Should I Let My Maine Coon Outside?


Few domestic cat breeds look as wild and majestic as the Maine Coon, which is why so many pet parents find themselves asking should I let my Maine Coon outside?

The answer to that question lies below, but be warned, the answer will depend on several different factors and might not be what you expect!

Maine Coons can be kept as indoor or outdoor pets. Owners must consider cats’ safety first, before allowing their Maine Coon to roam freely outdoors. Evaluate the cat’s safety, terms of breeder contracts, whether the garden is cat-proofed, proximity to traffic, impact on the local environment and wildlife, where you live, and the danger of possible predators.

Your cat, environment, lifestyle, and history are all unique.

With so many factors for owners to consider before letting a cat outside, it can be difficult to make a decision regarding outdoor access for your Maine Coon.

The best thing you can do for your Maine Coon is to educate yourself so they can live a safe and enriched life, whether you opt for indoor or outdoor living.

Keep reading to gain that education and become an even better pet parent!

Should I Let My Maine Coon Outside?

The Maine Coon breed history is long and rich with Maine folklore.

Though scientists aren’t certain of their origins, the Maine Coon does share DNA that suggests they descended from Norwegian Forest cats.

The survival of harsh climates and whatever means of adventure brought them to the state of Maine are testaments to the breed’s curious and hearty nature.

Centuries of domestication have turned them into loving companions, but they never lost their wild look.

Maine Coons have come a long way from their wild ancestors, and in their present domesticated state, you carry the responsibility of choosing their lifestyle.

The answer to outdoor access is owner specific. Ultimately, Maine Coon cats can live as indoor or outdoor cats, but owners must consider their cat’s safety before allowing a cat to roam freely.

Many owners in the United States decide to keep their Maine Coons indoors, and this trend is also catching on in the United Kingdom.

The following reasons for indoor and outdoor living are intended to help you make an educated decision for your cat’s lifestyle.

Why Some Owners Allow Maine Coon Cats Outside

Let’s take a look at the key reasons why lots of Maine Coon cat owners allow their cats to roam freely outside or outside within a cat-proofed garden:

1. Enrichment

A monotonous life is suitable for very few organisms, and the Maine Coon is not one of them.

Cats are animals with a seemingly endless sense of curiosity.

In the wild, they engage with countless new stimuli that satisfy that curiosity.

Due to their wild ancestry, Maine Coons display classic feline curiosity mixed with strong instincts to hunt.

This large cat breed is hard-wired to hunt and explore wild landscapes, thus many Maine Coon owners consider denying forms of enrichment that satisfy these instincts to be inhumane.

2. Personal Beliefs

Freedom is important, and while we often focus on its context in relation to people, it can also be applied to cats.

Depending on personal beliefs, keeping a Maine Coon indoors can feel like a denial of their freedom.

Recognition of their ancestors’ wild lives can strengthen these beliefs, making an indoor life seem both unnatural and restrictive.

3. Genetics and Breed History

If we look at the Maine Coon cat breed, we can see that Maine Coons are visibly larger than the average house cats.

Here’s how the size of a Maine Coon compares to a ‘normal’ cat breed.

Many people argue that the Maine Coon cat is physically designed to survive in the outside world. For starters, its majestic fur coat has three layers!

These layers include two short thick, and dense coats, and a longer outer guard coat, which all ensure the cat stays warm even in the most frigid Winter climates.

The Maine Coon fur is also insulated and partly water-repellent for harsh winter weather, snow, and water, making them suited to going outside.

Another breed factor that supports the argument of a Maine Coon cat going outside, is that this famous cat breed has an intense prey drive and a reputation for being a great hunter.

It can therefore look after itself!

In many ways, a house is a stark contrast to the environment the Maine Coons ancestors evolved in to survive.

For some people, these factors alone are motivating enough reasons that make them prioritize outdoor access for their Maine Coons.

4. Exercise

Like most animals, Maine Coon cats can become obese.

Obesity is one of the key Maine Coon health problems, since this cat breed is prone to obesity.

It is therefore important that Maine Coon owners exercise their cats regularly, and do not overfeed their Maine Coon cat.

