Are Maine Coon Cats Independent?


There are plenty of wonderful aspects of the Maine Coons personality that make it an excellent pet, and an even better companion. But, are Maine Coon cats independent? Let’s find out.

Whilst Maine Coon cats are considered independent, they also have a needy personality trait whereby they want to spend all their time with their owner. These highly sociable felines can be left alone for the day, but benefit more from companionship. They are independent enough to hunt for live food if permitted to roam freely.

This comprehensive guide will cover everything you need to know about how independent the Maine Coon cat is, their companionship requirements, and social behaviors.

Are Maine Coons Independent?

Maine Coon cats are large-bodied felines with mysterious origins.

It is not clear how they came to arrive in Maine, the US, however, there have been lots of myths told over the decades which claim to know the Maine Coon cat’s true origins.

Whilst some people think these large cats originated from Siberian wild cats, others suspect the Maine Coon originates from the dense forests of Norway!

For all we know, Maine Coons are part raccoon! This rather bizarre folktale gained a lot of traction over the years but has since been discounted by scientists who state this would be genetically impossible.

Read more about this theory, here.

No matter where they come from, what we do know is that Maine Coons, despite their loving and affectionate natures, are well known for their superb and ruthless hunting skills. Learn more here.

While this may have been true of their past, however, their present is a little different.

The domesticated Maine Coon of today may be one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, but they are also one of the neediest.

They love a cuddle and love time with their family, so are they truly independent?

Maine Coons love some alone time but the time they value the most is time they get to spend with their family. And, especially their special person.

All Maine Coons are slightly different and will have different preferences and expectations from you.

But, luckily, there are some general rules of thumb, or Maine Coon guidelines, if you will, that you can use as a good point of reference for your relationship with your Maine Coon.

Do Maine Coons Need A Companion?

With all this talk about Maine Coon cats being needy, rather than completely independent, you might be wondering if Maine Coons need a companion?

In an ideal world, you should buy or adopt two Maine Coon kittens or cats, so that they can keep each other company whilst you are busy.

Two Maine Coons would also be advantageous for this cat breed’s mental health since they would be able to play together and never feel lonely.

Considering their extortionate purchase costs, however, it’s more than likely that two Maine Coon cats would not be affordable, for most people.

Thankfully, the Maine Coon’s laidback and non-territorial nature means that they get on with most other cat breeds and even certain dog breeds.

The second animal will help to reduce your Maine Coons feelings of stress, loneliness, and anxiety – as well as provide them with a partner in crime to get up to naughty antics with!

So, do you need to buy another Maine Coon?

If possible, yes. But, don’t stress if two Maine Coons are not within your means.

Provided you have a second animal living in your household to keep your Maine Coon company, or you spend considerable amounts of time at home (i.e. you work from home), your Maine Coons mental health and social needs will be met.

Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone?

Maine Coons are more than capable of being left alone for a little while. They may even, on occasion, seek out solitude themselves for a nap or just to patrol their domain in private.

However, Maine Coons are almost always happier when they have someone to spend time with.

These sociable felines would ultimately much rather spend the day cuddled up with their favorite person on the couch than off doing something on their own.

How Long Can Maine Coon Cats Be Left Alone?

Maine Coon cats do not particularly like being left alone, especially for long periods.

Lonely or bored Maine Coon cats have the potential to be destructive, as does any cat, but given their size, there is more they can wreck.

Don’t worry though, your Maine Coon will be just fine if you have to quickly go to the store or get called into work for a while.

Maine Coons can be left alone for varying amounts of time depending on:

  • Their age
  • If there is another animal in the house
  • Frequency

For example, if you plan on leaving your Maine Coon on their own for a full working day, once a week, they will likely be fine. However, doing this five days a week would not work. Instead, your Maine Coon would quickly become stressed and upset which is damaging to their mental health.

Here is a quick breakdown of how long a Maine Coon can be left at home alone based on their age. This is not a hard rule, but it makes a pretty good baseline to work from:

Maine CoonAgeTime
Very young
kittens
1 week –
2 months
2 Hours
Kittens2 months –
6 months
4 Hours
Adolescent
Cats
6 Months
to a year
6-8 Hours
Adult Cat1+ Years12 Hours
Table showing how long a Maine Coon can be left alone

Why Are Cats More Independent Than Dogs?

There is this common conception that cats are independent and dogs are not. It is easy to see why people feel this way.

Cats can roam the neighborhood for days without missing their owners while dogs will panic if their owner is in another room, with the door open, and they can hear them.

Here are the major reasons why cats are more independent than dogs:

Separation Anxiety

Cats do not tend to suffer from separation anxiety in the same way that dogs do. Though Maine Coon cats are prone to separation anxiety because they are more dog-like.

Dogs and wolves run in packs and cats (except lions) tend to go it alone. Cats are far less affected by being left to their own devices than dogs are.

If you are worried your Maine Coon cat is suffering from separation anxiety, read my guide on how to stop Maine Coon separation anxiety right away.

Feel Safe

There was a study done in Lincoln, United Kingdom, that surmised that while cats look to their people for companionship, they also feel capable of looking after themselves.

Dogs, on the other hand, see their owners as a safety net and will look to them for protection and guidance.

Choice Vs Need

There has been a plethora of experiments done on why cats and dogs feel attached to their owners and what that relationship is “made of”.

It turns out, that dogs feel like they need to be with their owner. They feel safer and less anxious when with their owner, and at risk when their owner is not present.

Cats, on the other hand, choose to be with their owner when they want companionship. Otherwise, they are more than happy on their own.

However, if a cat is feeling the need for companionship and affection and you are not there to provide it then a cat may start to feel quite unhappy.

