Maine Coon vs Exotic Shorthair (Ultimate Research)

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When comparing two cat breeds, there are many factors to consider. Different breeds have different needs in terms of their health, maintenance, and personalities. Maine coons and Exotic Shorthairs are exceedingly popular breeds; if you’re not sure what breed would be right for you, you’re in the right place.

When considering Maine Coon vs Exotic Shorthair, the Exotic Shorthair wins this comparison.  While both cat breeds are excellent, the Exotic Shorthair sheds less, make excellent lap cats, and have a sweet personality. 

Cat Product Note:  I will talk about and recommend some cat products in this article, which will hopefully provide your cat with a more enriching life.  These are Amazon affiliate links, so I receive a commission from Amazon, with no added cost to you.  These are my honest recommendations, so if you are interested in checking them out, please click below!

Recommendations for Maine Coons:

  1.  The cat stroller on Amazon (affiliate link) I recommend for Maine Coons (I like that it is extremely large): Click Here
  2.  The cat condo / cat tree on Amazon (affiliate link) I recommend for Maine Coons (it’s BIG!):  Click Here

Recommendations for Exotic Shorthair Cats:

  1. The cat stroller on Amazon (affiliate link) I recommend for Exotic Shorthair Cats (robust and versatile): Click Here
  2. The cat condo / cat tree on Amazon (affiliate link) that I recommend for Exotic Shorthair Cats (My cat loves it): Click Here

We go into more detail about the different factors in deciding between the Maine Coon vs Exotic Shorthair below!

Maine Coon Appearance vs Exotic Shorthair Appearance

What does a Maine Coon look like?

Maine Coon Cat (Bee Felten Leidel via Unsplash)

Maine coons are particularly distinctive because of their beautiful coats. Maine coons have long, shaggy fur. The way the fur grows is important; it should get longer the further you get towards the tail. The fur should be slightly oily; this helps keep them warm in colder conditions.

Maine coons are most commonly brown tabbies, but over 75 different color combinations have been recorded for this breed.

This breed is also known to be quite large; a male Maine Coon can weigh up to 18 pounds! At their largest, males can be 16 inches tall, and females can be 14 inches tall. Both sexes can be up to 38 inches long.

What does an Exotic Shorthair look like?

Exotic shorthairs are the result of breeding a Persian with an American shorthair. Thus, they resemble the Persian in a lot of ways, excluding the short coat. They have large, rounded heads, a short muzzle and slightly squished-looking nose. Many have described the general aesthetic of exotic shorthairs as looking like a “teddy bear.”

Exotic shorthairs are significantly smaller than Maine coons; the largest usually weigh about 13 pounds.

Their coats are short but slightly longer than other recognized shorthair breeds. The hair should be dense and fluffy. They come in all the colors that a Persian can; anywhere from tabby to colorpoint has been recorded.

Maine Coon Hypoallergenic vs Exotic Shorthair Hypoallergenic

Are Maine Coons hypoallergenic? Do Maine Coons shed?

Video on Maine Coons Shedding

Unfortunately, Maine Coons are known to produce the same irritating proteins that most other breeds do, meaning that they are not hypoallergenic.

Maine coons have been known to shed. However, Maine Coon cats kept outdoors will likely be seasonal shedders – this means that they shed the bulk of their fur in cycles, rather than continuously. Maine Coon cats that spend most of their time outdoors will likely shed most of their fur before Summertime to get rid of a hefty Winter fur coat.

It should be noted that a Maine Coon that is kept indoors all the time may shed a consistent amount throughout the year. This is mostly because indoor Maine Coons will not require the thick winter coat that outdoor Maine Coons grow for Winter and then shed.

We talk more about the Maine Coon cat’s shedding (amongst other breeds that shed a lot) in our article about many cat breeds that shed a lot:  Click Here.

Are Exotic Shorthairs hypoallergenic? Do Exotic Shorthairs shed?

Considering that Exotic Shorthairs are a crossbreed of Persian cats, they produce the same amount of irritating proteins that Persians do. Thus, they are unfortunately not hypoallergenic.

