Maine Coon behavior problems are a familiar concern for many cat owners. Read on to learn about potential cat behavioral issues and how to prevent them.
Maine Coon behavioral problems include but are not limited to biting, hissing, peeing outside the litter box, aggression, crying, and scratching carpets. Maine Coon owners should look for causes like separation anxiety, changes in the cat’s life, underlying health issues, or fear that might be causing naughty Maine Coon cat behavior.
It is beneficial for Maine Coon owners to understand the possible cat behavior issues of this beautiful, intelligent breed before they happen.
This article provides key insights and tips to prevent and control Maine Coon behavior concerns, from aggression to excessive grooming and everything in between.
By the end, pet parents will be fully equipped to ensure happy and healthy relationships with their Maine Coons!
Maine Coon Behavior Problems
Maine Coons are large, long-haired cats. This striking breed is known for its impressive size, bushy tail, and adorable, tufted ears.
Weighing in at 8 – 25 pounds, these fluffy giants are friendly, social, and intelligent, with dog-like personalities. They are also precise hunters and love playing with their owners!
However, like any breed, pet parents may witness Maine Coon breed problems from time to time.
Some possible Maine Coon cat behavioral issues include:
Many Maine Coon pet parents have asked, why does my Maine Coon bite me?
To explain this concern, Maine Coon cats who are afraid, stressed, or sick may be prone to biting. Some Maine Coons may also display play aggression, leading to biting during playtime.
To put the Maine Coon cat bite into perspective, the Maine Coon bite force is about 75 PSI (pounds per square inch), while an average human bite force ranges from 120-150 PSI.
The average dog bite is roughly twice that amount.
Nonstop Maine Coon hissing can confuse or even frighten owners.
Maine Coons normally hiss to signal that they feel scared or threatened. However, constant hissing is a behavior issue that needs to be managed.
If a Maine Coon is extra sensitive and cannot seem to stop hissing, it may not have been socialized properly whilst it was a kitten.
When Maine Coons mature sexually around eight to ten months old, they begin spraying.
In most cases, spraying resolves itself once the cat gets neutered. However, persistent spraying after neutering can become an issue.
Spraying is a method of marking territory, so if a Maine Coon feels their territory is threatened, it may spray all over the house.
This is the best age to neuter a Maine Coon kitten.
Peeing Outside the Litter Box
While peeing outside the litter box is not normal Maine Coon behavior, it is something owners must be aware of as a possibility.
Once an owner rules out medical issues causing this habit (such as these), it comes down to behavioral problems.
If the litter box is dirty or hard to get into, or the Maine Coon is sharing one box with another cat, it may reject the litter box and pee elsewhere in the house.
Aggression Toward Cats or People
Is a Maine Coon aggressive to other cats or people?
In rare circumstances, this breed can become aggressive in situations they perceive as threatening.
One possible scenario for such aggression could involve a territory dispute with another household cat, but Maine Coons normally interact well with fellow pets (apart from small rodents!).
Generally, Maine Coons are known for being a sweet, loving breed.
In general, scratching is a natural and healthy part of every cat’s life, helping a Maine Coon to keep their claws in great condition.
Your Maine Coon cat will require somewhere to scratch, and if they do not have scratching posts in their home, they will resort to scratching furniture.
Here are some great cat towers that give your growing Maine Coon cat plenty of opportunities to keep its claws in a healthy groomed condition.
Maine Coons love to eat and can even be persistent in begging for food. Unfortunately, this can be a problem for overweight cats or sensitive eaters.
Maine Coon crying is caused by various factors, such as hunger, fear, loneliness, thirst, not neutered, etc.
Some cat specialists consider cat crying to be a learned cat behavior, occurring because owners give their cat attention whenever they meow.
Whilst immediate attention shows you love your cat, unfortunately, it also teaches a Maine Coon to expect instant attention whenever they chirp, trill, or cry.
Discover the 10 Key Causes Of Maine Coon Crying, in my article.
How To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat
Disciplining a Maine Coon cat requires a gentle hand and a consistent approach. It is best for owners to focus on positive reinforcement, not punishment.
Below are a few recommended methods for correcting unruly Maine Coon behavior:
1. Redirect Their Attention
When owners catch a Maine Coon doing something scandalous, gently redirecting the cat’s attention to a toy or acceptable activity will help.
Through redirection, your cat will learn what behavior is expected of them.
2. Use Positive Reinforcement
Reward Maine Coons with their favorite treats, praise, and love when they show favorable behavior.
Over time, this strategy will help reinforce positive habits and inspire them to keep behaving well.
3. Avoid Physical Punishment
Avoid hitting, yelling, or physically punishing your Maine Coon cat.
These abrasive actions are counterproductive and will damage the pet parents’ relationships with their cats.
4. Stay Consistent
Consistency is key when disciplining a Maine Coon. Set up clear rules and boundaries, and make sure everyone in the household follows them.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Aggressive?
Below are some reasons why your Maine Coon may be displaying aggressive behavior:
Some owners wonder why is my Maine Coon cat so mean? The answer is not always straightforward.
While every cat’s personality is different, pet parents must look to environmental factors before assuming their cat is flat-out mean!
