Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?

Historically, Maine Coons evolved in the wildness using their talented hunting skills to catch their meals, whilst their thick dense fur offered them protection from the cold.

So, can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors? What is the truth behind this highly emotive subject?

Maine Coon cats can be kept either indoors or outdoors due to their very laid-back nature. They are highly sociable so need high levels of social interaction with either their owner or another pet. A large number of Maine Coon owners keep their cats indoors to protect them from outside dangers and comply with breeder contracts.

Maine Coon cats are thought to have originated in Wiscasset, Maine during the 1700s.

They are known for being a very hardy cat breed, able to survive even the harshest Winters of New England, where other cat breeds could not.

Despite their history though, many Maine Coon cat owners in modern society prefer to keep this treasured large cat indoors.

With a lineage so wild, it’s reasonable to wonder can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors?

Pros And Cons Of Keeping Cats Indoors

Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors?

The answer to this question is that Maine Coon cats can be kept both indoors and outdoors since they are a very laid-back cat breed.

Although this might not help you make a decision, it is imperative that owners understand that neither answer is ‘right’, nor ‘wrong’.

Ultimately, the decision as to whether your Maine Coon cat is kept indoors, or allowed outdoors, will be down to each individual owner’s personal preference.

Before making a decision though, consider your personal situation, and how your lifestyle may affect your Maine Coons instinctive needs, and long-term happiness.

For instance, do you live in an apartment where outdoor roaming is not possible?

Is there enough room in your home, for a large Maine Coon to live and play?

Does your cat have specific health conditions that need to be monitored? How safe is your neighborhood?

There are so many pros and cons to keeping your Maine Coon cat as an indoor pet, so let’s address the key factors in the table below:

SafetyCats are safe from external
risks i.e. poison, criminals,
Indoor Maine Coons might
be safe, but they are prone
to boredom, if kept indoors
since their instincts
are restricted
DietOwners can ensure cats are
given nutrient-rich foods,
suited to their dietary
requirements. They can
control food is eaten, and
portion sizes
These obligate carnivores
require a a diet rich in
protein. Indoor Maine Coons
have a less natural diet and
are prone to obesity
Owners ensure the cat
gets plenty of exercise,
by playing with their
Coon, and purchasing
cat towers
Indoor cats can become
lazy. The the owner will
always need to encourage
the cat to exercise
PredatorsNo risks from external
Indoor cats lose their
natural survival instincts
Owners bond with the
cat during playtime. Cat
toys simulate Maine
Coons instincts
Indoor Maine Coons lack
mental stimulation. Cat
toys are expensive and
no supplement for the
outside world
CrueltyIndoor Maine Coons
are safe from external
Keeping a cat indoors is
often considered cruel
SpaceIndoor cats adapt well
to their surroundings.
Large space not
Not enough room in the
home for Maine Coon
cats to play, and exercise
Owners stimulate cats
instincts, via
playtime, cat toys, and
Natural instincts of
cat restricted e.g. cat
unable to hunt, or play
WeatherThe cat is kept cool during
hot weather, and warm
during Winter
A Maine Coons fur
the coat protects them
from the exterior
elements, i.e. snow,
rain, and sun
CriminalsCats are safe from
Indoor Maine Coons
lifestyle restricted
FightingIndoor cats are safe from
being attacked, by other
Maine Coons have a
naturally friendly nature,
rarely choosing to fight
other animals
GroomingOwners do not need to
groom Maine Coons fur,
as much
‘Dead’ hair is less likely to
fall out of the coat, there
tangles possible. The
owner may need to bathe
a cat
Litter BoxThe owner can monitor
cats litter box activities
The owner has to clean
the litter tray daily. More
expensive to use a litter
TimeMaine Coons love human
interaction, so enjoy
spending more time with
their human family
The owner needs to
give indoor Maine Coon
lots of attention, and
mental stimulation
Fresh Air
Opening house windows
enables fresh air to
circulate. Cats experience
the benefits of sunshine
when sitting at the window
Indoor cats have less
access to fresh air and
Pros and Cons Of Keeping Cats Indoors

Can Maine Coon Cats Be Indoor Cats?

The decision to keep a Maine Coon cat indoors will always come down to personal preference.

Therefore, since everyone’s situations are unique, please consider the factors below in detail before making a decision:

1. Safety

One of the key reasons many owners keep their Maine Coon cats indoors is due to their perceived safety risks.

Whilst risks might have always been present in the world, today’s society presents an increased number of threats to the safety of Maine Coon cats, particularly traffic.

