Do Maine Coons Like To Be Picked Up?

Whether you are looking to get your first Maine Coon kitten or are already a diehard Maine Coon fanatic, you likely understand how complex these notoriously large and fluffy cats can be.

So, do Maine Coons like to be picked up, and what is the best way to pick up a Maine Coon cat? In this article, we will reveal the answers to these questions and more!

It is important to socialize a Maine Coon kitten right from the start by getting them used to being picked up and cuddled. Many Maine Coons love cuddling their favorite person, some enjoy being held for a short while. However, Maine Coon’s have unique personalities and preferences, so always read cat’s body language before attempting to lift them.

With this in mind, you are probably now wondering how to tell if a cat does not want to be picked up?

Additionally, you might be keen to learn if there are any hard and fast rules for ways not to pick up a cat?

The answers below help teach you about picking up a cat and will hopefully leave you feeling more confident regards the decision of whether or not your Maine Coon kitten wants to be held.

Read on to discover the answers to some frequently asked cat questions.

Do Maine Coons Like To Be Picked Up?

The Maine Coon is an iconic cat breed considered to be one of the oldest native breeds of North American cats, having been around since the turn of the 19th century.

They are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, ranging between 19 to 40 inches in length; 10 – 16 inches tall; and up to 25 lbs in weight!

Known for their friendly, intelligent, and almost dog-like personality, the Maine Coon cat breed has a reputation for making great family pets.

Given their gorgeous looks and winning personalities, cat owners may want to pick their adorable Maine Coon up to give them a cuddle!

Here are some other great reasons why you might want to pick a Maine Coon cat up, in the first place:

  • To socialize them
  • To train your cat
  • Introduce it to a new space
  • To give them a kiss
  • To put them in their pet carry case
  • Remove them from danger
  • Weigh them

Fortunately, most Maine Coons are of a happy-go-lucky disposition.

This means they do not tend to mind being picked up for a short period, or longer if they were trained to cuddle as a kitten.

How To Pick Up A Maine Coon Cat

As mentioned earlier, Maine Coons grow into very large felines.

Therefore, if you want to start picking your Maine Coon up, first, consider how heavy your cat is so you do not injure yourself, or your cat!

The next thing Maine Coon owners must consider is that adult Maine Coon cats have large physical frames, and weigh far more than the average cat.

Read this Maine Coon size guide to understand how much heavier a fully grown Maine Coon cat is versus a normal cat.

Due to the huge size of your Maine Coon, keep in mind that the way you hold or lift your cat needs to be considered thoroughly.

Failure to support a Maine Coon’s body size and weight might lead to:

  • Injury
  • Pain
  • Discomfort for your cat

Therefore, you must always fully support your cat whilst lifting them.

Most owners recommend lifting a Maine Coon by placing one arm underneath your cat’s armpits at the front, then using the other hand to support the Maine Coons lower back and rear end.

As usual, look to your cat for cues about what makes them feel vulnerable and what makes them more comfortable whilst being listed.

Stop immediately if your cat does the following:

  • Appears Distressed
  • Hissing
  • Yelping
  • Trying to escape

Below are the steps you should follow when picking up a Maine Coon cat:

  1. Move Slowly: Always approach your cat slowly, allowing them to express interest in you first, before you move towards them.
  2. Treats: Offer treats if necessary.
  3. Petting Your Cat: Petting your cat enables you to read what mood your cat is in.
  4. Cat Body Language: Read your Maine Coon cats body language before attempting to pick them up. Only pick your cat up if their body language appears receptive to you i.e. nuzzling and scenting you is a good sign they are feeling in an affectionate mood!
  5. Support Your Cats Body: Make sure you are supporting the cat from back to front at all times, so they know they can trust you to lift them. Correct support involves placing an arm under their armpits and another under their lower back and bottom.
  6. Voice: Talk calmly to your Maine Coon at all times whilst lifting and holding them.
  7. Praise: You should praise them repeatedly and talk positively, never shout.

