Bengal Cat vs Maine Coon: What’s the differences (with pictures)

When it comes to choosing a feline companion, the variety of cat breeds available can make the decision quite challenging. Among the most popular and intriguing breeds are the Bengal and the Maine Coon. These two breeds are not only visually stunning but also have unique personalities and traits that set them apart. In this blog post, we’ll dive deep into the key differences between Bengal cats and Maine Coons, helping you understand which breed might be the right fit for your home and lifestyle.

Visual Differences

DifferencesBengal CatMaine Coon
SizeMedium to LargeLarge to Extra Large
Grooming NeedsWeeklyEvery other day
Average weight8-15 pounds15-25 pounds
Average Length14–18 inches35–40 inches
Lifespan12–16 years12–15 years
Dogs likeYesYes

Bengal Cat Overview


Bengal cats are a relatively new breed that originated in the United States. They are the result of a cross between a domestic cat and an Asian leopard cat, a small wild cat native to South and East Asia. The goal of this breeding program was to create a domestic cat with the exotic appearance of a wild cat while maintaining a friendly and manageable temperament. The first Bengal cat was bred by Jean Mill in 1963, and the breed gained recognition from The International Cat Association (TICA) in 1983.

Physical Characteristics

Bengal Cats have an athletic, muscular build with a medium to large body size, typically weighing 8-15 pounds. They have a broad, modified wedge-shaped head with high cheekbones, a slight concave curve from forehead to nose, and medium to small ears with rounded tops. Bengals have oval, almost round eyes that are large and set wide apart.

Their short to medium length coat is dense, luxurious and unusually soft to the touch. Bengals are known for their striking spotted, marbled, or rosette coat patterns in shades of brown, sepia, mink, lynx point, silver, and snow.

bengal cat
image credit: Helena Jankovičová Kováčová, pexel


Bengals are known for being confident, curious, and full of energy. They love to play, climb, and explore, and are always on the lookout for an adventure. Many Bengals enjoy playing in water and can even be trained to walk on a leash.

As highly intelligent cats, Bengals need a lot of interaction and mental stimulation to stay happy. They bond closely with their humans and don’t like to be left alone for long periods. Bengals are typically good with children and other pets, but may not be a great fit for very quiet households.


Bengal cats are highly intelligent, active, and curious. They are often described as having a dog-like personality, as they can be trained to play fetch, walk on a leash, and perform various tricks.

Bengals are quick learners and respond well to positive reinforcement techniques like clicker training and treats. However, they can also be stubborn and independent at times, requiring patience and persistence from their owners

bengal cat
image credit: jerry 杰, pexels


Bengal cats are high energy levels and love for interactive play. They enjoy climbing, jumping, and chasing toys, and often need more intensive play sessions to satisfy their natural hunting instincts. Bengals can benefit from having a variety of toys, cat trees, and even puzzle feeders to keep them engaged. 


Bengal cats are also generally healthy, but they may be prone to certain health issues. Some Bengals may develop digestive problems, such as inflammatory bowel disease or food allergies. They may also be at risk for reproductive issues, such as pyometra (uterine infection) in unspayed females

Suitable for

Bengal cats are best suited for active households with owners who can dedicate time and energy to their care and entertainment. These cats thrive on attention and interaction, so they may not be the best choice for individuals who are frequently away from home or have limited time to spend with their pets.

Maine coon Overview:


The origin of the Maine Coon is shrouded in mystery and folklore. As the name suggests, this breed is believed to have originated in the state of Maine, USA. One popular legend claims that the Maine Coon is the result of a forbidden love between a raccoon and a longhaired cat, although this is biologically impossible.

Another theory suggests that the breed descended from long-haired cats brought to America by European settlers, possibly including the Norwegian Forest Cat. Despite the uncertainty surrounding their origins, Maine Coons have been cherished by Americans since the 19th century and were even named the official state cat of Maine in 1985

Physical Characteristics:

Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, with males weighing 15-25 pounds and measuring up to 40 inches in length. They have a long, muscular, rectangular body with a broad chest and large, round, tufted paws.

Maine Coons have a medium-sized head that is slightly longer than wide, with high cheekbones, a square muzzle, large expressive eyes, and tall ears with pointed tufts. Their long, shaggy coat is shorter on the shoulders and longer on the stomach, britches and tail. Maine Coons come in a wide variety of solid colors, tabbies, bi-colors and more

maine coon
image credit: RDNE Stock project, pexel


Maine Coons, in contrast, are often called the “gentle giants” of the cat world. They are large, sturdy cats with sweet, friendly personalities. While Maine Coons are playful and enjoy human company, they are less demanding of attention than Bengals.

Known for their patience and even temperament, Maine Coons typically get along well with children and other pets. They are adaptable cats that do well in many different households and living situations. However, their large size should be taken into consideration, as they require more space than the average cat.


Maine Coons are also intelligent cats that can be trained, although they may not be quite as driven as Bengals when it comes to learning tricks. Maine Coons are typically easy to train in basic household etiquette like using a scratching post and are often amenable to leash training as well.

Maine Coons respond well to positive training methods and tend to be food motivated, so treats can be a great training aid. Because of their laid-back personality, Maine Coons may take a little longer to train than Bengals, but their eagerness to please makes them rewarding to work with.


Maine Coons, while still active, are generally more laid-back compared to Bengals. They enjoy playtime but are content with shorter sessions and more relaxed activities like chasing a laser pointer or playing with a feather wand. 

Most indoor Maine Coons require about 20-30 minutes of dedicated exercise per day, which can be broken up into smaller sessions. Providing them with a tall scratching post, perches, and a few engaging toys can help meet their exercise need

Maine coon
Credit image: Wellington Silva Pexel


Maine Coons are generally healthy cats, they are prone to certain genetic health issues. One of the most common concerns is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), a heart condition that can lead to heart failure. Maine Coons are also susceptible to hip dysplasia, a developmental disorder that can cause arthritis and mobility issues.

Suitable For:

Maine Coon cats are known for their gentle and easygoing nature. They are affectionate but tend to show their love in a less demanding way compared to Bengals. Maine Coons are suitable for families with children or elderly individuals as they are very patient and tolerant. They do well in environments where they can have some quiet time and are also capable of handling alone time better than Bengals

Which Breed is Perfect For You?

So which breed should you choose? It really depends on your lifestyle and what you’re looking for in a feline companion. If you want a low-maintenance, laid-back lap cat, neither breed is ideal. But if you’re seeking an affectionate, engaging pet, both could be a great choice.Very active households may do well with the energetic, always-on-the-go Bengal. 

But Bengals’ high activity level and need for attention means they’re not suited for homes where they’ll be left alone for long periods. Maine Coons are better able to entertain themselves, but still need plenty of interaction. Their larger size also means they require more space

Whichever breed you choose, remember that bringing a cat into your life is a long-term commitment. Be honest about the time, attention and care you can provide. When you find your perfect feline fit, you’ll be rewarded with years of purrs, snuggles, and unconditional love.