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Are Maine Coon Cats Lap Cats? An informed answer!

Maine Coons adore human attention. They are renowned for following their owners around and spending a lot of time close to them.

If you settle down in front of the TV, will a Maine Coon choose to sit on you? Are they all lap cats? The answer is not a simple yes or no.

Can a Maine Coon cat be a lap cat?

Maine Coons can be lap cats but not all of them will definitely choose to sit on your lap. As friendly as they are, some Maine Coons show no interest in lying on their owners but prefer to settle close by. Of course, there are those who will love to sleep on your lap whenever they get the chance.

There are a few ways in which you can encourage a Maine Coon to become a lap cat and we’ll share these in this guide.

As a family, we have had Maine Coons in our lives for many years. Our first Maine Coon boy was a definite lap cat. Our next two boys were not until they were older.

We currently share our lives with four Maine Coons. Two are 4-month-old boys and two are 19-month-old girls.

The girls are not lap cats but are always nearby. The kittens sometimes sit on us when they are tired – we have high hopes that they will be lap cats.

Like all cats, each Maine Coon has a unique personality. Don’t be upset if yours isn’t overly cuddly when it’s young as it may change as it gets older.

Maine Coons are affectionate cats. They thrive on human company, crave our attention yet when it comes to laying on our laps, Maine Coons are fickle creatures and will pick and choose when they will and when they won’t.

Don’t fret – there are many other ways a Maine Coons will let you know how much it loves you apart from sitting on your lap.

A white Maine Coon on its owners lap.
Charlie stopping me from working!

Can you make a Maine Coon a lap cat?

Create a relaxed environment

A quiet room with no-one coming and going and no loud TV or music is ideal. Spend time in the same room as your cat and let it realize you are not a threat.

Sit quietly and build its trust in you

A cat is less likely to approach you if you are noisy and make sudden movements. It certainly won’t settle where it feels vulnerable and your lap is quite a prominent position to expect it to perch on.

If your cat approaches you, blink at it slowly to build a bond. You may have to wait quite some time for your cat to trust you enough to climb on your lap.

Use a treat to encourage it to come close

Once your cat trusts you, sit on a large chair, and use a healthy treat to encourage it on to your lap. Don’t try to keep it on your lap once it has eaten the treat. Let it get down as soon as it’s ready to.

Don’t immediately get excited if it climbs on your lap

If your cat gets on your lap, resist the temptation to show excitement. You may find stroking it sends it running. Let it settle and maybe tickle its chin or cheek.

Note your cat’s body language and stop any touching if you see its tail start twitching.

Never force your cat to stay on your lap

If you wrap your arms around your cat and especially if you try to detain it on your lap, you will lose its trust and deter it from sitting on you again.

Make it a relaxing experience

Once you finally get your Maine Coon on your lap, let it relax.

If you take this opportunity to start cleaning things from the corners of its eyes or fiddling with knots in its fur it is more than likely to just scoot off.

Maine Coons do need grooming but keep that separate.

Our Experience of Maine Coons as Lap Cats

When we had Charlie, most evenings you could find my husband sitting in front of the TV with a very large fluffy white cat stretched out on his legs.

As soon as I sat down with a glass of wine, Harry, our amber-eyed red tabby Maine Coon would appear from nowhere. Occasionally he sat on me but not for long.

When I went to bed and picked up my kindle for a quick read before going to sleep, Harry would sometimes balance along the length of my legs, purring loudly like it was going out of fashion.

A red tabby Maine Coon on a lap.
Harry says, “This is my human.”

It seems a Maine Coon can be a lap cat when it chooses to be and on its own terms. However, you must let a Maine Coon come to you if and when it wants to and never try to force the situation.

A Maine Coon cat is its own boss and secretly, whether you know it or not, in its head it’s the boss of you too. Always remember this fact.

Our previous Maine Coons lived with us for a whole year before they sat on our laps at all and then, weirdly, they both did it on the same day at the same time.

It was as if they had planned it! And it was my husband’s birthday too. It was a lazy Sunday morning and we were both sitting on the couch watching the London Marathon.

The cats were both on the window ledge admiring the outside world.

Charlie glanced over at us then suddenly jumped across to the nearest couch and trotted across to where we were sitting, straight on to Matt’s lap. He lay down as if it was something he’d always done.

We both held our breath for a moment and looked at each other in surprise. We couldn’t speak. Within a minute, Harry leaped over and lay down on my lap.

They slept for an hour on us and we were beyond happy that finally, they had become lap cats.

From that day on occasionally one or the other sought out a lap but it was several years before it became a regular occurrence.

What is the likelihood of a Maine Coon being a lap cat?

