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Do Maine Coons Need a Companion?
Maine Coon cats are known for being ‘gentle giants’ – the largest of the domestic breeds, but also one of the gentlest and friendliest. This is why they are very popular: they are beautiful and they are good with animals, children, and all kinds of people. They’re rather like potato chips: you can’t have just one!
Or can you? Do Maine Coons need a companion in order to be happy or is this an animal that is perfectly content with or without others?
In short: Maine Coons are highly sociable animals and that means they really do need a companion or their chosen person to be around far more often than not. If you work from home or are a homebody, your Maine Coon will probably be pretty happy (Assuming you’re not ignoring it of course). But if you work outside of the house a lot, it’s a really good idea to get a companion for your Maine Coon in order to keep it happy and mentally stimulated.
The Benefits of a Companion for a Maine Coon Cat
Many cats have a reputation for being solitary and independent, but Maine Coons never really got this memo. Coined ‘the dogs of the cat world’, Maine Coons are happiest when they have their people and a buddy to hang out with. In fact, most cats do benefit from a buddy, but Maine Coons and a few other breeds are more pronounced in their need for one.
There are a number of benefits that cats can get from having a friend, or at least another pet nearby:
- Mental stimulation. They often challenge each other in playing and figuring things out
- Play and exercise. I know my two cats tear around like lunatics when they are playing!
- Cuts down on depression and stress (Assuming you ensure that both pets have their own territories and shared space, as well as their own food and treats)
- Stronger emotional wellbeing. Cats have a reputation for being solitary and independent, but almost every cat I have ever had has benefited immensely from having a buddy (even if they refuse to admit it). They have someone to hang out with, someone to ‘talk’ to and in the case of my current pair, someone to rough house loudly with at five in the morning!
For Maine Coon cats, having a buddy is very important for their overall health and wellbeing. And since they are so friendly, getting them a friend usually isn’t terribly difficult and not a hard transition.
What Type of Companion is Best for a Maine Coon Cat?
Maine Coons typically get along with just about every animal, so long as it’s not too small and fast like mice or gerbils (Maine Coons are diehard hunters remember, so a skittering little furry creature would likely set off its instincts. Birds will also have the same problem.). But other cats, dogs that are laid back, and even animals like rabbits can all be good companions for Maine Coons. Typically, though, you would probably go for another cat.
The best breeds of cat for Maine Coons include:
- Burmese, since they are also gentle and friendly
- Birmans are social and gentle as well
- Ragdolls are calm and friendly
- Scottish folds are outgoing and friendly
- Exotic shorthairs are affectionate and easy going, once introduced
And of course, another Maine Coon, particularly if you can manage to get one from the same litter!
But other animals can get along with Maine Coons as well. An easy going dog that enjoys playing will generally be well received, or an outgoing rabbit that can hold its own, once properly introduced.
No matter how laid back and friendly each animal is though, it’s important to make proper introductions and take your time. Ensure that each pet has their own ‘territory’ with their own food and water, own toys, and own litter boxes/places to go potty, and that they still get plenty of attention from their humans. Introduce them with supervision and treats and then slowly let them get to know each other. This process usually takes anywhere from two weeks to six months.
Signs that Your Maine Coon May Want a Companion
No matter how sociable Maine Coons are in general, there are some cats that just won’t be. So how do you know if your cat is craving a buddy?
- Depression. If your Maine Coon is showing symptoms of depression such as loss of appetite, too much eating, low energy, and improper grooming, it may be depressed and in need of some companionship.
- Clingy behavior. If your cat follows you around a lot and meows constantly at you, its probably lonely and would do well with a companion.
- Destructive behavior. Destructive behavior is usually a sign of boredom and in Maine Coons, means they aren’t getting enough attention or play time. Getting them a buddy can really help to prevent this.
- Compulsive pacing
- Increased aggression
If you already have an adult Maine Coon, getting it a buddy just takes a bit longer compared to getting two kittens. But a kitten for an adult generally works out well or just taking the time for introductions and teaching them to get along.
Do Maine Coons Bond With One Human or Many?
Although Maine Coons love people, they generally pick one or two special people in the household to particularly bond with. If this person is someone who works a lot, getting a buddy will help alleviate a lot of the lonely feelings that cat will have while you’re away! Someone who works from home or is retired or at home a lot though will alleviate a lot of that, and that human becomes their companion. (Though it’s still not a terrible idea to have a second pet just to give your Maine Coon that buddy time during the time when you cannot be there. You need to sleep after all!)
One of the things which makes Maine Coon cats so endearing is their sociable nature, but this also means that they need companionship to be truly happy and healthy. Getting them a companion animal is a great way to fill this need, as long as the companion is a suitable temperament and introductions are made properly. Maine Coon cats generally get along with other cats, some dogs, and even animals like rabbits, as well as their people, so fulfilling that need is fun for everyone. Just be sure that you have the space and supplies needed for a second animal and that introductions are done properly.
Does your Maine Coon have a buddy? How do they get along?
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.