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Domestic Longhair Cat vs Maine Coon Cat: What’s the Difference? (With Pictures)

At first glance, you may think that the Maine Coon and the Domestic Longhair Cats are the same. However, if you place them side-by-side, you’ll notice many physical differences right away. First, Maine Coon outweighs the Domestic Longhair by a large margin—which is especially true of males.

Apart from obvious size differences, there are plenty of ways to tell them apart—even though it is quite possible for a Domestic Longhair to have Maine Coon in its lineage. Let’s pinpoint the traits of each so that you can become a pro at picking out the differences.cat face divider 2

Visual Differences

domestic longhair vs maine coon

At a Glance

Domestic Longhair Cat Breed
  • Average height (adult): 11-12 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 8-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: 10–17 years
  • Exercise: 15-20 minutes a day
  • Grooming needs: Moderate
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Intelligent with a mind of their own

Main Coon Cat Breed
  • Average height (adult): 10-16 inches
  • Average weight (adult): 10-25 pounds
  • Lifespan: 9-15 years
  • Exercise: 15-20 minutes per day
  • Grooming needs: High
  • Family-friendly: Yes
  • Other pet-friendly: Yes
  • Trainability: Intelligent but stubborn

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Domestic Longhair Cat Breed Overview

Long hair outdoor
Image Credit: sab_k, Pixabay

Domestic Longhair cats are a broad category of feline because they aren’t a specified breed. They didn’t originate in any particular place but are a direct result of mixing several cat types. They are simply a classification of long-haired cats without intentional registered breeding.

Physical Attributes

Unlike Maine Coons, Domestic Longhairs are the size of an average house cat, weighing about 10 to 15 pounds as adults. One of these cats can show up and just about any litter if the genetics are right. The term “Domestic Longhair” was used to describe a broad range of domesticated cats, grouping them into a category with mixed ancestry.

Because they are not a specific breed, there are no definite physical traits, only a wide range of possibilities. Domestic Longhairs can be literally any color or pattern on the spectrum. If you have a long-haired cat that you did not get from a breeder, nor did it have any backstory, it probably falls into this category.

Personality & Temperament 🐈

Because they’re not explicitly bred for certain temperaments, patterns, or features, their personalities can differ quite drastically. You might have a Domestic Longhair that is exceptionally hyperactive and chaotic. Or you could very well have one of these cats that is extremely lackadaisical, relaxed, and even-keeled. It will greatly depend on genetics from either side of the parents. Generally speaking, these cats are a wild card.

Because of the unknown factors of a Domestic Longhair, it’s hard to tell just what you get, but that’s part of what makes it exciting. These cats are much more likely to come from litters that were unplanned and typically accidental. But don’t let that deter you from owning a Domestic Longhair—some of the best cats are mixed cats.

long hair sitting
Image Credit: Sandra_M_H, Pixabay

Health & Care 🏥

With a Domestic Longhair, their mixed genetics give them both an advantage and a disadvantage. It can be harder to pinpoint predisposed health issues when you don’t know the parent’s health issues. However, they always seem to be much healthier than pure breeds.

Generally, there are problems they might face, as many other cats do. These include:

Just like any cat, Domestic Longhair cats benefit from high protein diets and proper hydration. They only need about 15 to 20 minutes of exercise to stay healthy.

Suitable for 👪

Domestic Longhair cats can fit into practically any environment. Because they are not one specific breed but a combination, they adapt very well and have an extreme difference in demeanor. You’re sure to find one that will fit in with your lifestyle.

Since they’re not the same across-the-board, it’s hard to say if they are more suitable for children, seniors, or other types of lifestyles. It would help if you judged based on the cat’s personality itself and not because of the title.

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Maine Coon Cat Breed Overview

main coon outdoor
Image Credit: basilsmith, Pixabay

As the name might suggest, Maine Coons are native to the state of Maine. Their heavy coats and body structure help them to withstand the harsh winter elements with ease. The word Coon comes from the North American raccoon, which many of these cats resemble in coat and color.

Physical Attributes

Maine Coons are among the most heavy-boned, majestic, domesticated cats that exist. They can come in many colors, patterns, and sizes. Some of the largest Maine Coons can weigh above 25 pounds. Maine Coons have thick, plush coats that resemble a lion’s mane around their heads.

They look like powerhouses with their intense, serious expressions. Their coats are shaggy, soft, and supple and hang longer in the legs and stomach. Their eyes are large, circular, often with black rings to outline the iris.

Personality & Temperament 🐈

Main Coons are relaxed, gentle giants. While they might be fierce hunters out in Mother Nature, they are extremely loving companions in the house. However, if you have a mouse problem, they will be the first to snatch them up. You might find that your Maine Coon catches birds, rodents, and other outside creatures.

You might even find one of their prey on the stoop of your door. If you do, try not to punish them for it. This is an offering to you because cats believe that humans are not capable of hunting for themselves. They’re trying to feed you. Isn’t that sweet?

main coon close up
Image Credit: Naturell, Pixabay

Health & Care 🏥

Maine Coons are very resilient cats that can withstand the elements. They don’t encounter too many health issues, especially with proper breeding. However, there are specific ailments you see more often in Maine Coons than other breeds.

Because a Maine Coon is a large, heavy-boned cat, protein is even more important for their diet than normal cats. Always make sure your Maine Coon is eating a high protein diet, preferably in combination with wet food to aid in hydration.

Like other cats, they need only about 15 to 20 minutes of exercise per day.

Suitable for 👪

Main Coons are suitable for indoor or outdoor living because of their plush coat and hearty body. They’re also incredible hunters, so they fare very well on their own. They make incredible playmates and buddies for everyone, from babies to adults.

Even though they’re big, they would still work just fine and smaller environments as well. However, they may be happier in areas where they can roam and wander.

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Maine Coon vs. Domestic Longhair Comparison Chart

Maine Coon Domestic Longhair
Purebred cats costing $400-$2,000 Not purebreds, no cost cap
Solid, smoke, bicolor, tabby Any pattern
85 color possibilities Any color possibility
Can weigh more than 25 pounds Generally weighs 10-15 pounds
Gentle, non-aggressive personalities A range of personalities possible

Can Domestic Longhairs and Maine Coons Be One-in-the-Same?

There is a definite possibility that a Domestic Longhair could be genetically related to a Maine Coon. But that isn’t necessarily always the case. It’s hard to pin down the ancestry of Domestic Longhairs because of all of the unintentional breeding.

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Which Breed is Right for You?

Lots of things can play a role in deciding which breed to get. Most importantly, you have to determine if you want to pay the money for a purebred cat or just find a cat with long hair. You can find equally fabulous felines regardless of breed or price.

A Maine Coon’s temperament might be a little more predictable, but not necessarily better or worse. Regardless of what you choose, your long-haired beauty will undoubtedly serve as a fabulous companion cat, sharing a lifetime of good memories with you.


Featured Image Credit: Pixabay