The Maine Coon is a large and active cat breed, so a lot of owners wonder how much exercise does a Maine Coon need?
Without proper exercise, Maine Coons are prone to obesity, which can lead to numerous other health problems. Finding a way to exercise your Maine Coon every day is vital to your cat’s health
The amount of exercise your Maine Coon needs depends on whether it is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat. Outdoor cats naturally get plenty of exercise and therefore won’t need much human intervention. Indoor Maine Coons, on the other hand, should get about 20 to 30 minutes of exercise every day.
A lot of owners are surprised when they learn they have to exercise their cat, but the truth is, you’re probably already exercising your cat! The biggest way Maine Coons exercise is through play. Read on to find out what other ways you can exercise your cat.
Do Maine Coons Need Exercise?
The Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the entire world. These cats developed naturally in the state of Maine, where they became popular for their excellent ability to hunt rats and other vermin. Today, they are one of the most popular cat breeds, largely due to their affectionate and intelligent temperament.
While the Maine Coon is known for being incredibly playful, they also have a lazy side. These cats often prefer to curl up on the couch, and as a result, they can sometimes be prone to obesity. This means that exercise is especially vital for Maine Coon Cats.
How Much Exercise Does A Maine Coon Need?
The amount of exercise that a Maine Coon needs depends on whether it is an indoor cat or an outdoor cat.
Outdoor cats need less exercise, because they spend their day roaming around and playing outside. In fact, you probably won’t need to provide any exercise if you have an outdoor cat.
So how much exercise do indoor cats need? You should aim to give your indoor cat at least 30 minutes of exercise every day.
How To Exercise A Maine Coon Cat
There are a variety of ways you can provide exercise for your cat. Here are the most common ways to exercise a Maine Coon.
- Play: The most common and favored method of exercising cats is through play. Laser pointers and feather toys are two excellent possibilities for exercising your cat. Some Maine Coons are also known to play fetch! These are my 5 favorites Maine Coon cat toys.
- Walking: Another surprising method you can use to exercise your cat is through walking. Some Maine Coons are so intelligent that they can be trained to walk on a leash and harness! A half-hour stroll outside is a great way to exercise your Maine Coon. This extra-large cat harness comes in a range of sizes and is sure to fit your Maine Coon (here’s the Amazon link if you fancy taking a look).
- Get A Second Cat: Another great way to ensure your Maine Coon is getting enough exercise is to get a second cat. Two cats in the same household are almost guaranteed to wrestle and chase one another, meaning that both will get the right amount of exercise! This is also a great way to ensure your Maine Coon doesn’t become bored or lonely.
Can You Walk A Maine Coon Cat?
As mentioned earlier, one excellent way to exercise Maine Coons is through walking.
While it may sound surprising, Maine Coon walking is actually quite common. These athletic and intelligent cats often love to go outside on a leash and harness, provided they are properly trained.
It’s important to note, however, that not every Maine Coon will enjoy walking. The best way to ensure your cat will like going on walks is to introduce it early on when your cat is a kitten. Still, there’s no guarantee that your Maine Coon will take to the activity.
How To Train A Maine Coon To Walk On A Leash
While many Maine Coons can be taught to walk on a leash, it’s, unfortunately, a bit more difficult than teaching a dog. Still, with enough patience and practice, it can be done! Here’s a helpful guide to get you started walking your Maine Coon on a leash.
- Start Young: The first step to teaching your Maine Coon to walk on a leash is to start at a very young age. Get your kitten a harness that fits properly, then take it out for short walks every day.
- Start Small: Cats are easily overwhelmed by new environments. The outside world is filled with all sorts of new smells and sounds. At first, you shouldn’t take your kitten out for more than five minutes at a time. Also, you should contain your walks to only your front or backyard at first, and wait until your kitten becomes comfortable with those surroundings before venturing any farther.
- Look For Signs Of Comfort: At first, your kitten will likely be overwhelmed and nervous while going outside. It might startle at every sound, or yowl in concern. Eventually, however, you should notice that your cat becomes more comfortable. After a few days of training, you should notice your cat start to explore and sniff more.
