Whether you allow your treasured Maine Coon cat outside, or not, is a hotly debated subject in the cat world.
Your decision will ultimately come down to personal preference, but let’s weigh up the pros and cons of the debate can Maine Coon cats go outside?.
There are no physical reasons why Maine Coon cats cannot go outside, like other cat breeds. However, this hotly debated subject is very emotive amongst pedigree cat owners. Many pros and cons exist for letting Maine Coons outdoors. Each owner must consider the factors carefully, weighing up their own personal situation i.e. do they live near busy roads? in the decision-making process.
A large number of Coon owners permit their pedigree cats to venture outside, letting them roam free.
However, on the flip side, there are also just as many owners who keep their beloved feline friends secured safely inside their home, as indoor cats.
Can I Let My Maine Coon Go Outside?
Yes, and No!
The answer to this question will ultimately depend upon many different factors, which will be unique to your own family’s particular situation i.e:
- Where you live
- Proximity to roads
- Immediate dangers in your particular location
- Your cat’s personality
As I have already briefly touched upon above, the decision to let your Maine Coon cat go outside, or not, is a massively debated subject in the pet world.
This subject sparks great emotion amongst pedigree cat owners.
Before making any decision, review the unbiased arguments for, and against letting your Maine Coon pedigree cat outdoors, below.
Should Maine Coons Go Outside?
The table below lists the key pros and cons of letting a Maine Coon cat go outdoors on its own.
Please use these 15 key factors to make an informed decision.
|Factor||Outdoor Cat||Indoor Cat|
|Cats scratch trees etc, |
to keep their claws
sharp, short, and to
mark their territory
|Maine Coons are |
cats that are more
clever than other
breeds so will avoid
locations have limited
|Maine Coons are territorial, |
but their home is their
territory. They have plenty
of smells and scents to
explore indoors, from other
pets or humans bringing
scents into their home via
their feet or clothes, etc.
|Cats die every day due |
to road traffic. They are
not bright enough to avoid
|Exercise||Need regular exercise |
outdoors i.e. hunting
prey, climbing trees,
etc, to avoid becoming
|This intelligent breed |
can be taught to walk on
a lead, like a dog. Cats
can be exercised using a cat
towers and cat toys
|Playing||Cats should be |
allowed to explore the
outdoor world, playing
in their natural habitat
|Maine Coons are a lively |
playful cat breed, they
can play safely indoors.
Owners can play with
|Maine Coons are |
They scratch trees, and
scent areas to ensure that
other cats stay out of their
territory. Scents are
exciting to a Maine Coon,
and this natural instinct
is not possible in a
cat-proofed garden, or
for an indoor cat.
|It’s cruel to keep a cat |
indoors. Maine Coons
descend from a mix
between a semi-wild
animal, and a domestic
cat. They instinctively
enjoy hunting prey
and are outdoor animals.
|Cruelty||Cats should be free to |
roam the outdoor world.
The danger of criminals
do exist, however, owners
are keen on their precious
Maine Coon to live a full
and happy life
|Keeping a Maine Coon |
indoors is not cruel, but
an owner protecting their
treasured feline companion
|Expensive||All pedigree cats are |
Maine Coons to stay
indoors just because
they cost a lot of money
is unfair. Owners have
the choice to purchase a
less pricey cat breed if
they are concerned over
their cat’s safety
|Maine Coons are |
expensive and amazing
creatures. Owners love
their cats so much that
they want to protect
them, by keeping them
|Disease||Owners can ensure |
their cat has all the
to prevent them from
Maine Coon breeders
scan breeding cats for
signs of disease, before
breeding, thus limiting
chances of disease.
|Outdoor Maine Coons |
are at greater risk of
than indoor cats
|Criminals||Cats live longer if allowed |
(a half-Maine Coon)
holds the record for being
the oldest Maine Coon
(age 26), in the Guinness
Records (source 1)
|Pedigree cat breeds |
are VERY expensive.
