Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?


Anyone who owns a Maine Coon knows these cats are not your average moggie! They are very different, in fact. The Maine Coon has a personality that is definitely not what you would call typical of a cat.

Having owned Maine Coons for over 25 years, a ‘moggie’ for 10 years and dogs too, this is a subject I know quite a bit about. Cats and dogs generally have quite different personalities but the Maine Coon does share some traits with man’s best friend. It makes this breed stand out from the others.

Are Maine Coons like dogs? Maine Coons often have dog-like dispositions. They are known to bond with their owners in the way dogs do and to demonstrate the same loving, loyalty. It is not unusual for a Maine Coon to play fetch or greet you at the door like a canine.

Let’s look at why Maine Coons have dog-like personalities.

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?

Maine Coon Personality

There are, of course, two main reasons why so many people are attracted to the Maine Coon these days and it is these reasons that are making it one of the most popular breeds of cat in North America and Europe.

Firstly, their physical appearance. There are few domesticated cats that have the ‘wow’ factor quite like the Maine Coon. They are devastatingly handsome and sometimes I think they know this 🙂

They use these good-looks to manipulate us to do things for them and I sometimes wonder whether they live in our house or we are living in theirs!

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?
Our Harry

Their good-looks may attract many people to this breed initially but it is the wonderful personality that the Maine Coon has that will keep owners so attached for such a long time.

If you have children I don’t think you can get a better cat, why? Personally, I put this down to their mischievous behavior – and kids love this. Let me give you an example.

What was one of the first things our two did when we got them? They both got into our dishwasher and fell asleep.

Then, one of them climbed up the curtains whilst the other climbed up our legs. I’ve had a kitten before and well, they’re all pretty naughty but the Maine Coon seems like something else!

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?

14 fantastic years later and they are both as healthy as ever and they never seemed to undergo the transition from kitten to mature cat. They skipped this bit as they were obviously enjoying being kittens way too much!

They both still dart around the house skidding on tables and knocking stuff off, much to my son’s pleasure. Yes, they may be a bit slower these days and yes, they might sleep a bit more than they used to but they still have the same naughty qualities that they did back then.

Maine Coon and Dog-Like Traits

One of the things that owners point out is that they seem to share some personality traits as dogs! This might seem a bit weird but as a long-term owner, I can confirm there does appear to be some truth in this.

Some Maine Coons will exhibit the below examples more than others. It’s just not possible to say that all cats in this breed will do these things.

I can only talk about my experience and what other owners have said. In my long experience with Maine Coons, we’ve had two out of the three that have performed these things more than the other one.

No idea why this is as they are all treated the same way but they are also all individuals like us and some just don’t like doing things that their canine friends do!

The Maine Coon Will Play Fetch – like a dog

This is probably the most obvious thing that you’ll notice. Our Harry will only do it with hairbands these days. In fact, I’m sure he’s storing these hairbands somewhere as they’ve all gone missing!

Occasionally, you’ll find one just lying near his food or near his toys – then it’ll be gone again.

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?

When Harry is in a playful mood, you can throw these hairbands a little way and he’ll run after it and pick it up in his mouth before returning it and dropping it in front of you.

It’s the most unusual behavior for cats. Well, most cats – remember the Maine Coon is different. In my head, they should be re-classified as the Cat Mk 2.

We’ve tried to throw other things but he doesn’t seem particularly interested in those, it’s just the hairbands usually for Harry.

Occasionally, when we throw something else like a little toy mouse he might pick it up but he certainly doesn’t bring it back.

He takes it somewhere, I reckon he puts it in the bin but I haven’t had this confirmed as yet. Unless it’s one of the (rapidly diminishing) hairbands, he’s just not interested.

Maine Coons don’t like being left alone like a dog

Dogs are sociable animals and to a lesser degree so are cats. Or maybe they’re the same, it’s just the cat doesn’t like to show weakness by admitting they’re going to miss you!

The Maine Coon knows when you’re up to something. Show them a cat carrier which we use to take to them to the vets and they’ll be off under the bed hiding in under 0.01 of a second. Show them an open suitcase and they’ll know that you’re going away somewhere.

Typically, this will mean that they will start sulking. They won’t play with you, they will barely look at you and if you’re not paying attention they will sneak into that suitcase in the vain hope that you’ll take them with you.

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?
Harry looking cross

Basically, they will want to make you feel as miserable as possible for leaving them. They know when you’re about to actually leave as well as they also know that you will want to say goodbye to them. They will hide so you can’t do this and you’ll feel bad throughout your holiday.

