Are Maine Coon Cats Good Pets? [maine coon pros and cons]
If you have ever seen a big cat and thought “that cat is the size of a dog!” you might have been looking at a Maine Coon!
Maine Coon cats are known to be good pets, however, they might not be the right fit for all cat owners due to their unique characteristics. They are an affectionate, intelligent, big cat with large ears, big eyes, a thick coat, a muscular build, a long bushy tail, and a unique overall appearance.
If you’re wondering if a Maine Coon cat is the right pet cat for you, this article will give you the information you need to know so keep reading!
History of the Maine Coon Cat
Maine Coon cats originated in North America, in the state of Maine. Who would have guessed! They were bred for their skills as mousers and farm cats and were also found to be loving pets.
Maine Coon cats are the official state cat of Maine!
Maine Coons cats have a similar look to the Norwegian Forest Cat and many suggest their heritage comes from them.
There is even a story of Vikings bringing cats to North America and Maine Coons are descendent of those animals.
How Did the Maine Coon Cat Get Its Name?
It is said that the ‘coon’ part of their name comes from the myth that these cats were bred with raccoons. This is, of course, false, but you can see how it might have come about!
These long-haired cats are about the same size as raccoons and have unique, raccoon-looking tails.
If you’re wondering if the Maine Coon is a good choice for you, here are some important things to know about these gentle giants.
Maine Coon Cat Characteristics
Maine Coon cat’s playful, loving qualities have encouraged the nickname, dogs of the cat world because they are such a friendly cat and interact with humans so well.
They are also known as gentle giants because of their large size compared to other cat breeds.
Here is a list of some of the positive qualities that have made Maine Coon cats one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
Maine Coon Cats Bond With Their Owners
Yes, Maine Coon cats form strong bonds with their owners, often being your close companion the whole day to keep an eye on what you are doing.
They are highly loyal, which is one reason people like to compare them to dogs.
A Maine Coon loves to be by its owner’s side. They will definitely miss your company if you are gone too long. They don’t do well being left alone for more than a short period of time.
These cats can suffer from separation anxiety, which they will show their owner through a variety of vocal and physical signs.
Maine Coon Cats Display Affection
Maine Coon cats are affectionate and will show their love for you in a multitude of ways.
Following you around the house, greeting you when you come home for the day, and nudging you for attention are just a few of the ways that these cats deliver affection.
However, they can also be lap cats, being content spending lots of time sitting on their owners.
Also, you may catch your Maine Coon staring deeply into your eyes and slowly blinking at you. No, you are not dreaming, this is just another sign of Maine Coon love.
Maine Coon Cats Like to Make Noises
Maine Coon cats are well known to make all kinds of sounds, not just purring or meowing. They have a unique ability to communicate with their human owners through a variety of sounds.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good Family Pets?
Because of their sociable disposition, Maine Coons are great cats for families! They can definitely be cuddly animals who enjoy spending time interacting with family members.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good With Children?
Yes, a Maine Coon cat can also be a good choice for families with small children. However, young children should still be supervised when playing with a Maine Coon cat, as with any cat.
Be aware though, due to their large size, the Maine Coon may not always know their strength. Keep this in mind around smaller children.
Maine Coon Personality
If you want a cat with a great personality then the Maine Coon is for you! They love to interact with humans in multiple ways.
Their affectionate and easy-going personalities make them great family pets. With their big, chatty personalities, your Maine Coon will quickly become a loved member of the family!
Do Maine Coons Like to Play?
Why, yes, Maine Coon cats love to play! These animated cats can be entertained in a multitude of ways.
If your cat stays indoors, it’s important to give them as much space as possible for running, climbing, and exploration.
You can also consider a scratching and climbing cat tree. These are great for exercise and keeping the cats’ claws in good shape.
There are a few simple things you can also use to play with your Maine Coon such as cardboard boxes, laser pointers, and paper bags.
Are Two Maine Coon Cats Better Than One?
It can be a challenge to make sure your Maine Coon gets enough play that they won’t be bored.
Some owners find that it’s best to get two Maine Coons from the same litter so that the cats entertain one another and keep each other company.
What Do Maine Coons Look Like?
Maine Coon cats have a very interesting look that will grab your attention!
