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Domestic Longhair Cat vs Maine Coon: Key Differences (with Pictures)

Sarah Psaradelis

By Sarah Psaradelis

Most cat owners will agree that the Domestic Longhair cat (DLC) and the Maine Coon look similar in appearance. However, these are two completely unrelated cat breeds. One of the main differences between the Domestic Longhair and Maine Coon is that the Main Coon is a widely recognized pure breed cat, whereas the Domestic Longhair has mixed ancestry. There are so many interesting differences between these two seemingly different cat breeds, and this article will tell you everything you need to know.

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Visual Differences

Domestic Longhair Cat vs Maine Coon
Image Credit: Left: Domestic Longhair Cat: brisch27, Pixabay | Right: Maine Coon Cat: Olga Korvinuss, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Domestic Longhair
  • Origin: Italy
  • Size: 8-15 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-18 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes
Maine Coon
  • Origin: Maine, United States
  • Size: 15-25 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12-16 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes

Domestic Longhair Cat Overview

orange and white domestic longhair cat
Image Credit: Doris Metternich, Pixabay

Characteristics & Appearance

The Domestic Longhair cat also referred to as the American Longhair, has a lot to offer cat owners in terms of appearance. They have a medium-sized build with a fluffy coat. This coat requires a lot of maintenance and grooming, so brushes and trims should be done weekly to keep them looking well-kept. The Domestic Longhair cat is not very large, and most of their size is from their fluffy coats that stick up around their bodies. The face shape can vary, but this cat breed usually has a flat face with deep-set almond eyes that are usually yellow, blue, or brown.

This cat breed is capable of a wide range of temperaments because of its mixed-breed background. Most Domestic Longhair cats are friendly and playful, while others can be more introverted. It is not common for this cat breed to be aggressive, and they have a rather docile nature. You may find this cat breed to be independent, as they prefer to do their own thing and do not mind being left alone for hours while you are busy or at work. They for sure can be vocal, especially around feeding time and you can hear them meowing to be fed.

orange and white domestic longhair cat in garden
Image Credit: Stephen B. Goodwin, Shutterstock

Why We Love Them

The Domestic Longhair cat is not an official cat breed, but instead, they are a mix of several different cat breeds. They are fully domesticated and kept as pets across the globe. What attracts many cat lovers to this breed is its beauty and elegance. They are also affectionate, social, and playful, which are desirable traits for a pet cat to have.

Maine Coon Overview

grey maine coon beside window_Piqsels
Image Credit: Piqsels

Characteristics & Appearance

The Maine Coon has a muscular body with strong legs, high cheekbones, and a square snout. One of their most attractive features is a long and fluffy tail and luxurious shaggy coat. This gentle giant also has a prominent ruff along its chest with longer guard hairs over a silky satin coat. They also have unusually large eyes and large furry ears. These cats’ large size is mainly due to their overly thick coat which makes them appear larger in body shape than they are.

A Maine Coons coat color can range from tabby, tortoiseshell, smoke, shaded, and bi-colored. Solid-body colors include cream, white, black, and blue.

Most Maine Coons are sweet-tempered and gentle, they can easily adapt to different environments and are very playful. They enjoy interacting with their owners and playing with them, whether outdoors or indoors with different stimulating cat toys.

Maine-Coon-cat_ShotPrime Studio, Shutterstock
Image Credit: ShotPrime Studio, Shutterstock

Why We Love Them

Maine Coons are popularly kept as pets. They are one of the best-domesticated cat breeds to own. Maine Coons also make a good mouser, and most cat owners appreciate that their Maine Coon will help prevent or control rat and mice infestations. Their mousing abilities span far back to the 19th century when they were loyal companions on sailing ships and helped to keep rodent infestation under control onboard. These sailors fell in love with the Maine Coons gentle and affectionate temperament and were then bred on land to be kept as pets.

What Are the Differences Between Domestic Longhair Cats & Maine Coons?

There are many major differences between Maine Coons and Domestic Longhair cats, mainly due to their temperament, appearance, healthy status, and hunting skills. Maine Coons lack the long body fur that the Domestic Longhair cat breed has, their bodies have a much shorter coat, and their chest has the longest fur that forms a mane. Whereas Domestic Longhair cats’ entire body is covered in long fur of the same length.

The Domestic Longhair cat has a lot to offer in terms of its behaviors and temperament. Some noticeable qualities of this cat breed have been that they are generally friendly, intelligent, and playful. Whereas the Maine Coon is interactive, exploratory, and very affectionate towards its owners.

three different colored maine coon kittens
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Which Breed Is Right For You?

You may be having a difficult time deciding which of these two breeds is right for you since they are both fluffy, attractive cats with great temperaments. It is best to compare the appearances of these two cat breeds to determine which breed appeals more to you. Whether it is the gentle and spontaneous temperament of the Domestic Longhair cat or the large and playful Maine Coon.

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Featured Image Credit: Left: Domestic Longhair Cat: Stephen B. Goodwin, Shutterstock | Right: Maine Coon Cat: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

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