Things don’t get better on your return. They will ignore you and pretend you’re not there. I mean, how dare you leave them?

The only way this ends (in my experience) is by picking them up and giving them loads of cuddles. Eventually, although I’m sure they try and stop themselves from doing it, they can’t help but start purring. Then it’s back to normal.

We are extremely fortunate enough to have some lovely people stay in our house whilst we’re away. We don’t even try and fool ourselves by saying they’re looking after the house, that’s not what they are there for 🙂

Maine Coons are playful like dogs

In the way they play, many Maine Coon cats do act like dogs – behavior that is not typical of all cats. A Maine Coon starts playing when its paws first cross the threshold of its new home. It doesn’t really stop.

As I’ve mentioned previously, our two are 14 and have been playing since they were kittens.

This coming weekend we are going to pick up a large cat tree for them as we feel they need some more toys and things to play with, they’re 14! They should really be acting their age.

I’m only joking of course, I think it’s great for them to still be playing and probably a reason why they are still so fit and healthy.

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?

My impression of the Maine Coon is that they want to play with you a lot more than your typical cat. Not that there’s anything wrong with your average cat of course, I happen to love all animals. But I’m just saying that the Maine Coon will almost demand that you play with it.

We have a room that isn’t used much so we’ve basically dedicated it to our two cats.

Sometimes when we come down the stairs into this room, the two boys are just sitting there, amongst their toys, waiting for us to play with them. As soon as we do, they always yawn, which seems to be a common thing that cats do before they play…or it might just be our two 🙂

Anyway, they play with us for a bit until they get bored – then we end up getting them some new toys. Although rather funnily the thing they seem to keep going back to is this old soggy bit of string that they’ve been chasing for years. I sometimes wonder why I waste my money…

The Maine Coon Will Await Your Return like dogs

Often, when I come home from work one of my cats will be sitting on the windowsill looking out, waiting for my return – just like some dogs do.

As soon as I get up close to him, they will jump off and head to the play area (see point above). Whether they get used to the time you get back (like dogs) or whether it’s just completely random, I don’t know, but it does happen often.

I do find though that the longer you are aware the less bothered they are about your return. At least that’s the impression they like to give. It’s like they are genuinely disgusted with you for leaving them!

The Maine Coon Will Want to Spend Time With You – like dogs!

Dogs are very sociable animals, for sure – however, some cats can be too. The Maine Coon is one of those and absolutely wants to be in your company. On its terms.

Do please always remember that the Maine Coon is in charge and whilst you are sharing their house with them you will comply with all instructions.

They are not known for being a lap cat, although in my experience 2 out of 3 have been. They like to be in our company whenever possible but at their own distance. They want to be able to see you not necessarily being in touching distance.

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?

They will follow you around. Harry has his routines. In the morning when I get up for work he will follow me into the toilet where he will sit, facing me, just staring at me and making the occasional noise.

When I get up to go into the shower, that’s his cue to leave and he gets back into bed. It’s like he’s saying, ‘Good Morning’.

They May Want to Share Your Bed With You – like dogs

This was an odd one and certainly hasn’t happened to me with any other breeds. One of our Maine Coons would want to spend the night in my room when I slept. Just being in the same room wasn’t good enough for him though and nor was sleeping on the bed.

What Oscar wanted to do was actually get in. So he did. If I didn’t lift the duvet for him he would sit there looking and eventually just burrow his way in where I could just hear him purring all night.

This was fine until one night, he decided to bring a mouse into bed, half-alive. That is another story.

Conclusion

I enjoyed writing this article. In fact, if truth be told I enjoy writing all these articles as we can base so much of the content around the two Maine Coons we have.

As I write this, our white Maine Coon, Charlie is curled up beside me and I know that Harry, our naughty ginger cat is upstairs in the same room as my son.

He likes to keep an eye on him I think. Or maybe that’s where he picks up his naughty habits, who knows!

Are Maine Coons Like Dogs?
Our son Joe with Charlie

Anyway, if you’d like to know a bit more about this fantastic breed of cat, do check out our Complete Guide to the Maine CoonOpens in a new tab. article where you can find pretty much anything you ever wanted to know about this awesome cat!

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Matt

I'm Matt Pettitt, joint founder of the Pets Knowledge Base alongside my wife, Jane. Since I was just 2 years of age I've had pets in my life - which I don't mind admitting is 47 years! I strongly believe that when you introduce a pet into your family you should do everything you can to give it the best life possible. I've learned a lot during the past (almost) five decades and this blog gives me a medium to share everything I have learned ( both good and bad) about pets. If you'd like to know more about us, and how to contact us - take a look at our About page here!

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