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Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?

Maine Coon kittens, like babies of all cat breeds, are playful and into everything. They charge about your home, chasing toys, string and whatever else you choose to entertain them with. They will also entertain themselves batting at things that dangle, such as window-blind cords. But what happens when they grow up? Can the Maine Coon cat be classed as passive or busy?

Are Maine Coons lazy? Maine Coons can be quite lazy and there is a very good reason for this – they are conserving their energy for when they might really need it. Cats are not naturally active all day long and it is perfectly normal for Maine Coons to spend up to 18 hours each day asleep.

This article explains the apparent laziness in cats and what you should do to ensure your Maine Coon is active enough each day to keep it mentally and physically healthy.

Why People Think Cats are Lazy

So why do we label cats as lazy?

It might be because cats don’t have the same daily routine as us. We think 7 to 8 hours of sleep per night is optimum. We are educated to know that a certain amount of exercise each day is good for our health and we know roughly how much we should eat. Not that all of us stick to this plan! When we notice our cats sleeping for at least double the time we do it is natural to think of them as being lazy creatures.

Let’s look at a cat’s typical day from a cat’s point of view. A cat subconsciously conserves its energy in order to hunt and catch its next meal. This might involve a long prowl until prey is spotted, tense and stealthy stalking, followed by an energetic pounce or a fast chase.

The end result could be that the prey escapes. This sequence of events may need to be repeated several times and it may or may not be successful. And of course, there is a chance that nothing will come along to be preyed upon in the first place.

Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?

Of course, our Maine Coons don’t have to rely on their hunting skills to eat and replenish their energy supplies because we feed them. Buts still, it’s their natural instincts that drive their behaviour. After a cat has eaten the food you have provided, it will sleep to conserve its energy in case it has to expend a lot of energy the hunting its next meal.

If you watch nature programs you will notice that wildcats behave in exactly this way. They bask in the sun, using little energy so that they are able to hunt their next meal successfully.

So, in their heart our domestic kitties are wildcats at heart.

Is it Fair to Call Maine Coons Lazy?

Maine Coon cats are not really lazy. They exhibit the same activity levels as most cats. In reality, domestic cats are nocturnal creatures and naturally would choose to hunt during the night and sleep most of the day if given the opportunity. As many domestic cats are kept in at night – and in particular, many Maine Coons are not allowed out at any time – they don’t exhibit these nocturnal habits.

Typical Maine Coon Activity in Our Household

In our experience, a Maine Coons daily activity level varies depending on what’s going on around it. We have two boys and they have two different types of day:

  • The type when someone’s home all day.
  • The type when no-one is home all day.

Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?

When Someone is Home All Day

One of our Maine Coons is quite active first thing in the morning. He visits us in bed quite early, purring loudly in the hope that we will get up to feed him. He follows us to the bathroom and then races down the stairs to the kitchen.

The other one will then appear just in time for breakfast, having let his brother do all the legwork in getting us up to prepare their food. After breakfast, both boys pop outside.

When they come in they will hang about with whoever is home, lay all over our work and laptops, generally get in the way and be quite receptive to play sessions. They then settle down for a nap nearby. If whoever is home moves about the cats often follow to see what’s going on.

If it’s a sunny day they may bask outside for a while or partake in a little hunting or butterfly chasing. After their evening meal, they both tend to sleep but can be cajoled into playing quite easily. When we go to bed, they go to sleep.

When No-one is Home All Day

The morning and evening routines are the same but both cats sleep a lot more during the hours that we are out.

Indoor Only Maine Coons and Activity

It is very easy for indoor Maine Coons to become bored and inactive. They need an enriched, stimulating environment to occupy some of each day, especially if you are out for most of it. Without this, it is all too easy for an indoor cat to eat, sleep, repeat. Provide scratching posts, a cat tree (here are three excellent examples), plenty of toys, space to explore and windows to view the world from.

Also, be very careful to feed an indoor cat the right amount to prevent it from becoming overweight. An overweight cat can easily become lethargic and develop health problems. Here’s the perfect article to help with diet: Is My Maine Coon Overweight? Without adequate mental stimulation, a cat can start to exhibit mental problems and unwanted behavior.

Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?

Maine Coons That Go Outside

If a Maine Coon is allowed outside, it will find more natural ways to keep active and stimulated. Even though it is well fed at home, it will instinctively hunt. This is an activity that Maine Coons generally enjoy. It may navigate its way over walls and fences and explore the general area.

Any movement will catch its eye causing it to carry out an investigation. It may climb a tree or clamber onto a shed roof to soak up the sun. There are endless opportunities for activity and mental stimulation. Even so, you will probably notice it will find a spot to sleep for hours outside on a sunny day.

Males vs Females: Which Is Lazier?

There seems to be a general consensus of opinions that females are slightly more active than males. Having only owned males I can’t vouch for this and as I find it hard to believe that a thorough and accurate survey on this matter has ever been conducted I’m not going to claim that either is lazier or more active than the other.

Four Good Reasons to Play With Your Maine Coon Every Day

Just two sessions of play for 10 or 15 minutes every day can benefit your Maine Coon so much, no matter what its age.

Prevent Lethargy

As cats get older they can slip into the habit of sleeping more and more each day. This is quite often down to boredom. Invest in a variety of toys and keep your cat active and healthy. A few good ideas are:

  • A Cats Dancer/Teaser – you can literally encourage your cat to stalk and chase just like it does when it hunts. These are so cheap – here’s one I love and it gets fantastic reviews too
  • A laser pointer – cats love to chase the little red dot
  • Cat Springs – these get rave reviews and are so cheap. Click here or more info

Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?

Weight Control

Another important reason to encourage your cat to play is to relieve the boredom that can drive it to eat too much. This means it will not eat for the sake of it and hopefully will not become overweight. The end result will be a happier, healthier cat. This Tower of Tracks is extremely popular at the moment and your cat can play with even when you’re not around.


When you play with your cat the pair of you are able to bond. Your cat will feel happy and secure with you and enjoy the activity, which again will keep it active and healthy.

Mental Stimulation

Playing with a cat keeps it alert mentally which staves off boredom. Bored cats can exhibit all sorts of unwanted behavior such as scratching your furniture and peeing outside the litter box.

Conclusion – are Maine Coons lazy or active?

As the definition of lazy is an unwillingness to move I don’t think it’s fair to label Maine Coons as lazy. I wouldn’t describe them as overly active either. They are naturally as active as cats should be as long as they are given the space and stimulation to be so. If a Maine Coon s lazier than it should be it is because of its lifestyle.

The key things to keep a Maine Coon as active as it should be are:

  • Let it outside if it is safe to do so where it will partake in natural cat activity
  • If it is an indoor only cat, provide it with plenty to stimulate it in your home
  • Have happy play sessions with your cat every day

And, if your Maine Coon spends about 16 hours asleep each day, don’t worry – this is perfectly natural cat behavior.

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Are Maine Coons Lazy or Active?
A rare cuddle between brothers, Charlie (left) and Harry.
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