If you are considering bringing home a Maine Coon cat, you might be wondering, do Maine Coon cats run away? After all, nobody wants to purchase a beloved pet, only to have it escape forever.
All cat breeds have natural outdoor instincts and enjoy wandering. By owning a Maine Coon Cat, or any other cat breed, you run the risk of your cat escaping. Maine Coons are just as likely to run away as any other cat breed, although unneutered males are the most likely to roam.
The possibility of your cat escaping is, unfortunately, always a risk if you own a cat.
However, there are plenty of precautions you can take to ensure your cat gets home safely if it does manage to run away.
Read on to find out how to prevent your cat from escaping, as well as what you can do if your cat does run away.
Do Maine Coon Cats Run Away?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
These gentle giants originated naturally in the state of Maine, which is notorious for its harsh winters.
In the wild, Maine Coons hunted for themselves and eventually became popular for their ability to hunt down rats and other vermin.
Many people mistook the Maine Coon cat for a raccoon! Click here to read my article on why Maine Coons were mistaken for raccoons.
Due to their wild origins, a lot of potential owners wonder, will Maine Coons run away if you get one? After all, nobody wants to bring home a cat only for it to run away and never be seen again!
Unfortunately, it is possible for any breed of cat, including Maine Coons, to run away.
Outdoor cats have a higher chance of running away, as they spend much of the time unsupervised.
Indoor cats can still escape, however, if a window or door is left open.
But are Maine Coon cats even allowed outside? … find out more about this emotive subject, by reading my article ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Allowed Outside‘.
While many outdoor cats are known for wandering throughout the day, they often return at night. Still, a cat might run away and not return for any number of reasons.
At the end of the day, there’s no way to ensure an outdoor cat will always come back.
Can Maine Coons Go Outside?
There has long been a heated debate on whether or not cats should be allowed to roam outside.
Many cat owners in the UK are laxer about allowing cats to go outside than in the US, but the truth is that going outside is equally dangerous for cats regardless of what country they live in.
In fact, the dangers of allowing cats outdoors are so prevalent that many breeders even make owners sign a contract to not allow their cats outside.
Click here to read more on ‘buying a Maine Coon cat’.
However, there’s certainly a reason why people allow their cats outside.
Keep reading to see our in-depth look at the pros and cons of allowing your Maine Coon to explore the outdoors:
- Enrichment: Maine Coons are extremely intelligent, and they need a lot of stimulation to keep from getting bored. If these cats don’t get enough enrichment, they can become destructive. Allowing Maine Coons to go outside lets them explore all sorts of new sights and smells, and keeps them enriched without needing to spend a fortune on new toys.
- Exercise: Maine Coons are highly active, but they can easily become obese if their exercise needs aren’t being met. Outdoor cats have more space to run, jump, and explore, and they are often less likely to become obese. If you want to keep your Maine Coon inside, make sure you buy some of these Maine Coon cat toys, which are ideally suited to the Maine Coons strength and intelligence.
- Freedom: Many owners feel bad keeping their cat cooped up indoors, and instead want them to experience life more “naturally,” like their wild ancestors did. Allowing cats to choose when to go outside versus when to stay inside gives your pet a lot more freedom.
While there are a lot of positive aspects to allowing your cat outside, there are also many negative ones.
So why can’t Maine Coon Cats go outside?
Here is a comprehensive list of all the possible reasons why you should not allow a cat outside:
- Cars: Cars are one of the biggest dangers to outdoor cats. Not only can cats get hit by cars while crossing the street, but many cats choose to sleep on top of tires during the colder months, because the heat from the car keeps them warm.
- Wild Animals: Wild animals like badgers, foxes, and raccoons all pose a dangerous threat to outdoor cats. Furthermore, they can transmit deadly diseases, including rabies!
- Getting Lost: While some cats have an excellent sense of direction and can find their way back home without any problems, this isn’t the case for all cats. Your Maine Coon might wander too far away from home one day and never find its way back. While many shelters take in strays, there’s no guarantee your cat will be taken in by your local pound or animal rescue, and you might never be reunited with your beloved pet again.
- Other Cats: Cats can be highly territorial, and often get in fights with one another. Cats are also notorious for the amount of bacteria in their mouths, which helps to kill prey quickly. Unfortunately, this amount of bacteria can also lead to a horrible infection if your cat is bitten by another cat. Infected cat bites can sometimes lead to amputation or even death if left untreated.
