Why Is My Maine Coon Not Affectionate?


If you’ve been trying to bond with your cat, but it doesn’t seem to be working, you’re probably asking yourself, “Why is my Maine Coon not affectionate?”

We all want our cats to love us, but it can be hard if your cat doesn’t seem to want you to pet it. Even worse, you may be struggling because your cat is hissing at your or even biting you!

If a cat acts aggressively towards you, it is likely because it doesn’t trust you. Just like humans, cats have boundaries and become upset and mistrustful if their owners are constantly violating their personal space. Sudden aggression or lack of affection, however, can be due to environmental stressors or even underlying illness.

Even if your cat isn’t displaying aggression towards you, you might feel like your cat isn’t affectionate enough.

A lot of owners ask themselves “How do Maine Coons show affection?”. The simple fact of the matter is that your cat may love you, but show it in more subtle ways than you’re expecting!

Are Maine Coons Affectionate?

The Maine Coon is a large, handsome breed that was first developed in the state of Maine.

These cats were initially popular for their ability to catch rats and other vermin. Today, however, they’re incredibly popular due to their large size, as well as their affectionate personality. To discover more about the Maine Coon cat’s true lineage, click here to read my article on the “Origins of the Maine Coon Cat”.

While the temperament of a cat from a certain breed will vary, there are a few personality traits you can expect most Maine Coons to exhibit. These cats may be the largest domesticated cat breed in the world, but they’re famous for being “gentle giants.” Maine Coons are incredibly patient and tender with humans, children, and even other pets. Read more on Maine Coon Personality Traits here.

Maine Coons aren’t typically clingy, so they won’t usually demand constant attention. However, they do love to spend time around their humans, and will often follow you from room to room without being intrusive. When you have free time, though, they absolutely love to cuddle!

Finally, Maine Coons are famous for being incredibly playful. Even in old age, Maine Coons often retain a kitten-like joy for playing. They tend to be active cats that love to climb, jump, and chase after all sorts of cat toys.

In general, you can expect most Maine Coon cats to be affectionate and loving pets.

Why Is My Maine Coon Not Affectionate?

Even though most Maine Coon Cats are known for being affectionate, this may not be the case for every individual cat. Here are some possible reasons why your Maine Coon isn’t affectionate (source 1).

  • Its Boundaries Aren’t Respected: One of the most common reasons a cat is not affectionate towards its owner is that it doesn’t feel its boundaries are being respected. Cats are very picky about their personal space, and won’t stand for constant poking, prodding, or cuddling when it doesn’t want to be touched. Try and give your cat more space, and let it interact with you on its own terms.
  • Personality: Unfortunately, not all cats are super affectionate. Some cats are more solitary and prefer to go through life without constant cuddling.
  • Jealousy: If you’ve recently brought a new cat, baby, or romantic partner into your life, your cat might be feeling neglected. Jealousy is a very common emotion in cats, and if your cat is feeling left out, it could become reserved and even aggressive towards you.
  • Improper Socialization: Kittens should be handled with multiple people while they are very young. If the cat you brought home was not properly socialized early in life, it might be skittish, aggressive, and reserved. It will take some time for an improperly socialized cat to warm up to you, but with time and patience, even the most fearful of cats can someday become cuddly and affectionate!
  • Past Abuse: Did you adopt your cat from a shelter, or rehome it from a different owner? Sadly, not everyone is loving towards their pets, and you may have adopted a cat from a bad situation. If your cat has had mostly negative experiences with humans before you, it will almost certainly be fearful and distrusting.
  • Stress: If your cat has recently gone through a big change, such as being adopted, moving locations, or it feels unsafe in its environment, it will likely spend more time hiding than cuddling.
  • Illness or Injury: If your cat has suddenly become less affectionate than usual, it could be sick or in pain. If your cat’s lack of affection is coupled with worrying symptoms like lethargy or lack of appetite, you should take it to the vet right away. Watch out for these Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘.
  • You’re Reading Your Cat Wrong: A lot of people are surprised to learn that their cat actually is affectionate- it just has a different way of showing love! Cats are far subtler creatures than dogs and have quiet ways of showing that they care. If you think your cat doesn’t like you, there’s actually a chance that you’re simply misreading its body language and behavior.

How Do Maine Coons Show Affection?

Cats don’t often display affection in the same obvious ways that dogs or even humans do. Instead, cat body language is often far subtler. Here are the different ways that cats are known to express their love (sources 1,2,3).