- Gradually Increase: Once your kitten is comfortable with the routine you’ve set up, you can start gradually increasing the time to ten and even fifteen minutes. Eventually, you can go for half-hour walks with your Maine Coon!
Best Maine Coon Cat Harness
There are three different types of cat harnesses (source 1):
Before starting this process, please keep in mind that choosing a harness for your cat might take some time and experimenting to find something that’s both safe and comfortable for your cat.
H-harnesses are often the most comfortable, as they are made from just a few straps. However, these are also the easiest for cats to wriggle out of, so this might not be the best choice for escape artists.
Jackets provide more coverage and are much harder for a cat to escape from. If you’re worried about comfort, choosing a more lightweight fabric can help your cat adjust better.
Vests are another option for cats who are prone to escaping. They strap in with velcro, making it easy to put on. The only downside is that some cats are scared of the sound of velcro.
How To Exercise Your Cat To Lose Weight?
If your cat is overweight, then introducing more exercise can be a good way to shed a few pounds. Just like with humans, however, exercise can’t make up for a poor diet. If your cat is overweight, your first step should be to adjust its diet.
Playing with your cat more frequently, for about forty minutes a day instead of thirty, is still a great way to supplement your cat’s diet and lose some extra weight!
Cat Exercise Equipment
Many owners choose to invest in cat exercise equipment to meet their cat’s exercise needs and keep them enriched and fit.
Here are some of the more common cat exercise equipment you can purchase:
- Cat Exercise Wheel: A new craze for many cat owners is the cat exercise wheel. This is perfect for cats who love to run around. This large wheel functions like a hamster wheel and allows your cat to sprint for as long as it wants to.
- Cat Tower: A cat tower, or cat tree, is essential for Maine Coons, as this breed is notorious for loving to climb. While many cats prefer to lounge on cat trees, this is also a great way for your cat to run and climb around to its heart’s desire. These cat trees are fab so make sure you take a look.
- Interactive Toys: Toys like rotating lasers, or heavy-duty toys that move around are also options for providing proper exercise for your cat. Maine Coons were traditionally used to catch rats and other vermin, and as a result, they have a high prey drive. Motorized toys that move around are perfect for satisfying their natural hunting instincts.
- DIY Agility Course: Some owners choose to build agility courses for their cats! See-saws, hoops, and other fun challenges will not only keep your cat in shape but also provide a lot of enrichment for your Maine Coon.
Best Cat Trees For Maine Coons
If you own a Maine Coon, one essential expense is a cat tree. These athletic cats love to climb, and they require a cat tree to meet their natural climbing instincts.
While pricey, cat trees are a lifelong investment that will keep your cat entertained for years to come. If you’re not too sure which Maine Coon cat tower to pick, take a look at my favorite extra-large cat trees.
Here’s what to look for when finding a cat tree for your Maine Coon:
- Size: First and foremost, you need to find a cat tree that is extra large. Most cat trees are built for average house cats, but the Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world! You’ll need something extra large and extra sturdy to suit your Maine Coon’s needs.
- High-Quality Materials: You’ll also want a cat tree that is built to last. This means it is made of good quality materials, like high-quality sisal rope and sturdy wood. The last thing you want is a flimsy cat tree! If your cat tree wobbles, your Maine Coon won’t feel safe and will refuse to use the cat tree at all.
- Scratching Posts: Your Maine Coon will need a place to scratch. Scratching helps remove the outer sheath of your cat’s claws as they grow. If you don’t have a good quality scratching post, then your Maine Coon will start using your furniture or rugs instead!
Cat trees definitely don’t come cheap, so if you are looking for a suitably large cat scratching post that would be ideal for your Maine Coon, then give this cat scratching post on Amazon a go.
Our Maine Coon loves this post, and it has proved the most sturdy and well-made cat scratching post that we’ve ever purchased.
Do Maine Coons Like To Climb?
Maine Coon Cats love to climb! They’re well known for seeking high places, like the tops of cupboards or refrigerators. This is why owning a cat tree is an essential part of having a Maine Coon.
Unfortunately, the Maine Coon’s love of heights can land it in some trouble outdoors. These cats are also very good at climbing trees. The problem here is that, while many cats are good at ascending trees, they usually have a bit more difficulty coming down.
