Before bringing this large, wild-looking cat into their homes, a lot of owners first ask, can Maine Coons be house cats?
This breed’s rural origins and massive size are often a cause for concern amongst owners who don’t want their Maine Coon to be unhappy indoors.
Maine Coon Cats can be perfectly happy if kept indoors, so long as they are provided with plenty of enrichment such as durable toys, regular playtime, and plenty of places to climb. It is also possible to keep these cats outdoors, although outdoor cats are susceptible to illness, injury, and a variety of accidents.
Choosing whether or not to keep your Maine Coon indoors can be a difficult task, and it’s one that a lot of people have strong opinions about.
Read on to learn all of the pros and cons about keeping your Maine Coon indoors or outdoors, so you can decide for yourself what’s right for your situation.
Can Maine Coons Be House Cats?
The Maine Coon Cat was first discovered in the cold state of Maine, but there are a lot of fanciful myths as to how this breed came to be. These myths include stories about:
- Mary Antoinette’s famous six Turkish Angora Cats
- A long-haired cat breeding with a Raccoon (find out the truth behind this!)
- Viking Ship Cats
Nobody knows for sure where the Maine Coon came from before developing in Maine, but what we do know is that these large cats are gentle, friendly creatures that get along great with humans!
You can learn more about the fascinating myths relating to the Maine Coon cat’s origins, click here.
Over the years, the Maine Coon has become more and more popular for its massive size and friendly personality. Learn more about the ‘Maine Coon Personality‘ in my article.
Cat lovers all over the world are interested in getting Maine Coons of their own, but a common question among potential owners is, are Maine Coons indoor cats? After all, the breed developed naturally in the wild, so many owners are concerned that keeping them indoors could make them bored or unhappy.
What Do You Think?
The question of keeping cats indoors or outdoors has been debated for decades, and it’s a highly emotive question that people tend to feel quite strongly about.
At the end of the day, though, your own living situation will determine what’s right for the cat.
Maine Coons are large, energetic cats that need plenty of space to run and climb.
Owners with small, cramped houses or apartments can’t always provide the space that these cats need, which is one common reason some Maine Coons are allowed outdoors.
Those of you living in an apartment will experience these issues if you adopt/buy a Maine Coon cat. So, make sure you are aware of the potential issues before you bring one of these gentle giants into your home.
Many owners also fear that they can’t provide their Maine Coon with the stimulation and enrichment that they require.
However, it’s important to keep in mind that there are many dangers to keeping your cat outdoors.
As a result, it’s becoming increasingly common for breeders to have buyers sign a contract stating they will keep their cats indoors.
Even without these contracts, many owners choose to protect this expensive cat breed by keeping it safely indoors.
Do Maine Coons Make Good House Cats?
If you’d prefer to have an indoor cat, but don’t know much about the Maine Coon breed, you might be wondering, are Maine Coons good house cats?
With enough enrichment and space, these cats make wonderful house cats!
Here are just a few reasons why Maine Coons fit perfectly into most households:
- They’re Highly Sociable: The Maine Coon is an affectionate, social breed that gets along well with family members, guests, and even strangers. Unlike some cats, Maine Coons aren’t commonly frightened or wary of humans.
- They Aren’t Clingy: Maine Coons are affectionate cats, but they aren’t known for being clingy. They love to be around their owners, but prefer to follow their people from room to room at a distance. You’ll often find your Maine Coon hanging out in the same room as you, but they don’t get under your feet or demand cuddles at inconvenient times.
- They’re Great With Kids And Pets: Maine Coons are famous for being the gentle giants of the cat world. These highly social cats are patient and loving towards children, and they’re even known to get along well with dogs and other cats.
- They’re Very Intelligent: Maine Coons are among the smartest cat breeds, which means it’s easy to train them. With consistency and positive reinforcement, you can teach just about any Maine Coon to stay off the counters, tables, and other surfaces.
Are Maine Coons Good Family Pets?
Before bringing this cat breed into their home, a lot of people understandably want to know, are Maine Coon Cats friendly?
The simple answer to this question is YES! This wonderful cat breed is very friendly, which means they make wonderful family pets. If they are properly socialized from a young age, Maine Coons are gentle, patient, and friendly cats.
Maine Coon cats are also well known for being highly social and affectionate, and they love spending time with their owners! In fact, since Maine Coons are so social, they often do best in a household with more than one family member, because they are more likely to receive more attention throughout the day.
