The Maine Coon is not your average cat. Probably best known for being one of the largest domestic cats on the planet and having qualities similar to a dog, this cat has many unique traits.
We share our lives with four Maine Coons, Fred and Oscar who are 9-months-old, and Rosie and Mona who are 2. There’s never a dull moment in our house. Just before I began to update this article, Rosie chased a fly and knocked a candle from a ledge, breaking its glass holder. So if you’re wondering if Maine Coons are clumsy, I think I have the answer!
Maine Coons are exceptionally clumsy cats, especially when hunting; nothing in their path is safe! It is quite common for Maine Coons to knock objects from surfaces as they awkwardly step through them. In their defense, there’s a very good reason why Maine Coons are not as graceful as other cats.
The causes of Maine Coon clumsiness
Maine Coons have big paws
Having large paws poses a big problem when it comes to moving gracefully. Try as they might, Maine Coons are not as successful at stepping lightly among objects in your house as smaller-footed cats.
A Maine Coon’s clumsiness is not its fault. If you own a Maine Coon, it is wise to keep breakables in a safe place out of their reach.
Maine Coon Agility
The Maine Coon is certainly agile like any ordinary cat. But is it as agile as your regular moggy? Perhaps not. Yes, the Maine Coon is quick and you’ll soon realize this when you’re playing with it – one false move and you’ll have 10 claws embedded into your hand in no-time.
Continue to wriggle your hand and in less than a second you’ll have all 18 in (a cat has four claws on each of its hind legs).
So, its reactions are most definitely as quick as any other cat. Where you start to notice its size is when it is jumping up on something quite high or a little further away than normal. It takes the Maine Coon just a little longer it seems to prepare for these jumps and when they do actually jump, things seem to almost happen in slow motion!
With everything considered, I don’t believe the Maine Coon is quite as agile as your regular cat. Its size is the main factor here and it just takes a bit more effort for it to achieve those longer leaps.
Maine Coon Personality
The Maine Coon does things differently. It ignores the general rule that cats stop acting like kittens once they reach maturity. Although it certainly doesn’t like swimming in it, the Maine Coon does seem to tolerate water more than other breeds.
If you’re new to this breed, then forget what you know about your typical cat behavior – the Maine Coon has its own rule-book and you better read it!
Maine Coon Size
This is an important point when answering this question and more on this later but how big exactly is the Maine Coon typically and how big can it get?
A Maine Coon is usually longer, taller and heavier than a typical cat. The heaviest Maine Coon has come in at a whopping 34 lbs and was almost 47 inches long!
The large weight certainly isn’t fat though. They have a larger skeleton and larger muscles to deal with the extra power required to move themselves around quickly. Maybe not as muscular as the Norwegian Forest cat but still big.
The Maine Coon is a Hunter
The size of the Maine Coon plays a factor when it is hunting. It is a natural hunter and should be allowed to do this. Ii fact, if you let your Maine Coon outside then you won’t have much choice! It will hunt anything that moves smaller than something its own size. Not usually with an objective to kill though but to play and to sometimes bring back home as a little present for you.
We have had countless shrews, field mice, birds and the occasional rabbit brought in through our dog-sized ‘cat’ flap in the past. It’s less often these days as they age (they don’t go out as much) but give them a chance and they will.
What Does the Maine Coon do Differently?
The Maine Coon does many things differently to your average cat. They usually make a very good companion cat. Although they may not want to sit on your lap every evening (although the majority will) they will want to spend their time in your company.
They will become anxious if you leave them for long periods so if you know you’re going to be out of the house for most of the day, this isn’t the cat for you.
The Maine Coon will want to interact with you for long periods of time. This may involve playing or it could just be following you around the house or just ‘talking’ to you.
Although despite what a lot of people think, don’t like baths or swimming, they are certainly intrigued by water. Our Charlie will only drink from the tap in the kitchen. Unfortunately, he hasn’t worked out how to turn it on or off yet though, probably a good thing thinking about it actually.
How Does Their Size Affect Their Life?
The Maine Coon can be a lot larger than your average domestic cat, as you know. This can mean things work a little differently in your home if you’re used to a ‘normal’ feline.
The Maine Coon Cat Flap
Most people will find that your average cat flap is just too small for their Maine Coon. Like us, they will probably end up buying a small-dog flap instead. Remember, if the opening is narrower than the tips of their whiskers, they won’t be happy about using it (and actually may not use it).
The Maine Coon Diet
The Maine Coon will eat slightly more than your typical cat but the diet isn’t different. Ideally, they should eat a combination of wet and dry food and don’t forget that cats, in general, should not be given milk. It’s okay when they’re kittens but they become lactose intolerant at a later age. For more information about their diet, please check out this article (opens in a new window).
The Maine Coon has to Hunt Differently
This is actually where I’ve seen the biggest difference between how a regular cat and a Maine Coon hunt and it’s actually rather amusing to witness. They can look rather ungainly in the process. Their tactic when it comes to hunting is as follows:
- Find prey (being slightly larger they have more to choose from than your average cat.
- Stalk prey – they will keep as low as possible (difficult considering their size) and move forward as slowly and as slickly as possible towards the unfortunate victim.
- Pounce. Now, this is where things go a little differently to your typical cat-attack. The Maine Coon will often jump with all four legs stretched out as far as they can go. It looks a bit like a flying star-fish just not as elegant. The reason for this is that the little mouse (or whatever) will most likely notice the sun being blotted out by this enormous creature traveling slowly through the air. They will then begin their escape. The Maine Coon will hope that by extending their long paws as far as possible then perhaps something will make contact with the prey.
- They will most likely miss and then they will pretend they weren’t even trying anyway. Okay, I don’t know about this last bit but they do look embarrassed when they fail!
The Maine Coon cat is many things including a little clumsy at times, yes. Their big size combined with their relaxed and playful demeanor means that at times they will do things that seem quite uncharacteristic for cats typically.
This clumsy behavior is embedded into the personality of the Maine Coon and really just adds to the affection we hold for it. The amount of times my little boy has laughed at something our cats have done (and perhaps not meant to) is worth the amount we’re now spending on insurance every month itself 🙂
Insurance is something to seriously consider and you can expect this to cost around $25 per month (for a 1-year-old Maine Coon).
Lastly, if you’re after some different ways to entertain your Maine Coon, have a look at the Best Toys for a Maine Coon – these have been personally tested, aren’t expensive and would really recommend any of them!