Even though Exotic Shorthair cats are descended from Persian cats, they do not shed very much.  This means that you will be able to enjoy petting the thick coat of these cats without all the loose hairs that you might find on the average feline. 

The Exotic Shorthair is an excellent choice if you are looking for a lower shedding cat.  Our article discussing cats that don’t shed much talks more about the Exotic Shorthair and other lower shedding breeds:  Click Here.

Maintaining a Maine Coon’s fur coat

Because Maine Coons have long fur, they might require a bit of help to keep it maintained. It would be best if you brushed your cat’s fur weekly, at minimum – some breeders even recommend daily brushing. Some cats like brushing, but some cats don’t – there are products such as gloves with brushes on the palm that could make it more comfortable if your cat isn’t a fan.

It might occasionally be necessary to bathe your Maine coon, especially if they’ve gotten themselves into a situation where they’re covered in something. Maine coons have been seen to tolerate water better than other cat breeds, but it will depend on your cat’s personality. It’s best to make sure that your cat gets used to bathing as a kitten – if this isn’t possible, there are products on the market to clean their fur without bathing, like wipes and sprays.

Maintaining an Exotic Shorthair’s fur coat

Though they are related to Persian cats (which require a lot of grooming) Exotic Shorthairs will try to maintain their own fur (cats are exceedingly clean animals). However, they will benefit from weekly brushing to help with the instance of shedding and hairballs.

Maine Coon Personality vs Exotic Shorthair Personality

Maine Coon Personality

Maine coons are prized for being amiable animals. Though it varies from cat to cat, most Maine Coons are friendly, relaxed, and good at getting along with children and other pets. They may also love water, especially splashing around.

Maine Coons have also been described as “dog-like.” They are known to be energetic, extroverted, and playful. There are some anecdotes that a Maine Coon can greet its owner at the door when they arrive home, as a dog would.

Maine Coons can be very protective and suspicious in their territory; they might thoroughly investigate visitors and their belongings. They might also want to take part in all the activities in the household; if you find that your cat is always around when you’re doing something, it’s just how they are.

Exotic Shorthair Personality

Video on Exotic Shorthair Personality

Exotic Shorthairs share many traits with their Persian cousins, which makes them gentle and calm friends. However, they’re known to also have a bit of liveliness associated with the American shorthair – they’re curious, playful, and friendly. It’s known that Exotic Shorthairs don’t always like to be left alone and want to be in the presence of their owner.

They make excellent lap cats, and their calm demeanor can make them ideal candidates for urban living. However, they can also be excellent mousers and would be at home in a barn environment. It’s been known that they are quiet cats, very rarely making noise.

Unlike Maine Coons, Exotic Shorthairs might sometimes leave their owners alone to go curl up in a corner and nap.

Are Maine Coons intelligent?

In terms of cat intelligence, Maine Coons have been known to be an incredibly intelligent breed. Some can even be trained to do tricks! They are adaptable and can solve problems and explore new situations with ease.

Are Exotic Shorthairs smart?

While these cats are known to be exceptionally smart, showing this might depend on their mood. If they aren’t in the mood to play or learn a new trick, they might ignore you. Don’t take this as a sign that your cat isn’t intelligent, though – exotic shorthairs have been known to be incredibly curious, and capable of learning all sorts of tricks.

Maine Coon Lifespan vs Exotic Shorthair Lifespan

Maine Coon Lifespan

For Maine Coons, this lifespan tends to be a bit shorter than the average house cat, usually 12-15 years.

Exotic Shorthair Lifespan

Exotic Shorthairs will usually live between 8-11 years and the breed has a host of health issues associated with it that could severely shorten their life if you don’t take care of them properly. We’ll discuss these issues a bit later.

Enriching Your Maine Coon and Exotic Shorthair’s Life


All cats require affection from their owners – this is particularly true if your cat is the only pet in the house. The amount of love your cat will need is mostly based on its personality – some cats require a lot of attention, while some are OK with occasional pats and playtime.

