Maine Coons are large cats with lots of fur and huge personalities. If you want a cat that’s sociable and friendly, this breed is ideal. With all their fluff and energy, are Maine Coons easy to look after?
Taking care of Maine Coons is easy as long as you look after their coats properly with regular grooming sessions. This is not difficult or time-consuming if you do a little each day. Other than this, Maine Coons are as easy to care for and have the same needs as any cat.
What does a Maine Coon Need?
Basic Maine Coon care is straightforward. All you actually need to do is:
- Provide good quality food at regular intervals and make sure your cat has access to clean water.
- Provide a secure, enriched environment for your cat.
- Ensure you interact and play with it daily.
- Don’t leave it alone for long periods of time.
- Keep it healthy with regular vet check-ups (annually), and vaccinations.
- Maintain its coat by grooming gently, little and often to prevent its coat from matting.
- Make sure it has plenty of space to exercise.
Are the above things difficult? Not really and actually most of them apply to any cat. Obviously, the Maine Coon has a long coat (that does actually take a bit of maintenance) but playing with them is not a chore.
Maine Coon Diet
You can feed a Maine Coon the same diet as any cat. Choose a good quality, high-protein food, and ensure you don’t overfeed.
Maine Coons can easily become overweight, especially if they are indoor cats – so work out how much to feed your cat according to its weight and ensure it has plenty of play sessions daily.
Maine Coon Health
The Maine Coon is generally a healthy breed but like all cats, has some known health problems that you should be aware of.
Typically, the Maine Coon will live to at least 12 or 13 years of age but this is only an estimate! The chances are if your Maine Coon reaches maturity, it will live a long, happy life.
Maine Coon grooming
Grooming should be started at the kitten stage so that it is accepted. If you do a little every day, it isn’t a chore. Neglecting to groom can lead to painful mats which might have to be shaved.
So, keep on top of their coat requirements and don’t make life harder for yourself than it need be.
The Maine Coon Temperament
The Maine Coon is not your typical cat. They have a distinctive personality that may be regarded as mischievous or even just downright naughty! They will not be content to just be left and get on with life themselves – they thrive in the company of humans.
Maine Coons are Mischievous
There’s no doubt that the Maine Coon will take an opportunity to get up to no good. Whether it’s sitting on your coffee table knocking random things off or running away with something you own in its mouth, the Maine Coon likes to keep itself occupied.
Maine Coons are Inquisitive
The Maine Coon likes to know what’s going on at all times. Don’t be surprised if they follow you into the bathroom to see what you’re doing in there.
As you’re sitting on the toilet they will sit opposite you, staring. It’s most off-putting sometimes 🙂 If you don’t pay them any attention they will meow so you have to. They are not a cat that likes to be ignored!
If you open any cupboard or go into a room they haven’t seen before (like the loft or attic) they will want to know what’s going on in there.
What drives them absolutely crazy is when you open a door just an inch, so they can see through but can’t quite squeeze in. They will be desperate to get in and find out what treasures lie inside this magical room of mystery.
Don’t think you can quickly run into the bathroom and shut the door as soon as you get in. If they don’t quite get there in time they will sit outside, meowing as loud as they can to quite literally force you to open the door and let them in.
When they finally enter, they will sit opposite you, staring. Personally, I think they’re just playing with us.
We’ve had Maine Coons for many years (over 25 now) and one of ours (Harry) does just this. It’s now part of his routine in the morning. When I get up for work in the morning he will follow me into the bathroom and do the whole staring thing whilst I give him a little tickle.
When I then start the shower, that’s his cue to get the hell out. Whilst we’re on the subject of showers (and water) – there seems to be this myth that Maine Coons just love water.
It’s not true. They tolerate it and they may indeed drink from a tap (like ours) but they don’t enjoy baths any more than any other cat.
Are Maine Coons Loving?
The Maine Coon is not described as a lap cat and I would generally agree with this. Yes, occasionally ours will sleep on our laps, but it’s not that often and I would argue that they only do this as a last resort, perhaps when they have really cold paws.
