Maine Coon kittens are sweet, funny, goofy, and sometimes quite the handful!
If you are wondering what to expect from a Maine Coon kitten, as opposed to other domestic cat breeds, take a look at some of the surprising facts below.
Maine Coon kittens are extremely intelligent, and highly sociable felines. They love playing and getting into mischief. Maine Coon kittens crave human companionship and should not be left alone for more than 1-2 hours. Kittens need lots of love and patience and continued socialization with normal household noises, commotion, and other pets.
Maine Coon kittens need to be correctly socialized to ensure they do not develop unwanted behaviors.
If you are keen to learn what life with a Maine Coon kitten is like, reading this article will help you transform your clueless Maine Coon kitten into a well-mannered and affectionate adult Maine Coon cat!
What To Expect From A Maine Coon Kitten
The Maine Coon as a breed has always been admired for its mysterious past and warm personality.
Over the last couple of decades, Maine Coon cats have seen a steep incline in popularity. Particularly in the United States where they were ranked as the third most popular cat breed!
Whilst kittens of all cat breeds can be a handful, many new owners are not adequately prepared for owning a Maine Coon kitten.
Is this any surprise, since the Maine Coon kitten’s higher-than-average intelligence and never-ending playful nature can be quite a lot to handle?
Hopefully, this article will help prepare new owners for owning a Maine Coon kitten.
If we take a closer look at the Maine Coon cat breed in general, it is immediately clear that they are not like most other house cats.
This is likely because they are not long gone from the days of roaming the wilderness hunting and patrolling daily as means of their very survival.
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world and are easily recognized by their pointed ears, bushy tails, and tufted chests and paws.
These characteristics make them iconic and are also evidence of their harsh past as wild cats. This alone should give you a clue into the fact that this cat breed is unique in many ways.
To help potential owners get a better understanding of the Maine Coon cat breed, here are 12 things to expect from a Maine Coon kitten:
1. Unique Maine Coon Kitten Growth Rate
Maine Coons are known for growing pretty darn big!
Their full-size ranges anywhere from 8-25 pounds (depending on age, gender, genetics, etc) so it’s no surprise that it can take them between 3-5 years to grow to their full size.
Despite knowing these cats grow to be such big gentle giants, for some reason, many people still fail to see how their extra-large proportions in adulthood play a part in impacting their overall growth time.
While Maine Coons do about 90% of their growth before the age of 9-12 months old they do not stop growing completely until they are between 3-5 years old.
You will start to see their iconic tufted chests, manes, and tufted paws start to develop by around 9 months old.
However, their mane and chest tufts might not stop growing until they have matured slightly more, at roughly 2 years of age.
If you are interested in keeping a Maine Coon growth chart, here’s how you do it.
2. Maine Coon Temperament
If you are looking for an even-tempered, mild-mannered, lovely young playful kitten, then Maine Coons are the right breed for you.
As with any other kitten though, be aware that right after you bring home a Maine Coon kitten you will likely notice they are prone to bouts of craziness and a case of the zoomies!
The level of playful antics that you witness in your Maine Coon kitten, however, is likely to be more than that of a ‘normal’ moggy kitten.
Maine Coons have a gentle nature and are warm and loving by nature. This is a characteristic of the breed that displays itself from a young age.
Not all kittens like a cuddle, but many Maine Coons do, so maybe you are one of the lucky owners.
If not, it might just take a little more time for your Maine Coon kitten to build up the confidence to start cuddling.
Maine Coons are one of the only domestic cat breeds that can be truly trained.
There are many cat breeds that people claim are “trainable” and while this may be true they do not compare to the Maine Coon.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent and dog-like in many ways which means you will be able to ask, and receive, a lot from your Maine Coon.
If you are wondering how to train your Maine Coon there is a ton of great information in this blog post I wrote.
Training a Maine Coon kitten requires ample patience and excellent utilization of positive reinforcement, plus a consistent training schedule.
Maine Coon kittens and cats are very playful.
They get a lot of enjoyment out of spending time with you, more so if they get the chance to play a game.
Keep in mind that each Maine Coon cats need roughly 30 minutes of playtime every day to feel content.
Whilst kittens require about the same amount of playtime, the more time you spend playing with your Maine Coon kitten, the happier they will be both now and as an adult (source 1).
These are my favorite Maine Coon cat toys.
5. Grooming Requirements
Maine Coons need to be groomed about 2-3 times per week, or more if your Maine Coon cat’s fur is prone to tangle.
A good brushing session will incorporate using these cat brushes, and potentially even some nail clipping.
Whilst Maine Coon kittens have less intense grooming needs than older Maine Coons, it is still vitally important owners introduce the concept of grooming from an early age.
Owners should also ensure that they groom their Maine Coon kittens regularly, so their kitten grows used to being handled and brushed.
The main purpose of grooming a Maine Coon kitten is to normalize the grooming process for them.
Brushing your kitten is also a great way to build a bond with your kitten.
Maine Coons are not overly heavy shedders, especially when they are young.
But, they do need frequent grooming sessions especially when the seasons are changing and they are either growing or losing their winter or summer coats.
6. Good With Other Pets
Maine Coons are great with other pets.
They are wonderful with dogs and cats alike and even adapt well to more unusual pets that may have free roam of the house.
However, it is important you are aware that a Maine Coon kitten will not get on well with small rodents living in your home, e.g. mice or birds.
This is because the Maine Coons prey drive will be activated and they will instinctively decide to hunt and kill their prey (your other pet!).