Criminals target Maine
Coon cats, stealing them
for resale at high prices
|Lifespan||Catproofing a garden |
is effectively keeping a
Maine Coon as a prisoner,
within their home. This is
unkind and cruel
|There is no clear |
research proving that
cats live longer if allowed
outdoor, to roam free
|Cat proofing a garden |
is effectively keeping a
Maine Coon as a prisoner,
within their home. This is
unkind and cruel
|Maine Coons can be |
let outside if an owner
has cat-proofed their
garden. This allows the
cat to safely enjoy the
|Dangers||Maine Coons are animals. |
They are great hunters
and love to hunt live prey
i.e. mice. Allowing a Coon
outdoors heightens their
senses to the threats of
other members of the
|If you let your Maine |
Coon outside, you risk
them becoming prey
to a larger animal in
the food chain
|Maine Coons adore |
human company and can
get plenty of interaction
with their human whilst
at home. Indoor Coons
are at risk of
due to boredom
|Maine coons love |
spending time with their
humans. They will follow
their owner around all day,
like a dog. No extra
stimulation is required
|Cats need to venture |
into the outdoor world,
to prevent boredom.
They are naturally
outdoor animals and
need the mental
stimulation that the
outside world provides
|Coons can be mentally |
stimulated by cat toys,
cat towers, or playing
games with their owners
|Curiosity||Maine Coons should |
be allowed to explore
the outdoor world. Their
instincts should not
|Curiosity killed the cat! |
Maine Coons are intelligent,
and naturally more curious
than other breeds. They
may wander further afield,
and get lost
If you decide to let your cat outside, you might be wondering if Maine Coons can jump the walls, hedges, and obstacles that the outdoors presents. Read this guide to find out the answer!
And, just how high can a Maine Coon cat jump? Click here to find out!
Do Maine Coons Need To Go Outside?
There are many benefits supporting the argument that Maine Coons should be allowed to roam freely outdoors.
We shall now review the positive and negative sides of this argument.
Here are just a few factors to consider:
Maine Coons are prone to obesity.
Letting them outside reduces the risk of them developing this disease since the outdoor world gives them the chance to exercise regularly.
They can hunt, climb trees, and generally play, as they would in the wild.
2. Well Being
The best way for your Maine to live a long and healthy life is to allow them outside, where there are ample scents, tastes, and fun for your cat to enjoy.
The outside world offers endless new experiences that keep Maine Coons mentally stimulated.
Outdoor cats are less like to suffer from boredom, which can psychologically harm your cat’s sense of well-being.
3. Litter Tray
All animals need the toilet, at some point or other. Permitting your Maine Coon outside will negate the need for you to clean your cat’s litter tray every day.
This saves you time and a great deal of money throughout your cat’s lifetime.
Cat litter has been proven to cause blindness in young children, should they come into contact with it.
With the best will in the world, and even if you use a contained litter tray, children will always be in danger of touching litter that the cat has unknowingly carried through into the house.
Why take the chance?
Maine Coons that are allowed to explore the outside world, are less likely to scratch your house furniture, i.e. sofas or tables.
This is because they can scratch and maintain their claws whilst outside.
It would still be advisable though, to keep additional scratch posts within your home as this helps to encourage your Maine Coon not to scratch household furniture.
All cats need access to grass.
Natural evolution has taught them that eating grass will help to make them physically sick.
This is a desirable result should your Maine Coon have eaten something that disagrees with their stomachs.
On the flip side, there are many reasons why you should not let your Maine Coon cat outside, on its own. We shall now review the following negative issues:
1. Road Traffic
Maine Coon cats are intelligent, but that doesn’t mean they know how to cross the road safely! One of the biggest dangers that face all cat breeds, is road traffic.
2. May Become Trapped
You might love the idea of your cat exploring the wider world, being one with nature, and living a full and happy life. However, what happens if they become trapped?
The first you will know that your cat is potentially trapped, and in danger, is when your Maine Coon doesn’t return home.
But the fact of the matter is that you still won’t know WHERE they are trapped.
This is particularly problematic, so I would recommend that you attach a GPS cat tracker to their collar, to keep them safe.