Going Outside

It is NOT recommended for house cats to roam outside by themselves; however, there are plenty of ways to take your cat outside with you. If your cat is energetic and curious, you might want to take them outside with a harness and a leash.

It’s crucial to find a harness that fits your pet correctly and make sure that they feel comfortable wearing it before they venture outside. We take a closer look on cat harnesses and if they are safe in our article:  Click Here.

If your pet is more of the observer type, then a specialized backpack or stroller might be more their speed. Don’t be fooled, though; these forms of going outside can be just as beneficial as walking on a leash. Your cat gets to enjoy new scenery, new smells, and fresh air.

For more information on whether your cat might like a cat stroller, take a look at our article on the subject:  Click Here.

Maine Coons are a larger cat and will need a larger cat stroller, so I recommend this cat stroller, which is robust enough to meet a Maine Coon’s needs (Amazon affiliate link):  Click Here.

I recommend this cat stroller for Exotic Shorthair cats since it is quite versatile (Amazon affiliate link):  Click Here.

Cat Condos/Cat Trees

Cat condos or trees are a must for cats – this is because they tend to live in both vertical and horizontal dimensions. Having a high spot to hang out in helps with your cat’s sense of security; they have the high ground, after all. It’s also a good spot for entertainment, especially if it has integrated toys or scratching posts. Make sure that your cat tree has areas that are big and sturdy enough to hold your cat.

Our article on if cats like cat condos / cat trees:  Click Here.

My cat, Charlotte, uses her cat condo multiple times a day.  I frequently find her perched on the top platform, in the cat house, or scratching on the scratch posts.

The cat condo / cat tree that I like on Amazon (affiliate link) for Maine Coons: Click Here.  It is a larger cat tree, and many reviews are by Maine Coon owners who say their cat enjoys the two top platforms. 

The cat condo / cat tree that I like on Amazon (affiliate link) for Exotic Shorthair cats:  Click Here.  This is the cat tree that I own for my Domestic Shorthair cat, Charlotte, and she loves it! 

Cat Grass

Cat grass is a casual name for several breeds of grass that cats like. It’s completely safe for cats to eat cat grass; though we’re not sure why they do this, most theories state that it likely aids with digestion and processing of hairballs. It also contains nutrients that your cat could be deficient in. Most garden centers and pet stores sell cat grass containers, though it’s also easy to grow from seeds.

Maine Coon Health Issues vs Exotic Shorthair Health Issues

Maine Coon Health Issues

Maine Coons are typically a healthy breed. However, pet owners should watch out for some conditions:

  • Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM): thickening in the walls of the heart. This can cause other cardiovascular issues later. Your breeder or vet can screen your cat for this condition.
  • Feline hip dysplasia: a condition where your cat’s hips haven’t formed correctly, leading to arthritis and joint pain. This condition is mostly because Maine Coons are so large, so there isn’t anything you can do to stop it. Contact your vet so that they can help you treat it.
  • Polycystic kidney disease:  a condition dealing with cysts that can lead to problems with kidney function.

Exotic Shorthair Health Issues

Exotic shorthairs are susceptible to a host of health issues because of their facial structure – their nose and eyes are too close together. It would be best if you watched for these health issues:

  • Brachycephalic airway obstructive syndrome: issues with the upper airways associated with the cat’s facial structure. This can cause inflammation and strain on the heart. There are multiple treatments for this condition; please consult your vet.
  • Bladder and kidney stones
  • Dystocia: issues during labor due to the kittens’ large skulls.
  • Feline polycystic kidney disease (PKD): a genetic condition that can lead to kidney failure. DNA screening is suggested.

Maine Coon Price vs Exotic Shorthair Price

Maine Coon Cost

According to three Maine Coon breeder websites that I found, the costs for Maine Coon kittens ranged from $1500 to over $2500.  There could be additional costs for the delivery of the cat. 

