Many first-time owners considering purchasing a Maine Coon cat want to know whether their Maine Coon will be high maintenance, or not. So, are Maine Coons high maintenance? Let’s find out!
While this cat breed is beautiful, potential Maine Coon owners can sometimes be scared away by their extraordinary size and long fur. Let’s be realistic, their fur alone looks like it will take a lot of time and effort to manage!
The Maine Coon is not a high maintenance cat. Their large size and long, thick fur means that Maine Coons require slightly more grooming as well as more space and exercise than most cat breeds. However, their laidback and affectionate personality makes them easy to live with.
Deciding whether a Maine Coon is right for you often comes down to your own ability to provide the proper care.
Read on to find out how to properly groom, feed, and exercise a Maine Coon cat!
Are Maine Coons High Maintenance?
The Maine Coon is a large and rugged breed that was first established in the state of Maine, which is known for its harsh, cold winters. The Maine Coon’s long, thick fur and wide paws made this breed perfectly adapted to surviving the frigid and snowy weather of Maine.
They initially became popular for their incredible hunting ability, but today they are highly sought out for their affectionate personality.
While most people find the Maine Coon’s large size and long fur to be a desirable aspect of the breed, others worry that these features make this particular cat breed higher maintenance.
Rest assured though, while long-haired cats do require more grooming than those with short fur, the Maine Coon is not any higher maintenance than other long-haired cats. So if that’s all you need to know, make sure to read my complete guide on ‘How To Buy A Maine Coon Cat‘, right away.
The Maine Coon’s large size and high activity level does mean that they require a bit of extra space, as well as larger cat trees and scratching posts. This means that the Maine Coon isn’t necessarily an ideal breed for every potential cat owner.
Finally, some worry that the Maine Coon’s sociable personality will make it needy and clingy. While it’s true that Maine Coons develop strong bonds with their owners, they are just independent enough that they are rarely needy while still being affectionate.
In summary, I would say that Maine Coons are considered cats of medium maintenance requirements. While they do require a bit of extra grooming as well as more space than most cats, they are very laid back and easy to get along with.
Maine Coon Personality
Maine Coons have earned themselves the beloved nickname “the gentle giant” for their laid-back and affectionate personality. They fit well into just about any household and get along with children and other pets.
They are loving towards family members, but independent enough that they are not excessively clingy.
This cat breed is also known for its high activity level. Maine Coons are great climbers, and they enjoy being up high. These cats need plenty of space to run, jump, and climb, or else they can become bored and depressed. So, just how high can a Maine Coon cat jump? … click here to read my article.
Maine Coons are also incredibly playful, with a kitten-like personality throughout their entire lives.
Some people even refer to them as the “dogs of the cat world“, both for their love of play, as well as their extreme intelligence. Many Maine Coons are even known to play fetch with their owners!
Another personality quirk that makes Maine Coons highly unique is their love of water. Unlike most cats, Maine Coons love to play with water, and some even have an obsession with splashing in sinks or bathtubs! While this pastime can be quite messy, most owners find it adorable to watch. Read more about the Maine Coons Obsession with water in my article.
Are Male Maine Coons Higher Maintenance Than Females?
In general, male Maine Coons are not considered to be higher maintenance than female Maine Coons.
Both genders have the same maintenance requirements when it comes to diet and grooming. However, male Maine Coons are known to be slightly more active than female Maine Coons.
This means that male Maine Coons might need a few more toys or a bit more playtime. Altogether, however, both male and female Maine Coons require relatively similar levels of care.
What Do Maine Coon Cats Need?
All cats, no matter the breed, require plenty of toys and other things to keep them occupied and healthy. Here is a detailed list of all the things you will need if you’re going to bring home a Maine Coon.
1. Large Cat Tree
Maine Coons are known for their love of climbing.
A large cat tree is a must for the Maine Coon cat breed. Not only will this allow your cat to jump and stretch its legs, but it will also provide a safe space for the cat to retreat to if it wants alone time.
These are my favorite extra-large cat trees/towers.
2. Heavy Duty Cat Toys
Maine Coons are known for playing rough, and their large size can cause a lot of wear and tear on their toys. Heavy-duty cat toys that can withstand a rough play session are important for this cat breed.
Due to their incredible hunting instincts, Maine Coons especially love toys that move on their own, so they can feel like they are hunting real prey.
3. Large Scratching Post
All cats need a scratching post.
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, weighing on average between 10 and 25 pounds, and measuring up to 40 inches from their nose to the base of their tail! You’ll need a larger than average scratching post to match your Maine Coon’s huge size.
4. Litter Tray
You’ll need a large litter tray that your Maine Coon can comfortably sit and turn around in.
