Maine Coons and Tabby cats are two of the most popular kinds of cats around. The Maine Coon is a big, rugged kitty that is known for a very distinctive appearance and lovable personality. Tabby cats are a coloring that many people seek. (Really, who doesn’t want a Garfield-colored cat?)
A Maine Coon Tabby cat is a feline mix many cat people would love to have. This particular blend of felines is a strikingly beautiful cat with a wonderful personality. There can be some unpredictability when it comes to these kitties, and anyone interested in this breed should learn a little about them before bringing one home.
Let’s get to know The Maine Coon Tabby mix and learn about their history, appearance, personality, and care needs. Owners should always remember that mixed breeds can take after one or both of their parents. We present a general breed overview to help owners get to know their kitty and understand what kind of care needs they might have. This guide is for information only and is not a substitute for advice from a veterinarian or professional cat trainer.
- Breed History
- Maine Coon Cats
- Tabby Cats
- Tabby Patterns
- Maine Coon Tabby
- Size & Appearance
- Coat & Colors
- Living Requirements & Care
- Breeders & Kitten Costs
- Rescues & Shelters
- As Family Pets
- Fun Facts
- Final Thoughts
Tabby-colored Maine Coons have been around for an exceptionally long time. There is no specific information about crossbreeding because a Maine Coon Tabby is not necessarily a blend of two different feline breeds. Maine Coon is a breed, and Tabby is a pattern. Many cat breeds can be Tabby, and just as many can cross with a Maine Coon. To get to know a cat like the Maine Coon Tabby, we need to talk about these types of cats individually.
Maine Coon Cats
Maine Coons are a large breed of rugged, wild-looking felines. This breed is considered the oldest natural feline breed native to the United States. Breeders did not develop this kitty. Instead, Maine Coons developed through natural breeding among different breeds.
A common urban legend about the Maine Coon is that the breed is a hybrid mix of a domestic cat and a wild raccoon. This is because of the long, bushy, ringed tail that this big kitty often has, looking much like a raccoon. Though a wildly intriguing tale, this hybrid animal could not ever exist. The species are far too different ever to mate or produce offspring. Other stories claim the Maine Coon is a cat descended from royal pets that escaped France and made their way to North America when Marie Antionette met her horrible fate. These kitties most likely were ship cats that traveled aboard ships and made their way into the communities where they docked. They naturally bred among themselves to develop the thick coats, rigged bodies, and superb hunting skills needed to survive the harsh winters of New England.
The Maine Coon is a prevalent breed. Currently, they rank as the second most popular of all breeds listed by The Cat Fanciers’ Association. This big breed is also known as the “gentle giant,” “feline greeters of the world,” and the “dog of the cat world. This popularity is due to their very agreeable nature and training ability. These kitties will play fetch and walk on a leash. They love people and never tire of playing games, cuddling, or hanging out with their human family members.
Gentle giants are hefty. They can weigh anywhere from 9 to 25 pounds or more when fully grown. They stand about 10 to 16 inches tall from paw to shoulder. These kitties also have exceptionally long tails. Their tails can reach between 12 and 17 inches long, sometimes longer. To compare, on average, most cat tails measure around 11 inches long. Males will be slightly bigger than females.
This breed is known for rugged, shaggy long coats, tufted ears and paws, and a lion-like ruff of fur around their necks that looks like a wildcat’s mane. The gentle giant’s coat can come in a wide range of colors and patterns.
Gentle giants are known for being highly intelligent, very sociable, and quite friendly. They are highly adaptable to situations and do well in homes with lots of people, children, and other pets. These purr babies do not mind hanging out with other kitties of different breeds or spending the day palling around with a canine. Gentle giants routine a playful like mentality well past kittenhood. They take longer than most other breeds to mature and will grow until between three and four years old on average.
Maine Coons can live for quite a long time, between about 12 and 15 years on average. Some have been known to live longer. Overall, this breed is healthy though they can be predisposed to some health conditions. Maine Coons are often polydactyl, meaning they have an extra toe. This does not happen in every Maine Coon, but it is common among the breeds. No serious health concerns come along with this trait, and purr babies with an extra toe are as happy as those with just ten.
Gentle giants have another unique characteristic. They do not make the same meow sound as most other cats. Instead, this giant breed makes what is described as a chirping sound. These kitties are quite vocal but do not meow.
