Maine Coons are well known for being loving, sweet, and affectionate felines, but what are Maine Coons like as pets?
Keep reading to learn more about the Maine Coon cat breed.
Maine Coons make excellent pets. Their relaxed, easygoing, and friendly personalities make them wonderful loyal companions. Maine Coon cats have a gentle, yet playful nature that makes them ideally suited to living in families with young children. They are very vocal, highly affectionate, and sociable felines that enjoy interacting with other pets.
If you are wondering what to know about a Maine Coon cat, before buying one, make sure you read this article!
Discover the facts about owning a Maine Coon, before making a heavy investment in one.
What Are Maine Coons Like As Pets?
If we take a closer look at the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, we see that the personality of the Maine Coon is one of this cat breed’s most endearing traits.
Maine Coon cats are well-known for being:
With large tufted paws and long shaggy fur, the Maine Coon is undeniably fluffy and adorable.
Their long thick fur sets them apart from many other cat breeds around the world and gives them a majestic and regal appearance.
This cat breed’s mysterious history makes this large cat breed even more curious since Maine Coons developed naturally in the state of Maine, United States.
Surviving even the most frigid of weather as wild cats, some readers might be surprised to learn the true characteristics of a Maine Coon cat!
Personality Traits Of Maine Coon Cats
To understand what Maine Coons are like as pets, you need to know more about how they act around their families.
Below are the five personality traits typically associated with the Maine Coon cat breed:
Maine Coons are well known for being warm and affectionate felines that love spending time with their owners.
Maine Coons have a reputation for being massively affectionate with their human families.
If we compare the Maine Coon to other cat breeds (and even dogs) it is like the Maine Coon has turned its affectionate dial up to maximum!
These large cats love to be near, around, next to, or on their owners.
This is a stark contrast to many other ‘normal’ cat breeds that are apathetic to affection, not particularly caring about their owner’s love until they want it on their terms.
If you own a Maine Coon that is not affectionate towards you, these might be the reasons why your cat is acting this way.
3. Attention Seeking
Maine Coons are little attention seekers and see every moment spent without your affection as a moment wasted!
So, are Maine Coons affectionate pets? Yes, they are!
Generally speaking, Maine Coons are very family-friendly felines.
They have a reputation for being great with kids and adults alike and love to feel involved in the family unit.
4. Love Petting
If you are wondering, do Maine Coons like to be petted, the answer is yes. However, in my experience, all three of our Maine Coons like to be petted in different places!
For example, Bali our tabby Maine Coon likes his lower back and tummy stroked, whereas Mika our blue tabby likes his cheek and ears petted.
If you are not sure if your cat likes to be petted, you may wonder where do Maine Coons like to be pet, usually?
Start the process of finding out, by presenting your hand slowly to your cat. Wait to see if they nuzzle your hand.
If they nuzzle you, move slowly towards them and stroke various areas of their body i.e. face, ears, and back. Watch their reactions very closely, so you can see what they enjoy the most.
The majority of Maine Coons love being petted and will almost relentlessly seek out affection from their owners.
Our eldest and youngest Maine Coons Pippin and Mika love being pet on their ears, back, and cheek.
Bali has always been different and he will let you pet him non-stop. He particularly likes being pet on his back, right next to his tail. He gets so excited and his tail shakes and lifts up!
Bali also likes to roll on his back and have his belly rubbed like a dog, which our other two male Maine Coon cats only like to do from time to time.
5. Highly Intelligent
Maine Coons are smart. There is no sidestepping this fact.
But, are they one of the smartest cat breeds in the world? Read this article I wrote to find out more!
Potential owners need to be aware that the Maine Coon cat’s intelligence manifests itself in destructive and frustrating ways when its core needs are not being met.
How Are Maine Coons Different From Other Cats?
There are some glaringly obvious physical differences between Maine Coons and other cat breeds that you can easily identify right off the bat.
What you cannot instantly tell, however, are the biggest personality differences between Maine Coon Vs normal cats.
Below are the main ways Maine Coons are different from regular house cats:
Maine Coons are obviously much bigger than most other domestic cat breeds since they reach up to 25 lbs in weight! (Read more about this).
Their larger size is an important factor in deciding whether or not they would make the right pet for you, based on the space you have for them to live in.
The Maine Coon size affects how much these cats will eat, so you need to consider if a larger cat food bill works within your weekly food budget.
Here are some great dry foods that our male Maine Coon cat loves, and which are ideally suited to this cat breed large size.
Maine Coons have long, thick silky coats that not only give them their characteristic lion-like looks but also make them exceptionally good cuddle buddies too!
Their fur is much longer and silkier than regular house cat breeds.
Maine Coons are large cats with tufted chests and mane-like necks, which sets them apart from other cat breeds.
If you own a Maine Coon cat, you need to be prepared to groom them 2-3 times a week, with Maine Coon grooming tools like these.
Maine Coons have large, pointed ears with tufted fur around the edges known as lynx tips.
A Maine Coon cat’s lynx tips are quite iconic and when compared with the smaller, often rounded ears of other domestic house cat breeds, the differences are quite glaring.
