Living with a Maine Coon is a genuine joy that not everyone is blessed enough to experience.
Maine Coons are loyal, and loving, and make great house pets. They are immensely rewarding but, there are still a few pitfalls that even seasoned cat owners experience. Keep reading to find out how to avoid them!
Maine Coon cats follow their owners around the home, watching everything they do. They love human companionship and will become lonely and stressed if left on their own for too long. This affectionate cat breed is patient with children and gets on well with other household pets. Maine Coons require regular grooming to keep their fur tangle-free.
If you are in two minds about owning a Maine Coon cat for the first time, or perhaps you are just looking for a little bit of friendly advice, rest assured that you have come to the right place!
This thorough guide explains what living with a Maine Coon is like.
We also offer you tips for living harmoniously with one of these gentle giants, and other fun advice and facts that will help you with every step of the process.
Stick with us and we will cover some excellent tips and tricks for life with a Maine Coon cat that you likely will not find anywhere else.
Living With A Maine Coon
Maine Coons have a rich history of living with people, which may help to explain why they have become so wonderfully affectionate towards their human family.
Their true origins are surrounded by mystery and intrigue though. However, this hasn’t stopped many people from believing the folktale that these large cats are descendants of the Norwegian forest cat.
According to the myth, it is thought Maine Coons get their great hunting ‘ratter’ skills from their ancestors who were kept by sailors on ships, hunting mice that sought to eat their goods in transit.
Legend has it that whilst docked in Maine, the US, these large cats mated with a domestic long-haired cat inhabiting Maine, producing the Maine Coon cat we know and love today.
Whatever the truth, we are eternally grateful for the creation of the Maine Coon cat!
Once in Maine, US, the Maine Coon cat spent decades living as a wild cat hunting small rodents and prey. Few cat breeds survived living wild in the harsh winter climate of this state, which makes the existence of the Maine Coon cat today even more impressive.
The Maine Coon cat adapted to the harsh winter climates, only surviving the bitter cold because their thick fur coat enabled them to fend off the worst of the cold weather.
Learn more about the Maine Coon cat’s fascinating origins in this article I wrote.
Maine Coons are the patron animal of the great state of Maine and are world-renowned for their lovely demeanor and warm personality. But, what are they like to live with?
If you are thinking of living with a Maine Coon, you will be pleased to learn that they make excellent companions and are a thoroughly rewarding pet to own.
Here are some other amazing traits of the Maine Coon cat breed:
- Very playful
- Lovely gentle nature
- Highly intelligent
- Reputation for being family friendly
- Massively sociable
- Healthy hardy cat breed
- Like to know what owners are doing
- Massively affectionate
- Rarely aggressive
- Get on well with other household pets (except small rodents and birds!)
- Sleep a lot!
- Extremely vocal
- Very loyal
- Fascinated by water
- Highly trainable
The list of the amazing Maine Coon cat qualities never ends!
I hope this list of common Maine Coon characteristics and behaviors helps you gain a true appreciation of how wonderful this cat breed is to live with.
Before you rush out an buy or adopt a Maine Coon kitten or cat though, it’s important you consider every aspect of the Maine Coon personality.
Read on to discover the key pitfalls that first-time and even seasoned owners can fall into whilst owning a Maine Coon cat.
We have also included some excellent techniques for dealing with these big cat issues that even the most experienced cat owner has likely overlooked.
Do Maine Coons Shed?
Maine Coon cats are not known for their heavy shedding.
Surprisingly, despite their size and fluffiness, they are no worse shedders than your average house cat!
If you are someone who struggles with feline allergies, then you may find Maine Coons to be suitable, though this will depend on the severity of your allergy.
Whilst not 100% a hypoallergenic cat breed, the Maine Coon does produce less of the Fel d1 protein which has been linked to being an issue for allergy sufferers. Read more about it here.
Wild Maine Coon cats would shed heavily twice a year to remove their dead summer or winter coat.
By comparison, the domesticated Maine Coon sheds lightly all year round but will shed more heavily as the summer season approaches, then grow thicker denser fur from fall onwards, as the winter season approaches.
Provided that you brush your Maine Coon cat regularly though, shedding really isn’t going to be much of a concern for you. Just make sure you use the correct cat brushes to remove dead or tangled fur from their coat, to prevent their fur becoming tangled.
I would recommend you use a combination of these cat brushes to groom your Maine Coon cat. Having tried pretty much every brush on the market, these are my favorite and the only Maine Coon cat grooming tools that did the trick!
Are Maine Coons Family-Friendly?
Yes, Maine Coons are exceptionally family-friendly pets.
