Maine Coons have undoubtedly cemented themselves as excellent pets that are in very high demand.
They are sweet, fluffy, and huge, and we pretty much all want one. But are Maine Coons good for beginners?
Despite their large size and unique demeanor, Maine Coons make tremendous pets for first-time cat owners. Their higher-than-average intelligence combined with their warm and loving personalities makes them a great first pet for owners that are willing to put in the work.
Maine Coon cats are unique compared to many other pets, even if compared to other house cats!
Yet, many people still wrongly assume they are just as easy (or difficult) as any other house cats. But, are those people right to think that?
While we have established that Maine Coons make excellent pets for beginners there are still some things potential owners need to know.
This comprehensive post will cover everything from identifying a good Maine Coon cat breeder, to what the best food for your Maine Coon is.
Stick with us to ensure you do not miss a thing, as we will ensure you are fully prepared for life with a Maine Coon cat.
Are Maine Coons Good For Beginners?
If you are not familiar with the Maine Coon as a breed there are a few things you should know.
Firstly, they are the biggest domesticated cat breed in the world. And the longest!
Secondly, Maine Coons are well known for their large size and extra-loving temperament.
While Maine Coons have been around for a fair while they have only recently begun to see a huge uptick in their popularity.
Maine Coons are pretty special. Their endearing personalities and amiable nature all contribute to their suitability as first-time pets.
Whether it is your first time owning a cat, or even any pet at all, the Maine Coon is a good starting point. So long as you are willing to put in the work.
Here are some of the most important personality traits associated with Maine Coons that make them an ideal pet for first-time owners:
Maine Coons are incredibly affectionate and many of them love a good cuddle.
If you are a first-time pet owner chances are you are looking for a pet that loves to cuddle as much as possible!
Many cat breeds can be quite standoffish. This is not the case with Maine Coons who would rather sit on your lap, or next to you, over doing anything else.
2. Highly Intelligent
Maine Coons are very intelligent.
This makes the Maine Coon a more interesting and curious pet to own, whilst also making them easier to train.
Maine Coons are also very emotionally-intelligent. They are good at reading your mood and adapting to the situation.
Your Maine Coon can tell if you are stressed and will try to make you feel better.
Maine Coons are incredibly loyal. They love their family more than anything in the world.
Maine Coon cats often pick one person to be their special person, then spend as much time with them as possible.
Maine Coons will be loyal to that person above all others.
Maine Coons are super playful.
They need to play games for about 30 minutes a day to be properly stimulated.
If you are looking for a pet that loves to interact with you then the Maine Coon is the way to go.
5. Family Friendly
Maine Coons are family-friendly felines.
They love to be involved in the family unit and hang out with the gang.
These large cats have a reputation for being great with kids and are extremely tolerant of inquisitive noisy children. Many cats are not!
6. Laid Back
Maine Coons are also very chilled-out felines.
They are very laid back and prefer lounging around for most of the day.
These cats are not considered high maintenance by most standards, even compared to other breeds of cats.
Types Of Maine Coon Cats
There are loads of different types of Maine Coon cats.
They come in all shapes and sizes ranging from 8 – 25 lbs, and you may even find that some of them tend to have quite human-like faces!
There are over 75 different types of coat combinations that have led to a variety of unique Maine Coon colorings and patterns over the years.
So, how many different types of Maine Coon cats are there?
If we consider their furry coat patterns and colorings, there are roughly 17 different types of Maine Coon.
They are as follows:
- Solid: A solid Maine Coon is all the same color, all over the body. They are very common.
- Tipped: Tipped Maine Coons have a white undercoat and different colored hair tips.
- Shell: Shell Maine Coons have tipping on their back and tail, sometimes even their face and head.
- Shaded: Shaded Maine Coons have a good amount of tipping on their sides, face, and tail.
- Smoke: Smoke-coated Maine Coons have deeply tipped coats in a much darker shade.
- Bi-Color: Bi-color Maine Coons are a combination of white and one other color.
- Parti–Color: This refers to Maine Coons that are made up of white and two other colors.
- Calico: Calico cats have red and black patches on mostly white coats.
- Tortoiseshell: Very similar to Calico but the colors blend together in streaks rather than sit independently in patches.
- Tortoiseshell and White: The same as Tortoiseshell but a strong influence of white throughout the coat.
- Patched: Patched cats have two unmixed colors on their coats. Blue and cream are very common color patterns.
- Tabby: Tabby Maine Coons have distinctive banding of the Maine Coons hairs.
- Agouti: Agouti Tabbies are very mild tabbies where their distinctive coats may not be obvious until closer examination.
- Spotted Tabby: Spotted Tabby Maine Coons have Tabby faces but have spots rather than stripes on their bodies.
- Classic Tabby: Classic Tabbies are easily recognizable for their swirls on the cat’s side coat.
