Maine Coon separation anxiety can be very distressing for a cat. It is important that owners therefore know how to spot potential signs that it is happening, and know the best course of action. Owners of highly sociable Maine Coon cats should keep in mind that this mental health condition is particularly applicable to this breed. These large cats don’t just love the attention of their human family, they actually need plenty of attention to ensure their sense of well-being does not suffer.
Maine Coon cats suffer from separation anxiety, if left alone for long periods of time. Signs of Maine Coon separation anxiety include: overgrooming, loss of appetite, vomiting, biting, excessive meowing, destructive behaviour and litter box issues. These highly sociable cats are less prone to anxiety when sharing a household with other pets.
Maine Coon separation anxiety is not always outwardly visible, so owners must always be alert to the signals indicated below. Avoiding separation anxiety in Maine Coon cats is particularly advisable, since this ‘hidden’ mental health issue can negatively affect a cat’s physical health.
What Is Maine Coon Separation Anxiety?
Known for their loving, docile, and affectionate temperaments, the Maine Coon cat requires plenty of attention from their human family. This need not always be in the form of playtime, though your Maine Coon will definitely love these more durable cat toys.
Maine Coon cats have a love of life, like no other. They are highly sociable felines, and therefore happiest when given plenty attention and time to bond with their human family. They tend to fare less well in environments whereby owners are away from home for extended periods of time though, since forming strong social bonds is important for their health and well-being.
Maine Coon separation anxiety can present itself in a number of different forms. Though some signs are not always outwardly visible, other behavioural changes are more easy for an alert owner to identify.
Take a look at the table below, to learn the signs to watch out for, that may signal your cat is suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety:
|Sign Of Anxiety||Description|
|Overgrooming||Cats are fastidious cleaners, but will over groom (lick) their fur when feeling stressed and anxious|
|Loss of appetite||Anxious cats often stop eating, or consume far less food than usual|
|Vomiting||Unexplained vomiting and diarrhea whilst owner is away from the home can signal to owners that their cat is suffering Maine Coon separation anxiety|
|Biting||This usually non-aggressive cat breed might start biting their owners when stressed, or anxious|
|Excessive Meowing||Maine Coons cry when left alone for long periods of time. Cat dementia may worsen this issue further|
|Destructive Behaviour||Usually passive cats can become destructive when suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety. Boredom and loneliness often trigger these Maine Coon behavioural issues|
|Litter Box Issues||A cat defecating the home, rather than using the litter tray or digging up a patch of ground outside might be suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety|
So what do you do when your treasured gentle giant shows signs of Maine Coon separation anxiety? If you suspect the recent behavioural changes within your feline to be linked to separation anxiety, it is important to tackle the various issues head on. To help you do this, we look in detail at the different signs and signals that you might have noticed.
Maine Coons are very clean felines, so you can expect to see your cat continually licking their fur, starting from their face and then progressing down their bodies. This behaviour is completely normal, and not something that owners should be worried about.
It is time to take notice however, when these fastidious cleaners start to over groom themselves. Overgrooming is basically when a cat licks their fur excessively, resulting in bald patches of skin. It can also be caused by a cat biting and pulling out their hair, although this is more usually linked to their attempts to remove matted fur. Therefore, if you notice your cat has some visible bald patches of skin on their bodies, be alert to the fact that this might be the result of Maine Coon separation anxiety.
2. Loss Of Appetite
No one knows your Maine Coon cat’s appetite better than you do. Therefore, if you notice that your usually hungry Maine Coon has stopped eating their food it is time to intervene.
Owners should be alert to unexplained cat vomiting, since this is one of the less obvious clues signaling that your cat is suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety.
Vomiting will only occur whilst an owner is away from home. Therefore, if you find cat vomit, and haven’t recently altered the food you are feeding your Maine Coon, watch out for other potential signs of separation anxiety.
If your previously calm and gentle Maine Coon starts biting you, it is important to determine whether this is linked to Maine Coon separation anxiety, or not. Take a look at your cats environment, and consider what aspects have recently changed. Then review how much time you have been spending with your cat lately, so that you can clarify if this negative cat behaviour is an attention seeking behaviour, or not.
5. Excessive Meowing
A cat that meows excessively, as soon as you leave the home is likely suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety.
If your cat is suffering from dementia, you might find that they increasingly meow during the night. This is because they are losing their mental functionality, and can often no longer tell the difference between day and night anymore, so become confused and scared when they cannot find their owners. Try leaving the bedroom door open when you go to sleep, so that your cat seek reassurance that you are nearby whilst you are sleeping.
For those of you interested in comparing sounds commonly associated with the Maine Coon cat, and those with that you hear, check out my article “Maine Coon Talking“.
6. Destructive Behaviour
Maine Coons require a lot of social interaction. If left on their own for long periods of time though, they will likely exhibit signs of destructive behaviour due to loneliness and boredom. Owners should be alert to this issue, rather than automatically placing this negative behaviour down to the cat just being naughty.
7. Litter Box Issues
Maine Coons are fastidious cleaners. Therefore, if you find your usually clean cat has started to defecate your home with poop and urine, they might be experiencing Maine Coon separation anxiety. Defecating is more likely to occur on clothes scented with the owners smell, or nearby the door where they left.
Before you jump to conclusions about your cat suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety though, make sure that you check their litter tray. Do you own a suitable sized litter tray, like these ones?
How To Reduce Maine Coon Separation Anxiety
Maine Coons require high levels of human interaction, and companionship. They are best suited to individuals that spend large amounts of time at home, and are not on holiday every 5 minutes! Although, if you do like to travel, keep in mind that some Maine Coons are pretty adaptable, and don’t mind being taken on a road trip!
