20 Reasons Why Your Maine Coon Is So Mean


If you’re wondering, why is my Maine Coon so mean? then chances are you’re dealing with some cat aggression. Aggressive cats might hiss, lash out, or even bite their owners.

You might be tempted to blame your cat for these behaviors, but Maine Coon aggression is always caused by underlying environmental factors.

Maine Coon aggression can be caused by a wide variety of environmental factors, including improper socialization, jealousy, and even hormones. Cats can’t communicate stress or anger in the same way humans can, and they often end up lashing out. It’s important to learn why your cat is behaving aggressively so you can address the root problem.

Taking a look at your cat’s environment is usually the first step to solving aggression.

Read on to find out twenty potential reasons why your Maine Coon is acting so mean!

Why Is My Maine Coon So Mean?

Maine Coons are among the most popular cat breeds in the world, and they’re only becoming more popular as owners all over social media are showcasing this breed’s intelligence and loving personality.

This is a highly social cat breed that’s famous for being friendly and needing lots of companionship and love to feel happy.

Unfortunately, while most Maine Coon Cats are known for being loving and gentle, this isn’t always the case.

If your Maine Coon is hissing, lashing out, or even biting, then you might be asking yourself, why is my Maine Coon Cat so mean?

It can be frustrating to deal with an aggressive cat, but blaming your cat and becoming angry will only make the problem worse. Instead, you should examine your cat’s environment to determine why it’s behaving aggressively, and then address the problem from there.

Here are twenty possible reasons why your Maine Coon Cat is behaving aggressively.

1. Disrespected Boundaries

One of the most common reasons behind Maine Coon aggression is disrespected boundaries.

Cats use body language such as flattened ears, a hunched posture, and a lashing tail to indicate that they don’t want to be messed with.

If you or your household members regularly ignore this body language, however, it can cause your cat to become aggressive and distrustful.

We all love to hold and cuddle our cats, but even Maine Coons have boundaries!

Not every cat wants to be picked up and messed with all the time, so when your cat wishes to be left alone, it might growl or hiss to establish a boundary. Here are some other reasons why your Maine Coon hisses as you.

When your cat clearly establishes that it wants to be left alone, then it’s time to respect your cat! Otherwise, your cat might become so distrustful that it reacts aggressively whenever you’re near it.

If this is already the case, then you may have to start from square one and slowly earn your cat’s trust back.

2. Improper Socialization

When kittens are young, they learn what parts of the world are safe and what parts are scary.

This is the socialization stage when it’s important for breeders to handle the kittens often and get them used to new sights, smells, and people.

If your cat was improperly socialized as a kitten, however, it will probably be fearful and aggressive.

Thankfully, it’s not too late to socialize your cat!

It takes longer to earn the trust of an older cat, but with time, patience, and lots of treats, you can help your cat understand that it has no reason to fear you.

3. Playful

Cats are rowdy creatures that love to wrestle and play.

Sometimes, cat owners completely misinterpret their pet’s actions and assume that their cat is aggressive.

It’s common for Maine Coon kittens to hide behind furniture or doors, and then ambush their humans’ ankles as they walk past!

You might be startled by this behavior, especially if it’s accompanied by a few nips or unsheathed claws.

While a playful cat doesn’t mean to hurt you, it’s important to redirect this behavior and teach your cat to wrestle toys instead of you.

These are my favorite Maine Coon cat toys.

4. Territoriality

Cats like to feel in control of their territory, but some cats take this desire too far.

If they feel as though their territory is threatened, they might lash out at anyone who invades their space. This is especially true in crowded households with lots of people or pets.

Cats are more likely to behave aggressively over territory if they aren’t spayed or neutered. Learn what the best age to neuter a Maine Coon kitten is, in this article I wrote.

If your cat’s aggression is accompanied by spraying and frequent vocalizations like howling, then it’s best to clean away any urine and get your cat fixed. If your cat is spraying in the same area or corner, you can help redirect their behavior by placing litter boxes in those locations.

5. Overstimulation

Have you ever been playing normally with your cat, only for it to go into a sudden frenzy of biting or scratching?

This is a startling behavior that leaves many owners baffled, but there’s actually a perfectly normal reason behind it.

Cats can become easily overwhelmed by lots of movement, sights, sounds, and smells.

If you are playing too roughly, or even just moving a toy around too quickly or too closely, your cat might become overstimulated.

