It’s important to learn the reasons not to get a Maine Coon before diving headfirst into this popular breed.
As much as many owners love their Maine Coons, this breed isn’t necessarily for everyone.
While some people adore the Maine Coon’s unique personality traits, they aren’t necessarily a good fit for every owner.
Maine Coon Cats are active breeds that require a lot of social interaction. Furthermore, these cats need a lot more enrichment than most cats, due to their extreme intelligence. If a Maine Coon’s needs aren’t being met, it can become destructive. These cats do best in families that can appreciate their kitten-like nature and high social needs.
Have you heard about the amazing Maine Coon personality, and are now dying to bring one home for yourself? Before you get carried away with yourself, it’s best to slow down and do some more research before making such a big decision!
Read on to find out how the Maine Coon’s unique personality can be wonderful for some owners, but a pain for others.
13 Reasons Not To Get A Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a large cat breed that developed naturally in the state of Maine.
These cats first became popular for their ability to hunt mice, rats, and other vermin. Sailors would take them aboard ships, and families would take them in to keep their living space pest-free.
Discover more about the origins of the Maine Coon cat breed in my article about the “History Of The Maine Coon Cat“.
Nowadays, however, people all over the world are going crazy for these gentle giants and their playful, intelligent personalities! However, the Maine Coon can be an acquired taste for some.
Do you have what it takes to be a Maine Coon owner?
Read on to find out if the Maine Coon’s unique personality is a good fit for you. Or read our complete guide to the Purebred Maine Coon Personality.
1. They Love To Climb
Maine Coons are notorious for their love of climbing.
If you own a Maine Coon, it’s absolutely essential that you provide a large, sturdy cat tree made from high-quality ingredients like good sisal rope. These are my favorite big cat trees, which are ideal for the extra-large Maine Coon size and weight.
You might also want to install cat shelves so your Maine Coon has another dimension of the house to run around and explore. I love this snug-looking cat shelf sold by Amazon, as it’s larger than most and is secured to the wall safely, rather than with suction pads!
These adventurous climbers don’t distinguish between cat-made furniture and regular furniture, though. Without proper training, your Maine Coon could easily become fond of climbing on countertops, tables, or even on top of the fridge!
Read my article on ‘Do Maine Coon’s Climb On Countertops‘ for more on this subject.
As endearing as the Maine Coon’s climbing ability may sound at first, it can end up presenting some real challenges to some owners. Especially if you didn’t realize just how high a Maine Coon cat can jump!!
Of course, because Maine Coons are highly trainable, it’s possible to prevent bad climbing behaviors. Still, this is not something all owners want to spend their time and patience on.
If you think that an adventurous climbing cat sounds like too much of a challenge for you, then the Maine Coon might not be the right breed choice.
2. Maine Coons Are Expensive
Another downside to Maine Coons is that they’re expensive.
These cats can range between $400 and $2,500, which means they might not be the best financial choice compared to a shelter cat, which usually costs around $150. For more specific Maine Coon kitten pricing, read my article on ‘How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Cost’.
If cost is a concern for you, a Maine Coon might not be the right fit for you.
Some people who are determined to own a Maine Coon, but are concerned about the cost, try to cut corners by buying from shady “backyard breeders.” If you take nothing away from this article, please just remember to avoid backyard breeders at ALL COSTS!!
Backyard breeders will sell Maine Coons for much cheaper, but they usually don’t put as much time or care into breeding, and oftentimes sell kittens that are sickly. Irresponsible breeders might even lie and say that a cat is a purebred Maine Coon even if the cat is a mixed breed, or might not even have a drop of Maine Coon blood!
If you’re confused regards how to purchase or adopt a Maine Coon cat correctly, make sure you read my free article on ‘Buying A Maine Coon Cat: Complete Guide‘. In this article, you will have a full-proof list of checks to make before handing over your cash to a Maine Coon seller.
As a result, it’s better to pay full price for a Maine Coon from a responsible breeder that’s registered under a cat fanciers’ association, like TICA or the CFA. While this route is pricier, breeders also incur costs like spaying and neutering, vaccinations, and other expenses.
3. They’re Extremely Smart
The Maine Coon is an incredibly intelligent cat breed.
These cats are often referred to as being doglike because they’re able to learn tricks and even play fetch! Some owners are also able to train their Maine Coons to walk on a leash and harness.
We trained our Maine Coon cat to talk!! … Watch the video below of ‘Pippin’ our male Maine Coon cat chatting away to his dad:
Some Maine Coons also have the uncanny ability to sense their owner’s emotions.
