Maine Coon and Lynx are two different cat breeds, but people often confuse them due to their physical similarities. These cats are genetically dissimilar with some other prominent differences, too, so we thought to give a detailed Maine coon vs lynx article!
If we generally observe the two cats, main coons are similar in appearance to the lynx cats. You will find lynx tips present in both species above their ears, but it’s not always the case. Sometimes these tips never grow on Maine coons. Both the cats are well-adapted to cold climates with their thick fur and padded paws.
Differences between Maine Coon & Lynx
Distinguishing Lynx and Maine Coon cats would be a long discussion, so we enlisted their possible details one by one:
Many zoologists believe that main coons first evolved in the late 1700s in England when keeping cats as pets were very common. There are different myths and stories relating to the origin of cats, such as:
Some people consider that Maine coons result from breeding between local cats when a captain, Coon, brought his cats to the shores of Maine. The long-haired cats were then named Maine Coons.
These species have structural similarities with the Norwegian Forest Cats, so many rely on the myths that Vikings cats evolved to produce these Maine coons.
Some locals tell Marie Antoinette (Queen of France), who took her six Turkish Angora cats along on a ship to New England. She couldn’t survive, unfortunately, but her cats landed in Maine safely. There they mated with the domestic short-haired cat species, resulting in Maine Coons.
Lynx is the cat coming from the family Felidae, a group of four wild cats. These four distinct lynx species are:
- Eurasian Lynx (Siberian)
- Canadian Lynx (Lynx Canadensis)
- Spanish Lynx (Iberian or Lynx pardinus)
- Bobcat (Bay Lynx)
From the late Pliocene to early Pleistocene, these four lynx species together resided in Europe & Africa, evolved from the “Issoire Lynx.” All these cats are carnivores, where the oldest lynx was present around 4 million years ago. Experts say that this cat family was first seen in the Oligocene epoch that came into being through the Miacids (now extinct) species. Besides, it is also believed that Africa is the ancestral country of the lynx cats (lynx issiodorensis), which later on extended to several other regions. That is how these species evolved and are now present everywhere!
Identification & Appearance
These creatures are considered to be the biggest cat breed with some prominent physical characteristics. A Maine coon is typically 10-16 inches in height with 40 inches in length. If grown-up healthy, these cats weigh between 8 and 18 pounds.
One can easily identify a Maine coon from its distinct appearance and special characteristics. These cats have long, thick fur between their toes and chests (in winters). Being strong animals, they appear rectangular in shape, robust bone structure, and have an extended tail. They have a black tuft of hair on the tip of their ears and tails. Next talking about the distinguishing face of Maine coon cats. You can easily identify them through their bright, intelligent eyes. Male cats particularly have big snouts with enhanced cheeks, showing their muscularity.
As we know that Lynx generally has four species, so their appearance differs from them. One prominent feature that distinguishes a lynx cat from other species is its tuft of black hair on its tail and above its ears. Different scientists have different philosophies regarding this hair. Some believe that they are purposed for detecting creatures above their heads, just like whiskers. While on the contrary, others think that this tuft of hair improves a cat’s hearing ability.
The next in appearance comes the long lynx legs. These cats, except bobcat, are mostly found in snowy areas, so nature evolved them with long legs. Moreover, lynx cats have hidden hair beneath their broad paws that, along with long legs, provide friction on the surface.
When it comes to the colors of lynx cats, they vary from medium brown to golden and sometimes beige white. Every lynx cat is born with a white furry chest, legs, and bellies. Despite all these characteristics, the appearance of a lynx cat relies on its climate. It can be short-haired in some Southern States, while these same cats are long-haired in snowy areas.
Size & Weight
Until the mid-1980s, Maine Coons were thought to be the largest domestic cat breeds, but Savannah Cats appeared. The male main coons normally weigh between 5.9 kg to 8.2 kg, while the female’s weight lies between 3.6 to 5.4 kgs. These are larger cats with height variations, normally between 10 and 16 inches. The Maine coons have comparatively heavier tails, sometimes reaching a length of 14 inches. These are quite similar to the tails of raccoon cats and not the lynx cats.
