Why do Maine Coon cats cross their legs?

Yes, there is evidence on the internet from Maine Coon (MC) owners in photographs and videos that MCs like to cross their forelegs when resting. You see it all the time but you are less likely to see it in random bred cats. Well, it is very hard to produce a definitive and accurate answer to the question because all the responses to the question that I have seen are speculative.

Maine Coon with crossed from legs
Maine Coon with crossed from legs. Image: Reddit.com
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But let’s take a common-sense viewpoint at the outset. It has to be for reasons of comfort. It always occurs when the cat is comfortable and relaxing. It can’t be for all the non-comfort reasons why humans do it such as for issues of modesty by women wearing skirts.

The most common reason why humans cross their legs when sitting down is because it is more comfortable. I’ll speculate and argue that crossing the legs is more comfortable because the weight is taken off the leg that is crossed over. It is off the ground and hanging loose.

The calf muscle is entirely relaxed. I am going to stick my neck out and say the MC might cross their legs for exactly the same reason. It is the common-sense and obvious reason.

The photo on this page shows the foot of the crossed leg of this MC hanging over the edge of the supporting foot underneath it. The weight is taken of the foot entirely. This probably feels nice and helps the cat feel relaxed.

Any other explanation would have to be very well argued to hold water. When a cats legs are crossed, they are in a slightly more vulnerable position as they’ll have to uncross before jumping up. This is indicative that the cat wants to be as relaxed as possible and in support of that objective is the need to make the feet feels better.

The next logical question is whether MCs always cross the same leg as is the case with humans. It is not massively relevant to this discussion but it’d be nice to know.

And the final follow up question is why MCs cross their legs more than for the other cat breeds and moggies. Well, if this is true my guess is because all the MCs are from approximately five foundation cats. Of these perhaps one or two enjoyed crossing their legs as a personality trait. The genes of that cat have been inherited by tens of thousands of MCs that followed and they inherited this specific characteristic.

It boils down to chance. There was a time, before this foundation cat entered the breeding lines when MCs crossed their legs no more frequently than any other cat including moggies. That’s my argument and I am very happy to hear other ideas and even criticisms.

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