Many potential owners fall in love with the idea of bringing home a super intelligent cat. Believe it or not, though, this intelligence can come with downsides.
Since Maine Coons are so smart, they’re much more likely to get in trouble. Smart cats can raid cupboards for food, learn to turn on water faucets, and even open doors! This, combined with their kitten-like love of play that spans well into adulthood can make Maine Coons quite the troublemakers.
If you want a cat that is well-mannered and can be trusted to not get into everything, then the Maine Coon might not be the breed for you.
On the flip side, many owners relish the challenge, and find that the Maine Coon’s intelligence and penchant for troublemaking makes this breed all the better!
4. Not All Maine Coons Are Big
One of the biggest reasons for the Maine Coon’s increasing popularity is that these cats are huge!
Male Maine Coons can average between 12 and 25 pounds. Compared to the average housecat, which weighs around 10 pounds, the Maine Coon is quite large.
To get a better understanding of the true size of a Maine Coon cat, make sure you read my fact-filled article “Maine Coon Vs Normal Cat Size“.
Keep in mind that not every Maine Coon is guaranteed to grow as large as you hope. Here’s why:
- Female Maine Coons are much smaller than males, rarely exceeding 12 pounds, which makes them only slightly larger than the average cat.
- You might be able to find a breeder who regularly breeds large kittens, but there’s never a guarantee that your cat will grow to the size you desire.
Sadly, even though the Maine Coon is the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, you can never guarantee how big your own kitten will get.
If the only reason you want a Maine Coon is that you want a huge cat, then you might want to rethink things a bit.
5. They Get Lonely Easily
The Maine Coon is a highly sociable cat breed.
These cats aren’t known for being clingy or getting underfoot, but they do tend to follow their owners around from room to room. Most find this trait endearing, as they tend to give their owners space, but still like to spend time around them.
If you’ve ever wondered why your Maine Coon follows you, read this!
Even though Maine Coons are relatively unobtrusive, they still have high social needs. If they are left alone for too long, they can become lonely and depressed. Some owners are able to combat this problem by getting a companion for their Maine Coon, such as another cat or even a dog.
If you work from home or have a lot of free time to spend with your cat, then owning a Maine Coon shouldn’t be a problem at all.
If you spend long hours at work and prefer to spend your evenings going out with friends, however, you might want to choose a cat breed that is more independent.
6. Maine Coons Need A Lot Of Enrichment
One of the main reasons why Maine Coons end up being a poor choice of breed for certain owners is because they require a lot of enrichment.
These intelligent cats can become bored by regular cat toys more easily, and prefer activities that puzzle them and keep them thinking. If these cats don’t get enough enrichment, their boredom can lead to destruction.
After having tried countless cat toys, I concluded that these are the 5 Best Maine Coon Cat toys. Not only are these sturdy toys suited to survive the strength of a Maine Coon cat, but they also help to stimulate your clever cat’s mind!
Providing enough enrichment for your Maine Coon isn’t usually a problem. A large cat tree, some cat shelves, and regular walks on a leash and harness should all be enough to keep this cat breed entertained.
Interactive, durable toys are also helpful, as well as daily play sessions.
Still, if you’re worried that you might not be able to provide the level of enrichment that this cat breed needs, take it as a sign that you might want to get a different kind of cat instead. After all, it’s not fair to your Maine Coon to be forced to live in a house where their needs aren’t being met.
7. They Need To Be Groomed More Than Average
A hallmark of the Maine Coon breed is its long, thick fur that forms a characteristic mane like a lion.
As eye-catching as the Maine Coon’s fur might be though, it can become quite a challenge for some owners to keep up with!
Be prepared to brush your cat thoroughly 2-3 times a week, and even more if the weather is damp and wet, or it is the cat shedding season. This frequency might sound a bit much, but it is in fact vital since a Maine Coon cat’s fur can quickly become matted and out of control. If this happens your large cat will become stressed if it is unable to remove these knots.
This breed’s long fur can prove troublesome in some areas, particularly on its feet and backside.
If your Maine Coon is prone to getting dirty or tangled in some areas, you might need to trim it to keep your Maine Coon clean and healthy. Here’s how to keep a Maine Coon clean.
Whilst Maine Coons shed about an average amount of fur each day, their fur still requires a decent amount of grooming. These are the most effective cat grooming brushes that we use on a weekly basis.
For many owners, the extra work of grooming a Maine Coon is well worth it for the breed’s wonderful personality, but it can be a source of concern for some potential owners.
