If you’ve never owned a Maine Coon before, or have noticed that your Maine Coon clings to you a lot, you may be wondering do Maine Coons protect their owners?
Love it or hate it, Maine Coons will cling to their owners, especially if you are their favorite human! Read on to find out why they do this.
Maine Coons are canine-like in their protective instincts and will often make it a personal mission to protect their family, especially young children, or their special someone. They are fiercely loyal and that is reflected in their need to protect their owners.
Whether you are dealing with an overly clingy Maine Coon, or are curious to learn what to expect when living with a Maine Coon in terms of protectiveness, you’re in the right place!
This comprehensive guide to Maine Coons and their protective nature is chock-full of amazing tidbits of info that you will not want to miss.
Do Maine Coons Protect Their Owners?
Maine Coons are mystical and mysterious felines from the cold forests of Maine.
These big cats had to evolve to learn to fight and hunt in the thick Maine wilderness or they risked starvation.
While we are not exactly sure where they may have come from, we do know where they developed into the incredible animals we know and love today.
Their need to hunt and survive has instinctively taught Maine Coons to be careful and protective, which is why the Maine Coon cats are now one of the only cat breeds alive, that act like guard dogs!
The protective characteristics of the Maine Coon cat breed, however, are often as misunderstood as many other aspects of this mysterious breed are.
There is more to the Maine Coons protective instincts than simply loving you overtly and enthusiastically.
Maine Coons are also deep and emotional beings who have very complex personalities and attachment styles.
So are Maine Coon cats protective of their owners? The short answer to this question is yes!
If you are after a long answer, well, you’ll have to keep reading to learn more fascinating facts about this previously wild cat breed.
Signs Your Cat Is Protecting You
Are cats protective, or have humans imagined it?
Cats can be protective of their human family, but how and why is not always apparent.
There are, however, plenty of tell-tale signs that your cat is feeling protective of you, your family, or simply themselves.
From patrolling the perimeters of your home to sticking to your side like you are conjoined twins.
1. Crouched And Tensed Stance
If your Maine Coon is in a crouched, tensed, ready to pounce position this is almost always seen as an indication that they are potentially expecting some kind of “trouble”, or feeling anxious.
This crouched tense position is a manifestation of their instinctual fight or flight response. They are ready to act if needs be.
Hissing has a bit of a conflicted meaning.
Hissing when it comes to protecting you is a sign your cat is warning whoever, or whatever, might be in the vicinity to stay away.
3. Frightened Dilated Pupils
Dilated pupils are a sign your cat is really trying to keep an eye on things.
Dilated pupils allow more light to be absorbed and increase your Maine Coons vision.
If they anticipate an issue their pupils will dilate to better prepare them for the upcoming “conflict”.
4. Pointed Ears
If your Maine Coons ears are pointed up they are listening attentively for anything that is out of the ordinary.
5. Rapid Tail Movements
A quick back-and-forth tail movement is a sign your Maine Coon is being extra attentive.
This movement will almost always be the result of your cat having seen the thing that they are trying to protect you against.
6. Exposed Teeth
An animal exposing its teeth is a universal sign of aggression in the animal kingdom.
Monkeys in particular see smiling as a sign of aggression!
When it comes to cats, though, they usually do it as a method of scaring away any potential predator before things escalate to actually fighting.
Exposed teeth and hissing are often hand-in-hand.
7. Close Proximity
If you find that your Maine Coon is spending even more time obnoxiously close to you than they normally would, it could be a sign they are trying to protect you by keeping you close.
After all, you cannot possibly look after yourself (in their mind), so they need to be there for you.
If your cat is doing any of the following they are probably on the lookout for trouble and want to be aware as soon as possible, so they can let you know:
- Patrolling the house
- Walking around the perimeter outside
- Pacing around the edges of the room
This is quite common behavior in Maine Coon cats especially, who are generally seen as the dogs of the feline world.
Why Does My Cat Guard Me?
Maine Coons tend to guard their owners and can be quite anxious about whether or not their beloved owner is okay.
Many people assume this is because their cat is territorial. But, are Maine Coons territorial?
The fact of the matter is that Maine Coon cats are not particularly territorial, at least not any more so than other house cat breeds.
So why is my cat so protective of me and why does my cat guard me?
Maine Coon cats are protective of their owners simply because they love them.
Cats also tend to guard their owners (you) because you are responsible for providing food and shelter and they want to ensure their food supply doesn’t stop!
In short, you and your cat have a mutually beneficial relationship where you provide the food and shelter and your cat protects the family group.
Cats often use blocking doorways as one of their go-to tools for guarding you.
In this instance, your cat is guarding you because they believe that you are at risk or they are simply concerned for your well-being.
By guarding the doorway they can control, or at least observe, the flow of people and animals into the room you are in.
Don’t be fooled by this behavior though, since Maine Coon cats are rather clever felines. Many will also block doorways because they’ve found a hot water pipe running under the floor!
Your Maine Coon may be guarding you as a form of territory marking. The same way cats leave their scent on things they think are theirs.
That lovely feeling when your cat rubs up against your leg is pretty great, right?
Well, that is another form of territory marking. Your Maine Coon is marking their territory (you) for other cats, and other animals perhaps, to see (smell).
Cats are very often motivated to “guard” their owner by a lack of social interaction or feelings of abandonment.
Maine Coon cats that get left alone for too long will begin to overcompensate by sticking to their owner like glue and becoming overly protective of other people or animals coming near.
Sometimes your cat guarding you is nothing more than part of their daily routine.
A cat’s day is not defined the same way that ours is.
They do not have work, and they do not need to hunt for their food, so they tend to fill their day with lounging and snoozing as well as patrolling their kingdom.