- Disease and Infection: Outdoor cats are susceptible to all sorts of transmitted diseases, infections, and parasites, which they can get from other cats, wild animals, or even their environment. If you are worried your Maine Coon is ill, check their symptoms against the top 7 Maine Coon cat health problems.
- Getting Stolen: Maine Coons are a highly coveted cat breed, and a target for thieves looking to make a quick buck. Maine Coons aren’t always stolen out of malice, either. Some well-intentioned people might see what they perceive to be a stray cat wandering around, and then take it in!
- Overfeeding: Outdoor cats are often experts at begging local neighbors for food. It’s common for a lot of outdoor cats to have a daily routine at several houses, where well-intentioned cat lovers feed them extra food. This can, of course, lead to obesity. Some people might even feed your cat “treats” like milk or sweets, which are dangerous to cats. Here is my favorite dry food brands, for our Maine Coon cat.
- Trees: Maine Coons are famous for their love of heights, but just because they’re good at climbing trees doesn’t mean they’re equally good at getting back down. It’s common for cats to climb higher than they should, and then they are too scared to come back down. A fall from a tall tree can easily kill a cat. Buy your cat an extra large cat tree/tower like one of these, to deter them from climbing trees outside.
- Poison: Maine Coons are excellent hunters, but chasing down vermin can actually be highly dangerous. If your Maine Coon catches a rat that recently had rat poison, it can kill your cat, as well. Poisonous plants and other toxic chemicals can also be found all over neighborhoods, farms, and cities.
- Damaging the Local Ecosystem: Believe it or not, you shouldn’t just keep your cat inside to keep your pet safe- you should also keep your cat indoors to protect the environment. Even well-fed cats enjoy hunting birds and other animals for sport, but studies have shown that outdoor cats’ love of hunting birds actually has an extremely damaging impact on local wildlife populations.
- Increased Feral Population: If your cat isn’t spayed or neutered, allowing it to roam outside is extremely irresponsible. They can easily become pregnant or impregnate another cat. Male cats can impregnate dozens of females in a year, which will likely cause an increase in feral cat populations. Feral cats live in poor conditions, and often die young from disease or injury. If you aren’t too sure when the best age to neuter your Maine Coon kitten it, read this article straight away!
Do Maine Coons Roam?
Some outdoor cats choose to stay near their homes most of the time.
So, do Maine Coons roam far?
Maine Coons are naturally active cats and are more likely to wander than other cat breeds.
Maine Coons are curious cats that love to explore the world around them. If they are allowed outside, they will most likely explore far and wide.
This means that outdoor Maine Coons are more likely to wander farther than they should, and are at risk of being injured, hit by a car, or stolen.
Discover more about the Maine Coon personality and characteristics in my article ‘Maine Coon Personality Traits‘.
Why Do Cats Run Away From Home?
Even the most affectionate cats can sometimes run away, but you should not take it personally.
There are a lot of different reasons why cats might run away from home:
- Chased Away: Many cats roam around with the intention of returning home, but are chased away by another cat or wild animal. They will run away out of self-defense, but once they are safe, they’ll be too far to find the way back home.
- Curiosity: Maine Coons are especially known for their curiosity and love of enrichment. New smells, sights, and sounds can all end up distracting a cat and leading it far away from home. While many cats are excellent at locating their way back home, if they wander away too far, they could end up getting lost or stuck.
- Mating: Unfixed cats have strong, natural instincts to reproduce, and tend to wander in search of a mate. Many cats have multiple sexual partners, as well, which means they can end up wandering far and wide in search of new mates.
- Finding Another Home: Many outdoor cats become comfortable with other people, and might even spend time living a second life away from you! Sadly, some cats might choose to settle in a new location more permanently.
- Injury Or Illness: Cats are extremely vulnerable when injured or sick, so their best instinct is to hide and lie low until they get better. This means that if your cat became ill or injured while outside, it might run away and hide in a completely separate location. This is especially dangerous if your cat is unable to overcome its illness or injury on its own.
- Hunting: Maine Coons are expert hunters, but this can sometimes be a disadvantage if they are outdoor cats. They can end up following a tantalizing scent and end up hunting far away from home. Not only are they less likely to return home for dinner if they’re full, but they might also get lost after wandering far away.
Do Cats Return After Running Away?
Many outdoor cats roam around during the day, but come back home at night.
Sometimes, even indoor cats are capable of running away if a door or window is left open.
Many cats choose to come back home, but a cat that has wandered too far might not be able to return on its own.
