Do Maine Coon Cats Like To Be Held? Cats have a reputation for being independent and not particularly cuddly. As most cat owners know though, this isn’t necessarily the truth – plenty of cats, once they get used to their owners, will tolerate a wide range of attention, from scratches on the head to full-blown cuddles!
But what about getting picked up? That varies too from cat to cat – my old calico wasn’t exactly a fan of being picked up (though she’d tolerate it), whereas our long hair tortie-calico loves being scooped up, particularly if you are wearing a sweater.
And the male short hair Siamese cross we recently adopted used to dislike it, but now purrs! Cats generally like being picked up if they trust their owners and if it gives them a good view of their surroundings.
But is this all that there is to it or do some breeds like it more than others? What about the biggest breed of them all, the Maine Coon? Do Maine Coon cats like to be held or are you throwing your shoulder out for nothing?
Short answer: Maine Coon cats love to be held (o dear). In fact, they are big cuddle bugs with their owners! This can pose a bit of an issue for some people since Maine Coons are Big Cats and holding them can lead to some ridiculous postures for everyone!
Why Do Maine Coons Like to be Held?
Do keep in mind that all of this is a generalization, not an absolute fact. Plenty of Maine Coons like to be held, plenty of others probably do not. Some will like to be held by some people and others will only want to be held by one person in the family. It’s very personality dependent.
Generally speaking, though, Maine coons (and cats in general) like to be held for several reasons:
- Maine Coon cats are very affectionate, very social cats. They like lots of attention.
- Cats like to be warm. This is why my cats let me pick them up when I’m wearing a cardigan – they like to cuddle into it.
- Maine coons, like most cats, like to be ‘high up’ and when they get picked up, they are automatically a lot higher than they were before! My cats, particularly my male one, like to look out the window while I hold him, otherwise, he has a hard time getting on the narrow sill.
For many cats, the combination of enjoying the attention, being warm, and getting a new and safe view of things, is enough to have them enjoy getting picked up. Maine Coons take it a step further than many cats because they tend to be naturally affectionate anyway.
How Can I Tell If It’s Safe to Pick Up My Maine Coon Cat?
When you are just bringing your cat home for the first time, you should probably give your pet a few days, or even a few weeks to acclimate to their new surroundings. Build up a bond of trust with your cat by feeding them on schedule, playing with them, petting them, and using their name.
Try to give them some safe ‘lairs’ to hide in as well. This could be something like a closet, under a bed, or just some boxes that they can feel sheltered in when it all gets to be too much.
After a while, with patience, toys, and sometimes treats, cats will start to trust you more. Look for signs like slow blinks, showing you their belly, and the ‘question mark’ tail curl when they pass you. These signs, as well as the obvious ones like kneading, purring, and greeting you, all mean that your cat trusts you.
Maine Coons are large cats, so it’s important to be careful picking them up. Use one arm to support their back legs and hindquarters and the other arm as a rest for your cat to put their legs on.
Keep them close to your chest and body as they tend to like the warmth. Then pay attention to their body language. If they start wiggling or meowing, put them down straight away. Not all cats like to be held for very long and by putting them immediately, you show that you won’t force them into anything.
Maine Coons should never be picked up the scruff of the neck as their own weight can hurt them. And we wouldn’t recommend letting small children try to pick them up. The cat may not care, but it will probably also be too big!
While Maine Coon cats aren’t the most affectionate cat breeds (that distinction goes to Ragdolls), they often make the top ten or fifteen lists because of how sociable they are and how well they bond with their family.
This includes enjoying being picked up and carried around. Some of them even enjoy being cradled as though they were a human baby!
It’s important though to pay attention to your cat’s body language and respect when they don’t feel like being carried around anymore. In this way, you can build up a good amount of trust and make it more likely that your cat will want to cuddle and be carried around.
Does your cat enjoy being carried or held? Mine are very changeable about it (though they both tolerate it).
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.