If you are a dog person but are considering getting a large cat, you might wonder are Maine Coons like dogs?
Whilst cats and dogs are usually considered to be opposites, they might have more in common than you realize.
Maine Coons are known as the dogs of the cat world because they are high-energy, affectionate, sociable and playful. Many pet owners have trained their Maine Coon cats to walk on a leash or harness, play fetch or perform Maine Coon tricks! Maine Coons have a friendly temperament and strong loyalty towards their owners like dogs.
If you want a cat that has a doglike sense of loyalty, affection, and playfulness, read on to find out if the Maine Coon cat breed is right for you!
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Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?
The Maine Coon is an ancient and mysterious cat breed that has risen strikingly in popularity over the last couple of decades.
This large domesticated cat breed shares many similarities with their canine friends, as is evidenced in the list below which details how Maine Coon cats are like dogs:
If we compare the Maine Coon’s weight with that of a small dog, i.e. Chihuahua, weighing 3-6 lbs, it is evident that Maine Coon cats are similar to dogs because they are actually bigger than some dog breeds!
The infographic below is created by Katrina Stewardson, of Maine Coon Central. The image clearly highlights how both male and female Maine Coon cats can grow as big as a small dog!
2. Dog-Like Personality
Another way in which Maine Coon cats are similar to dogs is in terms of their personalities, since both species are very friendly, with playful and sociable personalities.
Maine Coon cats are referred to as the ‘dog of the cat world’ due to their:
- Ability To Learn Tricks
- Love of human companionship
Both dogs and Maine Coons are highly intelligent, which adds further to their similarity.
For instance, a Maine Coon cat will often respond to their name, and come when called, just like a dog would!
4. Highly Trainable
Another dog-like trait of the Maine Coon cat breed is that they are highly trainable.
Whilst many intelligent cat breeds are difficult to train because they tend to be stubborn, this is not the case with Maine Coons because they love learning new tricks and playing with their owners.
Maine Coons are the perfect mix of intelligence and eager-to-please, so are capable of learning tricks and commands much faster than the average domestic cat.
5. Maine Coon Cats Can Play Fetch!
Maine Coon cats are further similar to dogs because they can be taught how to play fetch!
This large cat breeds high intelligence levels, and willingness to learn new tricks means many pet parents have successfully trained their Maine Coon cat to play fetch.
If you fancy giving it a go, follow our guide on How To Train A Maine Coon Cat To Play Fetch!
One incredible Maine Coon cat fact is that some Maine Coons will even teach themselves how to play fetch on their own!
Therefore, if you find your Maine Coon keeps bringing their favorite toy over to you whilst you are working or resting, they are likely asking you to throw their toy so they can fetch it!
Here is a video posted by Katrina Stewardson on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, showing her Maine Coon cat playing fetch his favorite mouse toy!
6. Maine Coon Cats Like Going On Walks!
Another incredible way that Maine Coons are like dogs is that you can train them to go on walks with you, using a leash or harness to keep them safe!
This is particularly useful for owners that keep their cats indoors, as teaching your Maine Coon to walk on a leash outside will enrich their life as they have safe access to the outside world.
If this concept interests you, make sure you thoroughly research the best escape-proof harnesses for Maine Coon cats first, so that your cat does not escape whilst walking outdoors.
7. Maine Coon Cats Love Water!
While it is normal to see owners taking their dogs to the beach or the pool for a swim, normal cat breeds are famous for disliking water.
Maine Coons, however, are similar to dogs because many have a bizarre fascination with water, and some even learn how to turn on faucets with their paws!
The boldest Maine Coons even learn how to swim!
If you are considering letting your Maine Coon cat swim though, please ensure they are wearing a lifejacket.
8. Massively Affectionate!
Dog people often complain that cats are:
While cats have subtler ways of showing affection, the Maine Coon is a bit less secretive about its love for its owners.
Like dogs, Maine Coons will wait by the door and run excitedly up to their owners with their tails standing up proudly in the air, to greet their owner when they return home.
They also love to follow their owners around from room to room because they love human companionship, and are exceptionally sociable felines.
9. Family Friendly Felines
Maine Coon cats are similar to many dog breeds since they are considered family-friendly.