If your cat is guarding you on some sort of schedule, like when you get home, or when you prepare dinner, etc., it could just be part of their daily routine and nothing more.
Signs Of An Overprotective Cat
You should now have a pretty good idea about why our cats may feel the need to protect us and how that need is manifested – in the form of patrolling, etc.
Whether you like it or not that is simply a part of who cats are. But can cats be overprotective? The short answer is yes!
Here are signs to look out for that may indicate your cat is being over-protective (source 1):
Maine Coon jealousy is the real thing. I have listed the causes for it here.
These big cats are total softies when it comes to their owners and unfortunately, if they feel like they are not getting a big enough portion of their owner’s love, they are being slighted.
If your cat is overly protective whenever you spend time with other members of the family or other animals that is a pretty solid indicator that your cat is suffering from bouts of jealousy.
Hissing is a sign your cat is protecting you.
But, over-the-top hissing and following it up with those little fake-out jumps cats tend to do is a step too far.
If your cat feels you or they are genuinely threatened they are more likely to hiss.
3. Biting Or Scratching
Biting or scratching is never okay. Here’s how to resolve the issue.
Cats may nibble on your hands or nip you when they are playing, but aggressive bites and scratches, that draw blood and are often accompanied by a hiss, are not okay.
These types of bites are a sign your cat is being overprotective.
This is especially problematic when your cat is being aggressive to other pets and small children. They can and will hurt themselves or others.
Huffing is best described as the rapid expulsion of breath from your cat.
It sounds exactly as you would think and is potentially a sign that your cat is frustrated or stressed.
Dogs also huff so if you have experience with dogs you will likely recognize the sound.
Huffing can also be a sign of a medical issue like respiratory problems so it may require a trip to the vet.
5. Very Arched Back
If your Maine Coon cat has a strongly arched back this can be a sign that they are extremely stressed.
Should you find your cat arching their back consistently and over seemingly nothing it could be a sign that they are feeling over-stressed and overprotective of you.
This is one of the more subtle signs so be sure to keep an eye out for it.
6. Refusing To Get Off Of You
A sign of overprotectiveness that can often be misconstrued for sweetness is a cat that refuses to get off of you, or leave you alone for a moment.
Cats are not always the best at understanding and respecting boundaries but they should allow you to lift them off of you and stay away.
A cat that will not get off and will not let others approach is a bad sign and is usually based on overprotective instincts blended with separation anxiety.
How To Deal With An Overprotective Maine Coon Cat
An overprotective cat is at risk of hurting themselves and others. And, on a more superficial level, it’s super annoying!
A clingy, hostile, constantly on edge cat does not make a good companion so it is something that must be dealt with immediately.
Therefore, here are some Maine Coon tips for dealing with an overprotective cat:
Look For Patterns And Triggers
Unless your cat is completely unhinged they are not going to be overly protective every second of every day.
Therefore, we have the opportunity to look for patterns or triggers that may seem to set your cat off behaving a certain way.
By identifying the triggers you will be able to either remove them or take steps to reduce the stress they cause your Maine Coon.
Here are some great ways of treating stress in a Maine Coon cat.
Ensure They Are Not Left Alone For Too Long
Maine Coons who are left alone for too long develop severe separation anxiety that often manifests itself in overprotective or destructive ways.
If you find yourself leaving your Maine Coon alone for 12 hours a day, 5 days a week, well that will not work for your cat.
Time with your cat, even if you are simply existing in the same house, means the world to them and is vital for a happy and healthy Maine Coon.
Positive reinforcement is the most effective method of dissuading bad behaviors in your cat.
Punishing your cat for bad behavior will not work for a Maine Coon because they do not understand why they are being punished, and simply feel you are being mean to them.
Instead, you must reward a cat’s good behavior.
When an overprotective cat stops pacing the house and simply lays down, reward them with a treat and some love!
Speak To A Vet
Sometimes a cat’s overprotectiveness and aggression are signs that they are injured or sick.
In the case of female Maine Coon cats, it can also be a sign of pregnancy.
If you cannot find a particular trigger or your cat’s overprotectiveness has come on with seemingly no prompting or lifestyle change then a trip to the vet may be in order.
By now, you should have a great idea about how and why Maine Coons protect their owners as well as what potentially subtle methods they have of keeping an eye on you.
You will also have realized that the question of do Maine Coons protect their owners is far more complicated than a simple yes or no!
Remember, all protectiveness from your Maine Coon tends to come from a place of love. Either they are expressing sincere love for you, or, they are feeling a little unloved themselves.
Yes, Maine Coon cats do make a concerted effort to protect their owners and their families, but that is not always the case.
Sometimes your cat’s behavior may seem like protectiveness, when in fact it is nothing more than anxiety manifested.
Ensuring your Maine Coons social needs are met is key to avoiding an overprotective Maine Coon.
Why Does My Cat Protect Me On The Toilet?
Cats are opportunistic. If they notice you head to the bathroom chances are they know that this is a good time to hang out, without you getting up and walking away.
Cats instinctively consider their owner to be vulnerable when using the bathroom, so are trying to protect them!
Does My Cat Protect Me While I Sleep?
Cats sleeping with, or on, you while you sleep is not necessarily a sign of protection. More so a sign of comfortability. You are also warm and cozy! Maine Coons are huge snuggle bugs so it’s no wonder they covet a bedtime cuddle.
Are Maine Coons Loyal?
Maine Coons are fiercely loyal and love to be around their owners. It is a large part of why they are so protective and cuddly. Maine Coons are perhaps one of the most loyal cat breeds, of all domesticated cats.