  • Cuddling: The most obvious way that cats show affection is by cuddling. Whether your cat sits on your lap while you’re watching television, or just really enjoys getting scratches on its chin, a cuddly cat is very clearly saying that it enjoys being around you.
  • Purring: Cats are born both blind and deaf, and purring is a mother’s way of telling her kittens where she is through vibrations. As adults, though, purring is also a way that cats show they are deeply content. If your cat purrs while you cuddle it, it means your cat is extra happy to be around you.
  • Slow Blinking: Slow blinking is one of the cutest ways that cats say “I love you.” While making eye contact, a cat will slowly close one or both eyes, often repeatedly. This is a huge display of trust, as it’s a cat’s way of signalling that it knows you will not attack it while its eyes are closed.
  • Mirroring: Cats are communal creatures who will often attempt to “copy” their humans. If your cat sits on your keyboard every time you try to work at your desk, or even eats meals at the same time as you, then it is trying to match your routine. This shows that your cat not only loves you, but feels safe around you, and wants to share its life with you.
  • Head Butting: Head butting, also known as head bunting, is an adorable behavior where a cat butts its head up against your hand, legs, and even face! This is a display of affection and respect, and it’s also a way for cats to rub their scent glands on you.
  • Following You Around: Does your cat always seem to be in the same room as you? This is a great sign! It means that your cat enjoys being around you, even if it doesn’t necessarily want to cuddle you all the time. Simply existing in the same space as you is one of the main ways your cat shows affection.
  • Licking: Cats groom each other when they love and trust one another. Cats will also lick and “groom” humans as a display of affection.
  • Greeting: If your cat rushes to the door whenever you return home from work or running errands, this is a great sign that your cat missed you while you were away, and is happy to see you!
  • Lifted Tail: Believe it or not, the position of a cat’s tail can tell you a lot about its mood. If your cat approaches you with its tail lifted high and curled over just at the end, this is a subtle way of showing it’s happy to see you.
  • Kneading: While suckling, kittens knead their mother’s belly with their paws to stimulate milk flow. As adults, cats knead to show that they are content and comfortable. It’s essentially a cat’s way of recreating just how happy they were as a kitten. While it can be painful to endure, especially if your cat’s nails haven’t been recently trimmed, if your cat kneads your belly or some other part of your body, it’s the ultimate show of affection!
  • Exposing Their Belly: Cats naturally protect their belly because it’s the most direct way for a predator to cause injury to its vital organs. If a cat lays on its back and shows its belly to you, it’s showing you that it trusts you deeply! Watch my funny video of Maine Coon cat laying on his back below …
  • Sleeping Near You: Cats who are distrustful will hide under the bed or couches to sleep because they are incredibly vulnerable while they’re sleeping. Cats will sleep near you and in plain sight when they trust you.
  • Giving “Gifts”: If you have an outdoor cat, you may be unpleasantly surprised to find that it brings you dead animals. As gross as this may be, this is actually a way that cats show they care about you!
  • Playing: A loving cat will enjoy playing with you. Whether that means your cat surprises you with a pounce when you’re least expecting it, or your cat is simply engaging fully in playtime, it’s a sure way to tell that your cat is affectionate.
Maine Coon Central

Are Male Or Female Maine Coons More Affectionate?

Neither the male nor female Maine Coons is more likely to be affectionate than the other.

However, male Maine Coons are typically more active, while female Maine Coons are generally calmer and more likely to cuddle.

This doesn’t mean that male Maine Coons are less likely to love their owners, but it does mean that female Maine Coons might be more inclined to be lapcats.

What else do we know about the female Maine Coon though? … Read my article on Are Female Maine Coons Affectionate to find out!

Do Maine Coons Like To Be Held?

Most well-socialized Maine Coons love to be held. Of course, this can vary from cat to cat. For most Maine Coons, however, being held and cuddling on your lap is their favorite way to show affection.

Keep an eye on your cat’s body language before you pick it up. If your cat backs away from you, flattens its ears, or shows any sign of reserved or aggressive behavior, then it’s better to give your cat some space and try again later.

A cat will be less likely to enjoy being held if you constantly pick it up when it’s unhappy.

Do Maine Coon Cats Like To Cuddle?

