Breeds

Red Maine Coon Cat Breed Profile: Care, Traits, Facts & More

Few breeds are more distinguishable than the Maine Coon, and with their fiery, bold coat, the Red Maine Coon cat truly stands out in a crowd. The Red Maine Coon is a lovable breed with a vibrant red-orange coat. Fondly called a “Gentle Giant,” the Maine Coon is a sweet feline with a big personality to match their significant stature. Read on to learn about the Red Maine Coon, a popular color variant of the popular Maine Coon cat breed.

Tara Maurer holding cat smiling

Last Updated: December 13, 2023 | 8 min read

red maine coon laying down on a white background

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Meeting your first Maine Coon cat is super exciting. Describing them as big is an understatement. These kitties are massive, earning their nickname of gentle giants. They are often compared to dogs due to their size and tendency to be game for adventures and to love lots of human interaction. 

The Red Maine Coon, often called an Orange Maine Coon cat despite being officially categorized as red, is an eye-catching color variant of the Maine Coon cat. While there are over 80 color and pattern variations of the Maine Coon, we can’t help but especially love these goofy, reddish-orange furballs.

A Red Maine Coon is a truly special cat, and you won; soon forget meeting one. Read on to learn why this breed has become one of the most sought-after pedigreed cats today.

Breed Overview
    • weight iconWeight9-25 Pounds
    • height iconHeight9-17 Inches
    • lifespan iconLifespan13-14 Years
    • color iconColorsRed
  • Child Friendliness
  • Canine Friendliness
  • Training Difficulty
  • Exercise
  • Grooming Upkeep
  • Breed Health
  • Kitten Costs

Breed History

Categorized as a natural breed, the Maine Coon developed without human intervention. The history of this hefty feline began in the 1800s when mouser cats traveling aboard ships to America bred and evolved into what we now call the Maine Coon. 

Ships traveling from Europe to America housed felines to control the rodent population during long journeys overseas. When these cats arrived on the chilly shores of Maine, those traits that allowed the cats to flourish in the harsh winters—thick coats, sturdy bodies, and skilled hunting abilities—became dominant traits of this breed. It wasn’t long before this long-haired cat became known as the Maine Coon, eventually being named the official state cat

Although some legends suggest the Maine Coon is a cross of a domestic cat with raccoons or wild bobcats, genetic identification indicates that the Maine Coon descended from the Norwegian Forest Cat. You’ll see many commonalities when viewing these breeds.

Red Maine Coon Genetics

While often referred to as having an orange coat, the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) recognizes the official color of this Maine Coon as red. The breed’s red color is sex-linked. Male kittens obtain both color genes from their mom, meaning male offspring will always be the same color as the dam or a diluted form of the dam’s color. On the other hand, female kittens take one color gene from each parent.

Female kittens will always be a combination of their mom and dad’s colors or a dilution of those colors. Thus, both parents must have a red coat to obtain any red color or pattern in female kittens. For this reason, female Red Maine Coons are pretty rare.

Appearance & Size

Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds worldwide. Since most Red Maine Coons are male, expect the Red Maine Coon to be larger than other color variations. Maine Coons can weigh 9 to 25 pounds and hit 30 to 40 inches in length. Males tend to grow significantly larger than their female counterparts. 

The Maine Coon is a long, muscular breed with a rectangular body and broad chest. This kitty has a square head with a wide muzzle and high cheekbones. Maine Coons have large ears that are proportionate to their head. Their tails are long and full.

Like all Maine Coons, the Red Maine Coon has a delightfully thick coat that is smooth and shaggy. While often considered orange, the CFA officially classifies this ginger feline as “red.” The Red Maine Coon may be categorized into one of four classes: solid, red tabby, red tabby and white, and bi-color. 

  1. Solid – The solid Maine Coon has a deep, rich coat in a brilliant red. This cat will be without shading or any other markings. Their lips and chin will match their coat color, and their nose and paw pads will be brick red.
  2. Red Tabby The red tabby Maine Coon will have clearly defined markings along their body, legs, and tail. They may be a classic tabby, mackerel, or ticked pattern with deeper red markings than the coat. A red tabby may have white around the lips and chin. Their nose and paw pads are brick red.
  3. Red Tabby And White – This variation is similar to the red tabby but with white on the belly, bib, and all four feet. They may also have white on the face.
  4. Bi-ColorThe bi-color red and white Maine Coon will have a coat displaying a combination of red and white. While the face may or may not have white, the bib, belly, and all four paws will have white.

Personality & Temperament

Maine Coons love socializing and are a gentle, affectionate breed. Thanks to their easy-going temperament, the Red Maine Coon makes an excellent addition for families with young children and multi-pet households. This breed is intelligent and playful, making them a good candidate for clicker training.

The Maine Coon loves to spend the day relaxing with the family and will happily follow you around all day. This isn’t a clingy breed, and they will be okay being left alone for short periods. 

Shedding & Hypoallergenic

Unfortunately for those with cat allergies, the Maine Coon isn’t hypoallergenic. This cat has a thick double coat that requires daily maintenance. This long-haired breed sheds significantly during spring into summer and fall into winter but will lose hair all year around, especially if they are kept indoors where the climate is controlled. 

