Maine Coons are one of the few cat breeds that have a mane of hair. This means that the hair around their neck is longer than the rest of their body, giving them a lion-like appearance. Maine Coon owners adore this look, and it’s one of the most distinguishing features of the breed, which is why a lot of owners worry that their Maine Coon might shed or lose their beautiful mane.
Because Maine Coons are longhair cats they will generally shed extravagantly, leaving a hairy mess all over your house. Longhairs typically have to main shedding seasons, once in the spring and another time in the fall, but they’ll shed consistently as well in between.
Because they will eventually replace their entire coat, Maine Coons shed hair from all parts of their bodies, including their mane and tail, but because the hair grows more slowly in these places they won’t shed from their mane or tail nearly as much.
How to Keep a Maine Coon’s Mane Fuller
While the thickness of a Maine Coon’s mane is largely controlled by genetics, there’s not much you can do to grow it bigger, but you can help keep it as full as possible by not brushing it. It’s recommended that you groom your Maine Coon at least once every two weeks, and this usually includes brushing to remove excess hair, especially from the undercoat. Some Maine Coon owners will completely skip brushing the mane or tail altogether in order to keep them as bushy as possible.
Why Maine Coons Have Manes
It’s unclear exactly why Maine Coons have long manes of hair around their neck, but it might have been used to help keep their more vital parts warm during the cold winters of Maine. Because the neck is so small and a lot of blood is transported through it, keeping it warmer would also help keep the entire Maine Coon’s body warm.
Male lions have manes to look bigger and more intimidating, but this is probably not the case for the Maine Coon as both males and females have one.
Other Cat Breeds with a Mane of Hair
Any cat you’ll find with a mane is typically a longhair cat. Not all cats with manes are purebreds either, but a lot of the more distinct ones are. Some purebred cats known for their lovely manes are: