The Maine Coon is a most unusual breed. But then, you probably know this already! It may be best known for its large size but there is so much more to this breed than its bulk! In fact, even if the Maine Coon was just regular-sized I think it would still be incredibly well known as its personality is somewhat…unique!
So, considering the sometimes-peculiar nature of this cat, do we need to worry about its well-being if we are considering keeping one in an apartment?
Especially if it’s a small apartment that you have? It’s a great question and the very fact that you are actively searching for it means you are probably the right person to own one. But would keeping a Maine Coon inside be detrimental to its happiness? Let’s find out…
Are Maine Coons good for apartments? The Maine Coon cat is not best suited for a life in an apartment, especially if it is a small apartment. Its natural desire to hunt and spend time outside means that it won’t be able to live a full life if prevented from doing so. There are many other breeds of cat that are better suited to living in an apartment than a Maine Coon cat.
What qualities make a cat good for an apartment?
It might sound like I’m stating the obvious but the best type of cat for an apartment is one that isn’t particularly bothered about going outside! But, is the Maine Coon one of these cats?
Well, the qualities you want to look for in a cat that will live its life in an apartment are:
- Lap Cat – if a cat can be considered a lap cat then it may well have the qualities that you need. For instance, this type of cat will be content and will most likely desire your affection. It’s not always the case that a cat that spends a lot of time on its owner’s lap will not be fussed about going outside – but it certainly can be a sign. If you’d like to know whether the Maine Coon is a lap cat – take a look at my article here.
- Older Cats – like ourselves, cats slow down as they grow older. They are generally less likely to want to go outside and hunt and less likely to want to play. These cats, not having the same desire as younger cats will be more content to stay inside. Remember though, not all cats are the same and some breeds of cat are more likely to fall into this category than others.
- Neutered Cats – an un-neutered cat will most likely have a stronger desire to go outside and protect its territory than one that is neutered. They will want to find a mate, which they will obviously not be able to find in the confines of your home!
- Breed Profile – some breeds are just more likely to be accepting of life inside than others. For instance, the Ragdoll cat is commonly kept inside by its owners all the time whereas the Siamese is a cat that wants to play and thrives on outside life.
Of course, it’s difficult to group cats into distinct profiles based on their breed. Although that can play a part, all cats are individuals and anyone who has owned more than one cat will know that each one has its own, unique personality.
What kind of personality does the Maine Coon have?
The Maine Coon’s personality is bigger than its size. It has sometimes been described as a cat-version of a dog and there’s a good reason for this. It is a playful breed and will often play fetch with you if you throw something small (like a hairband) during playtime. Amongst other traits that you can discover if you’d like to check out the above article (opens in a new tab).
Talking of playtime, the Maine Coon is a very playful breed and will still want to play in older age. Will they play as much as when they were a kitten? No, of course not but they definitely still want to play when older. In my experience, the Maine Coon wants to play more than other breeds that I’m familiar with.
Is the Maine Coon a ‘lap cat’? Well, you could read this article we wrote just focusing on this but in summary, the Maine Coon is not well known for being a lap cat. They may occasionally jump up but usually this is just because their paws are cold – not because they want any attention from you!
Talking of attention – I sometimes wonder if the Maine Coon actually needs us at all! They certainly enjoy human company but they also want that company on their own terms. Our Maine Coons have always wanted to be close to us but not necessarily too close. It’s rare that they slept on our bed at night but it’s also rare that at least one of them hasn’t been in our bedroom at night. Close….but not that close.
Did our Maine Coons like going outside?
As far as going outside, ours especially when younger were in their element when they were outside. Sometimes they would explore the local area for hours and occasionally they would be gone for over a day.
We didn’t always know where they went but sometimes we would find one of them just sleeping in with some plants in our garden. They would rather have done that than spent time in our nice, warm, comfy house!
So I think it’s safe to say that the Maine Coon is not an indoor cat. At least in our long experience. So when we ask ourselves, ‘are Maine Coons good for apartments’ we really need to bear this in mind – it’s just not their preferred environment!
What do I know about Maine Coons?
Talking of experience – what do we actually know about the Maine Coon cat? I’ve owned Maine Coons for over twenty-five years so, without trying to sound big-headed, I think I know this breed quite well. Although all cats are individuals, there are common traits that are shared between all individuals in the breed.
At the moment, we have just one – Harry, who’s now 15! Harry lost his brother, Charlie, about four months ago which was very difficult for us (it still makes us upset thinking about it now).
However, they both enjoyed playing despite being older and Harry still would much rather go out in the pouring rain when it’s windy and cold than using a litter tray inside!
So, we base the things that we say on this site based not only on research but on our own personal experience. You see so much rubbish posted online these days that it’s important to know that the information you’re getting is coming from a reliable source and I hope we can be that source for you here!
What environment best suits the Maine Coon?
The best environment for the Maine Coon is a safe, comfy environment where they have access to the outside world. Ideally, they will share their home with another Maine Coon which can help potential separation anxiety if there’s not going to be anyone in the house for more than a few hours at a time (more on this later).
The Maine Coon will want to go outside. Whether you let it is of course up to you but whereas other breeds of cat may be accepting of this, the Maine Coon will not be. The Maine Coon thrives in the outside environment and although it’s perfectly feasible for an owner to keep one inside for the entirety of its life, it seems a shame to do this when there are so many other breeds of cat that are better suited for you.
The Maine Coon will want to be kept entertained so if you have kids – this is a great breed for the family. You should always be ready to play with them and they will likewise keep you entertained. Sometimes in the middle of the night.
In summary, the Maine Coon is an easy cat to look after as long as you can provide the following:
- Lots of love
- Lots of energy
- A safe environment where no dogs reside
- Potentially another Maine Coon (similar age)
- An environment where they can access their outside world when they wish (via a cat flap)
- An assurance that you won’t leave them on their own for more than a few hours. If you’re out at work and they are at home by themselves, this is not the cat for you.
Can Maine Coons be left alone?
The Maine Coon cat is not one that should be left alone for long periods, especially if they are being prevented from going outside. If you need to spend a full day at work and there isn’t anyone to keep your Maine Coon company during this time then they may well start to suffer from anxiety. This can lead to some serious medical complications if left ignored.
The Maine Coon isn’t unique here though. Although there are exceptions, no cat should really be left alone all day in your house.
What problems will you have if you keep the Maine Coon Inside?
The problems you will have with your Maine Coon might not be noticeable at first. The issues they have, if they are constrained to a relatively small indoor environment, will manifest over time. We have to be quite general here of course as no two cats are the same but they will most likely start to suffer from anxiety-related problems.
You may notice this if they become particularly quiet and don’t seem to have the same energy levels as they once had. You may notice that they are going to the toilet in places other than their litter tray. They may go off their food. There can be lots of symptoms associated with anxiety but in summary, they may appear depressed.
Of course, you may have a Maine Coon that is perfectly accepting of an indoor environment but generally speaking, this is not the case.
The Maine Coon is a mischievous, fun-loving, high-energy, wonderful breed of cat that is fantastic in a family environment. However, they have a strong urge to spend time outside and I feel it would be a shame if someone who lives in an apartment intended to keep one.
There are so many different breeds of cat and so many that are better suited to this environment. Having an apartment does not mean you can’t have a cat, not by a long shot. But, you should make sure you get the right one for the environment and that does not include the Maine Coon!