Tabby’s are often characterized as a distinguishable breed. But, that is a misconception. Tabby refers to a distinctive marking and pattern, not a specific feline breed. A Tabby pattern is natural and occurs because of the different blend of genetics a cat may have. Some breeders may select specific patterns and colors, but the Tabby patterning is present in a lengthy list of breeds. Tabby is one of the most common coat patterns in all breeds of cats.
There are a few different categories of Tabby, but all felines with this patterning have some telltale markings. They all have a distinctive marking that looks like the capital letter “M” right on the middle of their foreheads. They also have very thin lines on their faces, especially around their eyes. It is possible for cats who are solid colored and very dark to be Tabby patterned as well. Some owners who think they have a solid color kitty may notice these faint stripes when their kitties are in the sun.
A Tabby pattern can come in five distinct types. While all look similar, they each have some distinct and noticeable differences. Tabby patterns come in stripes, blotches, spots, whirls, and rosettes.
5 Types of Tabby Patterns
- A Classic or Blotched Tabby has signature Tabby facial markings, a prominent M on their forehead, and circular blotched-like patterning along the body. They are often compared to marble or a marbled desert because of the swirling patterns along their sides.
- Spotted Tabbies have small to large spots covering their torsos and sides. Sometimes the spots will appear as though they are broken stripes. Spots can be oval, round, or up here as rosettes.
- The Mackerel Tabby has parallel narrow stripes that run along their sides. This marking is often described as looking like a tiger because of the stripes. Stripes will clearly stand out as even lines and start along the same spot at the top of a cat’s spine. When looking at these cats from above, their stripes look similar to a cat skeleton, which is why this particular patterning of Tabby is called the mackerel.
- Ticked Tabbies do not always look like Tabby cats at first glance. This is because they do not have noticeable spots, stripes, worlds, or rosettes on their body like other Tabby patterns. Ticked tabbies will have the classic Tabby M on their foreheads. Instead of distinct patterning, they have what is called agouti hairs. Agouti means that the hairs themselves have striped light and dark sections.
- Patched Tabby cats are tortoiseshell-marked Tabbies. These kitties often have brown and red Tabby patches throughout their coats. A Tortoiseshell Tabby cat is sometimes called a Torbie. These kitties can have any of the other four patterns in addition to the tortoiseshell coloring.
The coloring of a Tabby cat coat includes a wide range. It is most common for Tabbies to have a black-based coat, and coat colors can consist of gray, brown, orange, red, cream, and even gray or almost black. The classic orange Tabby cat is one that is often sought after. Most orange Tabbies are male. It is relatively rare to find a female orange Tabby cat. This is because it is easier for males to inherit the coloration gene for oranges because they only have one X chromosome. Female kitties have two X chromosomes and need two copies of the coloration gene to have these orange coats.
Tabby cats are incredibly common and can be seen throughout many different breeds. Persians, Norwegian Forest Cats, Munchkins, Scottish folds, American bobtails, domestic shorthairs, Ocicat, American Curl, and the mighty Maine Coon are often Tabby patterned.
Maine Coon Tabby
A Maine Coon Tabby is a fairly common feline to find. The Tabby pattern naturally occurs in the Maine Coon. In fact, Tabby is thought to be the original pattern of the first gentle giants to be seen in North America. A Tabby Maine Coon may be a purebred cat or could be a mixed breed. Unless owners are willing to pay the expense and have easy access to DNA testing or know both cat parents, it may be impossible to tell precisely what breed or crossbreed a cat like this is.
Maine Coon mixed breeds are incredibly popular among cat owners. This is due to their beautiful appearance, larger size, longer expected lifespan, and wonderful personalities. Coon cat mixes make terrific pets and are commonly bred with other popular domestic felines like Ragdolls, Bengals, Siamese, and Persians, just to name a few. Mixed breeds will pick up different physical and behavioral characteristics from both parents. Sometimes they will seem exactly like a Maine Coon or like their other parent. Other times they will be somewhere in the middle taking bits and pieces of both other breeds.
Gentle giants are known for their agreeable personalities and high intelligence. They love to be around people but also enjoy time outside to explore and hunt. These big tykes are very curious and highly adaptable, meaning they can be trained to play games like fetch, hide and seek, and more. Most breeds mixed with the Maine Coon will retain some of this friendly, adaptable nature. Expect a Tabby Maine Coon to be a friendly, enjoyable cat who likes to be around people. Some crossbreeds may be more reserved.
This is a cat that is smart, friendly, independent, and playful. They will likely be highly active and have a high need to play. The happy playfulness comes from the gentle giant. This breed will probably take longer to mature, especially males.
