Are Maine Coons Shy?


Have you ever noticed your Maine Coon hiding when visitors come to your home? If you have, you may have been tempted to ask the breeder are Maine Coons shy?

So, are Maine Coons timid, or is it just your Maine Coon? Find out the surprising truth later on in this article.

As a breed, Maine Coons are known for being affectionate, “talkative”, and sociable. However, 5 common reasons can make them behave shyly or timidly: their personality; their sex; not having been properly socialized as kittens; being in a new environment, and possible trauma from previous abuse.

If your Maine Coon is shy, the key is to give it lots of time and a safe, nurturing environment to help it come out of its timidity.

This is not to say that shyness in itself is a bad thing, especially if it is just your Maine Coon cat’s nature.

Like people, there are introverted cats and extroverted cats, and shyness can be charming. So, do not force your Maine Coon to be anything other than who they are naturally, but instead, enjoy them for being themself.

However, if you feel your cat’s shyness is brought on by factors other than its personality, then you can help your Maine Coon flourish and shine in its natural authenticity, by following our Maine Coon tips and tricks.

Read on to discover more.

Are Maine Coons Shy?

Maine Coon cats are one of the oldest natural and domesticated cat breeds in North America, popularly known as “gentle giants” due to their huge size and friendly nature.

Their gentleness, sweet temper, and sociability make them ideal family pets, especially for homes with very young children.

The Maine Coon cat breed is often described as having more dog-like behavior than other cat breeds since they are not independent and aloof, or ‘cat-like’. Instead, they are super sociable and love spending time with their owners and following them from room to room, watching what their owners are doing!

If you’ve noticed that your Maine Coon acts shy, timid, or aloof, this might be down to their gender. This begs the question, are females shyer than males, or is it the other way around?

Generally, female Maine Coons are more aloof and “cat-like” in their sociability. They are also thought to be more independent, requiring a lot less human attention than their male counterparts.

The female feline also prefers to have playtime on their terms and time, whereas the male Maine Coon cat is naturally more willing to play.

Signs Of A Shy Maine Coon Kitten Or Cat

So, what are the signs of a shy Maine Coon kitten or cat?

Here are 3 common behaviors that indicate your Maine Coon is shy:

1. Cat Lurks And Sneaks Around

Maine Coon cat hides behind doors or furniture when there are other people in the room.

Your cat may sneak looks at the visitors, watching them from where they are hiding.

This behavior is most likely if the Maine Coon was not been properly socialized with a lot of people when they were still a kitten.

2. Cat Moves Slowly When Approaching Something

Your Maine Coon moves cautiously, tentatively, while drawing near to something. They appear to be trying to examine the point of interest from all angles before getting too close.

This behavior is usually displayed when the Maine Coon cat is approaching something that is new to them.

3. Cat Has Its Head Down

Have you noticed your Maine Coon cat creeping across the floor with its head down, unable to see what is happening around them. Then, whenever there is a sudden noise, your Maine Coon acts skittish and quickly moves away from the noise?

This feline behavior usually occurs when a Maine Coon has not been socialized to everyday household noises whilst they were a kitten, or the room environment itself is completely new to them.

Is Your Cat Shy Or Scared?

How are the signs of shyness different from the signs of a scared cat?

While a shy Maine Coon may just be cautious, a scared one has more body tension, indicating fear.

Signs of fear in cats often include these 10 common telltale behaviors:

  • Arching their back and puffing up their fur.
  • Freezing in place or crouching low on the ground with lowered heads, making themselves small.
  • Hiding for extended periods.
  • Hissing or spitting.
  • Moving their ears quickly while they try to listen or flattening their ears close to their head.
  • Pooing or peeing outside their litter tray.
  • Running away
  • Scratching or biting
  • Tucking their tail under them or swishing the tip of their tails quickly from side to side.
  • Showing wide eyes with enlarged pupils that look like big circles or ovals.

Maine Coon Temperament

Think of a lion who behaves like a lamb. This aptly describes the Maine Coon temperament!

The Maine Coon cat’s luscious, soft, and silky thick fur and huge size make it look like a lion, but its sweet, gentle, and amiable nature makes it behave like a lamb.

As long as there is enough space for this large cat breed to call its own, exercise, and relax, the Maine Coon cat will quickly adapt to any environment.

Maine Coon cats speak softly and quietly in chirps and trills, especially when they are feeling contented. If you’ve noticed your Maine Coon cat howling, read this guide straight away.

Why Is My Maine Coon So Shy?

Here are a few reasons why your Maine Coon cat is acting shy:

Cat’s Personality

If your Maine Coon is behaving shyly or timidly, consider whether this behavior is simply the result of your cat’s natural personality, rather than jumping to the conclusion that something is wrong!