Overstimulated cats don’t really know how to regulate this flood of sensory information, and lash out as a result.

Overstimulated cats might freak out for a few seconds, but are usually just fine a minute or two later.

Try playing more calmly with your cat, and avoid playing while there are other loud noises or interesting smells happening, such as nearby construction, cooking dinner, or if you have a lot of guests over.

6. Genetics

We’ve all heard the old saying “nature vs nurture.” Most cases of aggression in cats are caused by nurture (or the way they were raised) or environmental factors.

In some cases, however, aggression can also be caused by nature or genetics.

While your cat’s development and environment will have a bigger impact on its personality, genetics can still play a part.

If your cat’s parents were naturally aggressive, then it’s more likely your cat will behave aggressively, as well.

7. Boredom

Maine Coons are highly energetic and intelligent cats that need a lot of stimulation in order to feel enriched and satisfied.

If your cat doesn’t have plenty of space, places to climb, and durable, interactive toys, then it can feel bored and destructive. Bored Maine Coons are more likely to scratch furniture, tear up carpet, or dig in plant pots.

Here are the 13 Hacks To Stop Your Maine Coon Scratching Furniture!

Unfortunately, bored Maine Coons are also more likely to behave aggressively.

If your cat doesn’t have an outlet for its energy, it might redirect that energy through biting and scratching. In cases like this, it’s crucial that you give your Maine Coon more enrichment through daily playtime, places to climb, or even by going on walks on a harness!

Having tried most Maine Coon gear available on line, I concluded my favorite items were as follows:

Best Extra Large Cat Trees / Towers

Most Successful Maine Coon Cat Toys

Large Cat Harness And Leash (click to read reviews on Amazon)

8. Not Enough Space

Maine Coons are social, loving creatures, but they also need a space to call their own.

Cats like to have safe areas they can retreat to where they can rest independently, without being bothered by others.

If you live in a small, crowded home with lots of family members or pets, then your Maine Coon might be feeling cooped up. Is it possible for a Maine Coon cat to live in an apartment? Click here to read my article.

Cats without their own space are more likely to be fearful and aggressive.

You can expand your cat’s territory by including more vertical space, such as a cat tree or even special shelves installed on the walls for your cat to walk on.

9. New Family Member

Maine Coons are famous for getting along well with other cats and dogs, but sometimes, bringing home a new pet or even a new baby can have a huge impact on your Maine Coon.

Firstly, cats are creatures of habit, and a new routine can be a huge stressor.

A new pet or baby brings new smells, encroaches on their space, and upends their routine.

It’s important to introduce a new family member slowly and gradually, and always go at your Maine Coon’s pace.

If your Maine Coon has a favorite toy or place to sleep, make sure that the new family member doesn’t encroach on that space, or else your Maine Coon is more likely to feel upset.

10. Jealousy

Your Maine Coon might become aggressive if it feels as though it’s been replaced, or doesn’t get as much time or attention as it used to.

Cats are emotionally intelligent creatures that are capable of feeling many of the same emotions we humans do.

If you have a new significant other, pet, or baby that you spend a lot more time with, then it’s likely your Maine Coon is dealing with feelings of jealousy.

Your Maine Coon might take that jealousy out on you or the new family member.

You can help curb this behavior by spending quality time with just your cat so that your Maine Coon knows you still care about it.

Learn more about the causes of ‘Maine Coon jealousy‘ in my article.

11. Family Tensions

Maine Coons are highly emotive and empathetic, and they often have the uncanny ability to read the emotions of their owners.

This means that some Maine Coons comfort their owners while they’re sad, or are in a good mood when you’re in a good mood.

If your Maine Coon is picking up on a lot of negative emotions like anger and tension, though, it will likely feel threatened and uneasy.

12. Loneliness

Maine Coons are some of the most social cat breeds out there.

They need daily affection and interaction to feel cared for and enriched.

If you spend all day at work and don’t give your cat much attention when you’re home, then your cat will suffer as a result.

Thankfully, Maine Coons often get along well with other animals, so you might want to consider bringing home a companion for your Maine Coon.

Otherwise, your Maine Coon’s loneliness can manifest as aggression.

13. Big Changes

Cats are creatures of habit.

Routine and sameness are very important to them, and even little changes can be a huge source of stress for your cat.

Changes in your schedule, bringing home a new family member, or even moving to a new house will all have a huge impact on your cat.

You can help your cat feel more secure amidst big changes by adhering to a careful routine, so your cat has something it can look forward to every day.