Maine Coon Cat Size
Maine Coon cats are definitely larger than the average housecat. Maine Coons weigh between eight and 18 pounds. They generally measure about 40 inches long and 10 to 16 inches tall.
Female Maine Coon cats usually are smaller and weigh between eight and 12 pounds.
They can be even bigger though! For instance, Barivel is the Guinness World Record holder for the longest cat! Barivel is a Maine Coon who measures in at 120 centimeters, or 3 feet and 11 inches long!
Maine Coon Cat Coat
The Maine Coon cat has a fluffy coat that makes them look even bigger than they are. These cats have gorgeous coats and unique-looking ear tufts which give them a beautiful, distinctive appearance.
Their bodies are adapted for the cold climate of Maine, which means they have three layers of fur (one of which is water-resistant!) and even fur on their paws.
Maine Coon Cats Large Bushy Tail
The Maine Coon cat has an exceptionally long, bushy tail that is between 12-18 inches! This length helps to keep them warm and balanced, as well as assists them to communicate via body language.
Maine Coon Cat Colors
Maine Coon cats come in a huge variety of colors and patterns including:
- Blue (Grey Maine Coon)
- Color Point
Solid white Maine Coon cats are very rare!
Can You Train a Maine Coon Cat?
Yes, you can train a Maine Coon cat! Maine Coon cats are naturally curious and intelligent and they can be trained to follow many commands!
Though most cat breeds are not interested in learning tricks the same way that dogs are, Maine Coons are a bit different in this regard.
They can learn quickly and enjoy their training, although it will take time and patience for the owner.
Maine Coons can learn commands such as sit, lay down, shake, and even more advanced tricks as well. You can find lots of videos online of Maine Coons doing incredible things!
Are Maine Coon Cats Healthy?
According to West Park Animal Hospital, Maine Coons are generally considered one of the healthiest breeds of cats.
Maine Coon Cat Lifespan
The average life span of a Maine Coon cat ranges between 10 and 13 years. Most reputable breeders will scan for health concerns in your kitten as well.
Like any animal, however, they do have their own set of health concerns, which I will address in the second half of this post.
What is a Mouser?
Mousers is an endearing term people have given cats that are good at and like to hunt mice!
Are Maine Coon Cats Good Mousers?
Maine Coon cats are excellent mousers! This also makes them a great farm cat. The average Maine Coon cat will have a strong prey drive that makes them great for this role.
If you’re having any problems with rodents, a Maine Coon cat might be a better solution than calling the exterminator!
Maine Coon Cat Negatives
Now that you know some of the amazing things about this breed, here are some of the more difficult aspects of having a Maine Coon.
Here are seven different challenges that many Maine Coon owners may have to deal with.
The bigger the cat, the bigger the claws! That means Maine Coon cat claws can grow to be very big without proper maintenance.
Proper trimming or clipping on a regular basis is required. Without this maintenance, you can expect accidental scratches from sharp claws when playing with your Maine Coon.
Talk to your vet about the best way to take care of your cat’s claws.
One unpleasant feature of Maine Coons is that they can be a bit messy in the litter box department.
Males are especially prone to stepping on their poop, which they can then track throughout the house.
It is also not uncommon to find poop on their tails. Generally, this improves as the cat gets older.
Maine Coons are hunters, which means they need a lot of exercise and physical activity throughout the day. Maine Coon cats tend to require more exercise than the average housecat.
If they are lacking in physical activity, this will lead to boredom. Not only will this boredom make your cat unhappy.
Being unhappy will also likely result in a great deal of scratching and damage to your furniture and belongings.
A lack of exercise can also lead to obesity and other related health concerns, so it is super important to play with your Maine Coon every day and give them adequate space to roam.
Are Maine Coon Cats Hypoallergenic?
No Maine Coon cats are not hypoallergenic. In fact, Maine Coon cats are big shedders! These cats usually have long hair.
This combination of being a big shedder and having long hair means that they will require more grooming than the average housecat.
It is important to give them regular brushing and daily attention to their coat. Simply giving them a weekly brushing will not be enough to meet the grooming requirements for a Maine Coon cat.
You might even want to consider trimming any excess undercoat during high shedding periods or having a professional assist.
Maine Coon Cat Health Issues
As previously stated, Maine Coons are generally considered one of the healthiest breeds of cat. But like any animal, they are predisposed to some health concerns.