These big tykes will be good climbers, impeccable mousers, and exceptionally good at understanding communication with their humans. Because they are so intelligent, they can develop a stubborn streak, sometimes making training tricky. These kitties will need owners who do not mind a larger-sized cat knocking things over and who have plenty of time and energy to spend playing with and interacting with their pets.
Size & Appearance
This cat will have a distinctive appearance that will vary somewhat depending on what breed of cat is mixed in with the Maine Coon. These kitties will be close to the size of a Maine Coon, though many mixed breeds will be smaller. A mixed breed can be larger than their parent breeds. There is a lot of unpredictability. This kitty will probably weigh between 8 to 25 or more pounds. Females will be smaller, reaching between 10 and 15 pounds. Males will be larger.
Gentle giants are known for being long in body with exceptionally long tails. A Tabby Maine Coon will likely be between 30 and 35 inches long; some may be longer. They will stand about 8 inches to 16 inches tall. These kittens will grow until they reach between three and five years of age, so it may take some time to reach their full size.
A Tabby Maine Coon will likely have pointy ears that may or may not be tufted, depending on the percentage of Maine Coon genetics. They will have long fluffy tails with large wide-spaced eyes. Eyes will be prominent and round to less round, depending on the genetics involved. Many of these gentle Tabby giants will have extra shaggy fur around their necks, giving them the appearance of having a mane similar to that of a lion.
Coat & Colors
This kitty will have medium to long, full coats of shaggy fur. Maine Coons developed extra thick coats with double layers to survive freezing weather. Mixed breeds may have thinner coats that are not quite as long. Regardless of what other breed is involved, any cat mixed with a Maine Coon will be very hairy. Though their fur may seem thick and rugged, it will be incredibly soft and silky to the touch, especially with proper grooming.
Coat patterns can come in any of the five Tabby variations: classic, mackerel, ticked, spotted, or patched. Most have a distinctive M-shaped pattern on their forehead. The ticked Tabby Maine Coon may look less like a Tabby because they may not have a lot of spots or stripes other than on their legs and heads. Coat color can vary and includes almost every color of fur one can imagine.
Maine Coon Tabby coat colors include but are not limited to:
- Silver Blue
- Brown and White
- Red and White
- Silver and Black
This might seem like a lengthy list, but it barely scratches the surface regarding the possibility of colors and color combinations on a Maine Coon Tabby cat. Brown is one of the most common colors in this particular breed and is fairly easy to find. Red, Cream, and Blue Tabbies are much harder to find.
This gentle giant Tabby cat will need a significant amount of grooming. They will not be hypoallergenic, and due to the thick layers of their hefty coats, they carry around a lot of hair. All felines shed, and because this breed will have more hair than many others, they will shed more. Tabby Maine Coons will need regular grooming at least three or four times a week if not brushing daily. Owners will want to invest in solid grooming tools like steel-toothed combs, bristle brushes, and slicker brushes. Additionally, detangling sprays and other feline products may be of assistance.
Because of the large amount of hair these cats have and the elevated level of grooming they require, they may not be a smart choice for people who suffer from allergies and people who do not have time to groom them. Grooming is essential to keep them healthy and is not something that owners can do every once in a while.
Owners should never forget to pay attention to nail trimming and feline dental care as part of the grooming process. These two areas often get overlooked. Failing to trim a cat’s nails can result in injury to the cat and damage to humans, as well as unwanted cat scratches that may not be done on purpose. Feline dental disease is a serious concern, and brushing their teeth regularly is one of the most significant methods owners can take to keep this big breed healthy.
Living Requirements & Care
These magnificent cats will need owners that understand that caring for them is a big commitment. This is true of any breed, but especially for a highly sociable and amiable breed like this. While these purr babies are independent, they will need plenty of attention and interaction from their humans daily. They will be larger than many other breeds and need homes with lots of room to run and play. Access to the outdoors is also something this breed will enjoy, and it will help them express some of the prominent energy levels they always seem to carry around.
These kitties need interaction and entertainment every single day. Though they can be left home alone for a while owners go to work or out, they should not be left alone for extended periods of time or overnight. They are very needy when it comes to affection and will start to stress out and even become aggressive if left to fend for themselves for too long. These cats do not simply like to interact with humans. This breed craves it, and being left alone for too long can cause uncontrolled and even destructive behavior, especially in a cat that is so smart. Owners should ensure plenty of entertainment options, tunnels, and a variety of toys to keep these big kids entertained.