Usually, “mean” Maine Coons are just cats who feel threatened or who constantly have their boundaries crossed.
Remember, the Maine Coon personality traits are generally friendly, compassionate, sociable, and loving, not mean.
Maine Coons can be protective of their territory and their owners. Therefore, they may get aggressive if they feel attacked or perceive a possible threat.
Fear And Anxiety
Aggression is a natural response to Maine Coons that feel scared or anxious.
They will get aggressive if they are physically cornered or trapped, and if owners try to move toward a Maine Coon cat in this situation, there is a real possibility of a Maine Coon attack.
Loud noises, unknown people or animals, or environmental changes may also trigger fear and aggression in a cat.
Some medical conditions like pain or illness can cause a normally friendly Maine Coon to get aggressive.
Sudden changes in behavior definitely warrant a vet visit to rule out underlying health issues.
Lack Of Socialization
Maine Coons must be properly socialized as kittens. If they are not appropriately socialized, they may get aggressive toward other cats, animals, or people.
This is how to socialize a Maine Coon kitten correctly.
Play aggression is normal for cats, including Maine Coons, during regular playtime.
This type of Maine Coon aggression involves:
Though Maine Coon bites and scratches may hurt and seem aggressive during play, it is not actually a sign of hostility.
Manage Maine Coon play aggression by using toys, positive reinforcement training, and redirection from human hands to appropriate play objects.
Why Is My Maine Coon So Naughty?
The occasional naughty behavior exhibited by a Maine Coon cat may be explained by the several factors listed below:
If a Maine Coon feels neglected or lonely, it may start acting destructively and giving its owners the cold shoulder.
Boredom can lead to the naughty behaviors mentioned, such as scratching furniture.
Left Alone Too Long
If these cats are left alone for long periods, they may start feeling anxious. As a result, they may engage in harmful behavior like scratching or chewing anything in sight.
If Maine Coons are left alone too long, they may even become depressed.
Read our guide to Maine Coon Separation Anxiety, to ensure you protect the mental state of your Maine Coon cat.
Lack of Stimulation
Maine Coons must have an outlet for their energy. Otherwise, they will engage in naughty behaviors.
Excessively active Maine Coons are likely not getting enough necessary stimulation, which includes mental and physical exercise.
Are Maine Coon Cats Naughty? Read this guide to find out the truth!
Underlying medical issues may present themselves as behavior issues in Maine Coons.
For instance, if a Maine Coon has a wound and the owner pets him on the wound unknowingly, he may bite or scratch to protect his wound, leaving the owner confused.
Maine Coons with urinary conditions may also exhibit unwanted urination behavior.
Other health issues that cause pain or discomfort can lead these large felines to make excessive noises, like hissing or growling, that they otherwise would not make.
These are the top 7 Maine Coon health problems to watch out for.
How To Keep A Maine Coon Entertained
Entertaining these active cats to keep them out of trouble requires effort and a bit of an investment in the proper toys, like these.
Below are a few ways to keep Maine Coons occupied:
1. Provide Plenty Of Toys
Offering Maine Coons lots of toy options satisfies their instinctual desire to hunt and play.
Toys that mimic the movement of prey, like feather wands or toy mice, are particularly popular with Maine Coons.
Treat dispensers or interactive games are also a convenient way to keep them mentally stimulated.
2. Create A Stimulating Environment
Climbing, exploring, and hiding are just a few of the activities Maine Coons adore.
Providing a compelling environment with plenty of the following will keep your Maine Coon cat entertained for hours:
- Climbing Surfaces
- Scratching Posts
- Hiding Places
Cat trees, shelves, and window perches all help create an exciting, feline-friendly environment for your Maine Coon.
3. Interactive Playtime
Interaction is a real treat for Maine Coons.
Spending time playing with these cats, whether with toys or by playing chase or fetch, can keep them entertained. What is more, it will strengthen the bond between owner and pet.
Regular playtime also provides vital exercise and mental stimulus for these cats.
4. Puzzle Feeders
Maine Coons love a good challenge. Using puzzle feeders or treat dispensers activates their mental facilities and encourages problem-solving.
As a bonus, puzzle feeders slow down fast eaters.
5. Window Perches
Providing a window perch gives Maine Coons access to hours of entertainment watching birds, other wildlife, or cars outside.
A comfortable window perch with a view also provides a relaxing environment for these cats.
In summary, Maine Coons are friendly and intelligent cats that require lots of mental and physical stimulation to stay happy.
Maine Coon behavior problems include biting, hissing, spraying, and more.
Owners can prevent these issues by creating a stimulating environment and engaging in playtime with their Maine Coons, among other things.
Finally, owners should understand their cat’s unique needs and habits to best control or prevent behavior issues.
Can A Maine Coon Kill A Human?
It is highly unlikely for Maine Coons to kill humans due to their small size and lack of physical power. However, a Maine Coon cat bite could become infected and lead to death, if left untreated.
Maine Coon Cat Attacks Family
There are some reports of Maine Coons turning on their owners or attacking household members for seemingly no reason, causing injury to family members and requiring help from emergency services.