Owners that have adopted an adult Maine Coon should ideally ask the previous owner (if possible) whether this is normal behavior for the cat in question.

Gender

In addition, keep in mind that female Maine Coon cats are naturally more reserved in their nature than their male counterparts.

However, if natural personality and gender are not the likely causes, below are 3 more possible reasons why your Maine Coon is acting shy:

  • You have placed them in a new environment, with strangers.
  • Your Maine Coon was not properly socialized as a kitten.
  • The cat may have experienced trauma from previous human abuse.

If your Maine Coon is in a new environment with new people, give it time and space to naturally acclimatize to its new surroundings.

For those of you that have bought a new baby into the home, make sure you read my guide Introducing Your Maine Coon Cat To A Baby .

If your Maine Coon was not properly socialized as a kitten or has been traumatized by previous abuse from other humans, give them even more time, space, and nurturing care by providing them with a consistently safe and secure environment they can trust and relax in.

Read on for more tips on how to socialize a Maine Coon correctly.

Are Maine Coon Cats Timid Or Skittish?

Timid Maine Coons are cautious cats, while skittish Maine Coons are nervous cats.

Nervous Maine Coon cats feel stressed and threatened by something in their environment, so their responses can be categorized as a fight, flee, or freeze behavior.

This is similar to the 10 signs of a scared Maine Coon cat listed above.

Maine Coons are very sensitive animals that get easily used to their environment and lifestyle. If something in their lives changes, they may get stressed and nervous.

Signs of stress in Maine Coons often include:

  • Apathy towards the people and things it used to enjoy.
  • Aggressiveness, suddenly attacking other pets and people.
  • Changes in the amount of food they eat.
  • Lots of scratching.
  • Weak immune system that makes them susceptible to frequent infections and illnesses.

Why Is My Cat Shy Around Strangers?

Usually, when your Maine Coon cat is shy around strangers, it is because of their lack of experience with visitors when they were kittens.

If they were not properly introduced to other people during their vital socialization phase of 3-9 weeks old, they are often shy or even fearful around strangers.

Always follow the proper socialization tips for Maine Coon kittens, even if you have adopted an older Maine Coon.

It may take more time for your Maine Coon cat to become socialized since its crucial learning receptivity phase has passed. But, with a lot of patience and tender care, your Maine Coon will massively improve.

You can also do the following for your shy Maine Coon cat:

Provide A Safe Area

Give your Maine Coon a safe area to go to before a stranger visits your home. This should be an out-of-the-way location, away from doorbell sounds and people talking, so they can have a space to feel calm and relaxed.

Once your Maine Coon is in this safe area, provide them with a special food treat or toy which will distract them. This will also provide a positive association for when strangers visit next time.

Keep Your Cat Near You

The owner should keep their Maine Coon near them at all times.  

Tell your visitor (the stranger) to enter the room from a point farthest from the cat as the space allows.

In the beginning, ensure there is some distance between the stranger and your cat, that is comfortable for your cat.

Reward Good Behavior

If your Maine Coon cat remains calm and relaxed, reward its “good behavior” with more treats and petting. Then ask the stranger to sit/stand nearer to the cat.

If your cat gets anxious, increase the distance between the stranger and the cat until it is no longer shy or fearful.

As your Maine Coon calms down, reward it with treats and petting.

Repeat The Process

Repeat the process several times, across several sessions until your Maine Coon feels comfortable with the stranger.

Then, slowly introduce your Maine Coon cat to multiple strangers using this process all over again.

You know you have been successful when you start to decrease the distance between your cat and the stranger, and your cat remains calm and relaxed. Make sure you reward this success, by giving your Maine Coon a cat treat.

If your Maine Coon shows any withdrawal or tension, increase the distance again and reward it only when they become calm and relaxed again (source 1).

Why Is My Cat Shy All Of A Sudden?

Cats are creatures of habit.

When they exhibit sudden shyness, look for any change in their environment which might have caused their unexpected timidity.

For example:

  • Did you recently redecorate your home?
  • Have you recently moved house?
  • Have you recently had a new baby?
  • Did you invite strangers into the house?
  • Are there new pets in the house?

These are possible causes for your Maine Coon cat feeling unsettled and uncomfortable, making it suddenly shy.

What Causes Stress In A Cat?

A stressed or sad Maine Coon can be comforted by removing the causes of its stress. Alternatively, you can remove the cat from the stressful situation and give them the comfort they need.

