Best Maine Coon Body Language Guide

If you feel like you have no idea what’s going on in your cat’s head, learning more about Maine Coon body language can help you to better understand your pet.

Since cats use more subtle body language than dogs, many first-time cat owners stress that their cat is upset, scared, or aggressive when this is not really the case.

Cats use their tails, ears, and eyes to express their mood and intentions. Vocalizations and body positioning can also provide clues to your cat’s mood. Cats tend to hold their tails high or straight out when they are feeling relaxed or confident, but keep their tails low or between their legs if they are feeling nervous or aggressive.

If you have no clue what your cat is thinking or feeling, do not worry!

While it can take some time to pick up on your cat’s mood, learning about cat body language is a great place to start.

Read on to find out how your cat uses its body to indicate everything from playfulness to aggression!

Maine Coon Body Language

Both the Maine Coon personality and the enormous Maine Coon body shape are the main reasons behind this breed’s popularity.

Maine Coons are not only huge, powerful cats, but they are also known for being gentle, loving companions.

There are many Maine Coon cat characteristics unique to the breed, such as unusual behaviors and bizarre vocalizations.

These traits can make it a bit harder to read your Maine Coon’s mood, but once you learn more about this breed’s quirks, it will make understanding your cat a breeze!

Here are some ways that Maine Coons communicate with their bodies:

Maine Coon Cat Tail

Look out for the following Maine Coon tail body language:

1. Slow Twitching Tail

If a cat holds its tail low or straight out while slowly twitching the tip, it typically indicates frustration.

An annoyed cat might twitch its tail if you keep petting it or if another cat is too close.

However, some cats like to idly twitch their tail regardless of mood, so you should use other clues from your cat’s body language to determine how it is feeling.

2. Fast Twitching Tail

Cats twitch their tails quickly when they are focused or challenged.

They might twitch their tails when deciding how to jump up to a tricky spot or while watching a motorized toy nearby.

However, a cat twitching its tail quickly might also be feeling annoyed.

3. Lashing Tail

Cats usually lash their tails from side to side when they are angry or aggressive.

If your cat lashes its tail back and forth with flattened ears or hostile vocalization, you should back off.

However, some cats lash their tails to indicate a range of strong emotions like excitement or frustration.

4. Tail Up

Cats stick their tails straight up as a greeting to one another or their owners.

A cat with its tail straight up is also feeling friendly and confident.

5. Tail Up And Curled

When a cat sticks its tail straight up and curls it over at the tip like a question mark, it is a sign that it is feeling playful and confident.

If your cat’s tail makes this position and your cat meows or chirps at you while standing a few feet away, it is probably leading you to its favorite toy or place to play.

6. Tail Quivering

Cats stick their tails straight up and vibrate them if they are feeling very excited.

Your cat might do this when you come home from a long day at work or when you open up a can of your cat’s wet food.

7. Tail Between Legs

Similarly to dogs, cats tuck their tails between their legs when they are feeling:

  • Uncertain
  • Unsafe
  • Nervous

Sometimes, they hold their tails low to the ground without tucking them between their legs, but this also indicates fear or anxiety.

8. Tail Brushed

Cats bush their tails up when they are feeling threatened or frightened.

This mechanism makes their tail look much larger than usual as is a way to deceive potential threats into thinking the cat is bigger than it is.

If you have noticed your Maine Coon cat’s tail beginning to thin read this guide to discover what health problem your cat may be suffering from.

Maine Coon Cat Ears

Look out for the following Maine Coon ear body language in your cat:

1. Ears Forward

Cats hold their ears forward when they are focused or listening to something in front of them.

Cats with their ears forward are more likely to feel:

  • Friendly
  • Confident
  • Relaxed

2. Ear Backs

Cats sometimes hold their ears back when they are listening to something behind them.

A cat with its ears back can also indicate fear or aggression, but this is more likely indicated by airplane ears.

3. Airplane Ears

Some owners affectionately call them airplane ears when a cat flattens its ears in fear or aggression.

A cat with airplane ears will hold its ears down and directly to the side.

If you notice your cat flattening its ears like this, give it some space and make sure it has a quiet, private space to retreat to.

Just like any other cat, the Maine Coon cat breed might experience these Maine Coon ear problems.

Maine Coon Eyes

These are the most common Maine Coon eye body language signals to look out for:

1. Dilated Pupils

If you notice your cat has Maine Coon round pupils, you will probably have to use clues from the rest of your cat’s body language to understand how they are feeling.

Cats with their tails up or straight out are usually feeling playful or excited when their eyes are dilated.

If your cat’s tail is bushed or held low while its pupils are round, however, this usually indicates fear.

2. Slow Blink Or Wink

The famous slow blink is the ultimate confession of love from a cat.