The litter tray should be enclosed in order to limit smells.
Most cat owners opt for a manual litter tray, which is significantly cheaper. However, you can also opt for a pricier robotic tray, which automatically cleans up after your cat and only has to be emptied every so often.
There are a variety of different litters available on the market, but most owners opt for a fine, clumping litter that absorbs odor.
5. Large Cat/Pet Beds
You should get one or two large cat beds for your Maine Coon to rest in throughout the day.
Due to the Maine Coon’s large size, some owners choose to get medium-sized dog beds, to ensure their cat will fit.
Make sure to look at the dimensions of the cat bed before purchasing, so you don’t accidentally get something that is too small.
6. Extra Large Cat Carrier
You will need a large, hard carrier to transport your cat to the vet and any other forms of travel.
Again, the Maine Coon’s large size means you’ll have to get a cat carrier in a larger size than is normal for cats.
7. Food and Water Dishes
You should provide your cat with a constant supply of fresh water, as well as fresh food twice a day.
Wide and shallow dishes made from ceramic or stainless steel are ideal.
While it is possible to simply give your cat water out of a dish, cats prefer running water from a fountain.
Maine Coons need plenty of space to stretch their legs.
Even though they are affectionate and sociable cats, all cats need a space to call their own. It’s important your Maine Coon has places to retreat to if it is feeling overwhelmed or simply wants some time to itself.
While you don’t need to have a huge, sprawling house to keep your Maine Coon happy, make sure your living space has enough extra room for a cat to call it’s own.
9. First Aid Kit
You should always keep a first aid kit handy in case something happens to your cat.
A cat first aid kit should include gauze pads, bandages, saline wound wash, blood clotting powder, disinfectant, cotton balls and swabs, bandage tape and scissors, splints, and any medication your cat has been prescribed.
10. Grooming Supplies
You will also need your own set of grooming supplies, including cat wipes, nail clippers, and a variety of brushes, which we will go over in more detail later (source 1).
These are my favorite Maine Coon grooming brushes:
Maine Coon Maintenance Cost
If you’re wondering how much does it cost to keep a Maine Coon cat? you’ll be relieved to find out that it doesn’t cost much more than keeping any other kind of cat.
However, taking good care of a cat still comes with plenty of yearly expenses.
|Item||Annual Cost ($)||Additional Info|
|Litter||$100 – $300||Costs depends on the brand you buy|
|Food||$700 – $1,000||Cost varies wildly from cat to cat, depending greatly on the quality of cat food purchased. Maine Coons require a higher caloric intake than most cats. Food will end up being more expensive.|
|Insurance||$300 – $600||Most cat insurance that covers both injuries and illness are estimated between $300 and $600. Of course, you can always adapt your plan to cover more or fewer situations.|
|Vet Visits||$150||You should take your cat in for a vet checkup every year, which typically costs around $150 per visit.|
|Vaccinations||$40 – $70||Cat vaccinations cover Feline Leukemia, rabies, and other illness, and usually cost around $40 to $70.|
|Cat Toys and Miscellaneous||$200||You should budget around $200 a year for any extra cat toys or other expenses, like shampoo or catnip.|
How To Care For A Maine Coon
Many owners wondering are Maine Coons hard to take care of, are often concerned that these gentle giants will require far more care, than other cat breeds.
Even though they aren’t much more difficult to take care of than the average cat, it’s still a lot of responsibility.
Here are all the key ways you will need to care for your Maine Coon:
Maine Coons are known for having generally good health. However, there are a few Maine Coon health problems you should know about.
Maine Coons are susceptible to hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and spinal muscular atrophy. Read more about this health problem in this article.
While these health problems unfortunately can’t be avoided, it’s important to keep an eye out for anything unusual in your cat so you can seek early treatment from a vet.
If you’re still worried, make sure you check out my article ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘ so that you know the main health issues that affect this large cat breed.
Annual Veterinary Visits
You should take your Maine Coon to the vet once a year for a checkup. There, you will receive booster shots for rabies, feline panleukopenia, and other diseases. Your vet will also be able to make sure your cat is in good health.
While you would ideally only need to take your cat to the vet once a year, never hesitate to bring it in if you suspect something is wrong! If you think your cat might be sick or injured, it’s always best to take it to the vet.
Neutering a Maine Coon
Not all owners choose to neuter their Maine Coon, but it is often helpful in curbing behavioral problems, as well as preventing any unwanted kittens.
Most kittens can be neutered around eight weeks of age, although you can neuter adult cats, as well.
Maine Coons should be fed a diet that is rich in protein and carbohydrates, with low amounts of grains and other filler food.
