Why Don’t Maine Coon Cats Meow?


Cats are generally known for being quiet, independent, and even aloof creatures, only seeking attention by meowing when they require it, which is not often.

By comparison, the Maine Coon makes lots of sounds (like these) except the usual cat meowing sound we all know. So, why don’t Maine Coon cats meow? Keep reading to discover the surprising truth!

Maine Coon cats do meow, but their meow does not sound like the meow we are used to hearing from cats. Instead, Maine Coons will purr, chirp, trill, chatter, hiss, or howl. Maine Coons are known for being more dog-like in their behavior, and dogs do not meow! Maine Coon sounds are the different ways they communicate with humans.

If you have been wondering why your Maine Coon cat doesn’t meow, you have also likely pondered whether this is the case with just your Maine Coon, or is it all Maine Coons?

Keep reading to discover the facts about Maine Coon cat meows, and why they are different from other felines.

Why Don’t Maine Coon Cats Meow?

Maine Coons are known for their huge size, gentle temperaments, and very vocal natures.

Although the Maine Coons’ ancestral origins are not definitively known, many believe that they descend from Norwegian forest cats or Siberian forest cats, because their looks are very similar (source 1).

Cats’ meowing is the way felines communicate with humans, so when a Maine Coon vocalizes, which is often, it is your Maine Coons’ way of communicating with you, too.

However, Maine Coons are unique because they do not meow in the conventional sense that we are all used to. Instead, they use a variety of other cat noises due to their breeding evolution.

Why do Maine Coons not meow the kind of meows we are used to hearing from other cats?

Well, simply put, these large cats are still more in touch with their wild, non-domesticated natures.

Did you know that cats also do not meow to each other? Instead, when a cat communicates with another cat, they trill, as Maine Coons do.

The meow sound we hear is simply used by cats trying to communicate with their humans.

How Do Maine Coons Meow?

Below is a list of the different Maine Coon sounds and noises this giant cat breed makes, and what each sound means:

  • Maine Coon Chattering: This sounds like a quieter cackle. Your Maine Coon usually does this when watching birds outside.
  • Maine Coon Chirping: Sounds like a cross between a conventional cat meow and a purr. It is high-pitched and comes in short bursts. It is often an expression of happiness and contentment. Chirps, like trills, also indicate hunger, distress, or need for your attention.
  • Maine Coon Hissing: A Maine Coon hiss sounds like a low, throaty sound combined with low growls. It indicates feelings of insecurity and fear, as well as anger.
  • Maine Coon Howling: A Maine Coon howl is like the sound of a dog’s howl, only softer. Maine Coons often howl due to learned behavior. Their owners have accidentally trained their cats to howl by instantly responding to their every cry. Maine Coon cats also howl when they are feeling sad, lonely, hungry, physically hurt, or are sexually in heat.
  • Maine Coon Purring: The purr of a Maine Coon cat sounds like long drawn-out soft snores. It indicates contentment and satisfaction. Though it can also mean they want something and are asking you to get it for them!
  • Maine Coon Trilling: Trilling sounds like extended purring. Like the chirp, it is also high-pitched but comes in long, drawn-out soft “brrrrrr” sounds. Trilling often indicates happiness, contentment, and even excitement, as well as hunger, distress, or a need for your attention. You have to check the contexts of their chirps and trills to better understand what they are trying to communicate to you.

Do Maine Coon Cats “Meow” A Lot?

Yes, Maine Coon cats do meow a lot! Just with their version of sounds.

If you have been wondering why does my Maine Coon meow so much, well, Maine Coons are generally very talkative.

Their sociable nature also means they want to engage with their human family, often.

When a Maine Coon “meows” a lot, it means they want to communicate with you and engage with you.

Here are 9 common reasons for a Maine Coon cats frequent meowing:

  • Chatty: You cat simply wants to talk with you!
  • Boredom: Cat is looking for entertainment.
  • Playtime: Your Maine Coon might want to go out and play.
  • Treats: Cat wants a treat.
  • Cuddles: Maine Coon cats love a cuddle.
  • Attention: The cat simply wants attention.
  • Missing You: Maine Coon cats have an inbuilt desire for companionship.
  • Pain: Check that your Maine Coon is not in pain, or ask a vet to, if your cat will not stop meowing.
  • Manners: The cat is saying good night.
  • Sexual Maturity: Maine Coons may how regularly if they have reached sexual maturity, and have not been neutered/spayed. Especially if they have reached 6 to 8 months.

Why Are Maine Coons So Vocal?

Why do Maine Coon cats talk so much?