These purr babies will need plenty of exercise. They have a lot of energy and will require multiple play sessions to keep them from bouncing off the walls. At least two or three 20-minute play sessions every day, if not more, are recommended. Try to change these up, take the cat for a walk one day, and play a game the next. It is common for this breed to have a highly active play session and then sleep for a few hours only to get up and start the process all over again.
Always keep a close eye on this breed when taking them outside. They will be exceptionally good at catching mice and other rodents, and because they are swift and robust, it can be pretty easy for owners to lose track of them. It is best to keep this kitty on a leash while taking them outside while allowing them to experience a little bit of exploration and freedom in the great big world.
Training a Maine Coon Tabby cat can be both extremely easy and highly challenging. These incredibly smart cats will respond very well to positive behavior reinforcement. They will enjoy treats, cuddles, and toys as a reward for good behavior. Not every cat of this breed will be as trainable. Some may be more challenging than others. Because this breed is so bright, they may have an intelligent streak which can cause them to be stubborn. If owners notice they have trouble training their cats to do basic commands, it may be a good idea to talk to a professional trainer. Often intelligent kitties get the better of owners, and it may take some time for the owner to regain the upper hand. Any owners who feel like they are not in control of the situation should consult with a veterinarian or trainer to get some advice and be on the right track.
This breed will need basic behavior training along with learning tricks and leash walking. This will help them interact well with other felines, humans, and other pets in the home.
Common Training For Cats
- Litter box training
- No biting other pets
- Do not scratch furniture
- Not to scratch people
- Areas that are off limits
- Do not bite people
- Not to spray
- Basic commands” stay, sit, jump, no, come, stop, roll over, etc.
Mixed breed felines are some of the healthiest cats in the feline population. This mix can live an average of 12 to 15 or more years. Gentle giants are a breed that is relatively healthy, but they can be prone to some medical conditions, including some genetic ones. Additionally, because this is a larger cat breed, there are concerns of predisposition to specific health conditions because of their size. These include hip dysplasia, diabetes, and cardiac concerns. Depending on the breed a Tabby Maine Coon is mixed with, they may be more likely to get certain health issues. The best way to predict how healthy a cat will be is to look at their parents and ask if kittens have been screened for different diseases before adopting them. Proper care and nutrition also go a long way in keeping felines healthy throughout their lives.
Health conditions this breed may be predisposed to include:
- Orthopedic and joint concerns
- Joint dysfunction
- Hip dysplasia
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
- Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
- Feline asthma
- Urinary tract issues
- Parasites and infection
- Digestive issues and malfunction
- Weight loss
Owners can work to keep this cat healthy by keeping up with regular veterinary examinations, including scheduled wellness checks. While some owners may not feel it necessary to take their cat to the vet if they are feeling well, felines are known for masking symptoms of illness or injury until they are in profoundly serious or even dire condition. Regular visits to the vet can help identify and treat some of these issues before they become significant concerns. Proper veterinary care, keeping up with immunizations, and paying close attention to your cat’s behavior is a big part of keeping them healthy and treating any conditions they may acquire.
Nutrition is especially important for this breed and all cats. These tykes will be highly active and need a diet full of high-quality animal proteins. This is especially important when they are young to support proper growth and development. Remember, this breed is larger than most and takes much longer to mature. They will grow for the first three to five years of their lives, and proper nutrition is the cornerstone of ensuring they are healthy and supported throughout this growth cycle.
Felines are obligate carnivores and need to eat meat. Foods that use fish and chicken, as well as beef, lamb, and turkey, are reliable sources of healthy animal protein. These cats will need Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids to help support their Co health. Because they will be medium to long-haired cats, they are at risk for increased hairballs. Diets with extra fiber can help prevent a painful and hard-to-clean-up condition. Felines also need carbohydrates in their diets, so not an overwhelming amount. Carbohydrates help support growth along with vitamins, minerals, and amino acids.
Always look for cat foods that list meat and meat products as their first ingredients. Avoid low-quality and budget brands and those high in fillers, preservatives, and artificial ingredients. Cats need a high-quality, well-balanced diet throughout their entire lives. Their nutritional needs will change as they age. Kittens will need more calories and fat, highly active cats will need protein and healthy fats, and aging felines will need fewer calories with added minerals and vitamins to support bone and joint health.
Never hesitate to discuss any dietary and nutritional concerns with your veterinarian. Some owners may want to try a raw food diet with this breed, which can be beneficial for felines but should only be done under the supervision of a veterinarian or feline nutritionist. Raw and fresh fruit diets are huge commitments on the owner’s part and can be easy to mix up. There is more to it than simply feeding a cat a pile of raw meat and vegetables. Felines need a careful balance in their diet to meet all their nutritional needs and keep them healthy and happy for as long as possible.
