, either by rubbing against you, chatting to you quite vocally, or by jumping up for attention. They will follow you around while talking, so you will never forget that you own a Bombay cat.
The Siberian is another breed that runs the Maine Coon close for being the largest breed. As the name suggests, it comes from Siberia so it is perfectly equipped to live in cold environments and it is often described as being hypoallergenic because they have a lower instance of the protein FelD1 in their saliva, which is an allergen that causes negative reactions in a lot of cat allergy sufferers. The breed is friendly, fearless, and they are not prone to loud vocalization, although they will make a series of quiet cat noises as they follow you around.
The Birman is quite an unassuming feline that makes a good companion if you’re looking for something that enjoys attention, gets along with all the family and other pets, but doesn’t necessarily have to be the center of attention in every conversation. However, don’t let that lack of a voice fool you because the Birman enjoys playing and will follow you around to get the attention it so desires.
The Burmese cat is not for the faint-hearted and will make every pound of its 14-pound average weight known. It will follow its owner around the house, be very vocal to ensure that it is getting its message across, and does demand attention for a lot of the day. If you want a cat that is close to you, to the extent that it won’t leave you alone, perfect. Otherwise, you might find the Burmese to be a bit cloying.
The Savannah cat tends to have a spotted tabby coat, often in black silver markings. It has large ears and highly alert-looking eyes. The breed has very strong hunting instincts and is usually a highly skilled hunter or huntress, bringing home its quarry. They are playful and they love being outdoors, so despite having a short coat, they can be quite difficult to maintain, because getting dust off a cat is no simple task. However, the Savannah is an affectionate and fun cat that can even be trained to play some games, which is ideal for households that do not have smaller animals.
The Bengal is another breed that looks like a wild cat but has the temperament of a sweet and loving house cat. In fact, the Bengal will become very close to its human owners, but this large breed does need plenty of exercise so will need to be encouraged to run, jump, stalk, and play. While the Bengal will enjoy cuddling, it will usually be on the cat’s terms and when it wants, not on your whim.
The Abyssinian is intelligent. Its quiet nature combined with its intelligence gives this cat the demeanor of an animal that is deep in thought. It is a playful breed but will not usually be too destructive because it also has a sensible head. It enjoys vertical space, as well as horizontal, though, so do expect to find your Abyssinian up a tree, if outside, or on top of the wardrobe or kitchen units, if inside.
11. Turkish Angora
The Turkish Angora is an affectionate, family cat. It is a quiet cat and will become a loving member of the family but does have a somewhat sensitive side, which means that the breed can become upset if there are any unexpected changes. The breed looks to play and loves to climb, so try to provide plenty of room with perches and vertical levels for the Angora to play on.
The Ragdoll is another giant breed that is often described as being doglike in its loyalty and companionship. They are often said to be in tune with the emotional needs and feelings of their human. They tend to be quite docile and laid back, and they thrive on human companionship. They enjoy being picked up and cuddled, which makes them great companion pets. They will appreciate being near you at all times, though, and this includes at bedtime when they can take up a lot of the bed thanks to their size.
The Chartreux is a stout cat but it still loves to play and has a lot of energy that needs burning off daily. The cat can be quite athletic and acrobatic, so you will need to offer plenty of play opportunities inside, as well as potentially offering them the opportunity to play outdoors. This breed will usually form a close bond with one family member over others. It is quite vocal but tends to chirp rather than meow.
The Sphynx may not be the largest of domestic cat breeds, but it certainly has a wild look, not least because of its almost total lack of hair. This doesn’t mean that it is easy to look after, though, because you may need to apply special oil to the skin to prevent damage and to maintain good skin health in your cat. The breed is friendly and very people-oriented, happy to spend time on your lap. It is also quite mischievous and playful, and it will happily involve you in its games if you allow it.
The Ocicat could never be described as similar to a guard dog. It is a large breed and has the look of a wild cat, but it is very friendly, even with strangers, and will meet and greet anybody in, at, or near your home. They are devoted to their human and they are considered intelligent as well as playful. They also have a lot of energy to burn.
The Maine Coon is one of the biggest domestic cat breeds, although several others contest it for the crown. The list of breeds above is littered with large cats, breeds that have a similarly wild look to the Maine Coon, and those that inject themselves into daily family life in the same way as the loving and affectionate Maine Coon does.
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Featured Image Credit: Michelleraponi, Pixabay