If you already own a small rodent or bird, the Maine Coon cat breed is not a good fit for your family.
On a different note, Maine Coons are prone to loneliness and are almost always happier if there is another cat in the house. Especially if it is another Maine Coon!
Be aware though that not all standard cat breeds are receptive to welcoming a Maine Coon cat into their home, since they may have stronger territorial traits.
Whilst Maine Coons are not well-known for being hugely territorial, it is important you are alert to this potential issue with your existing cats.
We strongly recommend that you introduce your new Maine Coon kitten slowly and carefully into a household where other pets (particularly cats) live.
7. Family Friendly
If you are looking for a family cat then look no further than the Maine Coon.
Life with a Maine Coon kitten is great because they LOVE being involved in the family unit, particularly the males who like to be the center of attention!
A Maine Coon kitten craves human companionship and you will quickly discover that they want to be where you are, watching what you are doing.
You can also expect your kitten to follow you everywhere throughout your home. Here’s why.
If you are looking for a lap cat that’s great with kids, then the Maine Coon might be the perfect choice for you.
However, keep in mind that not all Maine Coons are lapcats.
One survey of Maine Coon owners in America concluded that roughly 33.3% of this breed were lap cats, and 33.3% were not!
The final 33.3% sat in the middle somewhere, sometimes liking to sit on their owner’s laps, and at other times preferring to sit next to them.
Maine Coons love to show their love to their family, especially their favorite person, as often as possible.
8. Eating Habits
Maine Coons are big cats. Big cats like to eat!
Maine Coons enjoy a diet that is high in protein, and low in carbs, with a moderate amount of healthy fats and fatty acids.
Maine Coons require a lot of protein as kittens, which enables them to reach their full-size potential.
That being said, it is important that owners do not overfeed their Maine Coon as this cat breed is prone to obesity.
It is important to track the Maine Coon kitten growth stages to ensure they are receiving the proper type and quantity of food.
You can read more about what to feed a Maine Coon kitten in this post I wrote.
If you are wondering how to make your Maine Coon kitten grow big, read this.
9. Vaccinations And Flea Treatments
Maine Coon kittens are normally vaccinated around the 9-12 week mark.
These vaccinations help protect them from the dangers of the outside world and are vitally important to keep your kitten in a healthy state.
Whether or not your Maine Coon has been vaccinated is something you need to discuss with your breeder (source 1).
Life with a Maine Coon can be a lot of fun. However, it can also be a real pain when they begin to explore, and claw, the world around them.
Teaching a Maine Coon kitten what is acceptable to scratch, and what is not, is a natural part of growing up for all kittens.
If you are thinking of declawing your Maine Coon kitten or cat to eliminate the issue of scratched furniture, please think twice.
The act of declawing has been banned in many countries and states.
Declawing is not only cruel and painful for your cat, but it can also be highly damaging to their mental health.
This is because a declawed Maine Coon is left in pain and feels unable to protect itself or hunt.
Instead of making your Maine Coon undergo such a serious medical procedure, owners should invest in a good-solid scratching post, or extra-large cat tree.
They should also train their Maine Coon kitten to scratch a scratching post rather than the furniture.
11. Are Maine Coon Cats Allowed Outside?
Whether a Maine Coon cat should be allowed outside to roam freely, or not, has become a highly emotive subject.
One group argues that it is cruel to stop Maine Coons from exploring the outside world and providing them with room to roam.
The other group argues that Maine Coons are a danger to other animals and local wildlife. Cats are ruthless hunters, after all.
Whether or not you decide that your Maine Coon is an outdoor or indoor cat, keep in mind that young Maine Coon kittens should not be allowed to roam freely within the neighborhood.
This is because they are not yet capable of looking after themselves, and might be hunted as ‘prey’ by large predators.
Sadly, many criminals would love to steal your free-roaming Maine Coon kitten off the street. Even older Maine Coons command a high price tag, so owners must be always vigilant.
As a final note, many breeder contracts (particularly in the US, and increasingly in the UK) determine whether or not the Maine Coon kitten is allowed to be an outdoor cat, or not.
Read the full argument relating to whether Maine Coon cats can go outside, in this article.
When deciding whether or not a Maine Coon is right for you, you have likely noticed that this cat breed’s lifespan is about 12-15 years.
If we compare this to a ‘normal’ cat’s lifespan that lives as long as 20 years, it is immediately clear that these gentle giants are not likely to live as long.
This is a sad fact that many Maine Coon cat owners have had to come to terms with.
However, keep in mind that a well-cared-for Maine Coon is just as capable of living for a longer time, but that this is far less common.
Hopefully, you now have a pretty good idea about what to expect from a Maine Coon kitten.
Yes, they are quite similar to other kittens in many ways.
However, Maine Coon kittens do have more needs than the average cat breed, concerning how they are socialized, cared for, and their diet, etc.
New Maine Coon owners should therefore leave all experiences of raising a kitten at the door and go into this with a fresh perspective.
The Maine Coon personality is far different than many other cats, it is only natural therefore that they should need different methods of training and require different social commitments from their owners.
If you were anticipating a kitten that would more or less raise itself with minimal input from you then you are out of luck!
Maine Coons are sweet, gentle, giants. But they do not always get there without a lot of help from their owners.
How To Know If Your Kitten Is A Maine Coon
Maine Coons have large, rounded, tufted paws. They have large pointed ears and a tufted mane. Maine Coon cats are highly intelligent and love water.