These large, naturally gentle felines are very tolerant of young children, patient, and non-aggressive in nature which makes them ideal family pets.
Are Maine Coons More Like Dogs Than Other Cat Breeds?
Maine Coons behave more like dogs than most cat breeds.
Here are some of the Maine Coon traits that make them more similar to dogs than other cat breeds:
1. Highly Affectionate
Maine Coons are very friendly even towards strangers, and they are not shy about showing affection towards their owners.
Like dogs, a Maine Coon cat will follow their owners around the house, and may become depressed if they are separated from their owners for too long.
Maine Coons are steadfastly loyal, just like dogs.
They follow their owners around from room to room, and even wait by the door to greet their owners when they return home!
If you are wondering why they do this, read our guide on Reasons Why Maine Coon Cats Follow Their Owners.
3. Love Water
Unlike other cats, Maine Coons are especially fond of water which makes them more characteristically dog-like.
Some Maine Coons even enjoy swimming, just like dogs!
Like dogs, you can train Maine Coons to perform all sorts of tricks or commands.
Even better, Maine Coons can be trained to walk on a leash or even to play fetch!
Do Maine Coons Get Along With Dogs?
Maine Coon cats are considered very similar to dogs, but do Maine Coons like dogs?
The highly sociable Maine Coon is thought to like dogs, and tends to do better in households with lots of family members because they benefit from having companions.
Without regular socialization a Maine Coon may experience depression or loneliness. As a result, they are keen to make friends with other cats and dogs in their household.
If you are planning on introducing a Maine Coon to dogs, make sure you take a lot of extra precautions.
For starters, in the beginning it is important that owners separate the animals into different rooms, whilst slowly exchanging pet toys or blankets between the pets so they get used to the other’s scents.
Next, supervise the animals together until they prove gentle, curious, and friendly with one another.
Maine Coon Size Comparison To Dog
Whilst most cat breeds tend to be similar in size, dogs sizes range wildy. So, how does the Maine Coon size compare to a dog?
The smallest dog breed in the world is a Chihuahua, which averages between:
- 3 – 6 lbs in weight
- 8.5 – 13 inches tall
- 9.5 – 15 inches in length
Maine Coons are significantly larger, averaging between:
- 12 – 22 lbs in weight
- 8 – 16 inches tall
- 19 – 40 inches long
The Maine Coon cat is evidently huge compared to the Chihuahua dog breed!
By comparison, the Mastiff is the biggest dog in the whole world and makes the Maine Coon look quite small, since they are (source 1):
- 120 – 230 lbs in weight
- 35 – 42 inches tall
- 44.5 – 53 inches long
How Are Maine Coons Different From Dogs?
Even though Maine Coons are considered doglike, they have many feline traits that separate them from dogs.
Here is a Maine Coon vs dog comparison of ways Maine Coons are different from dogs:
Maine Coons are highly affectionate, but they also like privacy, whereas many dogs have no concept of personal space.
It is important for Maine Coons to have a space of their own that they can retreat to if they are feeling overwhelmed.
Even though Maine Coons are outdoorsy and can be taken swimming, hiking, or even camping, keep in mind that cats are natural sprinters and are not built for long-distance traveling.
Whereas a dog might be able to walk for miles, your Maine Coon might get tired and not want to keep walking.
Therefore, if you want to bring your Maine Coon along during a hike, make sure you also have a cat backpack to carry them when they are tired.
Dogs and cats have very different ways of communicating.
Although Maine Coons are rarely shy when it comes to showing affection, their body language is still more subtle than dogs.
If you have never had a cat, make sure to keep an eye out on the position of its ears, tail, and eyes to gauge its emotions (source 1).
For more specific information about Maine Coon Cat Body Language, read this guide.
Are Maine Coons like dogs? Simply put, yes!
This large domesticated cat breed has often been called the ‘dog of the cat world’ since they are highly intelligent, trainable, and loyal. They also have a fondness for water and enjoy playing fetch!
This highly sociable cat breed is known for forming strong companionships with cats and dogs alike, though it is important to introduce your Maine Coon to your dogs slowly to prevent stress.
Where Do Maine Coons Like To Be Pet?
Like most cats, Maine Coons usually like to be pet on their faces, chins, and backs.