Read more about the Maine Coon lynx tips right here, and why some Maine Coon cats never grow lynx tips.
The Maine Coons paws are quite large, whereas normal cats’ paws are considerably smaller.
Maine Coon cats have iconic tufted paws with long and furry tufts between their toes.
By comparison, normal cats have much shorter hair around their feet and are unlikely to have tufts between their toes at all.
If you are not sure whether to trim your Maine Coon’s paw tufts, read this guide.
5. Social Needs
Maine Coons require more love and attention than most other cat breeds.
Whereas a ‘normal’ cat might leave the house for days at a time without a second thought for its owners, the Maine Coon is the opposite.
This is because Maine Coons are massively social felines and become depressed and unhappy if their owners leave them alone for several hours at a time, on a regular basis.
Similarly, Maine Coons are incredibly social beings and love to hang out (and around) the family, whereas other cat breeds may not.
6. Life Expectancy
The life expectancy of a Maine Coon is sadly shorter than normal cat breeds.
Maine Coons have an average life expectancy of between 12-15 years whereas normal cat breeds tend to live between 16-18 years of age.
That being said, some Maine Coon cats (and normal cats) have lived well into their 20s (source 1).
Are Maine Coons Good House Pets?
The big question for many people is whether Maine Coons are good house pets, or not?
Generally speaking, Maine Coon cats are great house pets that are well-suited to domestic life.
Here are 9 reasons why Maine Coons make good house pets:
1. Family Friendly
Maine Coons are great family pets.
They are good with kids, kind and affectionate to all, and are not predisposed to causing trouble. They are also not aggressive.
Maine Coons are not messy cats by nature and are unlikely to destroy your home in your absence.
They are easy to train and mild-mannered, unlike many other cats that can be quite destructive.
This is how you train a Maine Coon cat!
Maine Coons are warm and loving and freely show their affection to their entire family.
Maine Coons are emotionally intelligent and will pick up on moods and feelings such as stress and sadness and do their best to comfort you.
While they may be social butterflies, Maine Coons are also quite independent and more than happy to keep themselves to themselves without feeling the need to harass you for attention.
Maine Coons are well known for being loyal to their family and especially to their favorite person.
6. Good With Other Pets
Maine Coon cats are great with other animals, like cats and dogs, living in the same household, but not if the pet is a mouse or rat!
Maine Coons are ideal for people who are already pet owners.
Maine Coons love to play games. They need roughly 20-30 minutes of play a day to feel happy and content.
They are perfect for a household with active members and enthusiastic kids.
The Maine Coon can be quite lazy and relaxed, provided they have had enough entertainment and stimulation during the daytime.
Maine Coons are highly social creatures.
They like to be around the family and to feel involved in the core of family activities.
Maine Coons like to go on walks with their owners or even just “vibe” with them while they are doing chores around the house.
This is how to leash train a Maine Coon cat.
Are Maine Coons Outdoor Cats?
Whether or not Maine Coons are outdoor cats, or not, is an emotive subject.
I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been asked – is a Maine Coon a indoor cat? Ultimately, Maine Coon cats can be kept as either indoor or outdoor cats.
However, your preference will vary depending on the following factors:
- Your lifestyle
- Whether you work from home
- If you have a cat-safe garden
- If predators roam in your area e.g. coyotes
- Whether you live in the countryside or the city
- Crime rate in your area
- The breeder contract you signed
- Your Maine Coon cat’s health
- If you live near a road and the corresponding volume of traffic
- Your personal beliefs as to whether it’s cruel to keep a Maine Coon indoors, or not.
Maine Coons are excellent hunters and survived even the harshest weather conditions when they live wild in Maine, United States before becoming domesticated.
The breed physically evolved to handle the cold climate where it originated.
On the other hand, owners should consider the drawbacks of allowing their Maine Coon to roam freely.
For example, cats kill billions of birds and other wildlife every year. Maine Coons are large and powerful felines and thus more damaging to the local environment.
They are also a prime target for thieves looking to make a quick buck.
Ultimately the decision will be a personal one, and if you opt to keep an indoor Maine Coon you should ensure you take your cat for a walk regularly so they can experience the outdoors.
Are Maine Coons Friendly With Other Cats?
Maine Coons are generally very friendly with other cats and oftentimes prefer to have another cat at home with them rather than be on their own throughout the day.
They will be friendly and affectionate to other cat breeds.
Maine Coons can occasionally be overly territorial but that is uncommon with other felines in their family household.
When introducing another cat into a home that already has a Maine Coon in it, ensure the cats meet slowly and with great oversight from the owner.
Do Maine Coons Get Along With Dogs?
Since Maine Coons are so chilled, they are often quite friendly with dogs so long as the dog is well-behaved.
Maine Coons do enjoy playing games, but, their idea of fun is often very different than dogs. For example, whilst chasing a ball is great, being chased is not!
Maine Coons are better with adult dogs than with puppies and tend to prefer lazy senior dogs above all else (source 1).
If you are unsure which dog breeds are best suited to living with a Maine Coon cat, read this article.
Are Maine Coons OK On Their Own?
Maine Coons can be left alone for several hours before becoming overly stressed, but this should not become a regular event.