If you were wondering whether your new Maine Coon will be friendly the general rule is yes, but, just like with any other cat they sometimes prefer their own space and will not take kindly to being smothered.
Maine Coons have a habit of hissing rather loudly when they are displeased but rarely attack their human family unless strongly provoked to the point they feel they are in danger.
However, if your Maine Coon cat is acting aggressively, make sure you read my guide ‘14 Causes Of Maine Coon Aggression‘ to fix the issue straight away.
So long as everyone in the family knows that hissing generally means “give me some space” then you will all be alright.
If you are concerned, even in the slightest, that your kitten may become aggressive, read the guide below so that you can identify and quickly resolve any Maine Coon aggression.
How To Maintain Maine Coon Fur
Brushing and grooming your Maine Coon cat is a great way to bond with your precious feline.
A well-brushed Maine Coon will have a silky smooth flowing coat.
Thankfully Maine Coons love to be brushed, provided you get them used to this experience from a young age.
In terms of regularity, you will need to give your Maine Coon kitten or cat a thorough brushing at least 2-3 times a week, all year round.
Whilst this might sound rather high maintenance, it is very important since it stops the cat’s fur from becoming tangled and matted.
Since cats are very clean animals, dirty matted fur will be extremely stressful for them.
Maine Coons have thick luscious coats that if not brushed regularly become matted and fill up with dead hair and dander.
If this happens you may notice your Maine Coon pulling their own fur out to remove the unwanted matting. This is not a good sign and shows you need to brush them more regularly.
During the damp winter months, Maine Coons develop a thicker fluffier coat that is prone to knots (especially under their belly), so you will have to brush your cat’s fur even more regularly (unless they are 100% a housecat).
Increased brushing is essential during the winter months as the moisture in the air, or wet grass in the garden can cause their fur to become tangled and knotted.
Here are some Maine Coon grooming tips you need to know.
Maine Coon Diet
Despite being unique in size and stature, the diet of a Maine Coon is not far different from that of your average house cat.
These big cats are healthiest when they receive a mix of dry and wet food packed with plenty of protein.
All Maine Coons need to eat a natural source of protein, which can be provided in the form of either cooked or raw meat.
If you are interested in feeding your cat a raw food diet, read how to do this here.
Can Maine Coon Cats Be Vegan?
There has been a growing trend amongst Vegan cat owners recently whereby cats are given a plant-based protein diet.
This begs the question can cats be vegan and healthy?
The simple answer is no, Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores and require high levels of protein within their diet to stay fit and healthy. They need meat in their daily diet.
Cats cannot be either vegetarian or vegan, as this will be harmful to their physical wellbeing.
Maine Coon Vocality
Vocality refers to how much your Maine Coon wants to “talk” to you.
Did you know that cats do not usually meow or purr at each other that often? The meow is more for the human’s benefit!
Maine Coons love to have a chat with their family, and will more than likely make chirps and trills at you all day long.
Whilst the Maine Coon cat breed might be very vocal, they are not loud by nature so although they will share their thoughts and feelings with you, their regular chirps and trills are not annoying.
Maine Coon Intelligence
It sounds counterintuitive but when it comes to cats you do not want to own a highly intelligent one!
Whilst this statement might seem bizarre, keep in mind that smarter cats are the more difficult to deal with.
This is what makes Maine Coon cats so special, they really hit the sweet spot in terms of intelligence.
Maine Coons are intelligent cats that can be trained easily but are not so smart that they cause chaos in your home!
Maine Coons are lovely house cats of average intelligence and have a predisposition inclined to listen to your training sessions. They are purrr-fect! (sorry, that had to be said at least once!).
Maine Coon Breeder Contracts
It is common in the US (though less common in countries such as the UK) that a Maine Coon breeder will ask their Maine Coon buyers to sign a contract when purchasing a kitten.
The contract will place certain restrictions on the cat and how it will be raised. For example, many breeders insist that the Maine Coon kitten is brought up solely as an indoor cat. Free-roaming is not permitted.
Whilst some Maine Coon breeders will have already neutered or spayed the kitten at this age, others will forbid the new owner from breeding their kittens at any point.
These contractual terms might feel unfair to some potential owners, however, it goes both ways.
Many contracts stipulate that the Maine Coon breeder must provide all of the following, before the Maine Coon kitten can go to its new home:
- All veterinary shots
- Flea and worming treatment
- Two veterinary checkups
- A certain amount of food/insurance
How Long Do Maine Coons Live?
A Maine Coon cat will not necessarily have a longer lifespan than a normal cat breed. If anything, it might actually live for less years because it is a pedigree cat breed.