Loving Lynx Maine Coons

At Loving Lynx Maine Coons, you should expect Maine Coon kitten prices to be different based on kitten quality.  Their prices can change up until contract signing.  Their website states that their Maine Coons start at $2500 and the price can rise from there. 

At Loving Lynx, you should expect to receive the following as part of the purchase one of their Maine Coon cats:

  • Documentation
    • Sales Contract
    • Health Warranty
      • Testing for HCM, SMA, PKD
      • Parasite Prevention
    • TICA Registration Paperwork
    • Vaccination Record
  • Actions
    • Examination by a Licensed Veterinarian
    • Spay or Neutered
    • Cat Microchip
    • Travel Carrier

Wildcat Creek Cattery

At Wildcat Creek Cattery, the Maine Coon kittens for sale generally cost between $1500-$2500, and you should also expect added cost if you are having the Maine Coon kitten delivered.  Their deposits are $500 payable through a variety of methods (credit, debit, PayPal). 

This cattery will deliver Maine Coon kittens by automobile, but they will only travel up to 400 miles round trip (at a cost of $1/mile).  If you are further out, you may want to fly into the closest airport and pick up your Maine Coon kitten.  This option would cost you $145 for the cattery’s effort and the cat carrier. 

Riggs Maine Coon Cattery

Riggs Maine Coon Cattery will charge you between $1400-$2200 for a Maine Coon kitten for sale.  You should expect to put down $400 on the deposit with them.  They do have a waiting list you can be on that does not require a deposit until Maine Coon kittens are available.  

This cattery also has multiple delivery options available.  They can drive the cat to you, at $.40/mile, but also only at 400 miles round trip.  They can also fly the Maine Coon kitten to you.  This option would likely run between $500-$800 (this option is actually a great value because in the cost breakdown on the site it does not look like the person traveling is charging any cost for their time). 

Finally, they will also meet you at the closest airport if you choose to fly in to meet them instead to pick up your new Maine Coon cat.

Exotic Shorthair Cost

I was able to find some websites for Exotic Shorthair breeders and looked up the Exotic Shorthair price information.  Unfortunately, I only saw pricing information on one of the Exotic Shorthair breeder websites.  I sent out messages to the others and will update this article after I receive that information.

Khloe’s Kittens

At Khloe’s Kittens you should expect to spend $1500-$2500 on an Exotic Shorthair kitten for sale.  Deposits are $300, however, if you want to move yourself up on the waitlist, they have a special option to be on the priority waiting list, which comes with a guarantee that you will receive a kitten from a future litter for $3000. 

They do offer delivery options, but I did not see pricing information on their website.  They will deliver up to 3 hours away from their Essex County, New Jersey, USA location.

They do put out a warning on their website that if you see breeders offering these types of kittens for $800 or less that you should investigate thoroughly to ensure they are not a scam.   

Maine Coon Cat Breeders vs Exotic Shorthair Cat Breeders

Maine Coon Breeders

Maine Coon breeders take pride in maintaining important standards when they breed their Maine Coon cats.  Additionally, they usually take extra care in raising these cats that are sometimes unique to their cattery. 

Wildcat Creek Cattery

Wildcat Creek Cattery is located in Kokomo, Indiana, USA which is an hour away from Indianapolis, Indiana.  They are north of Indianapolis so that puts them less than three hours south from Chicago, Illinois. 

Wildcat Creek Cattery was established in 2017 and from the photos appear to sit out in the countryside.  I can tell that they have taken some real thought into their Maine Coon kitten operation because they have a building, they call the Maine Coon Manor on the site. 

Maine Coon Manor is their cattery which is 728 square feet devoted to Maine Coons and is both heated and cooled for the cats. They also socialize their cats with children, dogs, and different situations or environments.

Riggs Maine Coon Cattery

Riggs Maine Coon Cattery is located in Northern Indiana, USA – it looks like their closest airport is Fort Wayne (FWA). They raise their Maine Coon cats in their home just like you would keep a normal house pet.  This helps to keep them having good manners and interactive with guests when they come over.  Additionally, they have a cat room for the Maine Coon cats where they can spend time.