Their large size makes them susceptible to issues with their joints, including arthritis and hip dysplasia. Spinal muscular atrophy, or SMA, is another potential problem to look out for in these cats.
Maine Coons can also have heart issues. According to the Universities Federation For Animal Welfare, approximately one-third of Maine Coons have a genetic mutation that predisposes them to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This can lead to heart failure and blockages.
Periodontal disease is another disease that Maine Coon cat owners need to be aware of. This could lead to loss of appetite and even tooth loss if not treated properly.
Add to the list, polycystic kidney disease. This is where there may be cysts in your cat’s kidneys. Possible symptoms of polycystic kidney disease in your Maine Coon may include loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, and lack of energy.
As with any pet, make sure you take your Maine Coon to your local vet for regular checkups and if you suspect anything may be wrong.
How Much Does a Maine Coon Cat Cost?
You will probably have a hard time finding a purebred Maine Coon at a local animal shelter. Of course, we always recommend you adopt when you can though!
Buying a Maine Coon Kitten from a reputable breeder can cost, on average, between $500 up to $2400. This makes the Maine Coon one of the top five most expensive cat breeds in the US.
Maine Coon Cats Need Lots of Playtime
While you will find it is great fun to play with your Maine Coon, they often lack awareness of their size and strength, which means they tend to dominate during playtime.
Keep in mind this could result in some unintentional scratches or even a nip every now and then.
Also, if you have another cat or small dog, you will need to take special care that they don’t get hurt.
Female Maine Coon cats tend to be a bit smaller and less aggressive while playing.
Maine Coon Cat Names
When you have a Maine Coon cat as a member of the family you need to make sure you have a great name for them! Here is a shortlist of popular Maine Coon cat names.
- Mrs. Norris
Related Maine Coon Cat Questions
How can I Tell if My Cat is Part Maine Coon?
I suggest starting with the size of your cat. Maine Coon cats are big! How big is your cat? Another easy way is to look at your cat’s tail. Does it kind of have a raccoon-like big bushy tail?
Next look at your cat’s ears. Maine Coon cats have ears that look somewhat like a Lynx with tufts. This is hair that grows from the top tips of their ears. Maine Coon cats also have large eyes.
If you really want to know if your cat is part Maine Coon ask your vet about getting a DNA genetic test.
Do Maine Coon Cats Meow a Lot?
Well, Maine Coon cats are very vocal and known for making a lot of noise but not necessarily meowing.
Maine Coon owners speak in terms of their cats chirping and trilling and not so much what you may think of as a normal cat’s meow.
In any case, just be prepared to have a cat that is vocal about getting your attention on a regular basis if you bring a Maine Coon home!
Are Maine Coon Cats Show Cats?
Yes, Maine Coon cats are a very popular cat breed often displayed in shows by cat owners. In fact, the Cat Fanciers Association has recognized them many times as ‘Best of Breed’ show winners.
Are Maine Coon Cats Tabby Cats?
Yes, Tabby is one of the colors and coat patterns that Maine Coon cats can have.
Is it Cruel to Keep a Maine Coon Cat Indoors?
Sure, to some extent. Your Maine Coon is a big cat with lots of energy and personality so it needs to be able to exercise and play outside as much as possible.
Having said that though, their friendly and easy-going personality makes them well suited to being indoors. So the answer is yes, they can be indoor cats but try to get them outside as much as possible.
Are Maine Coon Cats Aggressive?
Generally, no, Maine Coon cats are not aggressive at all. But as with any animal, there can be times when aggression comes out.
Possible reasons could be poor socialization when they were young, another animal causing a defensive reaction, a stranger they feel threatened by, or they could even be suffering from a health ailment.
Maine Coons can be amazing pets! They are friendly, loyal, and have a playful nature. These traits make the Maine Coon breed great pets for an individual or a family.
They have a beautiful and unique appearance, with their large size, distinctive fluffy coats, and variety of coat colors and patterns.
Keep in mind though that Maine Coon cats also require a lot of work, time, and attention. Especially in the area of grooming.
If you are able to spend a good amount of time exercising, grooming, and cleaning up after your cat, then a Maine Coon might be a great choice for you.
If you are the busy type who is unable to spend much time at home giving them the attention they need, then the Maine Coon likely would not be the best match for you.