Common causes of stress in cats include (source 1):

  • Health Problems: Get all health problems checked promptly by your veterinarian.
  • Loneliness: If the cat is left alone for too long.
  • New Pet: Getting a new pet in the household can be stressful for a cat.
  • New Baby: A new baby or member of the family can make the cat feel de-ranked.
  • Too Many Pets: Multiple pets can cause fights for territory, and lack of 1-2-1 attention.
  • Lack of a scratching post
  • Change in the cats food
  • Constant loud noises
  • Visits from strangers: Especially if the strangers visit for an extended period
  • Punishments imposed on them
  • Perceiving emotional tension from family or household members

Reducing Stress In Cats

If your Maine Coon is exhibiting intense anxiety for an extended period, and as long as your vet says your cat is physically well, you might want to help it along with cat-calming products like this clever cat-calming diffuser sold on Amazon.

You can also use calming pheromone diffusers, natural calming chews and other food treats, calming paw gels, pheromone sprays, and calming collars.

How To Socialize A Maine Coon Kitten (CORRECTLY)

Socializing a Maine Coon kitten or adult cat involves intentionality, careful planning, patience, and loving care.

Here are basic tips on how to socialize a very shy cat, plus how to help your cat relax.

3 – 9 Weeks

First, it is best to socialize a kitten when it is between 3 to 9 weeks old because this is the most receptive learning time for them.

Whatever training they receive (or do not receive) and exposure to the environment they get largely form them for the rest of their lives.

Kitten Socialization

Socialization involves the following key elements:

  • Holding and petting: Start when your Maine Coon is 3 weeks old and their mother cat is not so ferociously possessive anymore. Hold and pet them for 10-15 minutes daily. Start petting them on their faces, chins, and behind their ears, and work up to petting them all over their bodies.
  • Playtime: At around 5 weeks old when they can see and hear more clearly, start playing with them using balls, feather sticks, and anything that makes a crinkly sound, stimulating more of their senses, and moving them slowly at first to help them focus.
  • Grooming: Gently comb your Maine Coon kitten with a soft-bristle toothbrush and work your way up to using a grooming comb or brush by brushing them lightly with it. This is also a good way to create a warm, fuzzy feeling in them while they enjoy their time with you, creating positive associations between you and them.
  • Sounds and Environment: Maine Coon kittens need to get accustomed to everyday life so they do not get easily startled and nervous. Sounds they especially need to get accustomed to are:
    • Brooms and sweeping
    • Children (indoors and outdoors)
    • Cooking (sounds of pots and pans)
    • Dogs barking
    • Doorbells
    • Doors opening and closing
    • People talking (men and women, in loud and soft voices)
    • Radio
    • Television
    • Vacuum cleaners
  • Introduce kitten to other human friends: At around 5 to 6 weeks, Maine Coon kittens can be introduced to other humans in the household, so they become accustomed to having people around. Have other people pick up, pet, and handle the kittens lovingly and gently. With very young children, teach the kids beforehand how to handle the kittens delicately and not roughly. If a very young child cannot do this yet, do not let them handle the kitten.
  • Introduce kitten to animal friends: Let your kitten see and watch the other cats and dogs in the household for at least a week, before letting them have direct contact and engagement with them, whilst you supervise their interactions. You can also let your kitten smell the other animals’ toys so they become used to their scents. If you see fearful behavior in the kitten or other animals, separate them for a time until they both relax. Never force interactions between the animals if they are not ready (source 1).

Are Maine Coons Good Pets?

Maine Coons are great pets!

With their sweet-tempered and sociable nature, they are even recommended for families with very young children.

Maine Coon cats have a reputation for being very affectionate, becoming attached to you and your family fast.

This is a beautiful cat breed, too, with an ancestral history of being prize-winning show cats!

As long as you provide your Maine Coon with what they need and take very good care of them, you will find that having a Maine Coon in your household is a blessing.

Conclusion

So, are Maine Coons shy?

As a breed in general, no. But, as individual cat personalities, they can be shy, especially if you own a female Maine Coon.

If you think your cat is shy, this may be the result of a lack of socialization whilst they were still kittens, a sudden change in their environment that you have not prepared them for, or caused by a past trauma from abuse by other humans.

But, with time, love, and tenderness, you can get your Maine Coon to thrive and shine in their natural selves, healed and whole.

Related Questions

What To Do With A Maine Coon Who’s Scared Of Everything?

A Maine Coon who is scared of everything potentially has had trauma from past abuse. Go gentler with it as you train it to relax into your loving care.

Are Maine Coons Clingy?

Maine Coons are loving, sociable animals that thrive on human companionship. When they do get clingy, it usually means you have not given them enough of the attention that they need.

Do Maine Coons Get Sad?

If you have been away from your Maine Coon cat for too long, or you do not give them the attention they need, they may become sad. Quickly remedy this by spending time with your Maine Coon, paying them more loving attention.



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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