- Mackerel Tabby: Mackerel tabbies can be considered tiger-like tabbies and are extremely recognizable.
- Patched Tabby: Lastly, the patched tabby is usually a combination of two other types of tabby and is exclusive to female Maine Coons only.
Are Maine Coon Cats Hard To Take Care Of?
Maine Coons are not hard to take care of.
However, the real question should probably be, do Maine Coons need a lot of attention?
The quick answer to this question is a resounding yes! Maine Coon cats require a lot of time and attention from their human family to feel loved and appreciated.
Maine Coons are extremely loving but they require that love in return.
These cats have a reputation for being quite needy if they are left alone for too long.
If you are wondering are Maine Coons difficult, the truth is that they can be. This is because they cannot be left alone for more than a few hours as young cats. As adults, anything more than 8 hours is also far too long.
Maine Coons need to play for about 30 minutes a day to stay fit and healthy, and mentally stimulated. They love to cuddle or be by your side for even longer!
Maine Coon fur care is also an ongoing battle and not something to be trivialized before you welcome one into your home. It is a tri-weekly activity. With these cat grooming tools though, you won’t find the task too tiresome.
Maine Coons are incredibly social creatures that have demanding social needs.
They do not require anything extreme, but if you are not someone who can be constantly present for your cat emotionally as well as physically then Maine Coons are NOT the cat breed for you.
Are Maine Coon cats high-maintenance?
Not really. They need the bare minimum, but, they need it consistently! They are quite doglike in this regard.
Here are some common Maine Coon behavioral problems that you should be aware of before you welcome one into your home:
Maine Coons have a strong need for emotional stimulation.
They can be very clingy and can become frustrated when they are not allowed to spend every waking second with you.
Some Maine Coons get quite upset when you are not paying them enough attention.
Maine Coons that are left alone all day will act out in the worst ways.
Maine Coons can become quite territorial, though generally are not considered to be highly territorial cats.
They will, however, become territorial over your home (or you) when they do not have enough space of their own.
Maine Coons develop a strong connection to their owners and can become quite overprotective of them.
Maine Coons will become very vocal when they are bored and their needs are not being met. However, they can also be super chatty for absolutely no reason at all!
They are kind of like huskies in the sense they like to talk just to hear their own voice.
4. Litter Box Aversion
Maine Coons can become quite averse to the idea of a litter box when they are unhappy.
If you have a Maine Coon that has seemingly “forgotten” how to use its litter box there is a good chance they are peeved with you.
You better find out why before they start using your bed as a bathroom!
Maine Coons that are left alone for too long or not given the mental and physical stimulation that they need are very prone to being destructive.
Invest in a scratching post or cat tower, like these.
How To Take Care Of A Maine Coon Kitten
If you want to bring home a Maine Coon chances are it is going to be a kitten.
Bringing home a Maine Coon kitten is such a wonderfully special moment that you will want to make sure is perfect.
That means a lot of prep and well-managed expectations.
You need to understand how to take care of a Maine Coon cat before you bring one home.
For example, have you asked the breeder, what do Maine Coon cats eat? And, are you prepared to feed a hungry kitty?
Here are some of the key things to consider when taking care of a Maine Coon kitten:
Maine Coon kittens (and adults) need a diet that is high in protein and healthy fats.
Maine Coons are obligate carnivores which means they need a diet consisting of about 70% protein.
Maine Coons need about 30 minutes of high-intensity play a day. Chasing balls, feather dusters, etc.
Many Maine Coon owners choose to take their Maine Coon on a walk using a specialist harness.
Here’s a great article on how to train your Maine Coon to walk on a leash.
Maine Coons need constant grooming.
They should be brushed and de-matted 3 times a week, with these cat grooming tools.
If you teach them whilst they are still kittens, it is possible to teach a Maine Coon to be washed in the bath/sink/shower! Read more about this here.
Bathing is a great way to keep their fur clean and help remove dander and dead hairs caught up in their thick dense coats.
However, make sure you do not wash your Maine Coon cat more than once a month, using these cat shampoos.
When it comes to cat grooming, it is important not to forget to trim your Maine Coon cat’s nails once every 3 weeks. Less if you have hardwood or stone floors that wear their claws down naturally.
Alternatively, if you are not sure about trimming your Maine Coons claws, you can either follow this guide or, invest in an extra-large cat tree that enables them to scratch and maintain their claws themselves.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent which makes them highly trainable.
Start their lessons early to get the most out of them.
They are very impressionable when young so you can set a good precedent with regular Maine Coon training sessions.
Here’s how to train a Maine Coon cat.
Maine Coon kittens should be well-socialized before you bring them home.
However, this doesn’t signify the end of the process as you should strive to constantly expose them to new (and potentially scary) stimuli as often as possible.
Read this guide to understand how to socialize a Maine Coon kitten.
