Maine Coon – American and European types: differences and features

27 August 2022

A unique raccoon cat that originated in America, the Maine Coon attracts the attention of millions of cat lovers around the world.

Within the breed standard there is also a division into two types: American and European types. This is due to the history of the development of the Maine Coon breed. As already mentioned, Maine Coons originate in America. This is where the American type comes from. The further development of the breed was already in Europe. It was there that the American natives acquired their unique external features that distinguish Maine Coon cats to this day.

For those who are interested in this amazing breed, or who are striving to get a Maine Coon kitten, it will be useful to find out what are the differences between the European and American types.

American Maine Coon
“Americans” are rightfully considered the classic representatives of the breed.

They can be recognized by the following characteristic features:

  • large body;
  •  powerful physique;
  • wide sternum;
  • well-developed muscles;
  • massive head;
  • short muzzle;
  • high forehead;
  • round, wide-open eyes;
  • small, widely spaced ears.

A distinctive feature of the American natives is their coat. The fur coat of these cats is chic: thick, long, silky to the touch, wool and bright color, mostly warm tones. The color of the Tabby, inherent in all Maine Coons, is brighter in the American type and has stunning contrasts in beauty.

The nature of American cats is flexible. They are friendly, playful and very attached to their owners.

Maine coons of the European type
The European type appeared relatively recently: in the 70s of the twentieth century. Modern selective breeding is aimed at improving the type. In other words, the goal of the breeders is to make the “Europeans” more distinct from the original type.

Hence their characteristic features:

  • long body;
  • long, narrow paws;
  • elongated muzzle;
  • a long tail;
  • low forehead;
  • narrow slanting eyes, widely spaced;
  • straight long ears;
  • “lynx” tassels on the ears;
  • powerful chin.

Such extreme features give the European Maine Coons a rather formidable, even robber look. Outwardly, especially with their eyes, they are very similar to predators.

“Europeans” do not have such a chic thick coat as their American relatives. However, the wonderful smoky colors, so attractive to many connoisseurs, are the prerogative of the European type.

The nature of the European Maine Coon cats is as friendly as that of the Americans. They are affectionate, friendly and loving.

It is often difficult to clearly identify the representative of a particular breed type. Both American and European types are strongly interconnected. Many individuals combine features of both types. Some nurseries and individual breeders tend to breed when breeding, to bring out the most “pure” signs. For those who, first of all, strive to find an affectionate and faithful friend among Maine Coon kittens, these differences will not matter much.

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