Why Are Maine Coons So Soft? A Guide to Understanding Their Fur Texture

To understand why Maine Coon fur is so soft, it’s important to first understand the basic growth cycle of cat fur. Cats, like all mammals, grow and shed their fur in cycles. The growth cycle consists of three phases: anagen, catagen, and telogen. During the anagen phase, which lasts for several years, the hair follicle is actively growing and producing new hair. The catagen phase is a transitional phase where hair growth slows down and the hair follicle begins to shrink. Finally, during the telogen phase, the hair follicle is in a resting state and the hair is ready to shed.

How Genetics Affect Fur Texture

The softness of Maine Coon fur can be attributed, in part, to their genetics. The genes that control fur texture and length are complex and can vary from cat to cat. However, scientists have identified several genes that are associated with long, soft fur, including the LPAR6 gene and the FGF5 gene. Maine Coons are known to carry these genes, which may contribute to their exceptionally soft fur.

The Role of Diet in Maine Coon Fur Softness

The Importance of Protein

In addition to genetics, diet can play a significant role in the softness of Maine Coon fur. Protein is essential for healthy fur growth, as it provides the building blocks for keratin, the protein that makes up hair. Maine Coon cats require a diet that is high in protein to maintain their soft, luxurious fur. Look for high-quality cat foods that list real meat as the first ingredient to ensure that your cat is getting the protein they need.

Essential Fatty Acids for Healthy Fur

Another important nutrient for maintaining soft, healthy fur is essential fatty acids. Omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, in particular, are crucial for maintaining skin and coat health. These fatty acids help to keep the skin hydrated and supple, which can lead to softer, shinier fur. Look for cat foods that contain sources of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids, such as fish oil or flaxseed.

Hydration and Skin Health

Finally, hydration is key to maintaining soft, healthy fur. Cats require plenty of water to stay hydrated and maintain healthy skin and coat. Make sure that your Maine Coon has access to fresh, clean water at all times, and consider adding wet food or a water fountain to their diet to encourage them to drink more water.

Grooming Techniques for Softening Maine Coon Fur

Bathing and Shampoo Selection

Regular grooming is essential for maintaining the softness of Maine Coon fur. Bathing your cat every few months can help to remove dirt, oil, and debris from their fur, which can weigh it down and make it feel less soft. When choosing a shampoo for your Maine Coon, look for one that is specifically formulated for cats and does not contain harsh chemicals or fragrances that could irritate their skin.

Brushing and Combing Techniques

In addition to bathing, regular brushing and combing can help to soften and maintain Maine Coon fur. Use a soft-bristled brush or comb to gently remove any tangles or mats from their fur, being careful not to pull or tug too hard. Brushing and combing can also help to distribute natural oils throughout the fur, which can help to keep it soft and shiny.

Supplements and Conditioners

If your Maine Coon’s fur is particularly dry or prone to tangling, you may want to consider using a leave-in conditioner or supplement to help soften and nourish their fur. Look for products that contain natural ingredients like aloe vera or coconut oil, which can help to hydrate and soothe the skin.

Environmental Factors That Affect Maine Coon Fur Softness

Temperature and Humidity

Environmental factors can also play a role in the softness of Maine Coon fur. Temperature and humidity can affect the moisture levels in your cat’s skin and fur, which can make it feel softer or dryer. If your home is particularly dry, you may want to consider using a humidifier to add moisture to the air and help keep your cat’s fur soft.

Seasonal Changes

Seasonal changes can also affect the softness of Maine Coon fur. During the winter months, when the air is dry and cold, your cat’s skin and fur may become dry and brittle. In the summer, when the air is humid and warm, your cat’s fur may become oily and prone to tangling. Adjust your grooming routine and diet accordingly to help keep your cat’s fur soft and healthy throughout the year.


Maine Coons are known for their soft, luxurious fur, and with proper care and attention, you can help to maintain that softness over time. By understanding the genetics of fur texture, providing a healthy diet and regular grooming, and paying attention to environmental factors, you can keep your Maine Coon’s fur looking and feeling its best. Remember to give your cat plenty of love and attention, and they will reward you with a lifetime of soft, snuggly cuddles.

ThePetFaq Team