Many owners have to call rescue services to help get their cat unstuck from a particularly high tree. This can also pose a danger to your cat if it climbs into flimsy branches that are likely to break.
Have you ever seen a Maine Coon jump? If not, then make sure you read my article on how high these amazingly large cats can jump.
How To Take Care Of A Maine Coon
There’s a lot that goes into taking care of a Maine Coon besides play and exercise. Here’s what you’ll need to do to provide the best care for your cat.
- Diet: Maine Coons need a specialized diet that is high in protein and low in grains and other filler content. While high-quality cat food costs more, it is well worth it to put your pet’s health first.
- Grooming: Maine Coons have long, thick fur that is prone to mats and tangles. You’ll need to brush your cat’s fur at least once a week, and more often during the shedding seasons. Some cats might also need the longer fur around their paws trimmed if it becomes dirty or tangled easily.
- Veterinary Visits: You’ll need to take your cat to the vet at least once a year for a checkup, as well as to receive booster shots for rabies and other diseases.
How To Keep A Maine Coon Happy
Cats are capable of feeling a range of emotions, just like humans. Maine Coons are highly intelligent and social, and they’re especially prone to boredom and depression. Here is a list of ways you can ensure your Maine Coon’s happiness.
- Provide Lots Of Toys: You should provide your Maine Coon with a variety of durable toys. Rotate your toys every month or so to keep your cat from getting bored of them.
- Consider Getting A Companion: Maine Coon’s are highly sociable creatures and can become depressed easily if they don’t get enough attention. You might want to get another cat, or even a dog, to keep your Maine Coon from becoming lonely.
- Build A Cat-Friendly Environment: It’s important that your Maine Coon feels welcome in its home. Some owners install shelves for their cats along the walls! You should also make sure your Maine Coon has its own space where it can retreat if it’s feeling nervous or overwhelmed.
How Long Should I Play With My Indoor Cat?
Indoor cats need about thirty minutes of playtime every day. You can usually split this up into ten to fifteen minutes at a time.
Cats are crepuscular, which means that they’re most active at dusk and dawn. This means that it’s best to play with your cat right after you wake up in the morning and right before you go to bed at night.
Signs Your Cat Wants To Play
Some owners have difficulty knowing what to look for in their cat’s body language. Here are some signs that your cat is begging to be played with.
- Dilated Pupils: A cat’s pupils will become extra large when it is playful, especially if it is about to pounce on something.
- Meowing: Your cat might meow incessantly at you as a means of asking you to play! It might take some time to learn whether your cat is meowing for food or something else, but over time you’ll notice that your cat’s meows sound quite different depending on what it wants.
- Pouncing On You: Does your cat ever pounce at your feet or ankles, seemingly out of nowhere? Your cat isn’t trying to kill you- instead, it’s trying to play with you.
- Running Away: Some cats will stare at you with their legs in a wide stance before running away. This is a gesture that means your cat wants you to follow and play.
Can You Play With A Cat Too Much?
Believe it or not, it’s actually possible to play with a cat a little too much. Most cats are able to stop playing when they’ve had enough, but some can become overstimulated.
If you play too quickly or too rough, your cat can become so overstimulated that it begins biting or scratching.
Cat Wants To Play Constantly
If your cat is constantly asking to engage in play behaviors, then that means your cat is not receiving enough enrichment. You may not have enough interesting toys for your cat, or maybe your cat feels that it doesn’t get enough attention. Regardless, this is a sign that one or more of your cat’s needs are not being met.
A lot of owners wonder how much exercise does a Maine Coon need?
After all, these large and athletic cats require a bit more care than most other cats. Most indoor Maine Coons only require about thirty minutes of exercise, but it’s important to keep your cat occupied with lots of toys and climbing spaces throughout the day. Without proper enrichment, Maine Coon’s can become bored, depressed, and even destructive.
Do Maine Coons Drool?
Maine Coon Cats are not usually prone to drool, although individuals (particularly senior cats) may develop drooling habits.
How Many Kittens Do Maine Coons Have?
Maine Coons typically have between one and six kittens per litter, averaging about four kittens. Surprisingly, however, it’s possible for them to have up to twelve kittens!