Are Maine Coon Cats High Maintenance? Although Maine Coon cats are popular with people, many other people are reluctant to get one for fear that they will be high-maintenance animals.
If nothing else, that long, fluffy coat seems like it would cause an endless cycle of grooming, vacuuming, sweeping, and shedding!
On top of that, there is the Maine Coon cat personality which tends towards nearly ‘dog-like’; very affectionate, very social, and very much the type that follows their owner about, demanding attention and narrating the day.
But is any of this actually true and should it put you off Maine Coon ownership?
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Are Maine Coon cats high maintenance?
Well, it really depends on your definition of ‘high maintenance, but if your main concern is that coat, health issues, or aggression, you don’t really have anything to worry about. Maine Coon cats really aren’t very high maintenance at all.
Defining a High Maintenance Cat
How do we define high maintenance when it comes to animals and where do Maine Coon cats fit on the spectrum?
When talking about maintenance (low, high, or anywhere in between), prospective owners are generally looking at three things: Health, attention needs, grooming, and sociability.
For people who want a very low-maintenance cat, they want a sturdy, independent cat that can groom itself and isn’t a rude, aggressive pain in the butt.
A high maintenance cat on the other hand might be fragile (or elderly), need a lot of attention, need help grooming, and/or have social issues like aggression, shyness, or a fearful personality. Most cats lie somewhere between all of these.
So where do Maine Coon cats lie?
Health: Maine Coon cats are generally sturdy, but because of their large size, they can be prone to some health problems.
In particular, things like hip dysplasia can become an issue as they get older, and if they gain too much weight, they are as prone as any cat to things like feline diabetes and arthritis.
They are also subject to heart disease. All in all, though, pretty low maintenance actually. Maine Coon cats tend to be sturdy.
Maine Coons are chatty and like to see what you are up to. They are also very social and get along with nearly everyone (and everything). That being said, they aren’t demanding in their need for attention, nor are they particularly noisy (they trill more than meow).
So, while Maine Coons will be happier in a house with lots going on and regular petting, it’s no more than any other cat. They just tend to enjoy hanging out with their humans.
This is probably where most people assume they will be high maintenance and it is true that Maine Coons, with their long and soft coat, require some help with their grooming. But it’s not a daily thing.
A healthy Maine Coon cat can keep itself fairly clean and will probably only require brushing once or twice a week. Furthermore, most Maine Coons actually like water, so when they need a bath, they don’t tend to cause much trouble.
So mid-maintenance for the weekly or twice weekly brushing but makes up for it by not usually being a pain about baths.
Maine Coons are rarely aggressive and adapt well to their surroundings. They enjoy being around people and animals alike and will even visit complete strangers!
It could be argued this makes them higher maintenance if you want to make sure they don’t get stolen, but otherwise, you don’t usually have to worry about them being shy, aggressive, or fearful (assuming they have been well treated before reaching you of course).
There is one area where Maine Coon cats could be considered high maintenance (other than their coats): they are smart cats, they require a lot of exercise to stay healthy, and they do best with mental stimulation.
The best way to keep a Maine Coon happy is to ensure it has plenty of toys, perches, supervised outdoor time (Maine Coons can be trained to walk on a leash), and even a buddy to keep them company!
This could be viewed as high maintenance, especially if you live in a small place – this breed of cat needs some room. That being said, Maine Coons can do fine in small apartments as long as they can climb and have toys.
When is a Maine Coon Cat Too High Maintenance?
Maine Coon cats can live just about anywhere with anyone, but even they have their limits. These are still fairly social animals that don’t do well if they are left alone too much, too often.
They will also do poorly if they don’t have any way to burn energy or use their brain for something useful. If you are going to be leaving your cat in an empty house with very little to do, Maine Coons are probably not going to be a good fit (and you’ll come home to destroyed furniture).
You also have to be ready to commit some time to do regular grooming or else that coat will become matted and tangled which is uncomfortable for the cat and not very nice for you to touch.
In general, though, Maine Coon cats aren’t very high maintenance. The most important thing is to make sure they have toys, perches, and regular grooming sessions (which well socialized Maine Coons tend to enjoy anyway).
Having a buddy cat around helps a great deal too! Overall, though, these are great cats for families, people with other pets, and people who want a cat that will chat and hang out with them. There’s a reason this breed is so popular after all!
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.