What kind of cat am I?
March 11, 2013 12:40 AM   Subscribe

Is this kitty a particular breed or just overtly fluffy?

The cat in these photos is a stray that lives on our property; apparently, he's been doing this for about two years. Long story.

Anyway, Ms Cultist and I are wondering if he is a particular breed. The vet judges him to be anything between 2- 3 years, and he is neutered.

He was very skittish when we first moved in, probably from being chased away all the time and other cats having lived on the property. He's become better with patient coaxing, and now even comes into the house fir visits. He's very friendly. In fact, he's pretty much a big doof.

He's got enormous paws, so I thought he might have Maine Coon in him. Any thoughts?
posted by New England Cultist to Pets & Animals (21 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Maine Coon is my first guess too. How long would you say he is in feet? What a handsome boy he is too.
posted by These Birds of a Feather at 12:45 AM on March 11, 2013

Response by poster: From the top of his head to where his tail begins, roughly 45cm, so.... a foot and a half?
posted by New England Cultist at 12:52 AM on March 11, 2013

That is totally a Maine Coon, at least partially. The ear tufts, neck ruff, and the doofiness are dead giveaways. He looks lovely! Not all Maine Coons are super huge. They have a pretty wide genetic variety.
posted by Mizu at 1:08 AM on March 11, 2013

What a handsome rascal! Yes, there's definitely some Main Coon in there--for me, the tufty ears are the giveaway. If he's a bit of a goober, that clinches it. Give him a belly rub for me!
posted by orrnyereg at 1:17 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

He is a beautiful lion with a touch of walrus, I think.

More seriously, definitely Maine Coon. If he suffered from malnutrition when young, that could account for him not being the full expected size.
posted by lollusc at 2:20 AM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Most domestic cats don't have much of any breed in them, to be honest. It's possible he's only very distantly related to any Maine Coons.

However, he does very strongly resemble a Maine Coon: the broad muzzle, fur, ear size/shape, and friendly doofiness all match, and it's one of the most common breeds. I'd say it's a safe bet that he's got at least some in him.

Larger breeds like Maine Coons sometimes take four or five years to reach full size, and big paws can sometimes be a sign of that. With good nutrition he may get bigger yet.
posted by Metroid Baby at 3:30 AM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

I had a Maine Coon "mutt", he was the best cat I ever had. My vet told me this breed is very easy going, generally. Also, those big paws could well be extra toes, which isn't all that uncommon. I have known two fluffy, orange male cats with polydactaly, so it would seem the trait is linked pretty strongly to this phenotype in my limited experience. Also, these cats have had an outrageously sweet disposition.
posted by waving at 3:52 AM on March 11, 2013

Has he been talking to you? If so, what does his voice sound like? Many Maine Coons have a very distinct, squeaky voice that can be a bit of a surprise coming out of those big fluffballs. Either way, he's gorgeous :)
posted by Skybly at 4:27 AM on March 11, 2013 [2 favorites]

We had a cat that looked just like that except he was silver. Totally a doofus with a great personality - great with kids and as Skybly pointed out, a little voice. He was a stray as well, but the vet thought he was some kind of Maine Coon mix.
That cat is beautiful, good luck with him!
posted by lasamana at 5:07 AM on March 11, 2013

Most likely a Maine Coon. Possibly a Norwegian Forest Cat, but unlikely.

Maine Coons are the best cats.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 5:46 AM on March 11, 2013

Mine looks just like him! Orange, fluffy and total snuggle bunny. I adopted mine and they said she is at least part Maine Coon. Enjoy your new friend!
posted by BlueMartini7 at 6:16 AM on March 11, 2013

My first thought upon seeing him was Maine Coon. But he's probably just a mix of all sorts of kitty breeds.

What a sweetie!
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 6:28 AM on March 11, 2013

Nthing Maine Coon. I have a brown one who's almost definitely a mutt (he had been abandoned, so I didn't get the chance to meet his parents), but still shows clear signs of Maine Coon-ness.

He has a pipsqueak voice that's hilarious coming from his 12-pound self, and LOVES water (typical of Coons). As in, as soon as I switch on the light in the bathroom, he comes a-running and sits under the shower head, impatiently reminding me to please turn the water on if I'm still half-awake, and then he stands under the running water and has the Best Time Of His Life. He has his own towel. Friendly, easy-going doofus all the way.
posted by fraula at 7:10 AM on March 11, 2013

Awww! He looks just like my cat - supposedly, she is a Maine Coon and Persian mix. Does he have the Loudest Purrs of All? I think that is from my cat's Persian roots.

She has that same sweet slightly dopey face and is a total lovebug with giant paws. She is also pretty short, which makes her big paws appear even more gigantic.
posted by k8lin at 7:44 AM on March 11, 2013

ZOMG FLUFFERBUTT. You're totally right on him being at least partially a Maine Coon - I've never seen any other breed with that kind of ruff!

My cat is a Siberian, which is supposedly a breed very similar to Maine Coons - Siberian would've been my second guess based on size and floof, but the difference is that she just gets the fluff without the ruff.
posted by 168 at 8:04 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

If he is neutered, that might also account for the size difference from a full Maine Coon.

My family rescued a stray kitten that had the same Maine Coon characteristics. He was the best cat ever. Really friendly, total doof, and smart - he could open human doors and get food from inside a cabinet. KEEP HIM
posted by scose at 8:36 AM on March 11, 2013

He looks a lot like a cat we used to have. The vet said he was either Maine Coon or Norwegian Forest Cat -- the tufts between the toes are so adorable!

These cats are super-friendly in my experience. Our cat was also a stray (although we think his owner died and he just came down the street to find the next gullible cat person) and appeared in the backyard one day, being squeakily chatty and mellow. Two days later he decided we'd do and walked in the back door and demanded food.

Enjoy your handsome, mellow kitty!
posted by vickyverky at 8:51 AM on March 11, 2013 [1 favorite]

I'm noticing a tendency for people to want to assume any random given cat belongs to a defined breed.

But cats are not dogs and haven't been subjected to the same process of breeding on purpose. The vast, vast majority of cats are randomly bred domestic cats, what the British call moggies. Some have long fur and some have short fur, the default coat pattern being some mixture of tabby and white, like the cat in your photos.

What you've got there is a handsome domestic longhair. He probably shares traits with the cats that became formalized as the Maine Coon breed, that descends from British moggies brought to New England a couple of centuries ago. But I bet his ancestry never came near any pedigree papers.
posted by zadcat at 8:53 AM on March 11, 2013 [4 favorites]

Yeah, that dude is at least partly Maine Coon (incidentally, I prefer the origin story that has Maine Coons descending from the cats of Marie Antoinette, who made it onto a US-bound ship for an escape attempt that the Queen unfortunately missed.)
posted by padraigin at 9:11 AM on March 11, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks for that, everyone.

He does, in fact, have a pipsqueak voice, which he lets off in the morning like a fire alarm when he first sees us. Then he comes in and falls around on the carpet like a moron and paws the air with his fluff-paws.
posted by New England Cultist at 10:35 AM on March 11, 2013 [3 favorites]

Whatever his pedigree is, he's so adorable my heart is bursting!
And his name should be Burt.
posted by SpecialSpaghettiBowl at 6:25 PM on March 11, 2013

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