This is a bit like asking how long is a piece of string and there is no way of truly knowing. A quick survey of owners on a social media to put Maine Coon’s into three categories:

  • About 66 % of Maine Coon owners said their cat is definitely a lap cat who would sit on their lap all day if they’d let it
  • Another 10% have Maine Coons who are sometimes lap cats and sometimes aren’t
  • The remaining 24% were sad to say their Maine Coons were not lap cats but were usually close by and always affectionate

So be optimistic, if you have a Maine Coon cat there’s a 76% chance that it will sit on your lap at least some of the time.

Why won’t my Maine Coon cat sit on my lap?

Maine Coons, like many other breeds of cat, can be rather independent creatures. Here are some reasons your cat may have for not choosing to sit on your lap:

  • If it hasn’t lived with you for very long it may not trust you enough yet.
  • It may not have been correctly socialized with people as a kitten. If the breeder didn’t handle your cat enough as a kitten it may be shy and need to get used to the idea of being that close to you.
  • It could have previously had a bad experience with a human so doesn’t want to get too close until it gets the measure of you.
  • Someone may have tried to hold it on their lap against its will and now it’s frightened of the same thing happening again.
  • It may just be too hot to sit on your lap.
  • Your lap may feel uncomfortable – are your clothes lumpy?
  • Never hold your Maine Coon on your lap to give it medication as it will associate your lap with an event it disliked and will never feel safe to sit there again

How to make your cat a lap cat

You may be able to change your Maine Coon into a lap cat but it will take a lot of kindness and patience.

It’s not a process you can rush and you should never force a cat to sit on your lap by holding it there against its will.

And you should be prepared not to succeed. Here are some tips from various owners:

  • Make sure your Maine Coon feels secure. A calm and stress-free environment is the key to your cat relaxing enough to sit still anywhere let alone on your lap.
  • Sit calmly and quietly in the same room as your cat. Keep noise to a minimum and make no sudden noises or movements. Relax and see what happens. Allow your Maine Coon to come to you in its own time if it wants to. Don’t expect results in one day.
  • If your Maine coon is asleep on the couch, slowly take a seat as far away from it as possible with a handful of its favorite treats. These are a very popular example. Carefully place a treat near your cat and if it responds, gradually entice it closer. If you manage to get your cat onto your lap, don’t try to keep it there. Give it the freedom to sit and then get down of its own accord.
  • If your Maine Coon does eventually get on your lap, stroking it may send it running again. Look for signs that a stroke is unwelcome, such as a flicking tail. Also, always let your cat leave your lap when it’s ready to as trying to hold it there will ensure it won’t want to come back another day.

Places where Maine Coons would rather sleep

Maine Coons sleep quite a lot and in the most unusual (and sometimes uncomfortable looking.) I often look at our two and think, why would you want to sleep there?

They lay on top of a pile of clutter on the coffee table, in a damp basin, amongst the pens and pencils on the office desk, and on a pile of lego on the playroom floor.

Harry had lots of favorite places

Our Harry seeks out various ‘beds’. Here are a few of his favorite places:

Are Maine Coon Cats Lap Cats? Cat in with the washing

Harry loves the laundry basket – he always seems to be in here when I want to put some washing on.

Are Maine Coon Cats Lap Cats? Cat in shopping basket

A shopping basket makes a very cozy bed, I suppose.

Are Maine Coon Cats Lap Cats? Cat in purse

Harry liked to sit In my purse – why I ask?

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats? Cat in wash basin

Harry si always in the bathroom basin when I want to wash my hands.

Charlie had some favorite places too

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats? Cat on draining board

Charlie often lays on the kitchen draining board – very handy for a drink as the tap was leaking at the time.

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats? cat in guitar case

Charlie sound asleep in a guitar case – he just knows this color sets his fur off beautifully.

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats? cat in painted box

Joe made the cats this box – I’m glad the paint was dry when Charlie tried it out! Harry was a bit jealous as he wanted to try it out first…

The first place our Maine Coons chose to sleep in our house

This photo of our boys in the dishwasher was taken within the first half an hour of us arriving home with them. They stayed there for about half an hour. Eventually, they came out for some food.

Are Maine Coons Lap Cats? Cats in a dishwasher

Are Maine Coon cats lap cats? – Conclusion

Some Maine Coons are lap cats and some just aren’t. You can encourage one to sit on you by following our suggestions. Don’t try to rush things.

If your Maine Coon never becomes a lap cat, don’t despair,  it will still be a pleasure and to own and will hopefully show its affection for you in many other ways.

One thing is certain, you will adore owning a Maine Coon.

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