8. Maine Coons Have A High Prey Drive
Maine Coons were launched into popularity for their ability to catch mice and other vermin. Even compared to other cat breeds, the Maine Coon is an expert at hunting. This can be a huge bonus for owners who want to keep mice and rats out of their garage.
If you own other small pets, however, such as mice, ferrets, or birds, then the Maine Coon would probably be a disastrous pet choice.
Even by keeping your animals separated at all times, accidents can happen, and the Maine Coon’s hunting instincts might kick in and cause the death of a beloved pet.
9. Purebred Cats Develop More Health Problems
Overall, the Maine Coon is considered a healthy and sturdy cat breed.
However, purebred cats are still inherently more likely to deal with genetic problems than other cat breeds.
Some disorders can be ruled out by genetic testing, and a responsible breeder will only breed cats that have tested negative for those disorders.
Still, it’s possible for a Maine Coon to develop a variety of conditions, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, spinal muscular atrophy, polycystic kidney disease, and hip dysplasia. These conditions are all rare, but if you’re especially nervous about potential health problems, a regular domestic cat might be a better choice.
These are the Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems to watch out for in your large cat.
10. Maine Coons Require Special Sizing
If you’re lucky enough to get a Maine Coon that does grow to an enormous size, this presents a new challenge.
Most cat toys and supplies are specifically sized to the average housecat, and might not fit a Maine Coon. You’ll need to purchase an extra-large litter box, cat carrier, and beds.
Furthermore, these large cats require a sturdy, extra-large cat tree.
The Maine Coon’s large size also means that they are more likely to damage and destroy their toys more quickly than other cats. It’s important to purchase durable supplies that can withstand this cat’s rough play.
Many owners are able to get around the issue of sizing by purchasing dog supplies rather than cat supplies, but this can be more expensive.
Finally, the Maine Coon’s size means it needs a little bit more space than the average cat. If you live in a cramped apartment or in a household that’s crowded with a lot of people, then a Maine Coon might not feel comfortable sharing such a limited space.
11. They Are Kittens Forever!
Many owners love that Maine Coons retain a kitten-like love of play well into adulthood. Most cats grow out of their kitten phase, but Maine Coons seem perpetually fascinated by toys and other stimuli. This is an adorable quality that is usually listed as being a positive trait of the breed.
However, if you’ve ever raised kittens, you’ll know that as adorable as they are, they’re also a lot of work! A Maine Coon might be too playful and too curious for you, especially if you want a calmer cat that can be counted on to not get into trouble all the time.
If you’re looking for a calm lap cat that’s more interested in lounging on the couch and cuddling with you than playing and running around the house, you might be more interested in a breed like the Persian or Ragdoll.
Let’s compare the Maine Coon with these other popular cat breeds:
12. Maine Coons Love Water
It’s no secret that most cats hate water, but the Maine Coon has an odd fascination with it. Perhaps this is partly because Maine Coon’s have a thick, oily coat that’s perfect for repelling moisture.
No matter the reason, the Maine Coon’s love of water is often viewed as one of the most unique and lovable features of the breed.
Like the other traits on this list, however, the Maine Coon’s love of water can also be a challenge for some owners.
These cats love water so much that they often splash in their water bowls, and sometimes even learn how to turn on faucets! A few owners even have Maine Coons that like to follow them in the shower or bath.
If you think that the Maine Coon’s habit of playing with water would be more troublesome than endearing, then it might be a better idea to get a calmer cat who’s less likely to get into trouble.
13. Maine Coons Are Extremely Loving
Finally, the Maine Coon is one of the most affectionate breeds out there.
These cats play hard, but they also love hard! They’ll spend most of the day simply watching from afar, but when the mood strikes, they can become some of the cuddliest cats on the planet.
Most Maine Coon owners love this about their cat, but it’s not for everybody.
Some owners prefer more independent and aloof cats, and if you share this personal preference, then the Maine Coon certainly isn’t the right choice of cat for you!
It’s a good idea to learn the main reasons not to get a Maine Coon, before making a commitment to this wonderful breed.
All of the reasons why some owners adore these cats are exactly the reasons why they might not be a good fit for other households. It’s important to figure out whether a Maine Coon is right for you before bringing one into your home, where it might be unhappy.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent cats, which can sometimes get them into a lot of trouble. They also need a lot of enrichment, or else they can become bored and destructive. These cats retain a kitten-like personality for life, which, while endearing to some, can be a challenge for others.
Maine Coons also have high social needs. While these affectionate cats aren’t known for being clingy, they can become lonely if they aren’t given enough attention each day. Overall, the Maine Coon is a cat with a lot of needs, and they do best with owners who can meet all of those needs with love and patience.
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