They should never be left for more than 8-10 hours, nor on their own overnight if you can help it.
If you are planning on bringing a new Maine Coon kitten into your home, you need to ensure you will be spending the majority of your time at home, with your kitten, socializing them.
This is the best way to socialize a Maine Coon kitten.
Are Maine Coons Expensive?
Maine Coons are expensive to buy, adopt and care for, compared to normal cats.
If you are thinking of owning a Maine Coon, first consider adoption to give an older cat a second chance at living the life they deserve.
1. Buying A Maine Coon
Should this not be your preferred route then ensure you only buy Maine Coon kittens from registered Maine Coon breeders, never kitty mills.
2. Maine Coon Price
You can expect to pay anywhere between $600-$2500 for a Maine Coon depending on their age, pedigree, health, etc.
3. Maine Coon Food
Since Maine Coons are bigger than other cats they also cost more to feed and house.
They need high-quality cat food, ideally with a high protein content.
Maine Coon cats are strong, and can easily damage standard cat toys.
Owners should therefore only purchase the more expensive hard-wearing cat toys, like these.
Are Maine Coons Worth The Money?
Maine Coon cats are definitely worth the money, provided you can afford their ongoing care costs i.e. food, vets, vaccinations, and toys.
You will also need to be prepared to play with your cat regularly and groom them 2-3 times a week.
If you have enough energy and time to entertain a Maine Coon on a daily basis and fulfill their socializing needs, a Maine Coon cat will make the perfect family-friendly cat breed.
Why You Shouldn’t Get A Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coons are not perfect. Or, more precisely, they are simply not the perfect fit for everyone.
Here are the reasons why you shouldn’t get a Maine Coon cat:
Maine Coons are expensive to buy.
Unless you are lucky enough to find a rescue/shelter cat you are likely looking at between $1000-$2,500 to buy your new Maine Coon.
I recommend you purchase lifetime pet insurance.
In my experience, my monthly pet insurance bill with Petplan.co.uk for two 5-year-old Maine Coon cats was £45 GBP ($57 USD).
This cost rose to £55 in 2024 ($69 USD), so is a considerable cost to factor into your budget.
2. Social Needs
Maine Coons need love and lots of it.
They require 30 minutes of playtime a day as well as consistent one-on-one time with you.
While they are capable of looking after themselves for a few hours at a time they are happiest when they are with you 80% of the day. This makes them massively demanding of your time.
Maine Coons can not be left alone for more than 8-10 hours even as full-grown cats.
3. Space Needs
Maine Coons are big cats and big cats need more room than normal cats. So if you live in a small house or flat, owning a Maine Coon cat is not recommended.
While a small apartment may be fine for most cats, Maine Coons will struggle with the lack of space to roam.
Males especially enjoy a decent territory to patrol that small apartments will simply not provide.
Maine Coons require regular grooming, between 2 – 3 times a week.
Their grooming needs increase as the seasons change and they begin to grow their winter coat or lose their summer coats.
They may also require trimming around their tufted feet, and bottom area to ensure their fur stays clean.
5. Cost Of Care
Maine Coons cost more to care for than other domestic cat breeds, and they are also predisposed to some pretty costly health problems.
In my experience, in 2023 we were quoted £7,500 GBP ($9,535 USD) by a cat surgeon if we needed to replace our senior Maine Coon cat’s hips. Thankfully, we didn’t have to.
However, this cost would not have been covered by our existing pet insurance, so we quickly learned that purchasing lifetime cover for our new younger adopted Maine Coon cats was vital.
Additional care costs for a Maine Coon include:
From my experience, life with a Maine Coon cat (or three in our case!) can be expensive.
For example, our 10-year-old male Maine Coon developed the following health issues:
If you are interested to learn more about these particular Maine Coon health problems, click on the links above.
However, to find out which are the top 7 Maine Coon health problems, read this article I wrote.
The conditions listed above were painful for our cat, Pippin.
After our experience, I would personally recommend all Maine Coon cat owners opt for lifetime cover for their cat, from the beginning.
Whilst this is the most expensive insurance option, we learned the hard way with our first Maine Coon cat, after paying for a cat surgeon to review our cat’s tail canal when he made a bad jump.
So, what are Maine Coons like as pets?
Maine Coon cats are a combination of relaxed, yet extremely playful and energetic felines.
Their affectionate, friendly, and gentle nature makes them the ideal fit for families with young children.
However, Maine Coons need a lot of love, attention, and space to roam. Above all, they need quality time with their owner and thus an owner who can make time for them.
How are Maine Coons as pets?
The answer to this depends on what you are like as an owner. If you follow our guide you are likely to have a happy and healthy Maine Coon that is truly rewarding to own as a pet.
Are Maine Coons Illegal?
Maine Coons are not illegal in any country or state. However, many breeders are required to have a license to breed and sell Maine Coon cats responsibly and ethically.
Are Maine Coons Dangerous?
Maine Coons are no more dangerous to people, even children than any other domestic cat breed. But they are more dangerous to local wildlife. However, there isn’t much evidence to suggest that are worse than other cat breeds.