Key risks facing the Maine Coon cat today, include:

  • Traffic
  • Poison 
  • Predators
  • Criminals
  • Cat Fights
  • Diseases
TrafficThe amount of traffic on
the road has increased,
and this poses a huge risk
to the safety of cats
PoisonWhilst your own
surroundings might be
safe to your Maine Coon,
you cannot guarantee
that all the neighboring
properties are
PredatorsOutdoor cats risk
becoming prey, to larger
CriminalsMaine Coon cats are
very expensive. Criminals
will target this particular
cat breed, knowing older
Maine Coons have a high
resale value
DiseasesCats are at risk of
catching unwanted
diseases, from other
Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?


There has been a massive increase in the amount of traffic on today’s roads.

Traffic itself poses the number 1 risk to outdoor cats living in modern society since cats are unable to navigate their way around fast cars.

Although many owners would love to let their cats roam freely outside, statistics show that a large percentage of cats die each year, having been hit by vehicles.


One of the biggest safety risks that face outdoor Maine Coon cats, is that of disease.

Diseases can be fatal to your cat, and it is not possible to know which animals are infected, and which are not.

Therefore, if your cat is attacked, bitten, or gets into a fight whilst alone outdoors, they may encounter an infectious disease.

Cat Proofing

If owners are keen to let their treasured Maine Coon outside but are fearful of the multitude of risks they may face in doing, they should consider cat-proofing their garden.

Cat proofing is simply when an owner attaches specialized nets, and boundary blockers, which prevent their cat from escaping from the safety of their garden.

Here are some ideal products for this purpose:

Despite not always being visually appealing, these cat proofing products offer the Maine Coon the best of both worlds.

This is because they have the freedom to go outside, get fresh air, sunshine, playtime, yet are 100% safe, within the confines of their home’s back garden.

Outdoor Maine Coons

If you live in a built-up area, please consider the welfare of your Maine Coon cat, before letting them roam freely outside.

Many risks await your cat, particularly for white Maine Coons who are more prone to deafness. Deaf cats cannot hear traffic noises.

Few people, and traffic, reside in the countryside.

Owners may therefore consider the countryside a far safer place, to allow their Maine Coon cat to roam freely outdoors.

Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?
Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?

2. Diet

A key benefit of keeping your Maine Coon cat indoors is that you have 100% control over the food they eat.

This is beneficial since an indoor Maine Coon is not at risk of eating contaminated foods, or infected animals in the wild.

Maine Coons are obligate carnivores, so always feed them a diet of high-quality dry food, and/or raw meat.

Pay particular attention to the levels of protein, carbohydrates, fats, and fatty acids present in their dry food.

This is particularly important for indoor Maine Coons, since they cannot supplement dietary deficiencies by hunting prey outside in the wild.

These are my favorite dry foods for cats.

Wet food portions should be kept to 2-3 portions per week since the moisture within wet food can be damaging to your cat’s dental hygiene if consumed too often.

Outdoor Maine Coons

Outdoor Maine Coons will eat a diet of high-quality dry food but have the additional benefit of supplementing their daily food intake with live prey, which this cat breed used to eat when living in the wild.

3. Physical Activity

If you decide to keep your Maine Coon indoors, it is vital that you encourage them to exercise on a daily basis.

Owners can do this by playing daily games with their Maine Coon e.g. catch the string.

They can also stimulate their cat’s physical abilities by purchasing a range of cat toys that encourage the cat to move, whilst also tailoring to this cat breed’s naturally curious nature.

Click on the link, to see my favorite cat toys.

Additionally, owners planning to keep their Maine Coon cat indoors will also need to purchase a large cat tower.

Cat towers are a great way of bringing the outside world in, since they encourage jumping, scratching, and hiding.

These are my favorite extra-large cat towers, for my own Maine Coon cat.

For owners with slightly less room to spare, give this scratching post (Amazon link) a try.

Outdoor Maine Coons:

The outside world offers a large amount of excitement to your Maine Coon, which helps to keep them physically active, i.e:

  • Chasing Leaves
  • Climbing Trees
  • Catching Prey
  • Jumping Walls

Outdoor Maine Coons, therefore, need less owner intervention, to encourage them to be physically active.

4. Predators

There are many predators and prey in the natural environment, which an outdoor Maine Coon cat is likely to encounter.

Owners should consider the risks seriously, before allowing their Maine Coon to venture freely outside.

Outdoor Maine Coons

Critics argue that Maine Coons are extremely hardy, intelligent cats.