Supporters of outdoor Maine Coons argue that cats who are not engaging with their environment or regularly exercising are at risk of weight gain and the health issues it causes.

With space to hunt, climb, and explore, the great outdoors provide plenty of natural exercises for a Maine Coon cat.  

Why Owners Keep Their Maine Coon Cat Inside

Let’s take a look at the key reasons why many Maine Coon owners prefer to keep their precious Maine Coon cat indoors:

1. Diseases

Other cats, parasites, and wild animals may potentially be carrying diseases, which a Maine Coon might encounter if allowed to go outdoors.

For example, if your cat picks up a zoonotic disease or certain parasites, the disease may pose a risk to the people in your family as well.

This is because zoonotic diseases are infectious diseases that can be transmitted between species i.e. animal to human.

Outdoor access can also make it easier for cats to hide signs of disease, since sick Maine Coons have a reputation for hiding.

An indoor lifestyle is therefore a simple preventative measure that owners take to keep their Maine Coon cat free from diseases.

It’s also worth noting that allowing a Maine Coon cat outside might make it more difficult for you to take your cat for a vet visit!

2. Risk of Injury

Nature is not humane and even cats with great instincts can make mistakes.

Bites from other animals, injuries from falls, and ingesting toxic items are just a few of the injuries an outdoor cat can accidentally sustain.

Individuals who support the idea that Maine Coons should be kept indoors point out that indoor Maine Coon cats are less likely to get injured.

Statistically, this is a proven fact, since an outdoor Maine Coons lifespan is shorter than the lifespan of an indoor Maine Coon cat.

3. Environmental Impacts

Maine Coons are powerful hunters, but their hunting services are not always considered helpful to the local environment!

Cats have been known to wipe out native populations of small animals which can negatively impact the function of entire ecosystems.

While the Maine Coon cat may have been a functional member of ecosystems in the distant past, they now tend to do more harm than good. 

4. Unnatural Threats

Cars are a serious threat to outdoor cats.

Your Maine Coon may have instinctual smarts, but they did not evolve alongside cars, which puts them at risk of injury, or worse still, death.

Many Maine Coon owners keep their Maine Coons indoors, therefore, since most developed areas are very dangerous places for your feline to wander freely.

5. Criminal Behavior

Once your Maine Coon exits your home, you cannot control who or what they interact with.

Some people may be cruel to your cat, causing them intentional harm.

Others may even steal your cat since purebred Maine Coon’s have a reputation for being both beautiful and expensive.

Here’s how much a criminal might be able to charge an unsuspecting buyer if they steal your impressive head-turning cat.

6. Your Maine Coon May Run Away

Your cat’s love for you may be strong, but its instinctive desire to find a mate or roam can be even stronger.

Every time your cat wanders off on an outdoor adventure, there is a chance it may get lost or run away.

Due to the high purchase cost of Maine Coon kittens, and cats, it’s not surprising that owners opt to keep their cats within the safety of their homes.

Buying a Maine Coon cat is an investment that these owners do not want to lose!

7. Predators

It is common in the United States for many owners to keep their Maine Coon cats indoors.

Many of the registered Maine Coon cat breeders even write this requirement into the purchasing contract.

One of the key reasons this happens is due to the threat of predators in the outside world.

In the United States, the risk of your Maine Coon cat being attacked by a coyote is real.

Thus, many owners opt to keep their Maine Coon indoors to protect their expensive cat from this threat.

Are Maine Coons Good House Cats?

Hopefully, you now have a better understanding of the reasons why some Maine Coon owners permit their cats to roam freely, whereas other cat owners do not.

Let’s take a closer look at the Maine Coon personality, to understand if Maine Coons make good house cats, or not.

Friendly

Are Maine Coon cats friendly?

Yes, Maine Coons have a reputation for being extra-friendly felines.

This sociable cat breed loves to spend quality time with its owners.

Affectionate Companions

Are Maine Coons affectionate companions?

Otherwise known as a gentle giant, the Maine Coon cat breed is thought to be loving without being too clingy.

Energetic And Entertaining

Are Maine Coons energetic and entertaining?

If you know what you are signing up for, you can keep your Maine Coon indoors.

