maine coon vs lynx, lynx face

Take Aways

Maine Coons and Lynxes have similar appearances , mostly the result of the cats adapting to harsh winter climates

Both are obligate carnivores

Lynxes are larger than the average Maine Coon, have longer legs and much shorter tails

Hello feline aficionados! Let’s jump into a topic that's as fascinating as it is furry. If you've ever looked at a Maine Coon and thought, "Gosh, that's almost as big as a wild lynx!" you're not alone. But just how close are they in size? And what sets these two magnificent creatures apart? Let's take a playful (and informative) romp through the world of Maine Coons and lynxes.

Physical Features

Meet the Majestic Maine Coon

Known for their tufted ears, bushy tails, and gentle disposition, the Maine Coon is one of the most beloved cat breeds worldwide. Often referred to as 'gentle giants,' these cats certainly live up to their moniker.

Size: Adult Maine Coon males are large cats. The average Maine Coon weighs between 13-18 pounds, though some can reach a whopping 20 pounds or more. Females are slightly smaller, averaging between 8-12 pounds. When it comes to length, including their bushy tail, they can stretch out to the length of the longest Maine Coon, 40 inches!

Appearance: Apart from their size as the largest domestic cat breed, Maine Coons have a rugged appearance, with tufted ears and a thick, water-resistant coat designed to withstand cold climates.

maine coon vs lynx - lynx
maine coon vs lynx

Physical Appearance of the Lively Lynx

The lynx, with its pointy ears and wild charm, is a creature of beauty and mystery. The lynx species include the Eurasian lynx, the Canada lynx the Iberian lynx and the bobcat, but we’ll focus on the Canadian lynx since it shares a similar habitat with the Maine Coon.

Size: A Canada lynx isn't a small creature by any means. Males usually weigh between 20-24 pounds, with some reaching up to 30 pounds. Females are slightly smaller, averaging 18-20 pounds. In terms of average length, including their tail, they can range from 31 to 41 inches.

Appearance: Lynx cats are often recognized by short tails, tufted ears (much more pronounced than the Maine Coon's), lynx tips and large, furry paws which act like snowshoes in wintry terrains. They have longer legs, especially their hind legs, to assist in moving through deep snow and pouncing on their prey. They are long-haired cats with a thick coat in a color and pattern that serves as camouflage.

So, Who's Bigger?

On average, a lynx is larger than a Maine Coon. While the largest Maine Coons might come close to the size of a smaller female lynx, generally, the wild lynx has a weight and size advantage over our domesticated friend.

maine coon vs lynx size

Beyond Size

Lifestyle and Behavior

Size isn’t the only thing that differentiates these two fantastic felines.

Maine Coon: This breed, despite its impressive size, is pretty much a gentle giant in the domestic cat world. Maine Coons are known for their playful and friendly nature. They are often described as "dog-like" because of their loyalty and sometimes even their love for playing fetch. They're highly sociable and make great family pets.

Lynx: The Canada lynx, as a wild animal, leads a vastly different life. They are solitary creatures, with territories that can span several miles. Lynxes are carnivorous and often rely on animals like snowshoe hares for food. While they might look cute and cuddly, it’s essential to remember that they are wild animals with natural predatory instincts.

Living Environments

Maine Coon: Comfortably lounging on your sofa, playing with toys, or maybe even taking a supervised outdoor stroll – that’s the life of a Maine Coon. They enjoy the house cat life. These cats, being domestic, thrive in home environments where they're cared for, played with, and given plenty of love. Not for them the harsh winter climates of their New England ancestors.

Lynx: These wild cats prefer the vast expanse of forests, mountains, and snowy terrains. They are superbly adapted to their environment, with their large paws helping them traverse snowy landscapes and their keen eyesight aiding in hunting.

Wrapping It Up

While both the Maine Coon and the lynx are impressive in their own right, they belong to vastly different worlds. One is a home cat, and the other is a wild wanderer. However, their physical similarities, especially those ear tufts, often spark curiosity and admiration.

If you're a Maine Coon owner, embrace the wild look of your domestic buddy and rest easy knowing you have a piece of the wild spending time right in your living room (but with a much more friendly temperament). And if you ever come across a lynx during your adventures (from a safe distance, of course), take a moment to admire the beauty of this wild feline.

 Here's to the big, the furry, and the fabulous in the cat world!
maine coon vs lynx size


1. Can Maine Coons and lynxes mate?

While they might look somewhat similar, Maine Coons and lynxes are different species with distinct genetic makeups. In the wild, it's improbable they would cross paths in a manner conducive to mating. Additionally, there haven't been documented cases of such hybrids.

2. I saw a very large cat in my backyard. How can I tell if it's a Maine Coon or a lynx?

Look for distinguishing features. Lynxes have shorter tails, larger paw pads, and more pronounced ear tufts. Also, the behavior can be a hint; a lynx is more likely to be secretive and avoid human interaction, while a Maine Coon might be more curious or friendly.

3. Are Maine Coons related to wild cats?

All domestic cats, including Maine Coons, descend from wild ancestors. However, the Maine Coon's immediate ancestry is believed to be tied to domesticated cats brought to North America, rather than direct interbreeding with native wildcats.

4. Do Maine Coons have any special care needs due to their size?

Yes. Their larger size means they might need more food than your average domestic cat. They also have a thick, long coat that requires regular grooming to prevent matting. Due to their size, joint issues can also be a concern as they age, so regular vet check-ups are essential.

5. Can lynxes be domesticated as pets?

No. While lynxes are beautiful and captivating, they are wild animals with natural instincts and behaviors. Domesticating a lynx isn't recommended, and in many places, it's illegal to keep them as pets. It's always best to appreciate wild animals in the wild.

6. Are there any other domestic cat breeds that resemble wildcats?

Yes! The Bengal, for instance, was bred to have a coat that resembles a leopard's spots. The Savannah cat is another breed with a wild appearance, influenced by its serval ancestry. However, while they might look wild, these breeds are domesticated and have very different personalities than their wild counterparts.

7. How can I safely observe a lynx in the wild?

If you're lucky enough to be in an area where lynxes live, always observe from a distance. Use binoculars or a camera with a good zoom. Never approach or try to feed a lynx. Remember, they are wild animals and can be unpredictable.

Remember, when it comes to cats, whether domestic or wild, always respect and appreciate them for the amazing creatures they are!

  • I haven’t seen a Maine Coons or a lynx except on pictures. I think they’re both beautiful, and thanks to your post I may have an idea on how to differentiate them now.

  • Interesting to learn about both the Maine Coon cat and the Lynx, both are so beautiful. The Main Coon cat weighs more than my Maltese dog! LOL

  • Very enlightening article. I also loved the FAQ section. Thank you for sharing.

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