Are Maine Coons Protective?


Dogs are known for their tenacious devotion to their human parents, but is there such thing as a guarding cat? Are Maine Coons protective?

Maine Coon cats can be just as protective of their owners as dogs are of theirs. Their attachment to humans can lead them to instinctively guard them from perceived dangers. Maine Coons often watch protectively over babies in the way they might guard their own kittens.

Are Maine Coons protective? Maine Coon babysitting
My Maine Coon Harry the babysitter

Maine Coons are intelligent cats and naturally detect dangers. Their acute sense of hearing and smell alerts them to the approach of people or animals long before ours does.

A Maine Coon’s protective behavior

Your Maine Coon may be protecting you without your knowledge. Here are the signs to look out for:

Communicating with its voice

Cats use meowing as a way of communicating with us. You soon get to know if a meow means your cat is hungry, wants a door opened, or just requires your attention.

Sometimes, there is no obvious reason why your cat is meowing at you. This is when it can pay to investigate.

Cats have been known to alert their owners to real dangers such as gas leaks, fires, carbon monoxide fumes, and burglars.

Following you everywhere

Many Maine Coons follow their owners around their home. This to keep a check on what you’re doing and to make sure you’re OK. Yes, it’ protective behavior but your cat also feels more secure being near to you.

Are Maine Coons protective? Maine Coon in a cat tree

Growling at newcomers

Maine Coons will growl like dogs in certain situations. You may notice this when stranger enters your home, a car pulls up outside or another cat enters your yard.

A growl is basically to warn intruders to keep off your cat’s territory. It is definitely a protective action.

Physical behavior

Your cat can get physical when it comes to protecting its human. Maine coons have shown their protective instincts by scratching and biting aggressors and jumping on children who are looking to play with something dangerous. Some cats also try to “rescue” their owners from drowning in the bath or shower.

Your mail carrier may often be greeted by your Maine coon’s low, threatening growl, and it’s not because your cat really hates getting bills. A Maine coon will growl at strangers because they are imposing on its home. Your cat wants to protect its safe space along with the people it loves.

Are Maine Coons protective? Grey Maine Coon amber eyes

What makes Maine Coons protective?

Maine Coons, like all cats, treat people just like they do other cats. They rub against us, sit with us, and even groom us.

Most of the behavior a cat exhibits towards its humans bears a resemblance to the behavior exhibited between a mother cat and her kittens.

Can Maine Coons be overprotective?

In some cases, Maine Coon can be overprotective to the point of aggression. Pay close attention to your cat’s body language as it can help you to determine if it is protecting to the point of becoming aggressive.

Signs of an overprotective Maine Coon

To tell if your cat is in an overprotective mood, look for the following signals:

  • Dilated pupils
  • Tail swishing quickly
  • Ears flattened
  • Claws out
  • Teeth bared
  • Crouched low
  • Hissing or growling
  • Biting or scratching

How to deal with an overprotective Maine Coon

An overprotective Maine Coon is often fearful, and fear can quickly result in aggressive behavior. But don’t worry, there are easy ways to calm a cat so peace can reign again.

Never punish an aggressive cat as this will not help the situation. Equally, you should not pander to an aggressive cat as it may well perceive this as your approval of its behavior.

Don’t retreat fearfully from an aggressive cat as the cat will perceive this as a win. Ideally, as long as no other pet is in danger, everyone in your home should walk away and let the cat naturally unwind.

Are Maine Coons protective? Maine Coon and mouse

Are Maine Coons protective of anything else?

Many Maine Coons will protect what they perceive to be their resources in and around your home. They will guard their territory, food, bedding and anything they consider theirs.

Protecting items like this is often termed resource guarding and is really a form of aggression.

Here are some common examples:

Food bowls

A cat may become aggressive towards other household cats and pets as you start to prepare its food. You might spot a Maine Coon blocking another cat’s way into the kitchen

A Maine Coon may gulp its food as quickly as possible and then try to muscle in on another cat’s meal, pushing it out of the way. It may growl or hiss at and even attack the other cat.

Occasionally, a Maine Coon may lash out at or bite a person if they perceive they are trying to take food away before they’ve finished with it.

To resolve these issues, feed your cats in separate areas so that they can relax and eat meals at their own pace without feeling threatened.

Using something as a screen to block direct eye contact between cats often really helps. Keep your hands clear of food bowls while cats are eating.

Are Maine Coons protective? Maine Coon laying in litter box

Litter box

Cats feel at their most vulnerable when they are using their litter box because they are in an ideal position to be ambushed. This is why some sprint off like crazy things a soon as they have finished.

In multi-cat households, one may try to prevent the other from getting near the litter box or may even pounce on it as it’s using or exiting the box.

The ideal solution is to have one litter box per cast located in separate rooms. Also, to alleviate a cat’s nervous feelings about using the litter box, ensure it has a clear view of comings and goings to know it won’t be ambushed.

I never recommend covered litter boxes because rather than giving cats privacy, they take away their ability to see what’s nearby or approaching.

Favorite toys

As a cat uses a toy, it transfers its scent to it. In a multi-cat household, this can become a problem when another cat takes the favorite toy. even kittens can squabble over toys.

The best course of action is prevention. If you spot an aggressive situation developing, intervene by distracting both cats away from the toy. A laser pointer is an excellent way to do this because a little red dot doesn’t belong to any cat!

Also, keep a good store of toys and swap them over regularly. Play with cats every day to keep them stimulated and happy.

Are Maine Coons protective? Maine Coon and toys

Scratching posts and other cat furniture

Cats love to adopt the high ground, literally. They feel safe when they can purvey their environment from above. A cat tree is perfect to satisfy this urge.

Of course, if you have more than one cat using the same cat furniture, you might run into issues if one cat feels it is the owner. One cat may attack the other as it lounges on a shared cat tree or try to stop it from using it altogether.

One solution is to have multiple cat trees and scratching posts and reposition them regularly. Hopefully, this will lower a cat’s feelings of possession.

Maine Coons protecting other creatures

Maine Coons are protective of their siblings so if you buy a pair from the same litter they will be bonded for life.

You may witness a Maine Coon bonding with and taking care of another household kitten, cat or even a puppy or dog.

They have been witnessed watching over human babies like a hawk. One of my Maine Coons was never far from our baby.

Maine Coon Harry keeping an eye on Joe

Of course, mother cats are very protective of their kitten, especially during the first few weeks of their lives but Maine Coons can also form bonds with many other creatures.

You only have to search through YouTube to find clips of cats caring for such things as chicks, budgies, and even mice.

Just be very wary before leaving your Maine Coon alone with any small creatures that are naturally the very thing it usually preys on – things can go horribly wrong in the blink of an eye.

Are Maine Coons protective? – Conclusion

Maine Coons can be protective. Most of their behavior is instinctual and is triggered by their sense of impending danger.

They do form bonds with particular people based on how they treat them and these people are then treated to special treatment and care! It’s nice to think that in certain situations, your Maine Coons got your back!

Are Maine Coons protective? Stern Maine Coon

Jane

I'm Jane Pettitt, co-owner of Pets Knowledge Base with my husband, Matt. I have a grand total of 50 years’ experience as a pet owner. It all started with a guinea pig called Percy when I was 5 years old and since then I’ve lived with two more guinea pigs, a hamster, mice, a rabbit, a tortoise, a dog, and 11 cats. I’ve learned so much about pet care during this time and many of my articles are based on my personal experiences plus those of my family and friends.

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