Do Maine Coon Cats Make Good Pets? Maine Coon cats are probably some of the most beautiful cats in the cat kingdom. They have long, luxurious coats, and big fluffy tails, and are massive animals to go with all that fluff! We used to joke that our cat Cally was a ‘micro Maine Coon’ because she had the long coat and the fluffy tail – but was literally a fraction of the size.
But are Maine Coon cats like an ice sculpture? Beautiful to behold but terrible to the touch? Do Maine Coon Cats Make good pets?
Short answer: Maine Coon cats were actually bred to be family cats so they are generally one of the best of the cat breeds to have as a pet, particularly if you have children! That being said, it’s still important to know what they are like because while they are amazing pets, you still have to decide if they will be amazing for you.
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The Gentle Giant: The Dogs of the Cat World
Maine Coons are sometimes referred to as gentle giants or as dogs of the cat world, which should give you some pretty good insight into how the majority of the breed behaves.
They were actually bred to be purely domestic housecats with gentle temperaments that are suitable to be around children and other animals, and generally speaking, this bears out. (We never want to make generalities though when dealing with any animal, let alone cats.
Siamese cats for example have a reputation for being helpers who follow people around, but my cat Maverick who was part Siamese was a standoffish brat who only liked Her Humans and nobody else, save a very special few).
So there probably are Maine Coons who aren’t incredibly gentle and patient. Their upbringing will determine a lot of that.
But for the most part, Maine Coons are noted for being relaxed and easygoing. They get along with children, adults, dogs, and other cats, making them a fairly easy addition to a family.
They like to ‘help’ their people by following them around, watching what they are doing, and sometimes offering up their own advice, solicited or not.
They don’t generally pester their people for attention (glances at the tuxedo cat I recently adopted who loudly demands attention), but they will follow you around, ‘knock’ on closed doors if you’re behind them, and chirp at you when there’s something you need to see.
Maine Coons are very social animals, so they do best in a home with another pet, or where there’s someone home most of the time. They don’t need a lot of attention per se, but they like to hang around people and animals, so it’s good to give them that outlet.
They have been known to sleep on their human’s bed, if allowed, sit on chairs beside their humans to see what they are doing, and follow their people around. They aren’t put off by loud children.
Playing With a Maine Coon
Maine Coons are large cats with a steady amount of energy. Males tend to be more playful goofs while females tend to be more dignified, but still very playful in their younger years.
Just like any cat, exercise and playing are vital to their health, both physically and mentally.
Here are a few ways you can let your Maine Coon get some energy out:
- Maine Coons generally prefer to play on horizontal surfaces, reflecting their upbringing as mousers. They like to grab things with their paws and chase things.
- Some Maine Coons will jump on high places to survey their territory. If this is your cat, you’ll probably find them on the highest surface possible.
- Maine Coons are generally too laid back (and too big) to play fight and wrestle. Many of them will accept whacks from other cats and shrug them off. This is probably a good thing as most Maine Coons outweigh other housecats by a factor of 2-5, so you really don’t want the coon wrestling with another cat!
- Maine Coons will likely prefer things like toy mice and balls that they can play fetch with rather than a puzzle toy, but that will really depend on your cat.
Like any other cat, Maine Coons require some daily exercise to stay healthy and they will quite happily play with you.
Caring for Maine Coon Cats
Part of being a good breed to own is their care and one of the things that may put people off is that long coat! Yes, Maine Coons do require some more coat care compared to other breeds – that long fur usually needs a good brushing regularly and they need regular care like nail trimming.
However, the Maine Coon’s coat isn’t as much of a hassle as you may think, so long as you brush it out regularly, and this particular breed of cat doesn’t shed any more than any other breed, again, so long as you keep up a coat care routine.
Maine Coons also generally enjoy being groomed and they won’t bite or claw you when they are sick of it – they’ll just grab you.
One thing to keep in mind is that this breed is prone to some diseases such as hip dysplasia and Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This problem is greatly reduced if you buy a cat from a reputable breeder, but if you get one from a shelter or elsewhere, this could be something to watch out for later in life.
What Type Of Owner Won’t Want a Maine Coon?
While Maine Coons are quite friendly and love to be handled (picked up, petted, and even groomed!), there are some things that even these gentle giants probably won’t do.
- Most Maine Coons aren’t ‘lap cats’. At an average of 20lbs in weight, this is probably a good thing, but if you’re looking for a lap kitty, this might not be your breed.
- Maine Coons love to hang out with their people. If you want a more independent cat, look elsewhere.
- Maine Coons can handle themselves outdoors, but they probably shouldn’t be forced to. They are easy to steal (since they do like people so much) and may not necessarily fight back against other cats. Maine Coons can make good barn cats and mousers, but that’s as far as it should go.
- If you live alone and want no other pets and you work or travel frequently, a Maine Coon probably won’t be as happy with you.
Maine Coons generally make amazing pets and are some of the most popular cat breeds out there. High sociable, very gentle, good with children and other animals (including dogs), and fun to watch, it’s no wonder that Maine Coons are some of the most sought-after animals.
But keep in mind that they require some social outlet and they do like to have their own space when hanging out with you, so you likely won’t have them climbing into your lap.
If you’re looking for a playful, gentle cat that enjoys being around people and animals, it’s hard to go wrong with a Maine Coon! They definitely make good pets.
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.