The average Maine Coon lifespan is 12-15 years, with one insurance company concluding that roughly 75% of Maine Coon cats will reach 10 years of age.
It is said that larger cats tend to have shorter life spans, but this is largely anecdotal.
Your Maine Coon will probably live just as long as any other cat that is well cared for and properly treated.
Do Maine Coons Like To Be Held?
Most Maine Coons are little affection fiends that love having a cuddle with their owners. Some even enjoy being held!
Whilst we all want to pick our Maine Coons up and have a cuddle with them, it is important to keep in mind that not all Maine Coon cats will enjoy being held, as every cat is different.
Like any other cat, the Maine Coon will also not always be in the mood for cuddles, so make sure you gauge their mood before trying to pick them up!
In general, though, Maine Coons are often far more affectionate than other house cats.
If you combine this with their huge size and fluffiness factor, they can often make excellent cuddle buddies.
How Much Does A Maine Coon cost?
Maine Coons are not the cheapest of cats.
This can lead to adoption costs being a little ambiguous so here are some general cost expectations when buying a Maine Coon (sources 1,2,3):
|Maine Coon||Cost ($)|
|Kitten||1000 – 3000|
|Adult||400 – 1500|
|Shelter Cat||100 (could also cost |
slightly more or be
completely free, it
varies from shelter
|1000 – 2000|
How Big Do Maine Coon Cats Get?
Everyone knows that Maine Coons get big, but how big exactly?
Ultimately the Maine Coon size will depend a lot on your cat as well as its gender.
A good rule of thumb is that male Maine Coons will usually be 10-20% taller and heavier than female Maine Coons, though their length will be much the same.
Maine Coons generally grow to be about 19-40 inches long.
Males range from about 10-16 inches tall with their female counterparts usually topping out at about 8-14 inches.
The biggest differences tend to be in weight since a male Maine Coon can weigh as much as 25 pounds, while females tend to top out at about 12 pounds.
These are all things to factor into your choice of male or female when adopting a Maine Coon of your own! (source 1).
Are Maine Coons Good With Other Cats?
Maine Coons are gentle and affectionate to every member of their family. This includes other house pets ranging from cats to dogs.
Since Maine Coons are so much bigger and far more robust than other cats, some even enjoy a little bit of rough and tumble with any canine companions they share a home with!
If you are at all concerned that your dog and Maine Coon cat will not get on, make sure you read my article ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Good With Dogs?‘.
Maine Coon Personality
Maine Coons are loving and sweet by nature and you will most likely find that any Maine Coon, especially a kitten, is immediately friendly towards you and quite trusting.
Maine Coons tend to remain “kitten-like” throughout their entire adult life. Amusingly, these large house cats are also the most immature!
Here are some of the most profound Maine Coon personality traits and what you can expect from your new Maine Coon roomie:
1. Dog Of The Cat World
Maine Coons are often thought of as the dog of the cat world.
This is because Maine Coons tend to be a bit more affectionate than your ordinary cat. They are also more attached to their owner and tend to be a little clingier than other cat breeds.
In general, they are far more disposed to act canine-like and are often a more “involved” member of the family.
Maine Coons tend to be quite goofy!
Cats are generally quite funny anyway but Maine Coons take this to a whole new level. Partly because they are goofier by nature and partly because they are so much larger.
Their humorous antics are far more endearing purely because of how “oversized” they are.
Whilst other cat breeds tend to be quite self-fulfilling and only want the occasional fuss, on their terms, Maine Coons are incredibly affectionate and are always in need of a cuddle!
You are more likely to find that your Maine Coon will pester you for cuddles every chance they get, and even enjoy sleeping in the same bed as you.
Maine Coons love a good chat!
They have a habit of trying to vocalize every feeling they have about the following aspects:
- Their environment
- How much they love you
- Reminding you they are there!
Maine Coons are immature!
Similar to their goofiness, but still different enough that it needs its own section.
They are quite fond of “playing jokes” and will:
- Knock things over deliberately
- Hide things
- Steal stuff
- Be an endearing nuisance!
This is especially funny because their increased size and strength allow them to steal far larger objects! (sources 1).
What Are The Pros And Cons Of Owning A Maine Coon Cat?
No one’s perfect, and neither are Maine Coons (though they are pretty close to perfection!).
Here are the Pros and Cons of owning a Maine Coon cat:
- Affection: Maine Coons are incredibly affectionate and make a great snuggle buddy for watching movies on the couch with.
- Calm Demeanor: Maine Coons are pretty calm in general, it is incredibly rare for them to become aggressive. It is usually a sure sign of injury or illness if they do show aggression.
