Many pet owners are worried that their dog might hurt their cat, whereas owners of the largest domesticated cat breed in the world are more concerned the opposite might happen!
Whilst we all want our pets to get along, unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. So how concerned should potential owners be, and can a Maine Coon kill a dog?
Maine Coons are friendly, social animals that usually get along well with dogs. However, when feeling scared or threatened, a Maine Coon can deliver a painful bite that can kill any dog if left untreated. Maine Coons can also kill small dogs like Pomeranians or Chihuahuas.
Maine Coons are rarely aggressive toward humans or other animals, but if they feel threatened by another dog, they might lash out in fear and self-defense.
Read on to learn how to properly socialize your Maine Coon with another dog to prevent fights from breaking out!
Can A Maine Coon Kill A Dog?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, typically weighing between 8 and 35 pounds.
They are famous for their noble, wild appearance and long, thick fur.
At first glance, the Maine Coon can appear quite scary but you really shouldn’t worry as they are incredibly loving and gentle felines.
In fact, their affectionate and friendly nature is so well known that they earned themselves the title ‘gentle giants’.
Despite this, the Maine Coon cat breeds large proportions has led many owners to become nervous that their Maine Coon might choose to hurt their other pets, including dogs.
Rest assured though that these friendly, gentle cats would rarely raise their claws at a dog. That said, it is definitely still possible for a Maine Coon to kill a dog.
In direct combat, a large Maine Coon could kill a small dog, such as a:
However, even the largest of Maine Coons couldn’t compete against a medium or large dog, yet they could still kill any dog indirectly.
This is because Maine Coons, like all cats, contain a lot of bacteria in their mouths which is used to weaken prey.
The bacteria could ultimately have a dangerous effect on any animal.
A cat bite that is not properly cleaned will become infected, eventually spreading and leading to blood poisoning and even death.
Cat bites are not just dangerous to dogs though; even humans have died or needed limbs amputated due to infection.
Therefore, if your Maine Coon ever gets into a fight with your dog, check them thoroughly for any bites, and clean any wounds with hydrogen peroxide and antibiotic ointment.
That said, even though Maine Coons can indirectly kill dogs through a single bite, these cats are known for being quite peaceful to other animals that they do not consider prey.
So, what do Maine Coons kill?
Maine Coons developed naturally in the cold state of Maine, where they became popular for their ability to catch mice and rats, among other pests.
Today, Maine Coons still have sharp hunting instincts. So, what do Maine Coon cats hunt?
Maine Coons will hunt any small animal they can catch, including:
While these cats typically get along quite well with dogs and other cats, their high prey drive means they are not well suited to living in a home environment where small animals also live (source 1).
Do Maine Coons Get Along With Dogs?
Before introducing any new pet into your home, it is important to consider whether it will get along with the pets you already have.
Naturally, therefore, a lot of owners wonder can Maine Coons live with dogs?
If this question has been on your mind, then rest assured that Maine Coons are incredibly social creatures that are famous for being friendly towards other pets, including dogs.
The Maine Coon temperament with dogs is usually as follows, but overall it depends upon the individual cat and its environment:
Older cats, however, are less likely to accept a new pet into their home, particularly if the dog is not introduced correctly.
This is especially true if your Maine Coon does not have sufficient space and privacy away from the dog.
Furthermore, if your Maine Coon is forced to live in the same room or small area with any animal it will become:
- Potentially Aggressive
While most Maine Coons are accepting and even loving towards dogs and other pets, dogs are very different.
Many dogs are naturally aggressive towards all cats, therefore, you will need to make sure you adopt a young puppy or a dog that has already had positive interactions with cats.
Are Maine Coons Dangerous?
If you are considering bringing a Maine Coon into your home, you might be worried about your other pets, since this breed’s wild appearance makes some owners wonder, are Maine Coon cats vicious?
In general, Maine Coons are one of the most friendly and social cat breeds out there.
They are incredibly patient and develop close bonds with their owners, as well as other pets living in the household.
However, if you have ever noticed any scary behaviors from your cat, you might wonder, are Maine Coon cats aggressive?
The simple truth is that even Maine Coons can show aggression, but this is not because they are “mean” or “bad.” Cats will not hurt others out of malice, but rather out of fear.