Due to their large size and high activity level, Maine Coons eat more than most cats and should be fed twice a day.
You can choose to feed your cat dry food, wet food, a raw diet, or some combination of those options. No matter what food you provide, however, you should opt for higher quality food, as these provide more nutrients and fewer empty calories.
It is essential that you always provide clean water for your cat.
While it is possible to provide water in a wide ceramic or stainless-steel dish, cats actually prefer moving water. You can find fountain dishes that provide a constant source of moving water for your Maine Coon.
The Maine Coon is an active cat that needs plenty of space and time to stretch its legs. A large cat tree is perfect for a Maine Coon to climb on, and regular playtime can also help to get out some of their energy.
Extra-large and durable cat toys are important for Maine Coons, especially if they are kept indoors. Outdoor cats are often more susceptible to injury and illness, but it does offer more opportunities for exercising and exploring.
Walking A Maine Coon
Many first time owners ask “Can you walk a Maine Coon on a leash?” and the amazing answer is that yes, you can! Owners of indoor cats can train their Maine Coon to walk on a leash and harness outside, although this can also be a fun activity for outdoor cats, as well.
You can train your Maine Coon to walk on a leash and harness by getting your cat used to it as a kitten. Start slowly, with only short five minute walks at first, and gradually increase to longer walks.
Playtime is an essential part of a Maine Coon’s daily routine. These cats need regular attention and social interaction to keep from becoming bored and lonely.
When it was first discovered, the Maine Coon breed was renowned for its hunting ability. These cats still have great hunting instincts today, so toys that move and can be chased are perfect for Maine Coons. It’s always a good idea to have feather teasers, lasers, and other moveable toys for your Maine Coon to stalk and pounce.
Keeping Your Cat Safe
As a pet owner, you are responsible for your cat’s safety.
This means that you should ensure that your cat is not exposed to wires or harmful chemicals. You should also make sure that all of your windows have locks, so your cat can’t escape or fall from a great height when you aren’t looking.
Many breeders have a signed contract that states you must keep the cat indoors, or that your backyard has an enclosure or fencing.
Keeping a Maine Coon cat indoors is the best way to ensure safety, but whether or not your cat is indoor or outdoor is ultimately up to you.
Whenever you go out for vacation, you’ll have to decide whether to bring your cat with you or get someone else to watch it. Many owners opt to have a friend or neighbor to house-sit and care for your cat while you’re away.
It’s also possible to bring your cat to a cattery. While catteries do provide good care for cats, it might cause your cat undue stress to be taken to a strange place with strange new people. Catteries also only have limited space for your cat to live in while you’re gone (source 1).
Maine Coon Grooming Requirements
Maine Coon grooming is an essential part of your cat’s routine that ensures your cat’s health and hygiene. Here are the different methods you should adopt into your cat’s grooming routine.
a. How Often Should I Brush My Maine Coon?
Maine Coons have long, thick fur with a dense undercoat. It’s important to brush your cat at least two or three times a week. This removes excess dirt and hair, prevents your cat from ingesting too much fur while grooming, and also prevents matting.
You will need two different brushes to groom your Maine Coon: A fine brush and a coarse brush. It’s best to use soft bristles that won’t harm your cat’s skin.
Begin with a coarse brush to untangle your cat’s fur. Once you’ve combed through with the coarse brush, switch to the fine brush to remove shedding hair (source 1)
b. Brushing Maine Coon Teeth
You should brush your Maine Coon’s teeth twice a week with a specially designed cat toothpaste and toothbrush. You should start this habit young, so your cat grows used to the routine (source 1).
c. Cleaning Maine Coon Ears
You should check your Maine Coon’s ears once a week for any infection or wax.
Gently wipe out your cat’s ears with a warm, damp cloth or cotton ball.
d. Maine Coon Sanitary Cut
If your cat’s fur becomes matted or dirty, you might be wondering do you cut Maine Coon fur?
Matted fur should be carefully trimmed off, carefully.
Some owners opt for the Maine Coon lion cut, but this is a highly controversial cat grooming method. Read more about it in my fact-filled article.
Maine Coons are known for having especially long fur around their paws, which can become dirty and tangled, and many owners choose to trim this fur.
If a Maine Coon has a dirty bottom, it’s often more useful to use a cat wipe to gently remove any dirt or bacteria.
e. Maine Coon Cuts
If you’ve seen other cats with fancy cuts, you might be asking yourself – can you shave a Maine Coon cat? A popular choice is the Maine Coon lion cut, but there are other cuts and trims that people use on their cats.
While this can make your cat look “fashionable,” most people opt out of cutting their cat’s fur. Firstly, shaving or cutting your cat’s fur is often an unnecessarily stressful ordeal for the cat.