A lot of cat owners wonder “Are Maine Coons cuddly?” especially if their own cat isn’t very cuddly. Maine Coons are known for being affectionate, and most Maine Coons love to cuddle!

Their patience and loving nature mean they typically enjoy being held, scratched, and loved.

Why Is My Maine Coon So Needy?

If your Maine Coon follows you around all the time, or is upset when you leave, you’re probably wondering “Are Maine Coons clingy?”

In general, while Maine Coons are known to be affectionate, they aren’t typically clingy. If your Maine Coon is extra needy, it’s probably due to the way it was raised.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a huge rise in clingy pets. As people finally gave in and brought home kittens and puppies to keep them company in quarantine, those animals didn’t learn how to handle being alone. Thus, if you worked from home and hardly spent any time away from your cat in lockdown, your cat will likely suffer from separation anxiety when you return to working away from home.

Clinginess can also occur in cats who were weaned from their mothers too early, or who were separated from their littermates at a young age (source 1).

For those of you wondering why your Maine Coon keeps following you, everywhere you go, click here to read my article about this unusual cat behavior right away!

Why Is My Cat Not Affectionate Anymore?

If your cat has been quite affectionate in the past, but suddenly seems reserved or even aggressive, something has likely caused your cat to stop being affectionate.

Here are some possible reasons why your cat has suddenly stopped being affectionate (sources 1,2).

  • Stress: If your cat has stopped being affectionate and spends more time hiding under the couch or bed, it’s most likely stressed. Loneliness, a loud or stressful environment, or too much touching and stimulation can all cause a cat to experience stress.
  • Sudden Change: Cats love routine and habit. Even something as simple as moving around your furniture can cause a cat to become stressed! If you’ve moved to a new house or apartment or made some other big change in your life, your cat might take a little while to adjust and become affectionate again.
  • Jealousy: Your cat might become more reserved as the result of jealousy. If you’ve recently adopted a new pet, or given birth to a baby, your cat might be feeling left out. You can help your cat feel more included by spending quality time with your cat away from the new addition to your family.
  • Hormonal Changes: As cats grow older and reach their “teenage” stage, they tend to become more independent and possibly even grumpy at times. Thankfully, this behavior is usually only temporary, and your cat will likely become more affectionate as it matures.
  • Your Cat Feels Comfortable: While this may seem contradictory, some cats become less affectionate when they start feeling safe in a new environment. If you adopted or rehomed your cat from a situation where it felt unloved, it will likely be extremely clingy at first. Over time, however, it might become less affectionate as its needs are being met.
  • Illness or Injury: In some cases, a cat might become more reserved and less affectionate if it’s suffering from an underlying illness or even an injury. If your cat suddenly stops being affectionate and is also showing other symptoms like lethargy, unusual stools, or lack of appetite, take it to the vet right away.

Are Maine Coon Cats Aggressive?

The Maine Coon breed is not known for being aggressive. In fact, they are widely accepted as being one of the friendliest cat breeds.

Keep in mind, however, that any cat has the potential to become aggressive based on life experiences. Cats that have been abused or improperly socialized can develop aggressive behaviors.

Maine Coons are also more likely to be aggressive if they haven’t been spayed or neutered.

If your Maine Coon is aggressive and also unfixed, a good first step would be to get your cat spayed or neutered. This should also be coupled with lots of patience and training to encourage affectionate behavior and discourage aggressive behavior.

Why Does My Maine Coon Bite Me?

Believe it or not, cats don’t always bite out of anger. In most cases, a cat biting you is caused by one of four reasons (source 1).

  • Affection: Cats will often give their owners soft “love bites” which are usually accompanied by licks. These bites don’t hurt, and are just a gentle display of affection.
  • Playfulness: Cats often bite when they are in a playful mood. If your cat grabs you with its paws and bites you while kicking with its back legs, this is usually just its way of playing. A playful bite may hurt a little, but will not be hard enough to break the skin. Even though playful bites don’t hurt badly, it’s best not to encourage this behavior. If your cat bites you in a playful way, offer a toy for it to attack instead.
  • Anger: If you repeatedly invade your cat’s personal space, it will start to become upset. If your cat bites you because you were in its space or touching it, then the bite was likely out of anger.
  • Fear: Biting is also a way for cats to defend themselves. If your cat is hiding from you and bites while it is backed into a corner, then it is most likely biting out of fear and self-preservation.

Why Does My Maine Coon Attack Me?