This cat breed is very entertaining when they have plenty of places to climb and play.

Here are the best extra-large Maine Coon cat trees, to keep your cat entertained.

Just make sure your cat has enough space to engage their natural behaviors, and plenty of Maine Coon cat toys, so they do not take their boredom out on your furniture!

Here are some great Maine Coon cat toys, that are not only fun but also stimulate your intelligent felines’ mental capacity.

Family Friendly

Are Maine Coon cats family-friendly?

When properly introduced, this breed is known to be a gentle and playful companion for other pets and children.

Learn how to introduce your Maine Coon cat to a new baby, in this article.

Why Can’t Maine Coon Cats Go Outside?

Can Maine Coon cats go outside?

They absolutely can if medical issues and breeder contracts do not prohibit this.

But, depending on the individual owner’s own viewpoint and the outdoor living environment they can offer their Maine Coon cat, this might not be the best choice for your cat.

This coveted cat breed is subject to theft due to its beauty and cost. Like other outdoor cats, Maine Coons can also also be exposed to threats, like:

  • Poison
  • Disease
  • Injury

For a secure mix of indoor and outdoor living, some owners construct enclosed feline catios.

You can also harness-train your cat for some safe outdoor adventures together!

Here’s how to train a Maine Coon cat to walk on a leash, safely.

Do Maine Coon Cats Need To Go Outside?

Maine Coon cats can live long healthy lives indoors, but you may still find yourself wondering should I let my cat outside?

Ultimately, you can let your Maine Coon outside provided you are not bound by breeder contracts.

However, even if owners are not permitted to let their Maine Coon cat outside, they can still install a catio in the garden for their cat to run around in and experience the outside world, safely.

You can also cat-proof your garden to enable your Maine Coon to roam freely within the safety of your garden.

If you are not bound by a breeder contract and live in a safe location for your cat, ultimately there is no reason why your cat cannot experience the outdoor world.

Should you live in a more built-up area though, your cat can live happily indoors for many years, provide you give your clever and playful cat plenty of enrichment opportunities.

So Should I Let My Maine Coon Outside?

You should do what is best for your Maine Coon cat!

Weigh up all the pros and cons of outdoor access that were discussed in this article above.

It is also best to verify if any breeder contracts and local laws prohibit this lifestyle for your cat, before letting your Maine Coon roam outside.

If you have adopted your Maine Coon cat, and the cat was previously allowed outdoors, it might not be fair to keep the cat indoors.

Therefore, to counter this, consider installing a catio in your garden.

Alternatively, if you allow a Maine Coon to roam freely outdoors, make sure you get your cat regularly checked by your trusted veterinary clinic.

Conclusion

The decision to allow a Maine Coon cat outside has been a hotly contested subject matter, for many years.

I have lost count of the times I’ve been asked should I let my Maine Coon outside!

If you’ve ever looked at the comments in Maine Coon cat lover Facebook groups, you will likely have seen some very strong opinions from the community!

Ultimately, this Maine Coon guide is focused on offering a balanced view to its readers, therefore I have opted not to share my own personal opinion with you.

The decision to allow a Maine Coon cat outdoors comes down to each owner, their lifestyle, where they live, and the owner’s preferences.

Related Questions

How Much Do Maine Coon Cats Cost?

A Maine Coon kitten or cat costs anywhere from $450 to $2,500, depending on their lineage, age, coloring, pattern, health, and history.

How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live?

Maine Coon cats have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 years. The lifespan tends to be shorter for outdoor cats because they encounter more health and safety risks than indoor Maine Coons.

Are Maine Coons Friendly?

Maine Coons are considered very friendly cats that thrive on social interaction. Their wild ancestry makes them self-sufficient hunters, but they still love playtime and meeting new people.

Are Maine Coons Dangerous?

Anything with claws and teeth can hurt you if you upset it, but as long as you respect a Maine Coon’s boundaries they are not dangerous.

How Bond With Your Maine Coon Kitten?

Playtime, feeding time, and relaxed physical contact are great ways to bond with a Maine Coon kitten.

Is It Cruel To Let A Cat Outside?

Your intent may be good, but nature and other people can be cruel to your cat while they are outside.

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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