Maine Coon Paws
Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world due to their incredible personality and unique physical appearance. Maine Coon paws are one of the most distinct and fascinating features of this breed.
Maine Coon paws are much larger than the average cat, both in size and proportion. Their paws are wide and flat, which allows them to walk on surfaces such as snow. Their large paws also make them better at climbing and gripping. Some Maine Coon cats are born with extra toes, a phenomenon known as polydactyly.
Maine Coon paws are just one of the many physical features that set this breed apart from other cats. Read on to learn about how you can better groom and care for your Maine Coon’s paws!
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Maine Coon Paws
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, but they are also famous for their sociable, gentle personality and stunning appearance. Maine Coons developed naturally in the state of Maine, which is known for its frigid winters and extreme temperatures.
These cats developed thick, semi-water-resistant fur to protect themselves from the cold, as well as many other specialized traits. When comparing a Maine Coon cat paw to any other cat breed, it becomes immediately evident just how different Maine Coon paws are from other cats.
Maine Coon paws are much larger and wider than other cats. This is because they cover a greater surface area, which makes it easier to walk on snow. Maine Coons also have longer fur around their paws.
Maine Coon paw pads are protected by tufts of fur between their toes, so their vulnerable pads are more protected against frostbite. Maine Coons are also more likely to be polydactyl, meaning they can sometimes be born with extra toes (sources 1,2). Learn more about this unusual extra cat toe phenomenon.
Dark Paws Maine Coon Kittens
Maine Coons have very large paws, and this isn’t just because Maine Coons are larger than the average cat!
Their paws are proportionally larger in comparison to their bodies.
Polydactyl Maine Coons have even larger paws since their extra toes only add to their paw size.
So, do Maine Coon kittens have big paws, as well?
Maine Coon kitten paws often look even larger than adult Maine Coon paws.
“Teenage” Maine Coons, between about six to twelve months, often appear very gangly, with long limbs and large, awkward paws.
Maine Coon Paw Vs Normal Cat
The Maine Coon is an incredibly unique breed, known for having many features that are different from normal cats. Their paws alone differ greatly from the average cat. Not sure what the offer differences are? Read this article to find out!
In the meantime, here are some similarities and differences between Maine Coon paws and normal cat paws:
Below are the similarities:
You might be surprised to learn that cats do not just have whiskers on their face. Cats also have whiskers on their front paws. These extra sensitive hairs can detect movement and changes in airflow, which comes in handy while catching prey. Cats have poor vision up close, so they rely more on their whiskers to locate prey.
2. Webbed Feet
Another surprising fact about cat paws is that all cats have partially webbed feet! Here’s why. A layer of skin stretches between each of their toes, which helps them to:
3. Paw Pads
All cats have paw pads, which serve a number of important functions. Paw pads muffle a cat’s footsteps, allowing them to stalk silently without being detected by prey. Paw pads also provide better traction, so that cats can run quickly and with more agility. Below are the key differences between the Maine Coon cat paws vs Normal cat paws:
1. Size And Shape
Dark paws Maine coon kittens are proportionally larger in comparison to their bodies. Their paws are much larger, wider, and flatter than the average cat. This unique adaptation increases the surface area of their paws, making it easier to walk on snow. A Maine Coon’s large paws are also more useful for gripping and climbing.
2. Amount Of Fur
Maine Coon cats differ from short-haired cats because they have tufts of fur between their toes.
However, they are also unique from other long-haired cats because they have much longer fur around their paws.
Their long fur and toe tufts protect their paws from the cold.
3. Number Of Toes
Polydactyly Maine Coons have a harmless condition where a cat is born with one or more extra toes.
It is possible for any cat to be polydactyl, but Maine Coons are far more likely to have extra toes than most cats.
While this trait has become increasingly rare in Maine Coons due to selective breeding, at one point, as many as 40% of all Maine Coons were polydactyl!
Here’s the full low-down on why polydactyl Maine Coon cats have been removed from breeding, by registered breeders.
4. Amount Of Fur
Many long-haired cats have extra tufts of fur on their toes, but Maine Coons are unique because all of the furs around their paws are longer.
This helps protect their paws from the cold, although some owners need to trim this long fur to prevent it from becoming matted and dirty.
Here are some other important grooming requirements of the Maine Coon cat.
Do Maine Coon Cats Have Fur Between Their Toes?
The Dark Paws Maine coon kittens fur is surprisingly different from many other cats.
They have longer fur around their paws, as well as tufts of fur between their toes.
Maine Coon paw tufts protect their paw pads from the cold, and they also look adorable!
Should I Trim The Fur Between My Cat’s Toes?
Maine Coon toe tufts served an important purpose in the cold wilderness of Maine, but indoor Maine Coons don’t really need their toe tufts.
If the fur between your cat’s toes is not causing any problems, then you shouldn’t trim their fur; cats are rather sensitive about their paws, and it is best to avoid unnecessarily stressing your cat.
However, these toe tufts can become troublesome, especially on hard, slippery floors.
If your Maine Coon’s toe tufts cover its paw pads, it may not be able to get enough traction to run and play without crashing!
If you notice your Maine Coon doing these things, it is probably best to trim your cat’s toe tufts:
- Tripping Often
For Maine Coons that go outdoors, either on their own or on a harness, the extra-long fur on their toes and paws can become easily tangled and dirty.
To prevent matting and bacteria, it is a good idea to trim any extra long fur that may get muddy.
One helpful tip is to touch your cat’s paws often as a kitten, especially while cuddling. This will socialize your cat to having its paws touched, and make it easier to trim your cat’s nails and paw fur in the future (source 1).
What Does It Mean When A Kitten Has Big Paws?
One common belief among cat and dog owners alike is that a young animal with big paws will grow up to be very large.
While there is no specific evidence showing that kittens with large paws will grow up to be large cats, many cat owners tend to see some correlation between paw size and adult size.
Similar to dogs, cats tend to “grow into” large paws, but there is no accurate way to predict a cat’s adult size.
Sometimes, kittens only appear to have big paws.
Underweight kittens are likely to appear quite thin throughout the body, but their paws remain similar in size.
Finally, cats with lots of fur on their paws might appear to have huge paws when in fact, they are quite average-sized.
Do Maine Coon Cats Have Black Paws?
The color of a cat’s paw pads is generally determined by the color of a cat’s fur.
Maine Coons come in all sorts of different fur colors and patterns, which means that their paw pad colors can vary, as well.
Dark Paws Maine coon kittens with black fur typically have black paw pads.
Bicolor, tortoiseshell, or calico Maine Coons are likely to have multi-colored paw pads.
For example, a calico cat with white, red, and black fur is likely to have pink paw pads with black spots (source 1).
Learn more about the calico Maine Coon cat here.
Do Maine Coons Have Extra Toes?
Polydactyly is a harmless condition where cats are born with one or more extra toes.
This condition can occur in any cat, but it’s particularly common among Maine Coons.
In the 1800s, Maine Coons were a favorite among sailors, who kept these cats aboard for their ability to hunt mice, rats, and other vermin.
Sailors thought that polydactyl cats were lucky, and they preferred their better climbing and hunting abilities.
As a result, they selectively bred polydactyl Maine Coons.
This trait became so common among the breed that, at one point, at least 40% of all Maine Coons were polydactyl!
Today, breeders have largely bred the trait out, but Maine Coons are still more likely to be polydactyl than many other cat breeds (source 1).