They draw owners’ attention to the fact that this cat breed survived for many generations in the wilderness, and face no more dangers in today’s world than they did previously.

5. Mental Stimulation

The mental welfare and happiness of your Maine Coon, should always be an owner’s top priority.

Therefore, if you decide to keep your Maine Coon cat inside, remember to address the following requirements:

  • Maine Coons need high levels of human interaction
  • Are extremely sociable creatures
  • Cat toys should be provided to mentally stimulate their brain
  • Bored cats become destructive

Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors? Yes, provided the owner has time to mentally stimulate their large cat on a daily basis.

They must also buy mentally stimulating cat toys, like these.

Outdoor Maine Coons:

The outside world offers countless opportunities for your cat to play, catch, scent, and smell everything that nature has to offer.

Owners permitting their Maine Coon to roam freely outside, therefore, do not have to spend considerable amounts of time each day, trying to mentally stimulate their cat. 

6. Cruelty

Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors?

In order to answer this highly emotive question, owners should always consider the impact of their decision on their Maine Coons long-term welfare.

Indoor Maine Coons

Millions of owners worldwide keep their Maine Coon cats indoors, perceiving the outside world to be a threat to their precious large cat.

They regard the practice as kind since they are protecting their loved Maine Coon from getting:

  • Hurt
  • Sick
  • Stolen
  • Lost

Maine Coons are very expensive.

Letting them roam free in the wild is therefore considered high risk for owners, since criminals often steal this pedigree cat, for resale.

For more details on the price of a Maine Coon cat, check out my article, “How Much Do Maine Coons Cost?

Outdoor Maine Coons

Many critics argue that keeping a Maine Coon indoors is cruel and unkind.

They claim this practice mentally damages a cat, since trapping an animal within a home leads to boredom, stress, and psychological damage.

Owners supporting this theory also claim keeping Maine Coon cats indoors, is unnatural.

7. Space

Maine Coon cats are known for being extremely playful and energetic, throughout their lives.

If you plan to keep your Maine Coon indoors, make sure you have lots of space for them to run, chase, and leap around your home.

Indoor cats have less opportunity to exercise.

Owners should buy a large cat tower to encourage their Maine Coon to jump, climb, scratch, and play at different levels within the home.

It is important to consider how much space you have, to house a large cat tower.

Click here to view more pictures of this fab extra large cat tower, on Amazon.

Outdoor Maine Coons

Many people disagree with the practice of keeping Maine Coon cats indoors.

They argue that it is impossible for owners to recreate the outside environment, within the confines of the home.

Modern homes are also considered too small, to house a Maine Coon cat adequately.

Click here to take a closer look at this cat tree, on Amazon.

8. Natural Instincts

All cats are born with natural instincts, such as:

  • Hunting
  • Grooming
  • Scratching
  • Eating
  • Playing
  • Climbing

The Maine Coon cat breed is no different, therefore if you are considering keeping one indoors, make sure you consider how your pet’s natural instincts will be stimulated.

Here are a few questions that you need to ask yourself:

  • Do you need to buy a cat tower, to encourage your cat to climb, scratch and jump? Or simply to give your Maine Coon a place to sit, high up?
  • Have you purchased the correct grooming tools, to assist your cat’s grooming instinct? I personally love these cat brushes.
  • Which cat toys are your Maine Coon interested in? Do these toys stimulate cats chasing, catching, and hunting instincts? I’ve found these cool cat toys particularly effective, for this.

Outdoor Maine Coons

Maine Coon cats lived in the wilderness for many years, before becoming house pets.

Their hardy nature and impressive hunting skills are thought to have played a key role in their survival.

Advocates of allowing the Maine Coon cat outdoors, therefore, question why owners are fearful of letting their Maine Coon roam outdoors?

One of the key benefits of allowing a Maine Coon cat outside is that all of their natural instincts are activated, constantly.

Even the simplest of things will stimulate your cat’s mind and body into action, i.e. a leaf flying past them is often considered a great thing to chase, or play with.

Critics claim that naturally occurring examples such as this can never be recreated within the home, however much an owner spends on clever cat toys.

9. Weather

Keeping a Maine Coon indoors will ensure that the cat is never too warm, or too cold since the temperature of a home can be easily adjusted.

Outdoor Maine Coon

The Maine Coons fur coat is made up of three layers:

  • 2 undercoats
  • 3rd outer guard coat

As the seasons change, you will notice that the Maine Coons fur adapts accordingly, growing thicker during the colder months, and thinner during the hot months.

