Breeds

Siberian Cat Vs. Maine Coon: Differences, Similarities & More

The Siberian cat and the Maine Coon cat are both large, fluffy cat breeds. Because of this, they get mixed up more often than you’d think. However, let's dive in to help clarify the differences between these two furry felines.

Stella Vickers and Patches the Cat

Last Updated: January 4, 2023 | 6 min read

Siberian Cat Vs. Maine Coon

Both of these adorable cat breeds share similar traits that make it difficult to distinguish between the two. They both have long, dense fur and are of relatively large size, but there are many ways to tell them apart. A possible owner of either of these breeds should definitely do their research before bringing one home. With the precious addition of a new furry feline comes the responsibility to feed them, groom them, clean their litter box, and keep them healthy and happy. Let’s learn about these cats’ unique needs and decide which one is a better fit for you.

Breed History

Siberian cats are originally from Siberia, Russia, where they are considered a “national treasure.”

Siberian Cat

These cats appear in many old Russian folk tales and childrens’ books that were made up to 1000 years ago, signifying that the Siberian cat is hardly a new breed. However, they recently developed as a formal breed in the 1980s. They are commonly found all over Russia as one of the most popular pets there. Siberian cats have long, thick fur that helps to keep out the cold temperatures in their freezing Russian ecosystem.

Maine Coon

Grey Maine Coon Cat
The Maine Coon is a longhaired breed of cat that was originally domesticated in the early 18th century. 

It is very likely that this fluffy kitty was the result of natural breeding, and most of their DNA comes from the Norwegian Forest cat. Their origin is simply that of a ship cat, meant to hunt mice and keep them from getting into the sailors’ stash of grain. However, when the European sailors brought these cats to Maine, they instantly adapted and became known as the Maine Coon.

Comparing Maine Coon Vs. Siberian Cats

Breed Comparison

Siberian Cat

  • Weight 15-20 pounds
  • Height 10-12 inches
  • Temperament Loving, devoted, social
  • Energy Medium to high
  • Grooming 2 x a week
  • Health Average to low
  • Lifespan 13 to 15 years
  • Friendliness Very friendly
  • Kitten Price $1,000-$4,000 +
  • Formal Name Siberian Forest Cat

Maine Coon

  • Weight 9-25 pounds
  • Height 10-16 inches
  • Temperament Smart, playful, affectionate
  • Energy High
  • Grooming 2 x a week
  • Health Average
  • Lifespan 12 to 15 years
  • Friendliness Relatively friendly
  • Kitten Price $500-$2,000 +
  • Nickname Gentle Giant, Maine Cat

Size

Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world. The average male can grow up to 18 pounds, while females can grow up to 12 pounds. In addition, these cats can reach anywhere from 19-40 inches, nose to tail tip. The largest Maine Coon cat ever recorded was a whopping 48.5 inches long!

Siberian cats are not nearly as long as Maine Coons, but they have a similar weight. A male Siberian cat can grow up to 17 pounds, and females can grow up to 12 pounds.  Their average length is 17 to 25 inches long.

Appearance

Maine Coons and Siberian cats, although both being large breeds, have many differences in their general appearance. Maine Coons have more of a rectangular face shape with a square muzzle, while Siberians have a round face. In addition, their eye shapes are different. Siberian cats have very round, large eyes, and Maine Coons tend to have slightly smaller eyes.

Temperament

The Maine Coon is one of the best family cats, with a loving and sweet personality and a high tolerance for children. They can easily adapt to life in any family, large or small. In addition to this, these beautiful cats can be kept as outdoor or indoor cats. However, many owners tend to keep them as indoor cats, as Maine Coons are a very famous and expensive breed, making them likely to get stolen if they go outside. These precious kitties don’t need attention every moment since they are able to entertain themselves. Maine Coons mature at a slower rate than most other cats, causing them to exhibit kitten-like behaviors in their first few years of life.

Siberian cats have a gentle, affectionate nature. They tolerate household pets such as dogs, absolutely love children, and have a tendency to get along with the whole family. These cats also make great lap cats and love to cuddle with you. This fluffy cat breed is not very vocal, but they will purr often as they are very happy cats. Siberians aren’t clingy cats but are still very loyal and devoted. In addition to this, Siberians aren’t shy around strangers, always wanting to socialize and introduce themselves. Make sure to give your Siberian plenty of attention so they don’t feel neglected.

Exercise

Maine Coons are a surprisingly high-energy breed, so they will need a lot of exercise. Things like cat trees and scratching pads are a fun and easy way for your cat to let all their excess energy out. A funny thing about this breed is that they enjoy being outdoors and can be trained to walk on a leash and harness, which is another fun way for this breed to get their proper amount of exercise.