If you have noticed aggressive behavior in your Maine Coon, here are some potential reasons why your cat might be lashing out at you or your dog:
1. Feeling Threatened
The most common reason cats behave aggressively is out of fear.
If you or your dog has made your cat feel unsafe by hurting it, chasing it, or making loud noises, your cat will naturally try to defend itself by:
2. Not Enough Space
Maine Coons love being around their owners, but they also need a lot of personal space.
Therefore, if your cat is constantly forced to interact with people or pets, it may begin to feel insecure within its environment.
Cats need private areas where they can hide, particularly high places where children or dogs can’t reach.
If you do not already own one, buy a large cat tree like this to give your Maine Coon a high-up space that they can call their own.
A Maine Coon should never be forced to spend its entire day in the same room as another pet or human.
3. Improper Socialization
If you bring home a new pet, it is essential that you introduce them slowly and gently.
Initially, any new cat or dog should be kept in a completely separate room from your Maine Coon, so that your cat does not feel as though its territory has been invaded.
Furthermore, your cat should not actually be able to see the new pet for the first day or two.
Instead, let your cat become accustomed to the new smells and sounds of the new pet before putting them in a room together.
If you recently adopted a new dog, your Maine Coon might become aggressive due to jealousy.
This is especially true if the dog’s things have taken over some of your cat’s space, or possessions.
For example, did you move your cat’s favorite scratching post and put a dog bed there, instead?
Or, do you now take your dog out for walks at the same time you used to play with your Maine Coon?
When introducing a new pet to the household, it is important to remind your cat that it has not been replaced or abandoned.
Are Maine Coon cats usually jealous though? Here are key causes of jealousy.
5. Stress From Change
Cats love routine, and bringing home a new pet is a big change!
Dogs come with all sorts of new smells and sound too, which can cause a lot of stress for your cat.
Moving around furniture and changing your schedule has a far bigger impact on your cat than you might realize.
Try to keep your cat’s feeding and playing schedule as similar as possible during any big change.
6. Disrespected Boundaries
Finally, your Maine Coon might become aggressive if it no longer trusts you or another pet.
Cats are very clear about their boundaries, and will do the following things if they are feeling upset:
- Flatten their ears
- Walk away
- Hiss or growl
If you or another pet continues to push those boundaries despite your cat’s warnings, it will eventually lash out.
How To Introduce A Maine Coon Kitten To A Dog
If you already have a dog and plan on bringing a Maine Coon kitten into the home, you will need to be very careful about how you introduce the two.
Here are the steps you should take to introduce your Maine Coon kitten to your dog:
1. Prepare Your Dog
Before bringing home a kitten, you should first make sure that your dog is well-trained and obedient.
Commands like “sit” and “stay” are essential to keeping your dog in line when a Maine Coon kitten is around.
After all, kittens are very fragile and can be killed in an instant by an aggressive or even playful dog.
Secondly, make sure your dog is okay with other animals. You can gauge this by watching to see if your dog reacts aggressively to other dogs or cats.
Bringing home a kitten might not be the best idea if they do.
2. Keep Them Separated
When introducing Maine Coon to dogs, you should never let the two see each other right away. Instead, you should keep your Maine Coon kitten in its own room.
Make sure this room is not a favorite of your dogs, or else your dog may become jealous.
3. Introduce Smells
Exchange toys and blankets between your dog and kitten.
Allow your kitten to smell and play with some of your dog’s toys, and vice versa.
The smell is much more powerful and overwhelming to animals than it is to humans, and dogs can easily become stressed or over-excited if not introduced to your cat’s smell, first, before meeting the kitten.
4. Interaction Through The Door
Now, you can move on to feeding your cat and dog at the same time, on opposite sides of the door.
By feeding them close to one another, both animals will learn that the other is not a threat to their food.
If either animal reacts aggressively or fearfully, you may need to wait a day or two before feeding them close to each other again.
Once your dog and kitten both seem comfortable eating near each other, you can finally introduce the two properly.
5. First Meeting
You will need another person on hand to help you when you introduce your dog and kitten.
One person should be near the dog, holding onto its leash at all times, while the other should stay near the Maine Coon kitten.
