maine coon lynx

Are Maine Coons Part Lynx?

Maine Coon Lynx

| Are Maine Coons Part Lynx?

With some very visual and physical similarities between the Maine Coon vs Lynx, it is easy to understand why owners ask ‘are Maine Coons part lynx?’.

Although these two species are not genetically related, there are a few key factors to consider, to explain why this myth came about.

Maine Coons are not part lynx, despite their visually similar appearance, and reputation for being great hunters. Both species have impressive lynx tips on top of their pointed ears, though some Maine Coons will never grow these. Their furry padded paws and thick fur, mean both cats are well-equipped to survive cold winter climates.

For those of you interested in learning more about the Maine Coon vs Lynx cats, keep reading to further understand why so many people query whether Maine Coons are related to lynx Maine coon mix.

Maine Coon Kittens For Sale

Are Maine Coon Cats Related To Lynx?

In order to fully understand this subject, we will cover a range of factors relating to the Maine Coon vs Lynx cat’s history, physical appearance, and capabilities.

Below are the contents covered in this article.

To save time scrolling, click on the link, to skip straight to the sections of interest:

1. Origins: Maine Coon Cats

The origins of the Maine Coon cat are shrouded in mystery, despite the many popular legends and myths that have remained popular, for many decades.

There are three key folklore tales, including:

MAINE COONS ARE PART RACCOON

The first myth claims that the Maine Coon cat is part raccoon.

Advocates of this line of thought point to the following physical similarities between the two species, as evidence that the myth is true:

  • Visually Similar: i.e. color, and physical build.
  • Long bushy tails
  • Large size: Physically large animals
  • Superb Climbers
  • Love of water: Both species are fascinated with water
  • Semi-Prehensile Paws: Use their semi-prehensile paws to grasp food
  • Black Ring On Tail: Some Maine Coons are born with a black ring around their bushy tail, similar to the raccoon.

MARIE ANTOINETTE’S TURKISH ANGORA CATS

Legend has it that Marie Antoinette, the former Queen of France, was completely devoted to her six treasured Turkish Angora Cats.

Her love and devotion were put to the test during the French Revolution, as she made her desperate attempts to escape France.

It is thought that Marie convinced Captain Samuel Clough to let her aboard his ship, bound for the United States.

He permitted her six Turkish Angora cats to travel aboard too, however, her journey did not end happily.

Instead, she was captured and executed in 1793, though her precious cats did in fact make it safely to Wiscasset, Maine.

Having fulfilled his obligations to the former Queen, he released the six felines into the wild.

The premise of this folklore tale is that the long-haired Turkish Angora cats went on to breed with the short-haired domestic cats living in Maine.

The Maine Coon breed is thus considered to have descended from these animal interactions.

VIKING SHIP CATS

One of the more conceivable myths points to the possibility that Maine Coon cats are descendants of the Norwegian Forest Cat.

According to this legend, the Vikings kept long-haired cats aboard their ships, known for their superb hunting skills and ability to keep the ship’s mouse population at bay.

Many specialists speculate that the Viking ship cats are likely to have been large Norwegian Forest cats, that mated with short-haired domestic cats whilst the ships docked.

FURTHER READING
If the history of Maine Coon cats has sparked your interest, why not take a look at my in-depth article: “” for further reading.

Origins: Lynx

Unlike Maine Coon cats, the origins of the Lynx are somewhat clearer.

According to this website, there are four lynx species in today’s society, including:

  • Eurasian Lynx
  • Iberian Lynx
  • Canada Lynx
  • Bobcat (Lynx Rufus)

Although extinct in the UK since the medieval period, these carnivores are thought to have evolved from the Issoire Lynx.

This Lynx lived in Africa and Europe during the late Pliocene to early Ice Age.

Scientists claim there might even be an earlier ancestor of the Lynx species that we recognize today, pointing to the Pliocene felid from North America (source

2. Physical Comparison: Maine Coon vs Lynx

If we study these two cat breeds in greater detail, we can see that there are many similarities, and differences between the two species.

Below is a table that compares the physical attributes of the Maine Coon cat vs Lynx cats.

The size and weight of the Lynx will vary, depending upon which type of Lynx you are looking at. We have therefore used the summary information provided by this website:

FactorMaine CoonLynx
SizeLength: 19 – 40
Inches
(48 – 101 cm).

Males
are usually larger than
females.

Large domestic
cat
Length: 36 Inches
(91.4 cm).
Males are usually
larger than
females.
Medium-sized
wild cat
Weight15 – 25 lbs
(6.8 – 11.3 kg)
39.6 – 59.5 lbs
(18-27 kg)
EarsEar tufts, known as
‘Lynx tips’ are
common, but not
indicative of the
breed
Large black lynx
tips
TailThick bushy long tailShort, black-tipped
tail
BodyMuscular build.
Rectangular shaped,
long body
Short bodies,
with long legs
PawsFur between toes.
Sharp claws
Large padded paws.
Sharp hooked claws
Fur2 dense undercoats.
1 longer thick, silky
outer fur coat.
Uneven lengths of
fur, with a mane of fur
around the neckline
Spotted cats with
long light-colored fur,
that gets shorter and
thinner in Summer
EyesLarge, slightly
oval-shaped eyes.
Cannot see things
close up well
Great eyesight.
Reflective eyes.

As you can see, full-grown Lynx cats are likely to be far heavier, than Maine Coons.

Their body length, however, is often considerably shorter.

Both species are carnivores, known for their superb hunting abilities.

They are built for harsh winter climates, as a result of their muscular bodies, and large paws that enable them to walk over snow.

If you are keen to identify a Maine Coon cat, check out my article: ‘How to Identify a Maine Coon kitten‘.

3. Maine Coon Lynx Tips

Otherwise known as ‘Lynx tips’, I’m never surprised when my readers ask me ‘are Maine Coons part Lynx?’.

The fact of the matter is that despite both breeds having very similar ear tufts, which can be seen growing out of the top of their pointed ears, this does not automatically mean that the two species are related.

Whilst the similarity is indeed remarkable, there is no conclusive evidence to indicate that it is anything more than a coincidence.

Instead, it is more likely that the tufts are nature’s way of keeping the top of these cats’ ears warm during the harsh winter climate.

Some websites suggest that the Lynx tips might actually have a functional value, too, since they are might also provide additional sensory input for these magnificent wildcats.

Before you get carried away though, please note that not all Maine Coon cats have Lynx tips.

These are thus not considered a prerequisite of the Maine Coon cat breed, but instead, a feature desired only by some of the large cat associations.

If this subject intrigues you, why not take a look at my article: ‘Do all Maine Coons have lynx tips?‘. Read my conclusive findings.

4. Personality And Temperament

Maine Coons are curious, highly intelligent, and friendly.

They love the attention of their human owners. Social interaction is paramount to them living happy lives.

If we compare this to the Lynx cat, however, it is clear that the two species are very different, because Lynx are solitary creatures that do their best to avoid interaction with humans.

Maine Coon Lynx Hybrid

Feline hybrids are the result of breeding between a domestic house cat, and a wild feline cat breeds.

Although usually friendly towards humans, these hybrid cats can be unpredictable at times.

Their unpredictable nature led the American Association of Feline Practitioners to warn potential owners against purchasing early generation hybrid cats since they feared for the animal’s welfare and public safety.

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