If you are allergic to cats, consider exploring a low-shedding cat. Of course, if you’re set on a Red Maine Coon, there are steps you can take to keep allergic reactions at bay, including regular home cleaning, investing in air purification, and taking allergy medication. Learn more about breeds to avoid in our Worst Cats For Allergies article.

Grooming

Brush your Red Maine Coon at least two to three times per week, if not every day. While all cats are fastidious self-groomers, assisting your furry friend will keep matting away. Regular brushing removes debris, loose hair, and bacteria. Use a conditioning brush on your Maine Coon’s coat to distribute the oil your cat naturally produces, which will give their coat a glossy finish and prevent matting. 

Trim your kitty’s nails periodically to prevent injury to your cat and yourself. Indoor cats especially need their nails trimmed often since they are less likely to wear down the nail themself. Contact your veterinarian if you are unsure how to cut your cat’s nails safely. 

Avoid periodontal disease, common in many felines, by regularly brushing your kitty’s teeth. You may also need to give your cat baths if they get particularly messy. Always use cat-specific products that won’t irritate your feline’s delicate skin. 

Care

The Maine Coon breed is highly social and will require plenty of stimulation and attention. Schedule daily playtime with your cat to keep them entertained and happy. Regular playtime strengthens the bond between you and your furry friend while preventing behavioral problems stemming from boredom.

Before bringing this fireball into your home, consider any potential environmental dangers and adjust your home to be pet-safe. Familiarize yourself with foods that are cat-friendly, especially if you tend to share your snacks with your furry friends. Provide your cat with a litter box suited to their size and clean it at least once daily, preferably twice. 

Enrich your cat’s life with daily stimulation. Provide scratching posts, puzzle feeders, and interactive toys while away. Ensure you give your cat daily playtime to prevent destructive, attention-seeking behavior. Regular playtime will also ensure your Red Maine Coon stays fit and healthy. Use lasers, toy wands, or bubbles to keep your gentle giant on the move.

Nutrition

Like all cats, the Red Maine Coon is an obligate carnivore, requiring meat for proper nutrition and health. Ensure your cat’s food is sourced from high-quality, diverse sources. Look for wet or dry food that avoids unnecessary filler ingredients. Your Red Maine Coon will need scheduled meals and controlled portion sizes to prevent weight gain and health problems associated with obesity. 

Cats need fresh, clean water at all times. If using a bowl, empty the bowl and refresh the water daily. You may also consider a cat water fountain to encourage more drinking. Monitor your cat’s water intake so you can report any changes to your veterinarian.

Training

The Maine Coon is an intelligent breed that will take to training easily, especially if started at a young age. Always reward your feline for good behavior and ignore negative attention-seeking behavior. If your cat is biting, vocalizing, or behaving poorly, attention—whether positive or negative—will encourage your cat to continue said behavior. So, while it can be difficult, never give in to your cat’s frustrating behavior. The more consistent you are with training, the quicker you will get results and the less destructive your cat will act. 

You may also wish to teach your Maine Coon tricks, and these smarty cats will be happy to please. Always use positive reinforcement via treats and verbal praise when training your cat to learn tricks.

Health & Lifespan

The Maine Coon breed is prone to several health conditions, including hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and spinal muscular atrophy. Get pet insurance at a young age to cover your kitty’s medical needs, as young pets will have fewer pre-existing conditions that may prevent full coverage. Expect your Red Maine Coon to live at least 13 to 14 years. You can give your kitty many more happy years with extra love and care.

Price

Depending on bloodline, age, and health, a Maine Coon can range from $400 to more than $1,500, with pedigreed cats costing more than $2,500. Expect to pay more for a solid-colored Red Maine Coon, as they are quite rare. You may be able to find a Maine Coon at a shelter and adopt your cat feline for a lower fee.

As Family Pets

Maine Coon lovers, rejoice! This breed’s gentle temperament makes them an excellent fit for families with small children or other pets. The Maine Coon loves socializing with all family members, but you may find that it develops a stronger bond with certain family members.

The Red Maine Coon is gentle and friendly, happy to cuddle up with you on the couch or go on outdoor adventures. If you have the time and energy to maintain this cat’s long coat, you will surely love this gentle giant.

If you have a Red Maine Coon as your feline friend, we would love to hear about your experience in the comments below.

Frequently Asked Questions

The Red Maine Coon is an often asked-after kitty. We answer a few of the top questions people have.

Is The Red Maine Coon Different From The Orange Maine Coon?

According to the CFA, the official color of this fiery ginger cat is red. While this cat’s fur is officially classified as red, it is commonly called an Orange Maine Coon. 

Are Red Maine Coon Cats Rare?

While a patterned or bi-color Red Maine Coon is common, a solid Red Maine Coon is rare.

What Other Coat Colors Does The Maine Coon Have?

Maine Coons can be white, grey, blue, black, brown, and more. Read our article on Maine Coon cat colors to learn more.

Choosing The Right Cat Breed For You

Maine Coons are truly amazing kitties and make wonderful pets. However, they may not be the best pick for first-time owners or small living spaces. Consider an older cat if you are not ready for a kitten. If you are in love with the idea of an orange kitty but don’t have room for a Maine Coon, consider a Garfield cat breed.

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