In Maine Coons, this is a pretty common problem compared to other domesticated cat breeds (sources 1,2,3).

Are Maine Coons Low Maintenance?

Since the price tag for these gorgeous cats can be on the high side, many people find themselves wondering are Maine Coon cats low maintenance? Or, are Maine Coons high maintenance?

Well, that depends on how you define the words ‘low’ and ‘high’.

Affection

It’s true to say that Maine Coon cats require far more love and affection than other domesticated cat breeds. But, this does necessarily make them high maintenance, since they require very little else other than room to explore their home and a person to love them.

Of course, there are the usual necessities of all cats i.e. need for food and water, etc.

Compared to many other pets though, especially dogs, Maine Coons are more than happy to spend their days on the couch with you.

Exercise

Maine Coons do not require a long walk twice a day, as even the smallest dog would.

Simply spending half an hour every day playing games with them is plenty of exercise and stimulation for a Maine Coon.

Your Maine Coon will, however, need an extra-large cat tree and a scratching post to keep its claws in great condition. Despite their scratching posts being a little more expensive due to the size of Maine Coons, this isn’t overly problematic.

All in all, Maine Coons are pretty low maintenance. They thrive on love above all else and that should be good enough for us too!

Grooming

You may wonder are Maine Coons hard to groom? Well, surprisingly, no!

These cats may have long luxurious coats, but with proper care two to three times a week, you can keep their fur in great condition.

Size

Maine Coons are bigger than other cats but are still low maintenance in general. Especially if you compare them to a dog.

Are Maine Coons One-Person Cats?

A Maine Coon will choose their favorite person very early on in their life.

If you raised your Maine Coon from a kitten, alone, by default their favorite person will be you!

Families raising a Maine Coon will need to fight for their large cat’s attention, as once the Maine Coon picks their favorite human, they rarely change their mind!

This is not to say that they will not love every member of the family. By all means, they will. But, there will be one special favorite. One person who they are just a little more excited to see on a day-to-day basis.

We all like our privacy, but this is a concept that Maine Coons may not always grasp, especially if you are their favorite person.

What Do Maine Coons Like To Do?

Maine Coons enjoy a good cuddle and like to play games.

But, this is not all they like to do, and without knowing in full what your Maine Coon will prefer to spend their days doing you cannot properly prepare.

Here is a list of what Maine Coons like to do all day:

  • Cuddles: Maine Coons love to cuddle, it is their favorite pastime. They love you and can easily spend large chunks of the day sitting on your lap, or right next to you quite happily.
  • Interactive Games: Maine Coons love to play games with you, such as chasing feathers, or fetching balls, and string.
  • Explore: Maine Coons like to explore their territory, check the perimeter of their home, and make sure they know where everyone in the home is. Maine Coons are about as close to a herding animal as a cat can be.
  • Snooze: Maine Coons love a nap and can be quite lazy if they are in the mood for a snooze.

Male Vs Female Maine Coon Cat Personality

If you want to understand more about the male vs female Maine Coon cat personality, make sure you understand the following facts:

  • Not all cats are the same
  • Not all Maine Coons are the same
  • Each gender of Maine Coon is not 100% the same

It is a fallacy that all Maine Coons can be lumped into the same category, as they are all very much their own cat with their own personality, quirks, likes, and dislikes.

But, there are some stereotypes for male and female Maine Coon personality types that you can use as a general guideline.

Here are the male vs female Maine Coon cat personality differences:

Male

  • Males are more sociable
  • They are more clingy than female Maine Coons
  • Outgoing and goofy
  • Needy for attention almost all the time
  • Very likely to have a favorite person

Female

  • Female Maine Coons are less sociable and a little more cat-like
  • Enjoy their alone time more
  • Outgoing but a little more reserved than the male Maine Coon
  • Less needy for attention
  • Likely to have favorite people rather than one individual
  • Females are far more independent

Why Is My Maine Coon So Needy?

If you are wondering why your Maine Coon is being especially needy, there are a few factors to consider to help you determine the exact reason.

Sometimes it is a multifaceted problem, so it may take a little time to pin down exactly what has got your Maine Coon in such a clingy needy mood.

Here are some common reasons Maine Coons behave needily:

  • Companionship: Maine Coons crave companionship so a bout of being needy could simply be their way of letting you know they need a little more companionship today. Maine Coons love quality time with you.
  • Left Alone For Too Long: Being left alone for too long regularly can cause your Maine Coon to overcompensate by clinging on to you and extracting every moment together with you that they can. Try to be at home a little more and see if things improve.
  • Jealousy: Maine Coons can become jealous when they do not get enough attention from their family, especially if the attention their usually receive is being given to another pet or visitor.
  • Lack Of Fun And Games: If you are not playing enough games with your Maine Coon, or if they do not have enough engaging toys, a Maine Coon might cling to you as a replacement method for gaining their enjoyment.

Conclusion

By now, you hopefully have a pretty good idea about what your Maine Coon expects from you and how to best serve their social needs. In short, lots of love and a little patience will go a long way!

So, are Maine Coon cats independent? Yes and no.

Maine Coons can be independent when it suits them but overall, they prefer to be with their family.

Good luck with your new Maine Coon shaped shadow, following you around at your heels chirping and trilling, and in general making sure they are not forgotten!

Related Questions

Are Maine Coon Cats Jealous?

Maine Coons want to be the focal point of the family. If someone new, a person or animal, enters the household and takes over their “personal space” your Maine Coon might feel jealous.

Are Maine Coon Cats Protective Of Their Owners?

Maine Coons can be protective of their owners. They love their family, genuinely, and have an instinctive drive to protect their humans. If you have ever experienced your Maine Coon rubbing their bodies on your leg, that is a sign of protectiveness.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 9 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend!

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