Riggs Maine Coon Cattery states that they breed Maine Coon kittens that have champion lines, nice personalities, are registered through The International Cat Association (TICA), and are tested for health conditions such as HCM, PKD, SMA, Blood-brain barrier (BBB) Dysfunction. 

Loving Lynx Maine Coons

Loving Lynx Maine Coons is located near Knoxville, Tennessee, USA.  The vision of Loving Lynx Maine Coons is to have wild looking cats that resemble the lynx, with great personalities and quality health. 

Loving Lynx Maine Coons is registered by both TICA and CFA (Cat Fanciers’ Association).  Their cats go through an impressive amount of testing, including testing for over 20 traits (such as coat colors and coat types) and testing for 40 genetic diseases.

Loving Lynx Maine Coons provides lifetime breeder support and are big on communication, even after a customer takes their Maine Coon kitten home.  Their cats are raised as members of their family. 

Exotic Shorthair Breeders

Khloe’s Kittens Cattery

Khloe’s Kittens Cattery is based out of Essex County, New Jersey and breeding Exotic Shorthair cats is something they take great pride in.  At Khloe’s the raise their Exotic Shorthair kittens like they are family members.  They are a cageless facility. This breeder also breeds other cat breeds in addition to the Exotic Shorthair, such as the Persian and Himalayan cat breeds.

The Exotic Shorthair kittens at Khloe’s Kittens are brought up around dogs and children, which is great because it means that these cats should not be surprised to encounter either of them in their new home.  Khloe’s cares deeply about providing good homes for the cats that they raise.

Maine Coon Sounds vs Exotic Shorthair Sounds

Maine Coon Sounds

People wonder about Maine Coon noises – are they loud? What kind of sounds do they make?  You might hear all sorts of Maine Coon talking like meows, chirping, yowling, etc.  Here is a video of some Maine Coon noises for reference.

Video on Maine Coon Noises

Exotic Shorthair Sounds

You are going to hear sweet sounds from an Exotic Shorthair cat.  To prove this see the below video of an Exotic Shorthair meow. 

Video on Exotic Shorthair Meow

Maine Coon Origin vs Exotic Shorthair Origin

Maine Coon Origin

Maine Coon history is interesting and has much folklore.  The biggest theories about the Maine Coon origin are the following:

  1. Marie Antoinette’s Cats – this theory is that the Queen of France’s cats (possible Turkish Angora or Siberian cats) were loaded onto a ship in France and were sent to Maine.  We know from history that Marie Antoinette was not able to escape France.  Once the cats arrived in Maine, USA they eventually became the Maine Coon.  This is a cool story, but it is very likely not true.
  2. Raccoon/Cat Cross – this theory states that the Maine Coon is the result of a cat crossbreeding with a raccoon.  That makes a lot of sense since the name of the cat is the Maine Coon, however, this theory is not true.

The Maine Coon’s exact origins are unfortunately unknown.  There is speculation that this breed could be related to other breeds that look somewhat like this cat, such as the Siberian or the Norwegian Forest Cat. 

The earliest references to the Maine Coon were in 1861 and the cat started getting mentioned in history after that point.

Exotic Shorthair Origin

The Exotic Shorthair cat is a product of experimentation in the 1950’s when Persians were bred with American shorthair cats.  Some experimentation with other breeds took place, but the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) acknowledged the Persian / American Shorthair crossbreed as the Exotic Shorthair in 1966. 

The Persian is now the only acceptable outcross breed with the Exotic Shorthair.  Sometimes, Exotics will get long hair due to a recessive gene inherited on the Persian breed side of their genetics.  Depending on the cat organization, they may accept these longhaired Exotic cats as Persians.  The American Cat Fanciers Association calls them the Exotic Longhair and The International Cat Association considers these cats to be Persians.

Christopher Carlson

I have an Domestic Shorthair Tabby named Charlotte. She is full of energy when she isn't sleeping most of the day. I share what I learn about cats on this site.

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