Cats typically attack when they feel threatened. If you are invading your cat’s personal space, or it feels unsafe around you, it will attack as a means of defending itself.

Why Is My Maine Coon Cat So Mean?

If your cat is lashing out by biting or scratching, it’s easy to blame it on your cat being mean. However, it’s important to keep in mind that animals don’t attack without a reason.

If your cat is hurting you or hiding from you, it is because it feels threatened and unsafe.

Maine Coon Cat Behavior Problems

Some common behavioral problems in Maine Coon cats include aggression, spraying, and overstimulation.

Aggression in cats is generally due to insecurity and fear. The best way to handle this kind of behavioral problem is by making sure your cat feels safe in its environment.

Allowing your cat to have its own space is important, as well as establishing a routine.

Aggression can also be caused by dominance problems, which is most common in cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered. This leads to the next behavioral problem- spraying.

Unfixed cats will mark their territory by spraying urine in inappropriate places, most often furniture and walls. While this behavior can often be curbed by spaying or neutering your cat, this isn’t always guaranteed to fix the issue.

You can discourage spraying by placing a litterbox in the areas where your cat sprays most frequently. If you have more than one cat, your Maine Coon could be spraying because it feels like it has to compete for space and resources. Make sure your cat has plenty of food, water, and space available at all times.

Overstimulation is similar to aggression. Sometimes, a cat might seem to “freak out” while you’re playing, and it will suddenly become angry and aggressive. If you play too vigorously, your cat might become overwhelmed by all of the sensory input.

If your cat seems to get overstimulated frequently, try taking a more gentle approach to playtime. Avoid having lots of loud noises or movement happening at the same time as you play (sources 1,2)

How To Make A Cat Like You

Getting a cat to be affectionate towards you can sometimes be a long and frustrating process. Here are some tips to help get your cat to like you.

  • Respect Your Cat’s Boundaries: The most important thing to remember is to respect your cat’s personal space. Instead of approaching your cat while it is resting on its own, allow your cat to approach you. If your cat exhibits unhappy behavior, like growling, hissing, or flattened ears, back away and give your cat space.
  • Reward Affectionate Behavior: Show your cat that affectionate behavior has a positive reaction. Occasional treats or playtime are great ways to reward your cat after it cuddles or head butts you. Inversely, you should never follow affectionate behavior with an undesirable reaction. For example, if your cat finally shows you affection, don’t accidentally immediately follow it up by trimming its nails, giving it a bath, or doing something else your cat doesn’t like. Otherwise, your cat will associate affectionate behavior with a negative response.
  • Create A Safe Environment: No matter how friendly you are to a cat, they will never be able to come out of their shell if they don’t feel safe in their environment. This means you should minimize loud noises and boisterous activity, as well as avoid bringing lots of strangers into your cat’s space.

Most Affectionate Cat Breeds

The Maine Coon is known for being one of the more affectionate cat breeds today. Here are five other cat breeds that are famous for their friendliness! (source 1)

  • Abyssinian
  • Ragdoll
  • Siamese
  • Birman
  • Sphynx

Least Friendly Cat Breeds

Sadly, not all cat breeds are super friendly.

Here are the top five least friendly cat breeds in the world (source 1).

  • Bengal
  • Savannah
  • Cymric
  • Bombay
  • Egyptian Mau

Conclusion

If you’ve been asking yourself “Why is my Maine Coon not affectionate?” it’s most likely that you’re either not respecting your cat’s personal space, or that you’re misreading your cat’s body language and behavior.

Cats have a much subtler way of showing affection that can often be misconstrued for unfriendliness. A lot of owners wonder “How do Maine Coons show affection?” because they don’t realize that their cat is actually showing affection in very quiet ways.

Learning to read your cat’s body language is a very important step in respecting your cat’s boundaries, as well as knowing when your cat actually loves you.

Related Questions

Maine Coon Temperament With Dogs

Maine Coons are known for being patient and tolerant, particularly with other pets. However, you should always be sure to do a gradual introduction between your cat and dog to prevent any aggression.

Do Maine Coons Like Water?

Maine Coons are one of the few cat breeds that actually loves water. While not every Maine Coons love water, it is a common trait for this breed to enjoy playing in water.

Do Maine Coons Meow?

Maine Coons are incredibly unique because they rarely meow. Instead, they vocalize using adorable trills and chirps!

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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