For larger families with other pets or kids, bringing home a Maine Coon shouldn’t be a cause for concern, either. Maine Coons aren’t just friendly towards adult humans; they get along famously well with children and other animals, including dogs!
These large cats can withstand a bit more boisterous behavior than the average cat, and they’re also more patient with kids.
With that being said, however, it’s important to teach young children how to interact gently with the cat. Even the most patient of Maine Coons won’t stand its tail being pulled!
Lastly, however, keep in mind that cramped houses can be undesirable for Maine Coons. All cats need to feel like they have their own space or territory where they can retreat for some alone time.
Here’s a short video of our daughter cuddling our Maine Coon cat. As you will see, ‘Pippin’ (our male Maine Coon) is sat on her lap and is very tolerant of her stroking and cuddling him:
Are Maine Coons Friendly With Other Cats?
Maine Coons are known for being very patient and social animals that usually love the company of other cats!
Of course, this mostly depends on how well you introduce your Maine Coon to any other cats living in your home since even the friendliest of cats will need time to adjust to a new animal in the house.
Therefore, when you bring home a new cat, make sure that you follow these steps:
- Keep any new cat in a separate bedroom, away from any other pets living in the house.
- Switch out Maine Coon cat toys, blankets, or cat beds between your cats so they can get used to one another’s scents.
- Slowly introduce the cats through a baby gate.
- When your cats are able to see each other without growling or hissing, then you can allow them to hang out in the same room as each other.
- Make sure you supervise at first, in case any fights break out.
Thankfully, Maine Coons are so friendly and patient that introducing them to a new cat usually goes quite smoothly!
Are Maine Coons High Maintenance If Kept Indoors?
Some people want to keep their Maine Coon indoors but are worried that their cat will be high maintenance if it’s not allowed outside.
Indoor cats do require a bit more attention than outdoor cats, but with the right Maine Coon cat toys, furniture, and scheduled playtime, then your Maine Coon shouldn’t be high maintenance at all.
Maine Coons do require a lot of enrichment though, so if your cat is cooped up inside all day with nowhere to climb, run, or play, then it will likely become bored and destructive. Thirty minutes of playtime every day, as well as cat trees, durable toys, and even shelves to climb on, can make a huge difference.
If this is a concern to you, make sure you read my article ‘Are Maine Coon Cats High Maintenance?‘.
Do Maine Coons Have A Lot Of Energy?
Maine Coons are famous for having a kitten-like personality that stays well into adulthood.
These large cats are quite energetic and need lots of space to climb, regular playtime, and interactive, durable toys. These are my favorite Maine Coon cat toys, which have stood the test of time with our massive male Maine Coon.
If your Maine Coon has access to a cat tree or other climbing spaces, and you play with your cat for about thirty minutes every day, then you won’t have to worry about your cat being too energetic.
While Maine Coons are athletic and playful, so long as you make time to play with your cat every day, they’re generally calm and easy to live with. In fact, they are often happy to entertain themselves with random leaves, balls, paper that they find around your home!
How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live Indoors?
Maine Coons have a lifespan of about 12 to 15 years.
Indoor cats typically have longer lifespans than outdoor cats, because they aren’t exposed to dangers from wild animals, stray cats, cars, and other potential hazards.
Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone?
If you spend a lot of time working, you might be wondering, how long can you leave a Maine Coon alone?
These friendly cats thrive on social interaction, and shouldn’t be left alone for too long.
If you work long hours most days of the week, then a Maine Coon might not be the right pet for you.
Maine Coons work best in households with multiple family members, that way they’re more likely to get attention throughout the day.
If you’re worried that your Maine Coon spends too much time alone, though, you might want to consider getting a second cat (or even a dog) to keep your Maine Coon company!
Can Maine Coons Go Outside?
Choosing to make your Maine Coon an indoor cat or an outdoor cat can be a big decision. Many owners worry, is it cruel to keep Maine Coon Cats indoors?
Ultimately, whether or not your Maine Coon remains inside or outside is your decision, and it depends greatly on your personal living situation.
If you’re wondering, do Maine Coons have to be kept indoors, you might be surprised to learn that they don’t. In fact, it is perfectly possible for a Maine Coon to be kept outdoors (unless you signed a contract with your breeder stating otherwise).
Here are the key reasons why some owners prefer to keep outdoor cats:
1. It Provides Enrichment
Maine Coons are highly intelligent, and as a result, they need a lot of enrichment to keep their minds stimulated.
Indoor cats that don’t have enough space or places to climb and play can become bored and destructive.