In fact, most of the time they would rather sleep on a hard table with loads of bits and stuff under them than on our comfy laps. But you can’t force them to do this.
On the occasion
Just because they don’t spend much time on our laps doesn’t mean they are not loving though! The Maine Coon will want to spend their time in our company. It will be on their own terms and at their own distance but they will want to know where we are.
Occasionally, you can get a bit of impromptu affection. One of our
Strangely, it’s only Charlie that does this, his brother, Harry and our previous Maine Coon has not done this.
Maine Coons are Playful
The Maine Coon will be playful throughout its life. For as long as they are physically able to move, they will be more than happy to play with you.
I can tell you first-hand this is the case as ours are both 14 now and haven’t stopped. One has a little more energy than the other nowadays but playing forms an important part of the requirements for a Maine Coon.
They need interaction with us to be content as they are one of the most social breeds of cat around. Cats just change when they are playing with you – their whole demeanor changes.
They will do a little stretch and maybe a little yawn (to get a bit of extra oxygen into them before they exert themselves) and then run around chasing after whatever it is you’re pulling around the floor.
Are Maine Coons OK with Kids?
The Maine Coon is great with kids, yes! However, children need to be educated as to how to interact with cats. It’s easy for children to be too rough with them and this can cause real problems with your cat’s anxiety levels.
Children need to know that the cat isn’t one of their toys that they can prod and poke. The Maine Coon will just know that it shouldn’t lash out at children but like all animals, it will have its limits.
If the cat feels threatened or becomes scared it might become aggressive as it feels it needs to. This isn’t, of course, the fault of the Maine Coon but the fault of the owner for not educating their children!
Generally though, the Maine Coon makes a wonderful companion to a child (or children) growing up. I think what children like is how naughty this cat is. Perhaps the difference is the Maine Coon can get away with this naughty behavior, the child can’t 🙂
My son loves our cats. He loves playing with them and just being in their company. I think it has helped make him a more ’rounded’ child, in
Maine Coons and Other Cats
It is possible for the Maine Coon to live with other cats, yes – but it won’t work overnight. The very best time to do this is during the socialization stage during those first few weeks of ownership.
It is during this time that you should introduce your Maine Coon to as many different cats and people as possible. This really helps them become more tolerant with them throughout their lives.
Introductions should be managed carefully though and introduced slowly over time to ensure they become accustomed to each other slowly. It is the first few days that are the most important. Get this wrong and it may never
Can Maine Coons Live With Dogs?
The Maine Coon can live with dogs but it is not really recommended. With many dogs, the cat is generally seen as prey and although they might get on fabulously for years, one day their natural instinct may reemerge and the dog will try and attack the cat. Some dogs, such as the Siberian Husky has a very high prey drive and it is very rare for this breed to get along with cats at all.
If you do choose to go down this route, then (like the cat introductions mentioned above) you need to take your time and have a lot of patience!
Can Maine Coons Live Inside?
It’s a common misconception that cats in the wild only last for a few years. Actually, wild cats usually live longer than domestic cats! So, they are mostly perfectly capable of looking after themselves outside, to an extent.
Cat’s are meant to go outside and in my opinion, keeping them inside is a shame. The Maine Coon is a hunting cat and deserves to do what it was naturally built to do. If you live in an area where it is safe to do so, they should absolutely be allowed out.
On the other hand, if you live in an area where the Maine Coon will have a lot of predators then I can understand why you might be concerned about letting them out.
Or, you might live in an apartment where it’s just not possible. However, you could argue that with the number of cat breeds available to buy, there are plenty that better suited to an indoor life than a Maine Coon.
As long as you are prepared, the Maine Coon shouldn’t provide any more problems than your ‘average’ cat. Hopefully, you will have seen from this article that owning Maine Coons, like we have done for over a quarter of a century now is a totally immersive, rewarding experience for not only you, but for your whole family.
If you’d like to know more about this astonishing breed, then do check out my Complete Guide to the Maine Coon – where you will find quite literally everything you ever wanted to know about this cat.