On the other side, different lynx species have different sizes and weights, where bobcats are the smallest, only 28-39 inches in length. Lynx cats have sizes ranging between 16 and 31 pounds. Then comes the Spanish Lynx, a bit larger than the previous. Its male cats weigh 28 pounds, whereas the females weigh 21 pounds. Furthermore, these are 33-43 inches long. The largest lynx species are the Eurasian Lynx, with 40-66 pounds weight and length ranging from 32 to 51 inches.
These cats are lovely creatures, also called the GENTLE GIANTS. Maine coons are very easy to train, being intelligent cats. You’ll find these cats very loyal to their owners but are not always clingy. Maine coon species easily adapt themselves in every environment to roam around adopted dogs and other cats. Both male and female Maine coon cats keep their dignity high and are evenly caring.
On the contrary, lynx species are night lovers and somehow reserved cats. These animals have a possessive nature, so keep themselves aside from everyone, including humans and other animals. Lynx cats are very observant and are friendly to a few very close creatures.
Food & Diet
Despite being giant cats, Maine coons do not need any specific or different diet. What’s more important is to provide them with quality food in large amounts to meet their energy needs. One golden rule of giving these cats their potential food is to mix wet and dry cat foods two to three times a week.
Such cat species depend largely on preys, being skilled hunters. Lynx are predators feeding on a broad range of animals from deer to fishes to foxes, mice, etc. One doesn’t need to provide a lynx cat as its population lives on a predator-prey system. For example, the most favorite prey animals for a lynx cat are white-tailed deer and hares.
Habits & Temperament
These species are very intelligent, curious, and affectionate towards other living entities, being domestic cats. If you wish to own a Maine coon cat, know that these are socially very active creatures, so always give them proper time. Besides being huge, they are huge in personality as well! They have a good temperament and are very obedient cats. You’ll never regret having a Maine coon cat in your home.
Lynx cat is entirely different from Maine coon when it comes to habits and temperament. These are the hunting creatures, totally avoiding social interactions. Lynx cats differ with their species. For example, a Canadian Lynx (Lynx Canadensis) is seen to make a special bond with its surrounding people and other cats. Moreover, they vary with their climate. Some lynx cats will be very friendly with a large temperament, while others are short-tempered and very reserved.
Adaptions & Habitat
Nature has created the animals who acclimatize themselves according to the environment, so does these Maine coons. They are well-adapted to live on cold winter days. Maine coon cats have naturally formed water-resistant fur, providing them extra friction & protection to sit on snow/ice. Furthermore, they have raccoon-like, long tails curled around their face, if needed, in a cold atmosphere to provide heat. Their thick paws resemble much like the snowshoes and help them bear snowy surfaces. All in all, these cats are naturally found near the Pine Tree States, perfectly fitting in the climate.
These cats are mostly found in cold, wild areas and even in dense forests covered with shrubs, grass, reeds, etc. Lynx cats are inborn with thick furry coats to provide warmth to their body. Moreover, their long legs and big paws help them walk in the snow. These cats have different species, so their adaptations and habitat vary with the creature. Some of these feline animals are found under strong shelves or rocks. At the time of breeding, these cats reside in big, hollow trees and large caves. Lynx cats avoid living near human territory, being socially awkward animals.
These domestic cats are mostly healthy and do not require any specific diet or extra care, so they are adamant about health issues. If we observe them on a larger scale, they might have heart diseases, hip dysplasia, spinal muscular atrophy, or even kidney diseases. If you adopt a Maine coon cat, make sure to stay up to date about their health and if you discover any issues, consult a vet.
Many pet owners like adopting a lynx cat, most probably a bobcat. You can take great care of such species by providing them with healthy vitamin supplements. Other than this, there are essentially dietary supplements too, to keep them fit. Still, if you are more concerned about their health, you can even consult a veterinarian and get prescribed medicines. Overall, lynx cats are healthy big creatures who are quite reserved, keeping themselves healthy.
Are Maine Coon & Lynx Cats Similar?
They do have some physical similarities, but no evidence proves their genetic resemblance. Maine coon and lynx are entirely different in habits and personality, so there is even little to no chance of mating between them. Who would have seen a mix-up of a wild and a domestic cat? I guess none! Even if it exists, there would be possible defects.
Also, check the following differences of Maine coon with other breeds