My Maine Coon Ran Away – What Next?
Losing your cat is any owner’s worst nightmare, but it can happen even in the best of circumstances.
If you do happen to lose your cat, it is important to have a plan in place to get it back home safely.
Here are some steps you should take to locate your cat and bring it back home:
- Befriend Your Neighbors: If you have an outdoor cat, it’s a good idea to get to know your neighbors. They will be your first resource if your cat goes missing, because they could have seen or noticed something you didn’t. After all, you don’t want to spend a whole afternoon searching for your cat if it was in your neighbor’s backyard the whole time!
- Search At Dusk And Dawn: Cats are crepuscular, meaning they are most active during dusk and dawn. These are the best hours to go searching for your cat because it’s likely your cat will be hiding and sleeping during the day and night. Read more on ‘Are Maine Coons Nocturnal?‘.
- Make A Poster: Make sure you have lots of pictures of your cat. Use a photo that is easily identifiable, and create several laminated posters to hang around your neighborhood. Make sure to include your name and phone number, and you might want to consider adding a reward for more incentive.
- Call Local Shelters: Call all of your local rescues and provide a detailed description of your cat so that they can keep an eye out for any incoming kitties that fit the description of your pet! You might also want to bring posters and hang them up at your local shelters so staff have a picture to refer to.
- Call Local Papers And Radio Stations: Your local newspapers and radio stations will likely be more than happy to help you locate your cat. Many stations will put in a quick ad about your lost cat, which can help widen the amount of people keeping an eye out for your pet.
- Put Out Food: If you suspect your cat might be hiding in plain sight, make sure to call your cat during feeding time and rattle its bowl outside. While this might not always work, it could certainly help!
- Set A Trap: Put your cat’s favorite food or treats inside a steel trap and set it near your house. While you might catch other animals, including skunks, raccoons, or other local cats, there’s also a chance you’ll catch your pet!
- Work Outside: Spend as much time outside as possible to increase the chances of finding your cat. Gardening, working from your porch, and even eating meals outside can all help you keep an eye out for your cat.
How To Stop Cat Getting Lost
If you’re determined to have an outdoor cat, or are simply worried that your indoor cat might run away, then you should take extra precautions so your cat won’t get lost.
Here are some methods you can use to prevent your cat from going missing (source 1):
- ID Your Cat’s Collar: First and foremost, you should make sure your cat’s collar has an ID tag. This should include your phone number at the very least. All too often, well-intentioned people find a “lost” cat and decide to take it in, not even knowing the cat actually belongs to someone else! An ID tag is a foolproof way to ensure that, should your cat be found by another person, it can be returned safely to you. Here’s a good ID tag for your cat, sold via Amazon.
- Keep Your Cat Indoors: The surest way to prevent your cat from going missing is to keep it indoors. While not all outdoor cats will get lost, they are at a much higher risk for going missing, or even being injured or killed. Of course, indoor cats can still escape if a door is left open for too long, or if they manage to wriggle through an open window. Overall, however, indoor cats are infinitely safer than outdoor cats. Buy one of these large cat towers, to keep them entertained indoors.
- Microchip: Getting a microchip is an important step to ensure you can relocate your cat. Microchips can be read by vets and animal shelters, so that, should your cat turn up somewhere else, they can be returned safely to their owners. Microchips include your name, phone number, and address.
- Tracker Collar: If your cat goes outside often, but you’re worried about it wandering too far, then you might want to get a tracker collar. You can purchase either a GPS or a Bluetooth tracker, and both of these devices can be used to locate your cat in real time! I love the unlimited range on this GPS pet tracker (sold on Amazon), as it gives me comfort that our cat will never get lost.
- Spay and Neuter: A common reason cats run away is because they have a strong desire to mate. Sometimes, a cat in heat will follow its natural instincts, and choose to pursue a mate rather than return safely home. Spaying and neutering your cat is a vital step in ensuring your cat doesn’t wander off. Furthermore, it’s most responsible to spay or neuter an outdoor cat, because an unfixed cat is sure to add to the feral cat population.
- Secure Your Home: If you have an indoor cat that you’re worried about escaping, you should take extra steps to prevent your cat from leaving the house in the first place. Make sure all of your windows have screens, and never leave the door open. If you’re planning on going in and out of the house a lot in a short period of time, such as getting groceries, then consider closing your cat in a separate room for a little while.
