Maine coons- how big is your Maine coon? update

How to measure the size of a Maine coon? How should I measure my polydactyl Maine coon Tootsie? Is it weight or length? How to measure these "Gentle giants" of the cat world?

As far as can tell, one measure is from the tip of the nose to the tip of the tail- that would be length. Still, this seems to leave room for error, because it does not specify the posture of the cat. It's the measure from nose to body that has me wondering. Depending on what a Maine coon is up to, seems like this can vary.

Plus, how do you get a Maine coon to sit still to be measured? I used a photo of Tootsie in action to approximate her length. I measured the bricks as reference. It's pretty clear that her body is roughly 12" long, and her tail is certainly (from other measures also) 12" long. >continued below.

But, the body to nose part- well see the two different measures, in different colors. Either somewhere around 6", or 9". So, 32" to 35", nose to tail.
(continued below)

I adopted Tootsie from rescue when she was an adult cat. First visit to the vets, she weighed only 6 lbs. The vet said "she needs to put on some weight". I knew she was small by Maine coon standards, so this didn't quite register. I mean, she was really fluffy. In the two plus years that I've had Tootsie, she has grown to an enormous 9+ lbs. I think next time at the vets she'll weigh in at 10 lbs. And, she still looks mostly the same as when I adopted her. A long body, and not a fat cat by any means. She seems "just right".

But, it has been an eye-opener to me. Why was her weight so low when I adopted her? I think part of must have been the stress of living in a rescue place for 3+ months. Or/ and, was she stressed in her prior home, and not eating well?

That leads me to wonder about how to measure the size of a Maine coon. Weight is easiest to measure, but that doesn't tell the whole story, at least not from my experience with Tootsie. Is there some ideal length to weight measure for Maine coons? Assuming the lowest measure as to her length, 32", and assuming that she is about 10 lbs, what about the ratio of 3.2 lbs per inches of body length?

Readers? Your measures?

Update:
I put this picture on flicker, and in the comments someone pointed me to the "paw to paw" measure, discussed here: http://www.keoka.com/sie.htm Very interesting article- scroll down to "Measuring paw to paw". But, there's still the challenge of catching a very active cat totally stretched out!

My guesstimate for Tootsie is around 40" paw to paw, vs. 32" or 35" nose to tail, as described above. So, the problem continues as to how to measure. Obviously, the metric used for measuring a particular cat needs to be stated explicitly to give accurate comparisons.

Comments

  1. You need 5-6 foot of string, pencil, a marker and a helper. Take the string and tie it to the pencil. Lay Tootsie out straight on her side or on her tummy (is my preference). Have the helper hold one end and gentle straighten out the tail, while you hold the pencil to her nose, with the string running to the side of her. Have your helper hold the end of the string or mark it with a marker where it met with the end of the cat. Measure the string.

    Alternate way for one person: Take the string and start at the end of the tail. Simply stretch it out over a section and hold it down at the new end. Let loose the first part and keep doing that until you get to the base of the skull. Then use a pencil to tie the string to to measure from the nose to a place level to where you ended on the back of the neck. This way is almost easier to do, in my opinion.

    Dan in Tempe

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