Here are some great ways to limit or reduce Maine Coon separation anxiety. Give each, or all of them a go, and hopefully your cats stress and anxiety will naturally reduce in time.
Maine Coon separation anxiety is often caused by loneliness. Owners should therefore make a concerted effort to increase the time they spend with their Maine Coon cat. This is important, since it will help comfort and reassure the feline.
If your cats fur is knotted, or matted, carefully brush their body with these Maine Coon grooming tools. Brushing their bodies carefully is beneficial for your cat, since it will help to calm their anxious mind, whilst also dematting their fur and making your feline happier. Grooming is also form of social bonding, which will reassert your cats perceived position within the family ‘pack’.
Owners should avoid brushing the bald patches of their cats skin, since these areas will likely be sore and sensitive.
Maine Coon cats remain kitten-like and playful until late in their adult lives. They love playing with their human family, so one easy way to ease their feelings of Maine Coon separation anxiety, is to play with them for roughly 20-30 minutes everyday. If you are not sure how to play with your Maine Coon cat, why not try playing a game of fetch! These cat toys are also very effective at encouraging a Maine Coon to play with you.
d) Cat Pheromones
When a cat is suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety, it is important that owners try to calm their anxious minds. One way you can do this, is by using cat pheromone plugins within your home. These devices emit a scent which helps to calm a cat, and can be plugged into all areas of the home that your Maine Coon occupies.
Whilst there are a variety of different cat pheromone plugins available on the market, I personally found these ones from Amazon to very effective at keeping our cat calm during multiple house moves.
e) Alternate Food
If you notice that your Maine Coon has stopped eating, then first consider seriously whether it is likely that they are suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety, or not. One simple test to help determine this, is by alternating the food you are feeding your gentle giant, since some Maine Coon cats just get bored of eating the same food, each day.
If you find the new food sparks your cats interest, they might just have been bored of their mealtime choices. In cases where your cat still seems to not be interested in eating though, make sure that you seek professional veterinary advice to confirm if your cat has an underlying medical issue.
f) Veterinary Advice
One of the important steps in diagnosing Maine Coon separation anxiety, is to make sure that you rule out other medical issues first. Owners should therefore book an appointment with their local veterinary professional to rule out the possibility that their Maine Coon cat does not have an underlying health issue that they are not aware of.
For information on the most common Maine Coon health issues, take a look at my article ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Issues‘.
g) Buy A Second Cat!
If you suspect that your cat is suffering from Maine Coon separation anxiety, then consider purchasing a second cat for your home. Additional cats do not need to be from the Maine Coon cat breed, though if you can afford a second Maine Coon then this would be ideal.
Maine Coon cats are very friendly, and get on well with other household pets (see here for more details). A second cat will help reduce Maine Coon separation anxiety, since the second cat effectively gives your Maine Coon non-stop companionship whilst you are away from home. These cats can then play, and entertain each other.
Can You Take A Maine Coon On Holiday With You?
Every cat is different, however Maine Coon cats have such docile and laidback temperaments, which makes them well suited to traveling. Just make sure that you have a valid pet passport to hand.
How do I know this? Well, my husband and I are not big travelers, but did spend 6 weeks living in France a few years back. We were trying to decide whether to move to France or not, and didn’t want to leave our Maine Coon at home with a house sitter, so opted to take him on holiday with us!
Our Maine Coon has his own pet passport, and we found him to be an excellent traveller. Everything went smoothly, as ‘Pippin’ immediately became great friends with the next door neighbours cat within 24 hours of arriving! The other cat wasn’t a Maine Coon, yet these cats played together all Summer long. It really couldn’t have been easier, but don’t make the mistake of assuming all cats will adapt as easily as this.
Here’s a cute picture of our 3 year old Maine Coon spending his Summer with the neighbours cat:
If you are going to travel, I recommend the following items:
1. Extra Large Cat Carrier
You obviously cannot put your treasured feline in your suitcase with you, therefore purchasing a large comfy cat carrier like this one on Amazon, for them to travel in, is advisable. This practical cat carrier is ideal for extra heavy and large cats, like Maine Coons. It is both collapsable and made of soft fabric, so your precious Maine Coon won’t hurt themselves on the sides. I also love that the mesh fabric offers the cat an unrestricted air supply, whilst the soft cozy cushion enables your cat to travel in greater comfort.
2. Food And Water Supply
When you are traveling, it is important to consider how you will keep your Maine Coon cat well hydrated, especially if you are traveling through hot countries.
Dehydration is very dangerous for cats, so we purchased a few of these extra large portable cat water containers from Amazon. Their collapsible functionality makes them ideal for traveling, and they are really easy to keep clean.
We also used these travel bowls to feed our Maine Coon when we stopped at the service stations, too. The extra large size is important when feeding is concerned, since your cat is unlikely to eat if their whiskers do not fit into the bowl.
3. Cat Harness
One of the most important things to remember to take when traveling with a Maine Coon cat, is a LEASH! Don’t go anywhere without one, since you will need to let your cat out to stretch their legs from time to time.
Many Maine Coon cats are the size of small dogs, so an extra large cat harness like this is ideal, since it caters to your cats larger than average sizing. Amazon are currently selling it at this reduced price at the moment too, so now is the best time to invest!
Owners should never ignore Maine Coon separation anxiety, since it can negatively impact upon their cats health. If you think that you cat is suffering therefore, consider how you can adapt your cats current environment to cater to your Maine Coons emotional needs.
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