Outdoor cats, however, get to experience all sorts of new sights and smells, which is good for their mental health and also reduces the chances of destructive behavior.
2. Your Cat Will Get More Exercise
Indoor cats can’t always stretch their legs the way they need to.
Maine Coons are athletic cats that need lots of exercise, and if those exercise requirements aren’t met, it can lead to obesity, heart disease, and other complications.
These are the top 7 Maine Coon health problems to watch out for.
Outdoor cats have all the space in the world to run and climb, and as a result, they’re usually more physically fit.
3. It Gives Your Cat More Freedom
A lot of owners feel that keeping their cat indoors is cruel, and want them to experience true freedom.
Outdoor cats can come and go as they please, and don’t feel cooped up or trapped in one location.
Some owners feel this strengthens their bond with their cat.
Can Maine Coons Be Indoor Cats?
With that being said, there are also a lot of reasons why owners don’t allow their Maine Coon outdoors.
Here’s a list of reasons why you might want to keep your Maine Coon inside, instead:
1. Lower Risk Of Injury
The outside world is incredibly dangerous for cats.
There are a lot of other stray and domestic cats that wander around outside, and not all of them are friendly.
Your cat could easily get into fights with other cats, which can result in injury, infection, and even death.
Other dogs and wild animals also pose a very real danger to outdoor cats, not to mention cars and heavy machinery.
Sadly, as much as you may love your cat, not everybody values cats’ lives, and mean-spirited humans have been known to injure and even kill cats out of annoyance, or even for fun.
If your cat is injured while it’s outside, there’s no way for you to know what happened, or even where your cat is, and chances are you might not be able to give your cat proper medical treatment in time.
2. Lower Risk Of Illness
Outdoor cats are also at a much higher risk for contracting illnesses from other cats, or from eating sick or poisoned prey.
It’s also very common for outdoor cats to contract parasites like fleas, ringworm, and much more.
3. Lower Risk Of Your Cat Disappearing
Outdoor cats are in danger of being stolen or wandering off.
Some well-meaning people aren’t aware that an outdoor cat already has a home, so they take it in as their own.
Outdoor cats can also be mistaken for strays, and are taken to local animal shelters and adopted out, or even euthanized.
4. It’s Easy To Provide Enrichment
Many outdoor cat owners choose to keep their cats outdoors because they believe their cat won’t get enough enrichment inside.
However, it’s perfectly easy to provide your cat with the proper amount of enrichment.
A large cat tree (these are my all time favorites), specially installed cat shelves, and lots of durable, interactive toys are all perfect for keeping a cat enriched.
If you give your Maine Coon about thirty minutes of playtime every day, chances are it’ll be perfectly stimulated and content.
5. You Can Still Give Your Cat Time Outside
Indoor cats can still be allowed outside with proper supervision!
Believe it or not, you can also even train Maine Coons to walk on a leash and harness. That way, you can take your cat on walks and allow it to safely explore a new and exciting environment.
If you have a tall fence in your backyard, you can also allow your cat to safely explore the garden without running off.
6. Lower Risk Of Pregnancy
Allowing cats who haven’t been spayed or neutered to roam around outside is extremely irresponsible.
Male cats are especially bad, because they can impregnate dozens of female strays and house cats.
Feral cat populations lead miserable lives filled with early death, as well as disease and injury.
It’s very important therefore to try and reduce the feral cat population as much as possible, and allowing an unfixed cat to roam around will only contribute to a very serious problem.
7. Outdoor Cats Are Bad For The Environment
Over the past century alone, cats have been responsible for dozens of extinctions of local wildlife, and they pose a particular danger to birds.
Even if you don’t think your cat is actually eating outdoor prey, it is likely still catching and killing animals for fun.
Outdoor cats have a hugely negative impact on the environment, and there’s no way to stop an outdoor cat from hunting.
So can Maine Coons be house cats, or not?
A lot of owners are unsure if this large cat can live comfortably indoors, but thankfully, Maine Coons can adapt perfectly well to indoor life! Indoor Maine Coons do however require lots of space to climb and jump, as well as lots of durable, interactive toys to keep from getting bored.
Choosing to keep your cat indoors or allow it outside is a personal choice, and a decision that is ultimately up to you. However, it’s important to consider your own living situation, and decide what’s best for both you and your cat.
How Much Do Maine Coons Cost?
The Maine Coon is an expensive cat breed that can cost anywhere from $400 to $2,000 from a reputable breeder.
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