Do Maine Coon Cats Get Along with Dogs? Cats and dogs, traditionally speaking, don’t get along. Now, we mostly get this from phrases and sayings (“Getting along like cats and dogs = not getting along at all”); the reality is that many cats and dogs at least put up with each other, though they aren’t always friends.
Some breeds of cats and dogs definitely hate each other more than others, while plenty tolerates or ignore each other, and some like each other. (My shorthair white cat and our lab husky cross, for example, were good buddies to the point that when our dog passed away, the cat also went into decline).
But where do Maine Coons, the ‘dogs of the cat world’ fall on this spectrum? Do they use their size to bully dogs, ignore them, or get along with them? Do Maine Coon cats get along with dogs?
Maine Coon cats are some of the friendliest cats in the world and this friendliness generally extends to dogs! Many Maine Coon cats enjoy playing with dogs, cuddling them, and generally hanging around them.
Now, the reverse isn’t always true – some breeds of dog do not get along with Maine Coon cats and can cause problems, but overall, you can expect that your Maine Coon cat and likely your dog will get along.
Best Breeds of Dog for Maine Coon Cats
Not all breeds of dog will get along with a Maine Coon cat though, so if you’re looking to make it more likely that they will be friends, try to get one of these breeds of dog:
- Basset hound
- King Charles Spaniel
- Golden retriever
These dogs tend towards being playful, low-key, and happy. You should avoid dogs like Jack Russell terriers (or all terriers), other hounds, huskies, Shih Tzu, Australian Cattle dogs, and Weimaraner.
These breeds of dogs either try to ‘herd’ your cat (which it won’t appreciate) or are territorial with them. This is not to say these breeds will always hate your cat, but you will likely have a long road ahead of you in terms of getting them to tolerate one another.
Introducing Your Dog and Maine Coon
Careful introductions are absolutely key to making it more likely your two animals will get along. Remember that both dogs and cats have a high prey drive and that for many dogs, a cat is prey. Getting a dog with a lower prey drive can go a long way towards helping this, but you won’t always know right away how your dog will react when something darts by it!
The best way to cut down on the chances of your Maine Coon and dog-hating each other is careful introductions. Maine Coon cats are pretty laid back, but even they will get annoyed if they feel like they are losing out on attention from their owner or if the dog is rude to them.
There are a few things you can do to ensure a smoother household:
- Use scent greetings. Leave something that smells of your dog and your cat with each animal and let them get a feel for the other one’s scent. Blankets or toys work best for this. Make sure that they don’t see each other right away – get them used to each other’s scent first.
- Feed them with a door between them. This allows each animal to associate the other with food, which makes them better disposed towards one another.
- Introduce them with careful supervision. Pet your Maine Coon cat or let it sit on you while the dog pokes around and comes to say hello.
- Don’t change your cat’s schedule to accommodate the dog. Cats hate having their routine changed! Also, keep in mind that Maine Coon cats are highly social animals, and cutting down their bonding time with you will annoy them.
- Make sure they have their own ‘territory’ to retreat to in your house (a good way to do this is to make sure your Maine Coon has some high perches that the dog cannot reach).
- Let them play together and hang out, but don’t be alarmed if it takes them a while. And some dogs and cats never ‘bond’, but they will put up with one another.
You should also make sure to carefully consider things like the age of the dog and cat, the personalities of both animals, their socialization status, their experiences, and their medical conditions.
These things can have a huge impact on whether or not they will get along. Puppies and kittens are easier to teach to get along, but adults can learn as well.
Do Maine Coon Cats Benefit from Dogs?
Maine Coon cats in general benefit from having a companion and that companion can certainly be a dog. A dog buddy gives them someone to play with, someone to hang out with, a good exercise companion, and another bond between the animals and the humans.
Some Maine Coons and dogs even help each other through traumatic events like storms, moving, and bringing home a new baby! Of course, this assumes that your Maine Coon cat and dog get along.
As very laid-back cats, Maine Coons often get along with dogs better than other breeds of cats do. But it’s important to choose a breed of dog that will get along with cats and make proper introductions.
As long as you are careful and thoughtful about how you bring a dog into your place, there’s really no reason to imagine that they will hate each other. Dogs can even be beneficial for a Maine Coon to have around as an exercise buddy and companion!
Maine Coon cats certainly do get along with most dogs and many dogs will get along with them.
Do you have a Maine Coon and dog friendship in your house or do they barely tolerate each other? Let us know!
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.