Breeds

Maine Coon American Shorthair Mix: Traits, Facts, & Habits

The Maine Coon and the American Shorthair are two All American breeds. A kitten who is a blend of the two makes a perfect family companion.

MJ Shaffer writer with Dog

Last Updated: August 25, 2022 | 10 min read

Maine Coon American Shorthair Mix sitting

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Although it is hard to imagine life without cats, only six species of cats are native to North America. The jaguar (Panthera onca), weighing over two hundred pounds, is the largest of the North American cats. The mountain lion (Puma concolor) has the most widespread range of all large terrestrial mammals in the Western hemisphere. The smaller cats include the Canadian lynx (Lynx canadensis) and the bobcat (Lynx rufus). These cats have tufted ears and large, furry paws, and although the Candian lynx can stand a cold climate, the bobcat has a much wider habitat, and his diet varies based on location.

The smallest wild cats in North America are the ocelot and jaguarundi. The ocelot is spotted like a miniature jaguar and is about twice the size of the domestic house cat. The jaguarundi, the most unusual looking of the North American wild cats with a head resembling an otter’s, weighs between eight and sixteen pounds or about the size of a large house cat.

However, none of these wild cats in North America appear to have been widely domesticated by early populations. Cats who came on ships from the old world filled the niche alongside people. Although cats started as pest control, they became as much “family” as dogs. The first domesticated cats adapted to thrive in their environments around the globe. Still, in North America, some became progenitors of distinctly American breeds like the Domestic Shorthair and the Maine Coon cat.

Maine Coons

Main Coon sitting in grass
The Maine Coon coat is silky and a bit oily to shed water in extreme Maine weather.

The Maine Coon is Maine’s official state cat, but she’s also America’s first indigenous domesticated cat. Excellent mousers, Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of pet cats. Adult males regularly weigh up to twenty pounds. With fur between her toes like snowshoes, Maine Coons reflect the rugged nature of Maine’s great outdoors. The Maine Coon’s coat can be any color except Himalayan, the pattern with a lighter body and darker extremities like a Siamese.

History Of The Maine Coon

The Maine Coon is distinctly American. Several farfetched theories abound about the history of the Maine Coone, one even suggesting they sprang from domestic cats mixing with wild raccoons. While Maine Coons may have resembled actual raccoons with their imposing body and ample tail, this cross is impossible. Cats and raccoons aren’t even in the same family. Because of their size, tufted ears, and snowshoe paws, some people thought the cats first brought to the New World by early settlers interbred with wild Bobcats to create the Maine Coon. Modern science shows us that this isn’t genetically likely.

One very different theory suggests that a scheme to shuttle Marie Antoinette to Maine for safety during the French Revolution went awry. Although she was captured, her cats were already on board the escape ship and made the trip without her. Along with other ship cats who rode in with early settlers, they interbred to create the modern breed. The most plausible explanation for the origin of the Maine Coon as a breed is that longhaired cats came in with traders and travelers from overseas and interbred with the shorthaired cats already established here. The latter was already surviving with their families in Maine’s challenging climate. Survival of the fittest brought us this gentle giant.

American Shorthair

The American Shorthair (ASH) was originally called the Domestic Shorthair

The breed’s name was changed in 1966 to reflect its “All American” heritage and differentiate it from other shorthaired barn cats, house cats, and stray mixed breed cats. The pedigreed American Shorthair breeds true to type and produces kittens with predictable traits, unlike most other non-pedigreed shorthaired cats. With the larger males topping out around fifteen pounds, the ASH is a medium-sized cat who usually requires only annual veterinary and dental care in addition to his vaccinations.

History Of The American Shorthair

The first cats brought to America were ship cats that came with early colonists. Ship cats were employed as pest control to eliminate mice and rats that boarded the ship and threatened the stores of food packed for the voyage. Because these trips were one way, the cats disembarked with the colonists. Although they were being persecuted as witches’ familiars in Europe, cats had a talent the colonists noticed could be helpful. They were efficient vermin hunters and controllers.

Records show that even the Mayflower carried cats along with the Pilgrims to hunt the ship’s rats. The descendants of these first arrivals continued killing rats and mice as they lived alongside the pioneers. Cats were initially considered more like livestock than the companion animal they are today. In the 1800’s, the U.S. Army employed cats to guard the commissaries. Later during the Westward expansion, cats crossed over into the pet category. Cowboys used them to protect their rations, and influential people like Mark Twain began bringing them indoors as house cats. Their charming personalities established them as household companions. The American Shorthair, called the Domestic Shorthair in its early days, was born. By 1906, they were recognized by the Cat Fancier’s Association (CFA) and have since become ubiquitous.