Siberian cats are also very athletic and enjoy running around and using their energy. These kitties are built with muscle all over and need exercise to keep their paws moving and prevent obesity. Cat toys are always a good option, like small robotic mice that move around on wheels or a dangly toy that they can leap and bat at.

Training

Maine Coons are known for having surprisingly dog-like characteristics. They are one of the easiest cat breeds to train, with their easygoing and obedient nature resembling that of our canine friends. Ideally, you should start training your cat when they are a kitten so the behavior has more time to imprint. Some good behaviors to teach your cat are:

  • Don’t scratch people.
  • Don’t scratch the furniture.
  • Use your litter box.
  • Don’t bite people.

If your cat is taught these from a young age, you will have a well-trained kitty.

Siberian cats are very intelligent, and because of this, they are easy to train. Even if they aren’t trained from the kitten age, it won’t be too difficult to teach them as adults. They will just be more stubborn and a bit more unwilling to comply.

Health

The most unappealing trait that most Maine Coons have is their tendency to carry genetic diseases. Because of their large size, these cats have been known to suffer from diseases like hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy, and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Unfortunately, there is no cure for any of these, and they can all be fatal. If you are planning to purchase a Maine Coon, make sure you are aware of these health risks and are buying a healthy cat. 

Siberian cats are at risk for quite a few genetic diseases as well. Some examples of these are polycystic kidney disease, hereditary cancer, feline lower urinary tract disease, and periodontal disease. However, the chances of your Siberian carrying one of these is relatively low, as most breeders are careful not to breed cats with these diseases.

Nutrition

Good nutrition is very important for any feline, but even more so for large cats. These kitties both need a well-balanced diet that’s chock-full of animal and meat proteins. Although there are some good proteins in plants, they aren’t sustainable enough by themselves for a healthy cat. Some people want to feed their big cats a raw diet, and this could or could not be beneficial. It’s best to test-run things and see how your pet reacts, but don’t change their diet too much.

Coat, Colors, & Grooming

Maine Coons have an undercoat as well as an overcoat, making their fur get matted easily. Because of this, they need frequent grooming to help their fur stay shiny and lustrous. Brushing them once a day can help to keep their fur neat and avoid an expensive trip to the groomer’s. These beautiful cats come in a variety of gorgeous colors, such as red, blue, tortoiseshell, dilute tortoiseshell, calico, tabby, smoke, white, black, brown, and cream. 

Siberian cats have thick undercoat as well because of the cold winters in Russia. They need grooming often as well. Brushing once or twice a day is sufficient to keep these cats healthy and happy. Siberian cats can also come in many different colors, including tabby, gray, silver, white, cream, brown, black, tortie, and colorpoint.

Care

Both of these cat breeds need an owner who is dedicated and able to provide them with adequate care to suit their needs. For example, a responsible owner will take their cat to the vet regularly for check-ups. In addition to this, these kitties need plenty of space to roam and explore. Since these cats are both large, owners may need to cat-proof their house of any valuable items that they do not want to be knocked over.

Prices

Purchasing a Maine Coon is quite an investment, and in some cases, it may set you back a few thousand dollars. A Maine Coon from a shelter can be purchased for $1,000 or less, but the more expensive purebreds can cost up to $3,000. It’s always important to make sure that your cat is healthy before purchasing so you don’t waste your money.

Siberian cats are harder to find in the U.S., and therefore are more expensive than Maine Coons. A Siberian cat can cost roughly anywhere from $1,000 to $4,000. Buying one is worth the price, though, as they make excellent family pets and are a joy to have around.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Siberian Cats Rare?

Siberian cats are relatively rare in the US, as they originally come from Russia. Because of this, their breeders may ask for a higher price.

Are Maine Coons Bigger Than Siberian Cats?

Yes, Maine Coons are larger in size and height than Siberians.

Things To Remember

Although this article gives information about the general temperament and needs of these cats, it’s good to keep in mind that every cat is different. Some might dislike contact, while others may want nothing more than to cuddle with you. Not every cat will fill the impression that this article has created, but regardless of breed, being a cat owner is a wonderful privilege.

Final Thoughts

Siberian cats and Maine Coons are mistaken for each other quite often, even though they are not the same breed. They have their similarities, but each one is unique and has their own needs. Maine Coons are more independent, while Siberians are a bit more affectionate. In addition, they have their own grooming needs and food preferences. We hope that you have learned the difference between these two furry felines.

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