Well, it is just what the Maine Coon cat breed does! They are immensely sociable felines and love to chatter with their human family.

You will even find your Maine Coon following you wherever you go as they make their purring, chirping, trilling, and even chattering sounds.

They also like sitting by a screen or glass door and watching what is going on outside as they chatter, especially when they are watching birds!

Maine Coon kittens meow constantly and will only stop when you hold them in your arms. It can feel like having a human baby who needs your attention and care 24/7!

Maine Coon Meowing At Night

When your Maine Coon cries at night, it can often mean that they miss you, after you have gone to bed.

Quite a few Maine Coon cat owners have experienced their Maine Coons start to softly howl 10 minutes after they have fallen asleep!

If this is the case for you, do not make a habit of immediately comforting and cuddling your cat, as you are training them to become night howlers.

If you have sufficiently fed and cared for your cat during the day, then try not to panic. Allow your Maine Coon to get used to time on their own during the nighttime howls. Alternatively, let your cat sleep with you!

Learn more about Maine Coon howling in this article.

However, if you have an older Maine Coon, cat howling may be a sign of sight or hearing deterioration and they may be feeling scared or confused because you are not there.

Howling can also be a sign of cognitive dysfunction leading to dementia.

Talk to your veterinarian about this, especially if you notice Maine Coon howling becoming a nightly pattern.

Otherwise, think of it as just your Maine Coons way of saying “good night”. So, say “good night” back and send them loving thoughts and energies.

To minimize their nightly “meowing”, give them lots of attention and engage them in lots of activities during the day, so they will be too spent to still be talkative at night.

Do Maine Coon Cats Purr?

Yes, they do!

Maine Coons also make the following sounds:

  • Chirp
  • Trill
  • Hiss
  • Howl
  • Chatter

When a Maine Coon purrs, they are usually expressing contentment and satisfaction.

They may also want your attention or something from you. So, why not engage them in a conversation and find out what they want?!

Purring might also indicate a “happy thoughts” strategy for Maine Coons, especially when they are in pain, or you are sick and in pain.

Sound therapy suggests purring helps to heal.

Purring releases endorphins in cats, which lowers stress hormones.

Purring sounds have also been measured to fall within 25 Hz to 140 Hz, the ideal frequency for wound healing, joint and tendon repair, and healing broken bones.

Clinical observations of cats suffering from upper respiratory conditions show how their purring helps them breathe more easily.

People with migraines have also reported how their headaches are eased when they lie close to purring cats (source 1).

Why Do Maine Coons Make Weird Noises?

The variety of Maine Coon noises that your cat makes only seems weird when you are not used to them, or when you do not realize how vocal the Maine Coon cat breed is generally.

The Humane Society of the United States lists the sounds all cats make which include (source 1):

  • Meowing
  • Purring
  • Chirping
  • Trilling
  • Growling
  • Spitting
  • Hissing
  • Yowling
  • Howling
  • Chattering
  • Chittering
  • Twittering

It may be that all these “weird” noises have been mainly attributed to Maine Coons because Maine Coons, as a breed, are more social than the average cat.

It also has to do with cats’ personalities. Just like people, some cats are more talkative, and some cats are not.

However, as a breed, Maine Coons are more dog-like than cat-like in their gentle but eager friendliness to people.

On a related note, did you know that the term “weird” comes from the Old English root word, “wyrd”, which means “fate”, or “in touch with destiny” (source 8)?

Isn’t this a beautiful way to think of your Maine Coon every time she makes all these “weird” sounds?

Conclusion

So, why don’t Maine Coon cats meow?

Well, they do, but their meowing comes forth as other sounds than just the average cat’s meow.

The Maine Coon cat’s meow is varied and diverse, including chattering, chirping, hissing, howling, purring, and trilling, depending on their mood and condition.

This repertoire of sounds can be produced by all cats, however, they have mainly been associated with Maine Coons because of their naturally social and communicative nature as a breed.

Related Questions

Other things which you may have wondered about Maine Coons and the sounds they make are briefly explained below.

Maine Coon Cat In Heat

Female Maine Coons howl when they are in heat, while males howl when they scent a female cat in heat. On average, a female Maine Coon is in heat for 8 days, at two to six weeks intervals, depending on the season, and varying with the amount of daylight available.

Why Do Maine Coons Chirp At Birds?

Cats chirp when they are excited or aroused by prey. It is more an excited sound than a sound used for hunting. When Maine Coons chirp at birds, it indicates that their prey alert is on high, and they are enlivened by the sight of the birds.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a self-confessed 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 9 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!

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