Maine Coon American Shorthair Mix

The Maine Coon and the American Shorthair have very different looks, although both have distinctly frontier roots. The Maine Coon and the American Shorthair have slightly different body types despite their similar personalities. The Maine Coon is a fluffy giant with a square jaw, muzzle and chin, and a slightly concave profile, while the ASH’s confirmation reflects its use as a working man’s cat. Every part of the cat is put together for symmetry and to avoid weakness. The body can be divided into three equal parts, and the face is large, open, and oblong, reflecting her sweetness. She has round-tipped ears and round paws with heavy pads.

Maine Coon American Shorthair Mix
    • weight iconWeight6-15 or more Pounds
    • height iconHeight9-17 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan12-15 Years
    • color iconColors All Colors Except Siamese-Type
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Exercise
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Kitten Costs

Size & Appearance

Your Maine Coone American Shorthair blend will likely be a large cat who is well balanced and robust. Your blended kitten’s face will probably be a blend of both parent shapes, but leaning either slightly more square or oval depending on which parent’s influence is dominant. Her American Shorthair ancestry might give her a more rounded face and ears, but her Maine Coon side may make her face look somewhat longer and her chin more square. Her ears may be more pointed than those of the American Shorthair.

Temperament

Temperamentally, two breeds will likely produce an easygoing, friendly kitten. She’ll be laid back and agreeable and have many similarities. Both breeds enjoy your company and will follow you around the house, especially if you’re working with water. If your blended kitten takes after her Maine Coon side, she might enjoy playing in the sinks with the running water. Your blended kitten is likely to tolerate the company of other pets at least and enjoy children. Your Maine Coon ASH blend may not talk to you as much as a full Maine Coon, but she’ll try to include herself in your activities. Extroverted and social, this blend makes a great addition to an active, loving family.

Coat & Colors

Your blended kitten will be shorthaired because long hair is a recessive trait. The ASH’s short, dense coat would gain only more weather resistance. With this blend, the sky’s the limit as far as color goes. The only possible exceptions are the Himalayan color pattern than gives the Siamese and Himalayan their distinctive dark-pointed way. Maine Coons cannot express this mutation and adhere to the breed standard. It would be unlikely an individual from both breeds would have a single copy to pass on.

Grooming

Because your blended kitten will have short hair, grooming will be a breeze. Although you may be able to brush your Maine Coon Shorthair a few times a week outside of shedding season, a quick daily brushing is best. Your friendly feline will appreciate being combed gently to loosen shed hair and then brushed with a soft bristle brush. A gentle brushing stimulates oil production in the hair follicles and helps keep her skin healthy. Trim her nails and brush her teeth to prevent periodontal disease. If you’re not sure how your veterinarian can assist you, or you can take her to a groomer,

Living Requirements

Create a safe space in your home where your cat can get away from it all. There should be plenty of hiding places for her. When you place your kitten’s food and water dish, be sure it is from their litterbox and where you’ll remember to change her water daily. Your Maine Coon American Shorthair blend loves to play, so provide toys to keep her happy and alleviate boredom. Provide cat trees and toys on which she can sharpen her claws so she can climb and scratch to her heart’s content.

Exercise

Your blended kitty mix will likely be healthy and easygoing. Maine Coons and American Shorthairs are companionable cats, so your blend will relish the time you spend playing with her. Lasers and wand toys will capture her fancy, and you can enjoy her antics as she plays. Getting sufficient exercise helps her avoid obesity, a common health problem of modern house cats.

Cats don’t love to perform on demand, but your Maine Coon mix may be more willing than most, although her Shorthair side may regard it more skeptically. Focus on gently correcting your kitten when she makes an error, and use her instincts as you guide her towards desirable behaviors. If she plays too roughly, offer her a toy instead of your hand. As you brush her, practice handling her paws and nails so she’ll feel comfortable when you trim them in the future. Be sure to place her cat tree in her favorite place to hang out, so she chooses the proper perch as opposed to your favorite furniture.