How To Pick Up A Kitten

There is a clear difference between how to pick up a kitten safely and careless ways to pick up your feline friend, so make sure you take note!

The best way to pick up a kitten is similar to the way you would lift a grown Maine Coon cat.

To lift a Maine Coon kitten, use one hand to support its chest and place your other hand beneath the kitten’s rear and feet.

The important part is making sure the experience is as positive as possible.

Below are the steps to lifting up a Maine Coon kitten (source 1):

  1. Moving slowly towards the kitten.
  2. Develop trust with your kitten by allowing it to smell you first and by it offering treats.
  3. Pet your kitten a few times to let it know you will be touching it
  4. Petting gives you a feel for how receptive your kitten will be to being held.
  5. Support the kitten’s chest with one hand and hold it’s lower back and rear with your other hand.
  6. Scoop the kitten up and hold it close to your body so it feels safe in your grasp.

How To Pick Up A Cat That Doesn’t Want to Be Picked Up

It is generally inadvisable to try to pick up a cat that is not in the mood, as this may result in the following negative Maine Coon behaviors:

  • Flailing
  • Scratching
  • Hissing
  • Biting

However, if you have to pick up your cat to get it to a vet appointment, for example, try to make the experience as sweet as possible by using treats or wet food to lure your cat into a crate.

It might also be worth leaving the pet carrier out in your living area the night before, to acclimatize your cat to the idea of a trip in the carrier.

This also allows them to investigate the carrier before their trip which might make your cat more receptive to the idea of being picked up, and traveling.

How Not To Pick Up Cat

If you have been wondering if picking up cat by armpits is the right way to pick up a cat, you are not alone.

It is very common for people to mistakenly believe this is a safe way to pick up their cat.

Below are some other ways that you should not pick up a cat:

  • Scruffing: By the scruff of their neck
  • Tail: By their tail
  • Wrong Way Up: Upside down

Why Don’t Maine Coon Cats Like to Be Held?

Whilst many Maine Coon cats will have no issue with being picked up, other Maine Coons might not enjoy the experience at all.

Below are the most likely reasons why your Maine Coon cat does not want to be held:

  • Lack Of Socialization: The cat may not have been fully socialized whilst still a kitten i.e. were they regularly picked up and cuddled lots, as a kitten? If not, they may not be used to being held.
  • Cat Body Language: You are not picking up on your cat’s cues that it does not want to be held.
  • Holding A Cat: You are not picking up and holding your cat properly. Without realizing it you might be causing your cat discomfort when you pick them up.
  • Cats Boundaries: You are misreading your cat’s body language and whilst your cat loves you, it wants to maintain certain physical boundaries at the same time.
  • Dislikes Being Held: Not every cat is the same, so it is fully possible that some cats just dislike being held by their humans!

Do Maine Coons Like To Cuddle?

Maine Coon cats are known for being extremely sociable felines that love spending their days with their human family.

But, are Maine Coons cuddly?

Happily, for most cat snugglers out there, the answer is generally yes! Most Maine Coons love cuddling with their family members.

Cats that do not enjoy cuddling still like snuggling up against your leg or very near to you.

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats?

This ultimately comes down to your Maine Coons individual personality and preferences.

Some Maine Coons are happy to be lapcats, and others are not. It’s the luck of the draw!

Often, you will find Maine Coon cats have a preference for sitting next to or near you, rather than directly on your lap.

Do Maine Coons Like To Be Petted?

A well-socialized, healthy Maine Coon cat will usually enjoy being petted and receiving all the affection you are willing to provide.

However, the following hidden issues might cause your Maine Coon to not enjoy being petted:

  • Poor Health
  • Anxiety
  • Discomfort
  • Pain
  • Psychological Distress


If you have found yourself wondering do Maine Coons like to be picked up, then you are not alone.

It’s a popular question amongst Maine Coon cat lovers!

While each cat will always be inclined towards their own individual personalities and preferences, as far as cats go, most Maine Coons are going to be:

  • Sociable
  • Friendly
  • Cuddly Companions

These qualities help make the Maine Coon cat a great addition to families.

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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