Comfort objects like an old blanket, bed, or toy can also help your cat feel safer.

Our male Maine Coon responds particularly well to this brand of cat plug-in pheromone diffusers, which are a safe way to help calm your cat.

14. Learned Behavior

It’s adorable when kittens play, but a lot of owners end up teaching their kitten’s bad habits.

Allowing your kitten to attack your hand while it’s small might be cute in the moment, but as your cat grows up, it can turn into a painful habit that’s hard to break.

It’s important to establish boundaries from a young age.

If your kitten attacks your hands or feet, gently but firmly redirect it to a toy instead, so it learns that aggressive behavior is unacceptable.

15. Redirected Aggression

Has your Maine Coon ever attacked you or someone else, seemingly out of nowhere?

Sometimes, cats attack people or animals that they aren’t even upset within a phenomenon known as redirected aggression.

If your cat spends a lot of time looking out the window, it might experience pent-up aggression towards neighborhood cats or dogs. Your cat will then become frustrated because it’s unable to defend its territory through the glass.

As a result, your cat might lash out at whoever’s nearest, instead.

16. Maternal Instincts

If your cat recently gave birth to kittens, you might be dealing with some surprising aggression.

Even the sweetest of Maine Coons can become fierce once they’ve given birth, but this is completely normal.

Cats have strong protective instincts and will lash out even towards owners they love and trust out of a desire to keep their babies safe.

This is especially true for the first few weeks after your cat has given birth.

17. Hormones

Hormones don’t just affect humans!

Cats can become grumpy and moody due to hormonal changes and might become more irritable and lash out.

“Teenage” cats, about one-year-old, are also quite likely to become grumpy due to hormones.

Cats that haven’t been spayed or neutered are more likely to become aggressive due to hormones than cats that have been fixed.

Unless you plan on breeding your cat, it’s usually best to get your cat fixed to prevent issues like aggression and spraying. Here’s the best age to neuter a Maine Coon kitten.

18. Feeling Threatened

Cats aren’t able to communicate the same way that humans can, and when your cat feels scared or unsafe, the only way it can communicate is through biting and other forms of aggression.

This isn’t done out of a desire to hurt you; rather, it’s your cat’s way of trying to protect itself.

If your cat lives in a crowded space, especially with a pet or person that it feels threatened by, it might be aggressive towards everyone in the household.

Making sure your cat has its own safe space to retreat to is an important first step in helping your cat feel secure in its environment.

If your cat is behaving fearfully and aggressively, walk away immediately- otherwise, you will only cause your cat more stress.

19. Pain

Some owners are shocked to discover that their usually sweet cat suddenly becomes aggressive when petted.

If your cat is dealing with underlying pain, it might hurt to be touched, especially in certain areas.

Senior cats suffering from arthritis or joint problems are likely to become tense or aggressive when petted, especially near the lower back and hips. Learn about Maine Coon hip dysplasia in my article.

If your cat suddenly lashes out when being touched in certain places, it might be hiding an injury, so it’s a good idea to take it to the vet the moment you suspect something is wrong.

20. Underlying Health Problems

Finally, your cat’s aggression might be due to underlying health problems. Make sure you are aware of the ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘.

Sicknesses that cause cramps or discomfort can make your cat irritable.

Just like how we humans feel miserable when we’re sick, sick cats would rather be left alone in peace when they aren’t feeling well.

Some cats become aggressive and irritable when dealing with a small virus, but if symptoms persist for more than a few days, your cat may be suffering from something more serious, such as diabetes or cancer.

Conclusion

If you’re wondering, why is my Maine Coon so mean then it’s likely you and your cat are at odds with one another.

Maine Coon aggression can be caused by all sorts of things, from disrespected boundaries to hormones.

When asking the question, why is my Maine Coon so aggressive it’s important to never blame your cat, and instead, consider what environmental factors are leading to that aggression.

Always remember that cats aren’t able to communicate the way that we are, so it’s important to be patient and loving, so you can help your cat overcome its behavior problems in a constructive way.

Related Questions

Maine Coon Bite Force PSI

Maine Coons have a bite force of about 60 to 75 PSI, while the average domestic house cat has a PSI between 20 and 75.

When Do Maine Coon Kittens Calm Down?

Maine Coon kittens usually start to calm down once they reach around eight months to a year old, but this cat breed is known for being playful and energetic well into adulthood.

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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