Have your dog sit or lie down on one end of the room, and place the kitten on the other end.
Allow the kitten to roam freely and come near the dog at its own pace; chances are, your kitten will be a little nervous around such a big creature.
Keep the visit short, and stop if there is any aggressive or fearful behavior.
Give both animals treats so they associate the meeting with positive reinforcement.
6. Continuing To Meet
Continue to set up brief meetings a couple of times every day. Keep the visits short but frequent – long visits are likely to cause more stress.
If there is ever an “incident” that involves an extremely aggressive or fearful reaction, wait a few days before allowing them to meet again.
Some excitement or hissing is to be expected, but do not force the animals to interact if they are too excitable.
7. Gradually Relax The Rules
Over time, you will be able to relax more while your dog and kitten interact.
Praise your dog for gentle interactions.
Even if your dog and kitten seem to get along well, however, you should keep them in separate rooms whilst you are not around.
This part of the process is mostly dependent on the situation; you’ll have to read your dog’s reactions to decide if you feel comfortable letting the animals interact.
Above all, remember to be patient. Do not worry if the two pets do not become friends right away; some animals will take two or three weeks to even tolerate each other!
If you have been trying to introduce your pets for over two or three weeks with no signs of change in aggression or fear, however, chances are your pets just aren’t compatible.
Thankfully though, most animals learn to at least tolerate one another over time, but please make sure you do not try to force them to get along if the interaction is clearly causing them stress.
Should I Let My Dog And Cat Fight?
If you have ever seen how rough dogs can play with one another, you are likely wondering, will my dog kill my cat?
Many owners allow their dogs and cats to play-fight together, but this is not a good idea (source 1).
Here are some important reasons why:
They May Not Be Playing
It is usually easy to tell if your animals are playing or not.
A playful cat’s ears will not be flattened, its fur will lie smooth and flat, and its tail will flick around playfully.
Upset or angry cats will have:
- Bushed up fur
- Flattened ears
- Lash their tails
However, there is no guarantee that both your cat and your dog will agree to play nicely together, and playfulness can quickly turn to:
Different Body Language
Cats and dogs communicate very differently. While dogs wag their tails while happy, cats lash their tails back and forth when upset.
It can be easy for your pets to misread each other’s play behavior like aggression, resulting in a fight.
Even a playful Husky or Golden Retriever can kill a cat entirely by accident.
On the flip side, a large Maine Coon is also capable of doing some serious damage to a Chihuahua or Pekingese.
It is natural for cats and dogs to play fight with members of their own species, and while cats and dogs that are friendly with one another may want to engage in the same type of playful behavior, safety should always come first.
If you ever do allow your cat and dog to play fight together, you should wait several months to ensure they are both close friends first, and you should only allow them to play together if they are close in size.
If you do allow this behavior, keep a close eye on them both, and stop the interaction immediately if you notice any of the following:
- Other behaviors indicating aggression
Best Dog For Maine Coon
The best dog for a Maine Coon cat will have a low prey drive and will not mind sharing its territory.
Here are five dog breeds that are known to get along well with Maine Coons (source 1):
- Golden Retriever
- Bichon Frise
If you have a Maine Coon or a dog, and you are planning on introducing a new pet into the family, you might be wondering, can a Maine Coon kill a dog?
Maine Coons are incredibly gentle animals that rarely lash out, but an untreated bite from a Maine Coon can lead to a deadly infection.
By slowly introducing your Maine Coon to your dog and ensuring both animals have plenty of space and privacy, your pets should eventually learn to tolerate and maybe even love one another.
Can A Maine Coon Kill A Fox?
Despite their large size, it is unlikely a Maine Coon could win a fight against a fox. However, a bite from a Maine Coon can easily become infected and eventually kill a fox (source 1).
Can A Maine Coon Kill A Raccoon?
A raccoon is more likely to win a fight against a cat, although a particularly large Maine Coon might be able to fend one off. Still, a Maine Coon bite can become infected and easily kill a raccoon.
Can A Maine Coon Kill A Human?
Maine Coons are not strong enough to kill a human purely by attacking it, but an untreated bite from any cat can cause a nasty infection that can eventually lead to death if left untreated.