Breeders & Kitten Costs
Many breeders specialize in Maine Coons, and mixes. Purebred cats will be more expensive than some mixed breeds. Some colors of Tabby Coon cats, especially brown, are quite common and will not be as expensive as some rarer colors. For these cats, anywhere from about $500 to about $1,000 can be expected. Some of these kittens may have a price tag of over $2,000. For rarer colorations, the price tag will be higher. Owners should not be surprised if they see a price tag of $2,500 to almost $4,000.
Always ask a lot of questions and be very observant to ensure that a breeder is reputable before purchasing a kitten. Check with The Cat Fancier’s Association and other breed registries to see if they are listed. Ask to see parent cats and previous litters and inquire about how many litters a year a breeder produces. It is also imperative to ask readers about pre-screenings for different diseases and medical conditions. If breeders are unwilling to answer questions or show proper documentation, it is best to look elsewhere.
Rescues & Shelters
Both cats are incredibly popular and familiar to see. It is highly likely that this breed can end up in a rescue or cat shelter. Adopting a cat from a shelter can be much more expensive than a breeder. Some adoption fees will range as low as $20, and others can go as high as $100 or a little more. While owners may be unable to pick the exact color of a Tabby cat when getting one from a rescue or shelter, it is a far less expensive option. There are plenty of cats that need good homes, and for owners willing to take in an older cat or a cat with a bit of mysterious history, this can be an excellent choice.
Check with your veterinarian and local and national animal humane societies to learn more about cats that may need good homes. Some breed-specific rescues for gentle giant cats may have Tabby cats available. Because this is such a common breed, they often end up in shelters, so these places are a good starting point when looking to adopt a Tabby Maine Coon.
As Family Pets
These striped gentle giants make amazing family pets. They are affectionate, intelligent, eager to please, and very adaptable to changes in routine and environment. These kitties crave attention and always want to be involved in what their humans are doing. Because they are so agreeable, these kitties make great pets for people of all ages. They do very well with other pets as well as with a lot of people. These cats can keep up with a busy household and are not a breed that might prefer a quiet environment.
Tabby Maine Coons will need owners that can set firm boundaries and enforce them. They are incredibly smart and highly trainable but can also be stubborn. These kitties need owners who understand their larger size and incredible intellect. These kitties are good for cat owners of about any level of experience. They may be challenging for first-time cat owners. However, that has more to do with general kitten behavior and care than with the specific breed. These cats are high maintenance and need a lot of grooming almost every day. They will need owners who can give them the time and attention they need to feel safe and happy, as well as those who are committed to keeping their coats glossy and healthy.
A Tabby cat was once elected mayor of a tiny town named Talkeetna, Alaska (under 1000 population.) His name was Stubbs, and he was a write-in candidate. Stubbs won and held the office for about twenty years. He was a bit quiet on significant issues but served his teeny town with pride for two decades.
Maine Coon cats are sometimes clones. This is a true story. The first cat to be cloned was a gentle giant named Little Nicky. He was a clone of a 17-year-old Maine Coon named Nicky. Little Nicky was born in 2004. He may be one of the most expensive cats to ever walk the planet, with a whopping price tag of at least $50,000
Although a Maine Coon Tabby cat is often referred to as a mixed breed, this is not always the case. Tabby does not refer to one specific breed. Instead, it refers to a very distinguishable pattern in a feline’s coat. Tabby happens to be one of the most common coloring and patterns of Maine Coon cats. A Tabby Coon cat may be a purebred cat or could also be a mixed breed. The best way to try and predict how big this cat will get and what their personality will be like is to look at their two parent cats. Depending on how strong the Maine Coon genetics are, they may look remarkably like a purebred coon cat with a Tabby coat. Other times they will look extraordinarily little like a gentle giant, and the Tabby design may not be that obvious.
The Tabby Maine Coon has a wonderful personality, is incredibly smart, and extremely attractive to look at. They are relatively large cats with elegant faces, manes like lions, and plenty of love to give. These kitties make fascinating, highly affectionate, and very engaging companions. This breed will need a dedicated owner who is understanding of their size and personality. Remember, every cat is an individual, and while our guide is a wonderful introduction to this fascinating feline, it is not meant to substitute for advice from a veterinarian or a qualified animal trainer.