Maine Coons are well known for being loving, sweet, and affectionate felines, but what are Maine Coons like as pets? While we shouldn’t believe every stereotype, the Maine Coon personality traits listed are universally accepted truths.
But, there is a lot more depth to the owner-pet relationship with a Maine Coon than that.
Maine Coons are excellent pets, easygoing and chill without being lazy and non-interactive. They make wonderful companions and are a genuine pleasure to have around the home. They are great with kids and adults alike and also get along with other household pets.
Whether you are a first-time cat owner or are looking forward to finally welcoming a Maine Coon cat into your home, there are quite a few realities you will need to come to terms with before adopting one of these extra-large cats.
To find out the true realities of owning a Maine Coon, keep reading to discover everything you need to know about life with a Maine Coon cat!
What Are Maine Coons Like As Pets?
Maine Coon cats are loyal, lionlike, affectionate house cats that have charmed and captivated the world over.
With large tufted paws and long shaggy fur, the Maine Coon is undeniably fluffy and adorable.
Is it any surprise that cat lovers are interested in learning about the Maine Coon personality traits; this cat breed’s mysterious history, or ask questions like are Maine Coon cats good as pets?
To understand what Maine Coons are like as pets, you need to know more about how their act around their families.
With this in mind, I have listed the key 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’s 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.
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.
You may find yourself wondering do Maine Coons like to be petted? This is a fair question as some cats do not particularly enjoy this interaction, which can then put them at odds with children in the family.
Luckily for you, and all of us who love a good cuddle, Maine Coons love being petted and will almost relentlessly seek out affection from their owners.
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!
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.
For example, if these sociable felines lack social time with their family, or have an unfulfilling living space, etc, the Maine Coon might become destructive (sources 1,2,3).
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.
However, what you cannot instantly tell is that some of the biggest differences between the Maine Coon Vs normal cat relate to their personalities. Understandably, it is not possible to identify the Maine Coons quirky personality traits until you live with one!
The list below summarises how Maine Coons are different from other cat breeds:
Maine Coons are obviously much bigger than most other domestic cat breeds.
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 might want to consider if the 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. They do not all come cheap though, so be prepared to budget accordingly.
Maine Coons have long, lovely, silky coats that not only give them their characteristic lion-like looks but also make them exceptionally good cuddle buddies too.
They have much longer and silkier hair than most other cat breeds.
These large cats tend to have tufted chests and mane-like necks, whereas other cats do not.
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 cat breeds, the differences are quite glaring.
Read more about the Maine Coon lynx tips right here, and whether all Maine Coons grow them.
A Maine Coons paws are quite large. It is a large cat though, so this isn’t exactly surprising!
Maine Coon cats have iconic tufted paws with long and furry tufts between their toes whereas many cat breeds 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 a Maine Coon will become quite unhappy if its owners are gone 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?
In short, Maine Coon cats are generally great house pets that are well-suited to domestic life.
Here are some key reasons why Maine Coons make good house pets:
- 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.
- Clean: 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.
- Affectionate: 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.
- Independent: 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.
- Loyal: Maine Coons are well known for being loyal to their family and especially to their favorite person. If you want a cat that has always got your back then the Maine Coon is the cat for you.
- 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! Generally speaking, this makes the Maine Coon ideal for people who are already pet owners.
- Playful: 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.
- Relaxed: While there are plenty of great things to say about the activity level of Maine Coons, their relaxed nature should assure any potential owner that these problem-free kitties are excellent house pets.
- Sociable: 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.
Are Maine Coons Outdoor Cats?
Whether or not Maine Coons are outdoor cats, or not, is a pretty emotive subject around the world.
You will almost certainly get different answers depending on which website, vet, or breeder you are getting your information from.
Here is the core behind each side’s argument for you to compare for yourself:
Argument FOR Maine Coon Cats Outside
On one hand, yes Maine Coons can be considered outdoor cats.
They are big and hefty and more than capable of surviving even the harshest of conditions and have very clearly evolved to be well-suited to the great outdoors.
Some people argue that it is cruel to not let Maine Coons wander freely outdoors as it goes against the instincts of cats in general.
Argument AGAINST Maine Coon Cats Outside
On the other hand, no, Maine Coons should perhaps not be considered outdoor cats as there are some clear drawbacks to letting them wander alone outside.
For example, cats kill billions of birds and other wildlife every year. Maine Coons are also bigger and more powerful and could theoretically be damaging to the local environment.
They are also prone to accidents and are a prime target for thieves as they are so valuable.
However, given that unlike most other cats Maine Coons not only tolerate but enjoy being taken for a walk you can probably find a nice middle ground by simply controlling their freedom of exploration through the use of a leash and a harness (source 1).
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 almost always prefer to have another Maine Coon specifically, but are friendly and affectionate to other cat breeds too.
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, it is best to allow the cats to 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.
Chasing a ball is great! Chasing each other is not so great!
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 not sure 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 considered expensive when compared to the average cost of buying and caring for a cat.
Maine Coon cats are closer to the price of dogs and often even exceed that price tag.
If you are thinking of owning a Maine Coon, first consider adoption. Should this not be your preferred route then ensure that you buy your Maine Coon kitten from a specialist Maine Coon breeder, never a kitty mill.
Here is a list of registered Maine Coon breeders in the United States.
You can expect to pay anywhere between $600-$2500 for a Maine Coon depending on their age, pedigree, etc.
Since Maine Coons are bigger than other cats they also cost more to feed and house. They eat more food, require bigger and more robust toys, and will also need more of your time.
These are all factors to consider when budgeting for a Maine Coon. Not just whether you can afford the initial adoption fees.
Are Maine Coons Worth The Money?
Whether or not Maine Coons are worth the money is a great question that only you as an owner can answer.
For instance, if you ask a dedicated Maine Coon owner, they are undoubtedly going to scream YES Maine Coons are worth it. They are amazing! However, for casual pet owners who do not have the time or energy to give a Maine Coon the care it needs, they are not worth the money!
Whether or not the thousands of dollars it costs to adopt and then thousands again each year in food and vet bills, etc is worth it is something you should think long and hard about before you even contact a registered Maine Coon seller.
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 some key reasons why you shouldn’t get a Maine Coon cat:
- Price: Maine Coons are expensive to buy. Unless you are lucky enough to find a rescue/shelter cat you are likely looking at between $1000-$3000 all in to buy and insure your new Maine Coon.
- 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. Maine Coons can not be left alone for more than 8-10 hours even as full-grown cats.
- Space Needs: Maine Coons are big cats and big cats need more room. 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 apartment will simply not provide.
- Grooming: Maine Coons require regular grooming, between 2 and 3 times a week. Potentially more as the season’s change and they begin to grow their winter coat, or lose their summer coats. They may also require trimming around their tufted feet and in some cases their ears.
- Cost of Care: Maine Coons cost more to care for than other breeds. They are predisposed to some pretty costly health problems as well as require more food, bigger toys, bigger cat trees, etc than smaller domestic breeds.
So, what are Maine Coons like as pets?
Simply put they are wonderful and embracing; delightful and affectionate; goofy and amusing, but ultimately demanding!
They have very tangible needs that you should be well aware of before committing to purchasing or adopting one.
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.