Cats usually keep their eyes wide open so they can react to any possible attack.

If your cat makes eye contact while blinking or winking very slowly, then it means your cat trusts you so much that it feels comfortable letting its guard down.

If you would like, you can return the gesture with a slow blink of your own to show your cat you love it, too.

3. Staring

Some people find it off-putting when their cat stares at them from across the room without blinking, but contrary to popular belief, it is not a sign that your cat is plotting your demise!

Cats often look to their owners for reassurance and might stare if they are feeling confused or uncomfortable in their surroundings.

If you are interested in learning some Maine Coon cat eye facts, read this article.

Maine Coon Body Position

If you are keen to understand your Maine Coon cat a little better, learn how to read your Maine Coon cat’s body position language:

1. Body Hunched

A cat sitting in a hunched position usually indicates pain or discomfort.

Cats with asthma or respiratory problems usually assume this position with their neck extended while they cough.

A cat that is injured might sit hunched up while purring.

2. Body Low

If you see your cat walking with its belly low to the ground, it is likely feeling nervous or trying to sneak around to ambush or hunt.

If your cat walks with its body low to the ground and its tail low or between its legs, it is most likely feeling nervous or on edge.

If your cat is walking low to the ground with its ears forward and its tail twitching, it is probably hunting or looking for someone to ambush and start playing with.

Cats in this position tend to walk much more slowly, so they can sneak around more easily.

3. Wiggling Haunches

Cats lay low to the ground and wiggle their haunches when they are feeling playful.

They do this while preparing to jump on an unsuspecting human or toy.

Have you ever wondered how high a Maine Coon cat can jump? If so, find out here.

4. Tummy Exposed

If a cat rolls over onto its back to show you its tummy, then you should feel very lucky!

Cats’ stomachs have much thinner skin and are the easiest place for a predator to harm vital organs.

When a cat displays its belly, it means it trusts you completely and feels safe and comfortable in your presence.

Female cats who stretch with their bellies exposed usually only want to be admired, while male cats are more likely to accept belly rubs on occasion.

5. Slithering

When a cat is playful, it might lay completely flat on the ground and slither around like a snake!

This is a way for cats to appear playful and non-threatening at the same time.

Now you know what Maine Coon body language to look out for, but do you know what body shape Maine Coon cats have?

Find out more about the Maine Coon body shape.

Maine Coon Paws

You might be surprised to learn that your Maine Coon cat’s paws offer body language signals to you as well.

Below is some Maine Coon paw body language to look out for:

1. Paws Together

A cat with its front paws side by side is usually feeling relaxed and content.

2. Paws Apart

If your cat is standing with its paws apart, it is preparing for action.

It could indicate that your cat is about to ambush one of your other cats for an exciting play session, or it could mean that your cat is deciding whether or not to run away.

Keeping their paws spread apart makes it easier to leap into action if they need to make a quick getaway.

3. Kneading

If you notice your Maine Coon kneading on you, then you should feel very lucky!

Cats knead their mothers’ bellies to stimulate the flow of milk, and they recreate this kneading motion as adults when they feel comfortable and happy.

They may kneed your lap or a blanket next to you if they are feeling especially lovey-dovey.

Some cats, however, knead when they feel insecure or stressed.

Cats that were separated from their mothers too early or who experienced trauma early in life might suck while they are kneading and might come to their owners to knead if they are feeling scared or lonely.

Now that you know what to look for, do you know if Maine Coon cats have big paws? Click here to find out!

Maine Coon Vocalization

Whilst the sounds a Maine Coon cat makes might seem irrelevant in terms of Maine Coon cat body language, you would be surprised!

Read on to learn what the following Maine Coon vocal sounds mean (source 1):


While most cats communicate by meowing, Maine Coons talk to their owners with little chirps and trills.

Cats are capable of producing all sorts of crazy sounds, and it is likely that the more intelligent a cat is, the more likely they are to make unique trills and warbles.

Cats usually chirp when they are feeling:

  • Playful
  • Content
  • Relaxed
  • Confident

They may twitter to ask for food or attention but never to indicate fear or discomfort.

Learn more about the weird noises Maine Coon cats make, in this article.


Yowling in cats usually indicates:

  • Aggression
  • Fear
  • Desperation

However, some cats yowl for attention, and female cats may sometimes yowl when they are in heat.


Cats hiss when they feel scared or threatened. It is a way to communicate to other cats or humans that they should back off!

If your cat is hissing at you, it is best to withdraw and give your cat some space.

Although Maine Coon aggression is not common, there are situations where it might happen.

These are the key causes of aggressive Maine Coon cat behaviors.

Learn how to identify and handle Maine Coon cat aggressive behavior, in this cat behavior guide.