It is therefore not necessary to keep a Maine Coon cat indoors, to ensure they are not too hot, or too cold.

10. Criminals

Sadly, due to the ever-increasing popularity of the Maine Coon cat, there has been a corresponding increase in criminals intent on stealing them.

It is thought that their high price tag and high resale value have significantly contributed to this occurrence.

Cat thieves are more commonly found in built-up areas, where a higher concentration of people and cats live.

This is not to say that owners living in the countryside are any safer from this form of criminal behavior though.

Therefore, wherever you live, please check with the local community to ascertain if your area has a high cat theft rate.

All owners should consider this risk seriously, before allowing their Maine Coon to roam freely outdoors.

11. Fighting

Some owners prefer to keep their Maine Coon cats indoors, to prevent them from being attacked by other animals. 

Outdoor Maine Coons

Maine Coons are often referred to as ‘gentle giants’ because they are very large, yet gentle cats. They are naturally friendly, and known to get on well with other pets.

This character trait makes them less prone to aggressive behavior and fights.

Keeping a Maine Coon indoors is therefore not necessary.

Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?
Can Maine Coon Cats Be Kept Indoors?

12. Grooming

Indoor Maine Coons require less grooming than their outdoor equivalents.

This is because their fur never brushes against bushes, trees, outside dirt, or wet puddles.

Keeping a Maine Coon indoors, therefore, saves owner’s considerable time and effort.

Outdoor Maine Coons

If you let your Maine Coon outside, you should brush your Maine Coons thick dense fur on a daily basis.

This is important for outdoor Coons, since regular grooming removes random things that get tangled within their fur, such as burs and grass seeds, that quickly develop into knots.

Genetics plays a key role in the type of fur your Maine Coon is born with, i.e. whether it is fluffy, silky, or prone to knots.

However, an additional consideration to keep in mind is that if the weather is damp outdoors, owners may find their Maine Coons fur becomes increasingly prone to knots and tangles.

13. Litter Box

Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors?

Yes, owners can keep this particular cat breed inside, as long as they are prepared to keep a litter box within their home and clean it out on a daily basis.

Failure to keep the litter tray clean will likely result in your indoor Maine Coon opting to defecate another area of your home. 

14. Time

Maine Coons are not known for being aloof or solitary, like other cat breeds.

The female Maine Coon, however, is considered more ‘cat-like’ in its nature, than the male Maine Coon.

It is important therefore that owners can spend time at home with their Maine Coon daily, to prevent them from becoming:

  • Lonely
  • Stressed
  • Depressed

For more information on the difference between the male and female Maine Coon, take a look at my article “Male vs Female Maine Coon“.

15. Fresh Air And Sunshine

It is important that Maine Coon cats get fresh air. Owners should therefore leave a window open (with a cat net covering the exit) to enable fresh air to circulate around their home. 

Maine Coons benefit from sunshine as humans do.

Vitamin D is important, therefore owners planning to keep their Maine Coon cat indoors need to encourage their cat to sit nearby, or next to the window.

Owners can encourage this behavior, by placing their cat bed, or tower next to the window, thus enabling them to experience sunshine.

Can You Be Allergic To Maine Coon Cats?

Sadly, some people are allergic to cats in general.

This means that they need to think wisely before purchasing a Maine Coon kitten and consider all the factors carefully i.e. do they have a mild or severe allergy?

Read this guide to discover all the questions potential owners need to keep in mind.


The opinions across the internet range widely on the subject ‘Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors’ so don’t necessarily assume others will automatically share the same opinions as you.

I was shocked to encounter many Facebook groups where the group owners’ opinions were so strong on the subject.

So much so, that if a user disagreed, they were automatically kicked off the Facebook page!

From my perspective, there is no ‘right’ or ‘wrong’ answer when it comes to deciding whether your Maine Coon should be kept indoors, or allowed outside.

I appreciate there are many risks in the outside world, however, the location of your home plays a huge factor in whether your Maine Coon cat should go outside, or not.

For instance, if you live in a remote countryside location with minimal traffic, allowing your Maine Coon outside is often considered less risky.

However, if you live in a built-up town location, with thousands of people, allowing your Maine Coon outside might be considered foolhardy, and high risk.

The decision ultimately comes down to the owner’s personal preference though, and will always be significantly impacted by their past experience.

For instance, if an owner has always let their cats roam freely outside, without any accidents, or traffic collisions, etc, they may feel the risks to their Maine Coon are low.

Which side of the fence do you sit on? … Can Maine Coon cats be kept indoors? …

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a 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 10 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! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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