Maine Coons are impressive cats with many skills and despite their size, they are extremely agile. So when people ask can Maine Coons jump the answer is an emphatic yes!
Maine Coons have impressive jumping abilities and are capable of jumping up to 6 feet. The average Maine Coon can easily jump to a height of 4 to 5 feet with exceptional accuracy. Usually, the target being my toes at around 3 am on a Wednesday morning.
A Maine Coon’s jumping ability comes from having long limbs and particularly well-muscled hind legs. That said, Maine Coons will only jump if necessary, preferring to conserve energy to pounce on prey!
Historically, Maine Coons had to jump as a life-preserving mechanism. Jumping out of reach was the quickest way to escape a potentially dangerous situation.
This skill can still remove Maine Coons from threatening circumstances today. Jumping out of reach of perceived threats is something all cats do instinctively.
Containing a Maine Coon
A Maine Coon can easily jump to a height of 6 feet and occasionally a little more. There will always be that exceptional cat who manages to jump that bit higher!
Maine Coons are also quite capable of climbing over tall fences. In order to keep a Maine Coon safely in your yard or garden area, you should ensure you have fences at least 6-feet high with a wire mesh attached and angled over your garden.
You might be interested in the Oscillot fence roller to prevent your Maine Coon from escaping – it’s really neat!
Maine Coon Size
Maine Coons are amongst the largest pet cats on the planet. They are longer, taller and heavier than your average cat.
For example, the average weight of your usual cat is around 8 to 10 lbs. A Maine Coon can weigh up to 22 lbs – over twice the weight of a regular cat.
Its weight can depend on a number of things, primarily genetics but also things such as how much it is fed and how much exercise it gets. Also, whether a Maine Coon is an inside or outside cat can have a direct impact on its size.
The height and its length depend mainly on genetics. The largest recorded Maine Coon was over 45 inches long. For more information on how large a Maine Coon can be, see our article How Big is Maine Coon Cat – it contains everything you need to know.
The Maine Coon isn’t the only large domestic cat, although arguably it is the most well known. It may possibly have descended from the Norwegian Forest Cat, another large cat.
If you’d like to know more about the differences and similarities between the Maine Coon and the Norwegian Forest cat, our article Maine Coon vs Norwegian Forest Cat holds all the details (opens in a new window).
How high can Maine Coons jump?
Maine Coons are not usually capable of jumping 8 feet off the ground as some people claim. The average Maine Coon can easily jump to a height of 4 to 6 feet but will always seek an easier way to reach any elevated surface that doesn’t require it to expend so much energy.
I’ve seen our Maine Coons jump to heights of around 4 or 5 feet. Having owned Maine Coons and many other cats over the years I can honestly say I have noticed no difference between the jumping abilities of a Maine Coon and the other cats.
Can Maine Coons jump lengthways?
Maine Coons can leap a distance of around 6 to 7 feet from one surface to another. You see this type of horizontal jumping more frequently than vertical jumping and it is achievable because of their powerful hind leg muscles. You will notice horizontal jumping more often than vertical as it is used to pounce on prey.
The descending jump
Maine Coons will leap down from a greater height to the ground than they are capable of reaching when leaping up. One will comfortably jump down from a wall that’s 7 or 8 feet high.
What you might notice is that a Maine Coon doesn’t just launch itself off but places its front paws on the vertical surface and partially runs down before leaping.
Can Maine Coons jump up trees
If your Maine Coon is allowed outside, what you might notice is the way it tackles tree climbing.
Sometimes a Maine Coon takes a large runup towards a tree and literally runs up the trunk. If it can’t reach a bough, it pauses, twists and leaps down.
If a tree has low boughs at about 4 or 5 feet from the ground, a Maine Coon can easily jump onto one of these and will then climb as high as possible.
Sometimes it gives no thought to the decent and you will have to rescue it using a ladder – usually when you are dressed up ready to go out!
Cats and agility
Cats are indeed very agile and what fundamentally enables them to be this way is their spine. The spine of a feline can rotate much more than the spines on the majority of animals. Their vertebrae have an elasticity that contributes a lot to the agility of the cat.
Next, the cat’s shoulder blades are attached with muscle, rather than via their skeleton – which gives them more strength and speed than other animals.
If you’ve ever wondered how cats are able to get into those ridiculously small places, well this is partly the reason – their shoulders aren’t restricted by their skeleton so they are able to squeeze them together to get through.
Next, your typical cat will be able to stride-out around three times their body length and using their strong leg muscles push off each time enabling them to reach a top speed of up to 30 mph!
Finally, the flexibility in their spine has saved several of their nine lives when falling from a height. They are able to twist their bodies in mid-air so they always land on their feet and having fewer bones and more muscles in their shoulders means there’s less risk of their bones breaking.
Are Maine Coons as agile as other cats?
So, this is the question – can the Maine Coon jump as high as your regular cat and is it generally, as agile? Yes, they can. I’ve found though that in my experience (I’ve owned Maine Coons for over 25 years) they tend to find other ways around problems.
Instead of jumping straight up, they’ll use other ways to get to the height to make it as easy as possible for them. You see, the Maine Coon is a particularly intelligent breed of cat.
For instance, our white Maine Coon (Charlie) walks casually into the kitchen before doing a special meow as he reaches the bottom of the sink.
This is him asking for me to give him a lift up to the work-surface where I then turn on the tap so he can have a drink of water. He won’t drink from the water bowl, only from the tap you see. My point
The clumsy Maine Coon
But back to the point. I can tell you from first-hand experience, the Maine Coon is a very agile cat. In fact, even at 14 years of age, our ginger Maine Maine Coon (Harry) would happily spend all day running around playing with us if he could.
Our white Maine Coon (Charlie) is a little bit more clumsy. I remember him running around outside chasing a mouse.
His tactic was to basically jump up and stretch his arms and legs out as far as he could and just hope that something made contact with the little rodent. Sometimes he got lucky and sometimes he didn’t. More often he did not if truth be told but it didn’t stop him from trying!
Can Maine Coons jump? – Conclusion
The Maine Coon can jump with great agility. Its skills in the jumping arena are as good, if not better than smaller cats.
The Maine Coon has a secret weapon though – its intelligence. It will find other ways to reach the same objective using cunning, skill and if required, its power. But let’s not be under any false illusion. Not only can the Maine Coon jump as high as any other cat but combined with its intelligence, will find other ways to get to the same place.
The Maine Coon is a truly spectacular breed of cat. Find lots of useful information in our Complete Guide – it’ll literally tell you everything you’ve ever wanted to know.
I’ve also spoken a bit about the unique personality of the Maine Coon here and if you’d like to know more about these unique traits, then please click here (opens in a new window).