Cats growl when they are feeling:

  • Aggressive
  • Scared
  • Threatened

Some cats growl while eating if they fear someone else might take their food.

Cats may also growl while having their nails trimmed or their fur brushed if they were not socialized well enough at a young age.


Meowing is the most common way for cats to communicate with their owners.

Maine Coons do not usually meow since they prefer to chirp or trill, but if they do meow, it is usually for the same reason as any other cat.

Cats use different tones and vocalizations to indicate various intentions behind their meows.

For example, some cats have certain meows for when they are hungry versus when they want to play.

While you may interpret your cat’s tones as some kind of Maine Coon cat language, cats communicate via tone and body language rather than “language” in the way we humans think of it.


If you have ever seen your cat open its mouth while making a chattering or clicking sound, you might wonder if your pet has suddenly been replaced with an alien!

Chattering, however, is a normal behavior that usually indicates frustration and a desire to hunt.

Cats chatter most often if there is a toy they cannot reach or a bird just outside the window.


Purring is one of the most mysterious mechanisms in cats.

Since kittens are born completely blind and deaf, their mothers purr so their young can locate them.

As they grow older, cats usually purr when they are feeling happy and content, especially if they are being cuddled!

However, some cats also purr as a means to self-soothe if they are anxious or in pain, so look to your cat’s body language for other clues.

As you can see, Maine Coon cats make a wide number of sounds to communicate their needs. However, do Maine Coon cats chuff? Click on the link to find out!

Why Do Maine Coons Wag Their Tails?

While dogs wag their tails to express happiness or excitement, this particular behavior has lots of different meanings when it comes to cats.

Tail wagging can indicate playfulness if your cat is wagging its tail back and forth quickly.

If your cat’s tail position is low while it wags, however, then it usually indicates anger or fear.

Some cats twitch just the ends of their tails slowly when they are annoyed and twitch the ends of their tails quickly when they are focused, especially on hunting.

Why Does My Maine Coon Lick Me?

One of the ways cats show affection is by grooming each other’s fur.

Even though we humans do not have fur, our cats may show us love from time to time by licking us anyway.

Here are some other reasons why Maine Coon cats like to lick their owners.

Discover 10 other ways your Maine Coon shows they love you.

Some owners get confused when their cat licks them because they start nipping or biting, as well.

This is because some cats use gentle bites to show affection, while other cats try to start playing with their owners after grooming them.

If your cat tries to play with you by biting, simply divert your cat’s attention to a toy, preferably a larger, soft toy that it can kick and bite to its heart’s content!

Maine Coon Annoying Traits

As universally beloved as Maine Coons are, they are not perfect all of the time!

These cats have lots of unique traits that usually make them more charming, but there are also a few Maine Coon habits that are bound to drive some owners crazy.

Here are some annoying Maine Coon traits to learn about before you get one of your own:

1. Herding

Has your cat ever tripped you up while you were walking, or run in front of you so quickly you were certain it was on purpose?

Many cats try to “herd” their owners to guide them where they want them to go.

Maine Coons tend to herd their owners if they want to:

  • Play
  • Eat
  • Snuggle

Learn more about why Maine Coon cats herd their owners, in this cat guide.

2. Messy Eaters

Maine Coons are highly intelligent, which means they tend to use their paws a lot more than the average cat.

This means that some Maine Coons prefer to scoop their food with their paws instead of their mouths!

As adorable as this can be, it is usually quite messy, which can be tiresome for a lot of owners.

3. Playing With Water

The Maine Coon cat’s love of water can likely be attributed to its origins in the cold, snowy habitat of Maine, as well as its thick, semi-water-repellent coat.

While many owners are relieved to finally have a cat who does not hate baths, the Maine Coon’s love of water can also be a bit annoying.

For example, some Maine Coons tend to play with their water fountains, and some even learn to turn on the sink!

Learn the reasons why Maine Coons love water so much, in this article.

4. General Mischief

Maine Coons are known to be one of the most intelligent cat breeds in the world, but this also has some drawbacks.

Some Maine Coons are so intelligent that they learn to climb on top of cupboards or even open doors!

So, this begs the question are Maine Coons naughty? Find out now by clicking on the link!


If you have ever wished for a cat language translator, you may be surprised to learn that you can tell a lot about how your cat’s feeling by observing Maine Coon body language.

The position of your cat’s tail and ears, as well as the appearance of your cat’s fur, eyes, and mouth, can all indicate a lot about your cat’s mood.

If you want to learn more about cat body language, check out the rest of our Maine Coon website!

Related Questions

Maine Coon Cat Appearance

The Maine Coon is a massive cat with a rectangular body and long, thick fur. They have extra tufts of fur on the tips of their ears and their toes.

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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