Training

Common Training For Cats

  • Use the scratching post or cat tree only.
  • Keep claws retracted when playing with people.
  • Eliminate only in the litter box.
  • Biting is for toys only.
  • Games and tricks.
  • Standard commands like sit, stay, roll over, jump, high-five, play a game, time to eat, come here, etc.
  • Familiarity with the grooming process.
  • Familiarity with being bathed.
  • Riding calmly in the car.

Health

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) causes the heart’s walls to thicken, decreasing the heart’s efficiency. Experts don’t know the cause of HCM, but there may be a genetic component. Maine Coons have been identified with this disease. The prognosis for this disease varies, but proper diagnosis and treatment can help.

Some cats with HCM exhibit labored breathing and lethargy from congestive heart failure, but others are asymptomatic. To determine if your cat suffers from this condition, your vet may use an echocardiogram or recommend genetic testing. Your vet will likely prescribe medication to help your cat live more comfortably. Although the disease will worsen as it progresses, asymptomatic cats may live for many years.

Nutrition

Your Maine Coons ASH mix matures slowly and may take up to three years to fully mature. Choose a kitten-specific food and discuss with your vet how long you should use a kitten formula. Kittens need a specific calcium-phosphorus ratio for proper bone development. Look for a recipe with .8 to 1.6% calcium on a dry matter basis. Protein and fat levels should support slow, steady growth. If your blend takes after her Maine Coon side and likes playing in the water, she may prefer a fountain drinker.

Choose cat food that meets American Association of Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) standards as your companion’s complete and balanced diet. The feline diet should consist of high amounts of protein, moderate amounts of fat, and a minimal amount of carbohydrates. When you inspect the label on a specific food bag, look for meat, meat by-products, or seafood among the first few ingredients. This suggests the food contains enough animal-source ingredients to supply essential amino acids and fatty acids without additional supplements. For cats prone to urinary tract issues, a low magnesium wet food may help keep UTIs at bay.

Breeders & Kitten Costs

Generally, mixed-breed kittens cost less than their purebred parent breeds. Both popular breeds are easy to get along with companions, and while your blended kitten won’t have that famous Maine Coon hair, she’ll be easy to keep tidy. When you plan your kitten’s space and purchase cat trees or travel crates, remember your cross will be a large adult, and plan for the future.

You may find a kitten free from a backyard or accidental breeder. The owners may ask you to reimburse some of the veterinary costs, but you’ll also be able to start a relationship with a vet who has already met your kitten. A backyard breeder should be able to answer any questions you may have, even if they cannot offer a full health guarantee, but they should be able to answer your questions. If they seem unwilling, it may be time to look elsewhere for your new best friend.

Before bringing your kitten home, get the supplies you’ll need to take care of her. Have her litter box and the food you plan to feed. You may wish to have a bed for her, a crate for transport, some toys, and grooming tools. If you don’t already have an established veterinarian, locate one for your kitten’s first vaccinations and a general wellness check. Expect to spend about $150 to $400 for supplies if you’re starting from scratch.

There may not be many breeders advertising these mixed kittens, but you can check with local online resources. Maine Coon or American Shorthair breeders in your area may be able to steer you in the right direction. Inquire at your veterinarian’s office and regularly check local rescue and shelter pages.

Rescues & Shelters

Check your local shelters regularly for kittens or cats listed with Maine Coon or ASH in the mix. Depending on your needs, you may find a giant-bodied shorthaired kitten with a sweet temperament at the shelter. The Humane Society of the United States, your local shelter, and your veterinarian are reliable resources for finding reputable shelters and rescue groups. You can expect to pay a shelter fee of between $60 and $120.

If you’re in the market for a kitten, check your local shelters and rescue groups in late Spring and early Summer. Unfortunately, too many pets aren’t spayed and neutered, and the shelters get more than their share of seasonal kittens. If you are willing to adopt an older cat, you’ll be able to spend some time and see how the two of you get along. Adopting a mature cat has several advantages. When you meet an adult cat, what you see is what you get. You can choose a cat who already has developed a personality you’ll love to live with for the rest of your cat’s life.

Final Thoughts

For a laid-back, friendly companion who gets along with the whole family, you can’t beat a Maine Coon American Shorthair blend. Larger than average but amiable, this healthy blend should grace your life for many years. This sweet and easygoing mix is perfect for a family with children who understand how to handle a pet gently. These two distinctly American breeds create a masterpiece when they come together. The best way to return her love is with daily grooming and time well spent with her. Be sure to provide regular veterinary care and proper nutrition to ensure her long and healthy life.

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