- Make Your Home Exciting: Maine Coons are active, intelligent cats that need a lot more stimulation than normal house cats. They can easily become bored and even destructive if they don’t have enough enrichment to keep them occupied. As such, they might be more prone to wandering and even running away in search of new and exciting experiences. To prevent this, make sure you are providing enough enrichment for your Maine Coon indoors. Make sure you have a large cat tree and a wide array of durable toys to keep your cat entertained. You might even want to get shelves installed for your cat to walk around the house!
Can Maine Coon Cats Live Outside?
Some owners assume that the Maine Coon’s long, thick fur will protect it against even the coldest conditions, and as such, these cats can be allowed to live outside 24/7. However, this isn’t actually the case.
While Maine Coon’s are better built for cold weather, extreme temperatures still pose a great danger to them.
Even though this breed once lived wild in the state of Maine, they had a much higher mortality rate due to outside dangers.
If you want your cat to stay safe and healthy, then you should keep your cat inside.
Can I Walk My Maine Coon Cat?
There’s no way around it, keeping a cat indoors is always safer than letting it roam around outside. However, there are still some marked pros to allowing a cat outside.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent and active, and they need a lot of enrichment to prevent them from becoming bored. The issue with your cat becoming bored is that it will likely become destructive.
Read more about how destructive Maine Coon cats are in my article.
Thankfully, the highly intelligent nature of the Maine Coon means they are also great candidates for going on walks.
Many Maine Coons can be trained to walk on a leash and harness, although it’s best to start training when the cat is young.
Going out on walks is a perfect way for Maine Coons to explore the world without the possibility of dangers like running away or getting hit by a car.
If you are keen to take your cat for a walk, this extra-large cat harness is the perfect product for you. I’ve seen lots of promotions on cat harnesses like this, so make sure you click here to see the latest prices for this cat harness on Amazon.
This product comes in multiple colors, and sizes, so you’d be hard pushed to not find the idea cat harness for your precious Maine Coon here.
How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Cost?
Maine Coons are highly popular cats, and they do not exactly come cheap!
This cat breed can cost anywhere from $500 to $2,500!
Learn more about this breed’s pricing, by reading my article ‘How Much Do Maine Coon Kittens Cost?’.
While we all want to keep our cats safe, no matter how much they cost, the high Maine Coon Cat price causes many owners to be even more careful with their cats.
Although no individual cat can ever be replaced if lost, it is important to keep in mind that it’s not financially prudent to lose a cat that costs $2,500.
Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone?
Maine Coons are highly affectionate cats that become quite attached to their owners.
If your Maine coon cat is not affectionate, you might be making one of these mistakes.
This cat breed has high social needs, and as such, should not be left alone for long periods of time.
This breed is not well suited to a household where family members are away from home all day. Find out why in my article ‘Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone?‘.
Instead, Maine Coons thrive in families where at least one person spends a decent amount of time at the house, and they are particularly good with owners who work from home.
Thankfully, these social cats also get along well with other cats and even dogs. If you are worried your Maine Coon might become lonely, you might want to consider bringing home a second companion.
Do Maine Coon Cats Get Stolen?
The Maine Coon is already an incredibly popular cat breed, and it is only increasing in popularity over the years.
Unfortunately, this cat’s distinctively large size, square muzzle, and long, lion-like fur make it an easy target for thieves, who will often sell them for a high price.
Outdoor Maine Coons are at a much higher risk for theft, which is yet another reason why they are best kept as indoor cats.
Furthermore, Maine Coons can also be “stolen” without the thief even realizing it!
Cats without collars are often mistaken for strays, and well-intentioned people might take them in as pets without knowing they actually belong to someone else.
A lot of owners wonder, do Maine Coon cats run away?
It is important to know the possible risks and dangers associated with owning a cat.
Keeping an outdoor Maine Coon means your cat is much more likely to contract diseases, be injured, or even be killed.
However, it is important to note that even indoor cats are capable of running away if a door or window is left open.
Getting your cat spayed or neutered, as well as microchipped, can help keep your cat safe.
If you are still worried about your cat running away, then you might want to consider investing in a tracker collar.
How Long Do Maine Coons Live?
Maine Coons are considered healthy, hardy cats, and they typically live between 12 and 15 years old.
Do Maine Coons Get Along With Other Cats?
Maine Coons are famous for being affectionate creatures, and they are especially good at getting along with other cats, and even dogs.
Are Maine Coons Good House Cats?
Despite the Maine Coon’s high energy and natural hunting instincts, these gentle cats make wonderful house pets, provided they have enough enrichment indoors.