The Maine Coon is a breed known almost primarily for being a gigantic cat, weighing on average between 12 to 18 lbs when fully grown. Some Maine Coons can grow to over 20lbs even, and the largest domestic cat ever recorded was a Maine Coon named Stewie who broke the Guinness Book of World Records for longest cat at 48.5 inches.
Maine Coons are also nicknamed “Gentle Giants” for their patient, gentle temperament despite their huge, intimidating appearance.
So then how is it possible for some Maine Coons to be small? Even though breed standards will set certain guidelines for how Maine Coons should be, their genes sometimes say otherwise. Some Maine Coons will simply stray from the norm, and here are 5 reasons why.
1. Your Maine Coon is Still Growing
It’s very possible that your Maine Coon just isn’t done growing yet and haven’t reached their final size. Maine Coons have a very long time to maturity, averaging between 3-4 years, while some Maine Coons can even grow for up to 5 years.
2. Your Maine Coon is A Mix
If you didn’t get your Maine Coon from a breeder and/or don’t have official registration papers for them, then it’s possible they aren’t a purebred Maine Coon. It’s possible that one of their Maine Coon parents “got over the fence” so to speak and bred with a cat that wasn’t a Maine Coon.
3. Your Maine Coon is Malnourished
Maine Coons need enough calories and nutrients as they’re growing to reach their full size, and malnutrition (lack of proper nutrition) will stunt their growth. If your Maine Coon is hungry all the time or seems lethargic, this might be the case.
It might be a good idea to try a new diet or increase their food intake. Check out this feed chart for Maine Coons to help guide on how much to feed your Maine Coon given their weight.
Lack of nutrition despite being feed a perfectly nutritious diet might also be an indication of other issues, such a parasites or bowel disorders.
4. Your Maine Coon is Simply a Runt
Sometimes there is no other explanation for why a Maine Coon is small other than they’re simply a runt. Every so often a litter of kittens will yield one that is a little smaller than the others, either due to genetics or lack of sustenance in the womb. In either case, there’s probably not much you can do to get your Maine Coon to grow larger, but that wouldn’t prevent you from loving the any less!
5. Your Maine Coon Has a Disease
Certain diseases such as diabetes or kidney disease can cause a Maine Coon to lose weight even though you might be feeding them a perfectly good diet. Dental disease can cause them to not eat enough due to how painful it is to eat.
There are a lot of diseases and health issues that can cause your Maine Coon to have poor appetite or not absorb the nutrients they’re eat (causing them to be small), and a few blood tests and exams at your vet can help distinguish if your Maine Coon has any of them.