Best Maine Coon Cat Food
The Maine Coon diet requires:
- A large amount of protein
- Small levels of fatty acids
- Low level of carbohydrates
With that in mind, some foods are obviously going to be better than others.
So do Maine Coon cats need special food?
When considering the answer to this, keep in mind that the Maine Coon diet should consist of 70% protein and no more than 30% carbs.
If you are after a ‘Maine Coon kitten best food option’, Royal Canin produces a Maine Coon specific dry kitten food that is great for this cat breeds nutritional needs.
Just like humans, Maine Coons can also have a taste preference. In some cases, you might find that your home Maine Coon cat food is their favorite!
Here are some great Maine Coon food options to consider:
1. Dry Food Diet
A dry food diet is a great all-rounder choice for most Maine Coons.
It is easy for you to store and generally enjoyable for your cat to be eating regularly.
This dry food from Royal Canin is specially designed for Maine Coons and thus meets all of their nutritional needs.
2. Wet Food Diet
Wet food better emulates the Maine Coon cat’s natural eating habits and is thus more popular among many owners.
Many owners find that a mix of wet and dry works best for their Maine Coon.
A great wet food option comes from Royal Canin. They regularly have sales on so keep an eye’s peeled!
3. Homemade Food Diet
Homemade food can be a great option, for you and your Maine Coon. This is because you know exactly what goes into your cat’s food.
If your cats a fussy eater, you can also tailor the homemade Maine Coon food specifically to your cats likes and dislikes!
Try to include as many natural protein sources as you can such as chicken and duck. Salmon is also a great source of fatty acids.
A homemade cat food diet can be a little pricey compared to premade food, but the benefits are very clear.
Maine Coon Maintenance Cost
Maine Coons are well known for being costly to adopt or buy.
Once you own a Maine Coon kitten or cat though, keep in mind that the costs do not stop there.
Instead, you must consider vet bills, ongoing food bills, cat insurance, and the cost of toys and games for the remainder of your Maine Coons lifespan.
Therefore, before you commit to bringing a Maine Coon home you need to be certain your family budget can handle it.
Here are some typical Maine Coon costs over a year:
- Food: $600
- Toys: $200
- Vet Bills: $400
- Insurance: $300
- Treats: $100-200
- Extras: $50-$250
- Extra-Large Cat Tree: $50 – $350
Are Maine Coons Cats Allowed Outside?
The real question is whether Maine Coons should go outside, or not?
Whilst the Maine Coon cat is technically allowed out by law, there is a huge divide in the cat lover community about whether or not this should be the case.
It is a complex subject that can get some owners quite frustrated.
There is no definitive right or wrong answer to this question unless the owner signed a breeder contract stating the Maine Coon was not allowed to roam freely outside.
Thus, it is up to you to decide which side of the fence you as an owner will sit on.
To help guide you in the decision of whether Maine Coon cats should be allowed outside, or not, here are the basic premise of both sides of the argument:
1. Why Maine Coon Cats Should Be Allowed Outside:
- Cats are meant to be outdoors. Maine Coons in particular are very well adapted to living in the wild.
- It is cruel to keep a Maine Coon indoors where they may feel trapped or cramped.
- Cats are a natural part of the local ecosystem and can be used to prevent vermin e.g. mice.
- It is fun for your cat to go outside. The outside world offers ample mental stimulation for them.
2. Why Maine Coon Cat Should NOT Be Allowed Outside:
- Cats do not always come back. Whether it be from injury or something more sinister.
- Cats are vicious hunters and can devastate local ecosystems.
- Maine Coons can hurt themselves trying to jump over fencing, etc.
- Maine Coons are very valuable and may be kidnapped.
- Maine Coons can get lost and may never find their way home.
- It may go against your breeder contract and leave you legally vulnerable.
- If you live in a city it is not a nice environment for outdoor cats. Cars, buses, etc are a huge danger to them.
Best Maine Coon Breeders
The best Maine Coon breeders are the ones that follow all the guidelines, even if they are not law.
They genuinely want the best for their cats and their cat’s future owners.
Many Maine Coon breeders keep in close contact with their kittens even after they have left the nest.
Here are some great cat organizations that will help you identify the best Maine Coon breeders:
- TICA – The International Cat Association
- CFA – Cat Fanciers Association
By now you should feel like you have a solid answer to the question are Maine Coons good for beginners.
While they are certainly great pets for first-time owners and experienced cat carers alike, they do require a lot of work.
When it comes to Maine Coons you pretty much get out what you put in!
Loved begets love and Maine Coons are absolute fiends for the stuff!
If you give your Maine Coon the love and attention they deserve it will make an adoring pet for years to come.
Are Maine Coon Cats Legal In The U.K.?
Maine Coons are legal in the U.K and are the 4th most popular cat breed. Maine Coons are legally allowed to be outdoor cats within the United Kingdom.