I’ve found this particular tracker from Amazon works well on our Maine Coon.
If you would prefer to buy a smaller tracker, we have also found this one to be particularly effective (quick link to Amazon).
It is important to note that a cat tracker would be highly beneficial in the Summer months. Why? Because neighbors will have their sheds or garages open more often, due to the heat.
Maine Coons are curious creatures and will explore open doorways. Your neighbors may unknowingly close the door later in the evening, not expecting a cat to be inside their property.
Indoor cats are not exposed to the same diseases that outdoor cats are exposed to.
Should your Maine Coon get into a fight with a cat outdoors, they may get hurt and their wound will be opened to disease or infection.
One of the other key negatives to letting your Maine Coon go outdoors is that they risk becoming prey to other animals i.e. large birds or foxes.
Maine Coons are known for being an expensive pedigree cat. They are highly desirable and even older Maine Coons command a high resale price.
If you let your Maine Coon outside, you have to accept that your Maine Coon will always be at risk from criminals trying to target your cat and steal it.
Why Keep Maine Coons Indoors
When considering the question can Maine Coon cats go outside you need to look at the subject from both sides of the argument, to make an informed decision?
These are the benefits of keeping your Maine Coon indoors, permanently:
Whether you like it or not, many dangers face the Maine Coon cat when they explore the outside world.
For instance, they may become prey to larger animals within the food chain.
Or, criminals may target your Maine Coon cat, trying to steal it, knowing this expensive pedigree cat commands a high resale price.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent little beings, their love for life and play is evident for all to see.
Despite these personality traits making the Maine Coon a sought-after cat breed, their curiosity poses a great risk to themselves.
This cat breed is more prone to go off and explore the wider world, well beyond their immediate territory.
A curiosity level such as this can place the Maine Coon cat in danger, since they are more likely to get lost, or may come into contact with traffic, or busier roads.
3. Peace Of Mind
Whatever your opinion, it is hard to deny the argument that keeping your cat indoors full-time, gives you peace of mind.
You never need to worry that your cat has roamed too far, that you may have to search for them in the darkness, or that they may have come to harm whilst exploring the wider world.
If you allow your cat outside, chances are that at some point or other, they WILL discover the rain, mud, and puddles.
Keeping your cat indoors removes the hassle of needing to regularly clean your home, due to the muddy paw prints that an outdoor cat will inevitably bring into your home.
Owners that allow their Maine Coon to venture outside can only protect their cats from unwanted diseases to a certain extent.
Whilst it is possible for them to vaccinate their precious Maine Coon against the most likely diseases that they may come into contact with in the outdoors, they cannot protect their feline companion from everything.
Indoor cats are not at risk of venturing into gardens where harsh chemicals are being used on another owner’s crops or plants.
They will also not be attacked by another cat or animal that is contaminated with diseases that they have not been protected against.
Indoor cats are more likely to have a longer lifespan than outdoor cats.
Thus keeping your Maine Coon inside will statistically increase the lifespan of your cat.
Learn more about how long Maine Coon cats live, by reading this article.
Can Maine Coon cats go outside?
I personally believe that Maine Coons should be permitted to go outside and be allowed to roam around a large cat-proofed garden.
If an owner doesn’t have a garden then owners should take their Maine Coon for daily walks, to enable access to the wider world of scents and mental stimulation.
It is important to allow your feline companion access to grass, to experience the fascinating scents and smells that the world has to offer.
This is crucial for ensuring that they do not suffer psychologically, due to boredom from being stuck indoors every day.
Access to grass also helps the Maine Coons vomit (be sick), should they have eaten something that disagrees with their stomachs.
1. Can you walk a Maine Coon?
2. Do Maine Coon Cats Like To Climb?
Absolutely, climbing is one of their natural instincts. They are an intelligent breed though and like to find the easy way up.
3. What Is The Best Maine Coon Cat Flap?
For those of you who are interested in installing a Maine Coon cat flap, make sure you read my guide to the best Maine Coon cat flaps.