- One Of The Family: Maine Coons love to insert themself into family life and make great family pets. They are also wonderfully patient with children.
- Robust: Maine Coons are tough cookies that can survive, and even enjoy, a bit of rough and tumble.
- Mild Shedders: Despite their thick, long, luscious coats Maine Coons are not heavy shedders. They shed no more than smaller cats, at least.
- Clingy: Sometimes having a Maine Coon pestering you all the time can be annoying. But, they are only showing their affection so maybe we should be grateful!
- Expensive To Adopt: Maine Coons can be expensive to adopt and will generally cost at least a thousand bucks. Here’s how to adopt a Maine Coon cat.
- Expensive To Care For: After you have factored in the cost of adoption, Maine Coons are also more expensive to care for than ordinary cats. They eat more, they need bigger toys, like these ones, and their vet bills can be more expensive.
How Long Can A Maine Coon Be Left Alone?
A big factor for many new pet owners is whether or not they can leave their new furry feline alone long enough as to not interrupt their work and social lives.
This is a responsible concern to have and is something that cannot be overlooked.
Many people tend to wonder do Maine Coon cats get lonely and the answer is (generally) yes. This is because Maine Coons are incredibly sociable felines and love to hang out with their human family.
But, that does not mean they cannot ever be left alone.
Here is a breakdown of how long your Maine Coon can be left alone:
- Kittens: Kittens should not be left alone for more than 4 hours.
- Adolescents: Adolescents or young cats should not be left alone for more than 5-8 hours.
- Adults: Adult Maine Coons can be left for as long as 12 hours but much more than that can make them seriously unhappy.
- Elderly: Elderly Maine Coons are happy to be alone for 12 hours but it is best to restrict their alone time to about 8 hours so you can keep an eye on them.
- Injured: Injured Maine Coons should not be left alone for more than a couple of hours as they will otherwise become stressed and anxious.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good House Pets?
Seeing the size of a Maine Coon can leave you wondering are Maine Coons good house pets? The short answer is yes!
Maine Coons genuinely love the relationship they build with their owners and love being a member of the family unit.
Maine Coons are not super needy pets and are quite content to lounge around your home with you all day every day.
They do sometimes struggle with very small apartments though, as they are quite large and therefore need more room to stretch their legs.
However, Maine Coons can be walked on a leash so that problem can be easily remedied in most cases.
To learn more about whether a Maine Coon cat can live in an apartment, read this guide.
Maine Coon Annoying Traits
As we briefly touched on above, Maine Coons are not perfect and do have a few annoying habits.
Luckily, for most people, these annoying traits are nothing compared to the number of wonderful traits they have so it is a perfectly acceptable trade-off!
Just in case, here are some of the Maine Coons most annoying traits. Make sure you read them to ensure these cat behaviors are not a deal breaker for you:
- Needy: Maine Coons can be pretty needy. Food, water, toys, affection, you name it. They will not hesitate to let you know when they are missing something.
- Restlessness: This is a big issue for Maine Coons that are not properly stimulated with games and affection.
- Clumsiness: Maine Coons are quite clumsy and due to their size and desire to walk between your legs they can be a tripping hazard!
- Shredders: Maine Coons like to scratch things, the same as any other cat. The difference is they are quite a lot bigger so if you do not give them a suitable scratching post they may choose to use your furniture instead.
- Clingy: Similar to neediness but oh so different. Maine Coons can be real clingers. They will follow you every waking moment of the day if given the chance. It is sweet but can get old fast!
- Wannabe Singers: Maine Coons are delusional about how talented their singing voices are. They can, and will, meow meow meow away to their heart’s content.
- Dander: Maine Coons may not be the biggest shedders but they still produce dander and have allergens in their saliva, the same as any other cats. Just because they are not big shedders does not mean they will not irritate a sensitive nose.
- Greedy: Maine Coons eat a lot. Yes, they are quite big, so that is not shocking. But, even for their size, they can be quite hungry and do not take well to sharing their food with others.
- Hissing: Maine Coons hiss the same way any other cat does. They are, in some cases, a little more predisposed to doing so. The biggest difference is that when a Maine Coon hisses it is a little more intimidating and may startle unaware children (and adults!)
Hopefully, you have found out a little more about what makes Maine Coons tick and what you can expect if you are going to be living with a Maine Coon.
Maine Coons make excellent pets and are warm and loving companions.
Many people who do not fit into either the dog lover or cat lover category find that the Maine Coon is a perfect blend of the two.
Sure, they can be a little pricier but you certainly get your money’s worth if you value cuddles.