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Are Maine Coons Independent?

People who are not home all day often choose cats rather than dogs as pets because it feels easier to leave them home alone. Whereas dogs are known to pine, chew stuff or bark, it is assumed a cat will be absolutely fine if left to its own devices for the day. Is this really true?

Are Maine Coons independent? Maine Coons can be independent cats in as much as they don’t like to be the subject of another’s authority. However, when it comes to subsistence they are quite happy to let their independence slide and rely on their owners to provide everything they need.

If you’ve ever wondered if a female Maine Coon is more independent than a male, the answer is she can be. However, no-one can claim this as a fact because the amount of independence a Maine Coon displays is dependent on how it is treated and is not really related to whether it is male or female.

We take an in-depth look at Maine Coon independence and reveal what leads to a Maine Coon behaving more independently. You may be surprised!

Are Maine Coons indepedent? Red tabby

Cats are generally more independent than dogs because their ancestors were not pack animals in the way canines were. But Maine Coons are not like your average cat and can be more dog-like in their behavior.

They are much happier in company than being left alone. So it is fair to say a Maine Coon is not your usual aloof and independent cat.

What is an Independent Cat?

So what do we actually mean when we’re talking about a cat being independent? When we talk about a person being independent we mean they are able to look after themselves by finding food, keeping happy and staying healthy – without the reliance on other people.

With cats, it’s quite similar. An independent cat will often want to spend a reasonable amount of time outside, rain or shine. It will hunt and bring you presents (these presents will usually be dead and slightly chewed).

A cat that is independent will usually be quite comfortable in its own company and will not mind that much if you go out, leaving it alone for hours at a time.

How Independent is the Maine Coon?

Having owned Maine Coons for over twenty-five years, I think I can answer this question with some authority. A Maine Coon shows many signs of independence however there is no getting around the fact that it loves people!

The Maine Coon is a breed that loves to be outside given the opportunity. It will lie out in the sun for hours on end rather than being inside. It will venture out into a rainy night because it wants to hunt.

Then, with cold, wet, muddy, paws, it will come back in and sit on your lap until its paws warm up a little!

Are Maine Coons Independent?
Harry and Charlie

The inquisitive Maine Coon will follow you around the house, wanting to know where you are going and what you are up to. That includes following you into the bathroom and sitting, staring at you whilst you do your, errr, business. They will look sad when you leave them and will refuse to speak to you when you get back.

So, the Maine Coon has several qualities that would make anyone come to the conclusion that this is indeed an independent cat. However, underneath all of this is an underlying need to be close to people.

Does it matter if a Maine Coon isn’t independent?

Whether it matters or not depends on you. A Maine Coon is going to act like a Maine Coon, whether you like it or not! You just have to decide whether the behaviors and temperament of this breed match your lifestyle and requirements.

The main thing you need to focus on is whether you’re going to be able to give this cat everything it needs to flourish and have a happy life. But what is that exactly? Well, in my opinion, you need to give it freedom. Freedom to explore and be as close (or as far) from you as it wishes.

Are Maine Coons Independent?
Our Harry

So, if you are looking for a cat that will look after itself to an extent but prefer to spend a lot of time with you, then the Maine Coon is that cat.

However, if you’re looking for a cat that doesn’t depend on you too much and won’t mind being shut indoors alone day-after-day while you are out at work, then a Maine Coon might not be the best choice.

Does a Maine Coon mind being left alone?

In my experience, a Maine Coon certainly does not like being left alone for extended periods. In some ways, you can think of a Maine Coon as being more like a small dog.

Would you leave a dog home alone for most of the day? The answer is probably no and should also be no for a Maine Coon. This is a breed that doesn’t particularly like to be left alone for extended periods. Yes, it may have some independence, but there is a limit.

Again, if you are in a position where there’s not going to be anyone home all day, consider a more independent breed. The Maine Coon needs company and stimulation and you need to be able to provide it.

One option you could consider is to do what we did – buy more than one cat so they can keep each other company.

Should You Buy More Than One Maine Coon?

When we acquired Harry and Charlie (brothers), 15 years ago, we weren’t originally looking for two cats but changed our minds. I’m so glad we did. I wouldn’t say they spent every waking moment with each other but they were usually in relatively close proximity, especially when outside.

Are Maine Coons Independent?
Harry (naughty ginger Maine Coon) and Charlie (who I miss enormously)

You may have noticed that I said ‘spent’ as in past-tense. This is because, heart-breakingly, we lost Charlie recently due to liver failure. We were, and still are, devastated, and it hurts to look at photos of him at the moment.

Harry, our ginger Maine Coon, has been different since Charlie left us. He seems more distant, less playful and just … sadder. I have no idea what goes through their heads when these things happen but something isn’t right.

We’re making every effort to spend as much time as possible with him so he doesn’t feel alone and we’ve made a right mess out of our living room by transferring a lot of his ‘stuff’ into it, just so he might spend more time with us (see pic below):

Are Maine Coons Independent?
Harry (can you spot him?) and his ‘things’ in our living room

So, anyway – yes, buying a second Maine Coon may be an option for you. I’ve owned a Maine Coon by itself and also two at a time. If I ever had to make the decision again, I would get two again.

Can you make a Maine Coon more independent?

No, you can’t change the personality of a Maine Coon. An, why would you want to? You’re introducing this astonishing cat into your home for the next decade (or two!) and hopefully, you’re doing this not just because of its amazing appearance but because of its incredible personality.

The Maine Coon is a unique breed of cat that has a very distinctive, unique personality. Yes, each Maine Coon is slightly different from another but we can speak broadly here when we say that there is no cat quite like the Maine Coon.

The question about independence is irrelevant when you understand what their personality is like.

Are female Maine Coons more independent than males?

Many people believe female Maine Coons are more independent than males. However, owners tell different stories.

The truth is, how independent a Maine Coon is has a lot to do with how it is socialized, how much its owner allows it to become either dependent or independent, and on the cat’s inherited personality traits.

It cannot simply be claimed that females are more independent than males, or vice versa. Every Maine Coon is unique and has its own individual behavioral quirks.

Take a look at Maine Coon Male vs Female to see how the genders compare.

Are Maine Coons Independent? – Conclusion

Maine Coons can seem independent in certain situations but most of the time they are big, soppy, cuddly cats! That said, they are not totally clingy.

A Maine Coon will survive if you leave it alone now and then, but, generally, this is a cat who loves to be around people. Maine Coons are more than just pets. They are loving, loyal cats and like to integrate themselves into your life.

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