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Siberian Cats vs Maine Coons: The Differences (With Pictures)

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

Hepper - Siberian vs Maine Coon Featured

There’s just something about large cats that makes them so endearing. These cats are big and adorable, and both the Siberian cat and the Maine Coon are no exceptions. These two cold-weather cats are similar in many ways, but they’re still two distinct breeds that you need to keep track of.

Whether you’re looking to bring one home and want to know what you’re getting into or simply want more background information on these cats, we broke it all down for you here.

Visual Differences

Hepper - siberian vs maine coon side by side
Image Credit: (L) Pixabay | (R) Ermolaev Alexander, Shutterstock

At a Glance

Siberian Cat
  • Origin: Russia
  • Size: 15 to 20 pounds
  • Lifespan: 12 to 15 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes
Maine Coon
  • Origin: Northeastern United States
  • Size: 8 to 18 pounds
  • Lifespan: 13 to 14 years
  • Domesticated?: Yes

Siberian Cat Overview

tabby Siberian cat
Image Credit: Tania__Wild, Shutterstock

Characteristics & Appearance

If you’re looking for a large cat, the Siberian cat is a hard choice to overlook. Not only are they massive in size, but they also come in a wide array of beautiful colors. The Siberian Cat thrives in cold climates, mainly due to their thick undercoat.

The Siberian cat actually has three coats that help insulate them from cold weather. Their undercoat changes its thickness depending on the weather — it thins out during the warm months to help keep them cool.

The Siberian cat has long front legs that help them tackle mountainous terrain, and their big, round feet help them get plenty of traction and grip on uneven terrain. In the wild, these round paws also act as snowshoes to help keep them from sinking into the deep snow.

Their back legs are of medium length, which helps stay them low enough to the ground for optimal balance but high enough to keep the snow off their bellies.

Siberian cats have long tails that are just slightly shorter than the length of their body, and this gives them even more balance as they travel. They also have a muscular build, which is not surprising, considering the conditions that a wild Siberian cat has to live in.

Siberian cat with open mouth
Image Credit:
Sunykiller, Pixabay

Uses

While most modern cats are simply there for companionship, the Siberian cat has natural instincts that can turn them into expert farm cats. They excel at rodent control, and since they’re well-suited for cold weather, they never stop working, no matter the time of year.

According to Russian fairytales, Siberian cats protect children and open gateways to unseen realms. While they don’t do this in reality, it does show how loved these cats are in the region!

Maine Coon Overview

four maine coon kittens in old vintage basket
Image Credit: Ivonne Wierink, Shutterstock

Characteristics & Appearance

The Maine Coon might not be as big as a Siberian cat, but they’re still a large cat by most standards. They have a muscular build with extremely strong legs, and they have a long and furry tail that is great for helping them keep their balance.

They typically come in tabby colors, but there are also white, red, blue, black, bi-color, tortoiseshell, shaded, and calico-colored Maine Coons out there. They’re a cold-weather cat with a tight inner coat that keeps them warm in cold. They’re one of a few cat breeds that has three coats to help insulate them from winter weather. That said, they’re not as cold-resistant as the Siberian cat.

Still, they’re cold-resistant enough to live in any area of the continental United States, so you don’t need to worry about them surviving outside in harsh weather in most areas.

tortoiseshell blue smoke maine coon standing outdoors
Image Credit: N Roberts, Shutterstock

Uses

Just like the Siberian cat, the Maine Coon is primarily a companionship animal today. But they excel at rodent control, and due to their size, they typically have no problem taking down large pests. Adding to their usefulness is the fact that they can handle cold climates.

If you’re looking for a barn cat to help keep pests under control and you live in a cold climate, the Maine Coon can help you tackle your problem with ease.

What Are the Differences Between Siberian Cats and Maine Coons?

While the Siberian cat and the Maine Coon are similar in many ways, they’re in no way the same cat. For starters, the Maine Coon is a bit smaller than the Siberian cat. Neither is a small cat in general, but Siberian cats have a slight edge in size.

Second, Siberian cats can handle colder climates than Maine Coons. Still, both cats need to have access to a warm area where they can get out of the cold when they need to.

Finally, one of the easiest ways to tell a Maine Coon and a Siberian cat apart is just looking at them. Siberian cats tend to have a round appearance, while the Maine Coon has a rectangular frame. The Maine Coon has a prominent chest, but that’s not as easy to notice for novice handlers.

While these are similar cats, they come from entirely different parts of the world and are two distinct breeds. They both might be cute and cuddly, but they’re simply not the same breed of cat!

side view of a young playful maine coon cat
Image Credit: Nils Jacobi, Shutterstock

Which Breed Is Right for You?

It depends on what you’re looking for, but in most climates, there’s no wrong choice between the Maine Coon and the Siberian cat. They can handle most climates out there, and they’re both massive in size.

They’re great companion and working cats, so no matter what you’re looking for, the Siberian and the Maine Coon are both great fits. So, which cat is right for you? That’s up to you to decide!


Featured Image Credit: (L) Pixabay | (R) Dora Zett, Shutterstock

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