While shaving your cat’s fur can reduce hairballs, matting, and shedding, it makes cats more susceptible to sunburn, cuts, and injury, and your cat might become excessively hot or cold.
Overall, while a cat with trimmed or shaved fur can certainly make a statement, it is considered stressful and unkind (source 1).
f. Maine Coon Claws
Maine Coon claw maintenance is another important part of caring for your cat. Providing scratching posts will allow your cat to remove the dead sheath of its claws. You should also use a pet nail clipper to trim your cat’s nails every two to four weeks (source 1).
Bathing is not usually necessary for cats unless they are outdoor and frequently have matted or dirty fur.
You can use cat-friendly wipes to wipe off excess dirt rather than bathe.
If you do choose to bathe your cat, you should not do it more than once a month, and you should use a shampoo specifically made for cats. See my article for the best cat shampoos.
Do Maine Coons Make Good Pets?
Maine Coon are widely accepted as making excellent pets.
They are gentle and patient, particularly with children and other pets. They are also friendly and sociable animals.
Just like any other pet, though, Maine Coons need to be well taken care of. As an owner, it is your responsibility to do plenty of research and only bring home a Maine Coon if you’re certain you can provide the care and time that these cats require.
Do Maine Coons Need Special Care?
Maine Coons do require care that is slightly different from other cat breeds.
Their long, thick fur also requires more rigorous grooming than shorthair cats. These are the best Maine Coon grooming tips.
While Maine Coons are slightly more difficult to care for than the average cat, they are still not considered high maintenance, and most owners agree that they are well worth the extra work.
Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone?
Maine Coons can be left alone for periods of time, but their affectionate and sociable nature means they will suffer if left alone too long or too often.
Maine Coons do best in a home where at least one person is there for several hours every day. Otherwise, your Maine Coon can become lonely and depressed.
Do Maine Coons Need A Companion?
If you’re worried about your Maine Coon becoming lonely, you might be asking yourself, should I get two Maine Coons?
Having a companion for your Maine Coon isn’t necessary, but these sociable cats will often benefit from having a second cat around. This is particularly true if you’re away from home for a large portion of the day.
Are Maine Coons Needy?
While Maine Coons are highly affectionate and loving towards their owners, they are not usually clingy. They aren’t known to yowl or make a fuss when their owner is away.
However, if you raise your Maine Coon from kittenhood and do not teach your Maine Coon to be independent, it could suffer from separation anxiety as an adult.
Are Maine Coon Cats Destructive?
Maine Coon cats are highly intelligent and active cats. As a result, they can become destructive if they do not have enough toys or stimulation to keep them occupied.
If your Maine Coon is destroying furniture or other household items, this is a sign that it needs more enrichment.
Do Maine Coon Cats Get Jealous?
Cats are capable of experiencing a plethora of emotions, just like humans.
It is entirely possible for a Maine Coon to feel jealous, especially if you bring a new addition to the family such as a romantic partner, a baby, or even a new pet.
To reduce the chances of your Maine Coon becoming jealous, be sure to spend quality time with your Maine Coon away from the new addition to the family. This will teach your cat that it is still special and important to you.
Do Maine Coons Get Hairballs?
Hairballs are formed when a cat ingests its own fur while grooming. Due to their long, thick fur and frequent shedding, Maine Coons are often more likely to get hairballs than other cat breeds.
However, it is easy to avoid hairballs through proper and frequent grooming.
High Maintenance Cat Breeds
If you’re wondering “What is the most high maintenance cat?” then don’t worry- it’s not the Maine Coon! High maintenance cats require lots of grooming, a special diet, and/or are prone to clinginess or behavioral problems.
Here are five cat breeds that are known for being extremely high maintenance (source 1):
Low Maintenance Cat Breeds
Low-maintenance cats are easier to care for because they don’t have any special dietary requirements, are easy to groom, and aren’t known to have many behavioral problems.
Here are five different low maintenance cat breeds (source 1):
- American Shorthair
- British Shorthair
So, are Maine Coons high maintenance?
This is a popular query made by first-time owners before they finally choose whether to bring this large cat breed home.
While a lot of people assume that a Maine Coon’s large size and long fur will make it much more difficult to care for than other cats, the Maine Coon is not very high maintenance. Their long fur does require slightly more intensive care than shorthair cats, and their large size and activity level means they need more space and playtime.
Overall, however, the Maine Coon’s laid-back attitude and friendly nature make it a cat of medium maintenance requirements.
Are Maine Coons Hypoallergenic?
Unfortunately, Maine Coons are not hypoallergenic. Their thick, long fur sheds quite often and does not contain any less dander than other cat breeds.
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