There may be several reasons why you want to know this. Perhaps you need to introduce a Bengal into a home that already has a Maine Coon or vice versa. Or perhaps you are considering getting one of each from the outset.
Whatever the reason, it is excellent that you’re trying to research this. Far too often people don’t understand that cats can’t just be shoved together and expect to get along famously. Not only are they different breeds but each cat will have its own personality.
Not having the patience to consider both of the
It will be an unhappy home for them and an unpleasant one for you. It will most likely lead to you having to make the horrible decision on which one you keep and which one you have to let go – this is not something anyone should have to deal with.
So, how can we ensure that two cats are going to get along? Well, if the truth be told, you can never know this. Put it this way, if someone pulled a stranger off the street and you were told you were going to be living with them for the rest of your life, you probably wouldn’t be that happy about it either! We don’t get along with everyone and nor will cats.
There are some things you can do to make the journey easier though and you’re already doing the first thing, research – so let’s get to the nitty-gritty.
Do Maine Coons and Bengals get along? It is possible that a Maine Coon can get along with a Bengal cat if introduced correctly. There are many variables though such as their age, how well they were handled when kittens and their individual personalities.
Your best chance is to follow the introduction plan mentioned below.
What Do We Consider ‘Getting Along’?
I don’t think we should consider ‘getting along’ as the two cats being best friends, playing with each, sleeping in the same bed, curled up with each other for the rest of their days. That rarely happens.
Even our two Maine Coon brothers (Harry and Charlie, both 14 currently) don’t always get along and they never really play with each other. I don’t know if they ‘know’ that they are brothers but if so, maybe this is why they put up with each other. They get along okay, but I certainly wouldn’t say they love each other!
This is manageable though and this level of cohabitation is what I’ve classed as ‘getting along’ – they need to live in the same home, eat the same food and not want to rip each other to pieces each time they see each other 🙂
I think if we looked at two cats getting on in any more granularity than this, it would be unrealistic.
Personalities of the Cats
The personality of the cat is an important part when determining whether two cats can get on with each other. There are a lot of cat breeds out there that have been bred with a lot of other breeds. They are all different.
Not only that but no two cats within the same breed will be the same, they will all have their slightly different traits – however, we can generalize a little.
If we use our two Maine Coon brothers as an example. We got them at exactly the same time but they could hardly be more different. Harry is an extrovert who will be into everything and is scared of nothing. Harry isn’t very cuddly, he’ll want to be in your company but at his own distance and he’ll trust anyone.
Charlie, on the other hand only really trusts me and Jane. He is introverted and as soon as he hears a noise he isn’t familiar with will make him run upstairs where he’ll hide under the bed. Charlie is more loving than Harry though and will get on my lap quite often.
My point here is that they are both Maine Coons and brothers (so the same age of course) and they are totally different. Therefore, the only way we can do this is to generalize about the breed which is what we’re going to do – and broadly, we’ll be right.
The Maine Coon is typically a sociable cat which does not like being left alone. They will often follow you around your home wondering what you’re doing and are usually very vocal.
The Maine Coon is a most unusual breed, not in a bad way, just in an interesting way. They will be most content in your company, playing and this won’t stop whilst they are with us. Ours
With some exceptions, they are also very tolerant. Cats are generally quite territorial and although the Maine Coon isn’t exactly an exception to this, it does give a little more than many other breeds.
They can sometimes form rather strong bonds with either one of their owners or both (in a typical family) and they can show signs of jealousy if one of those owners starts interacting with another animal.
The personality of the Maine Coon should make it possible for it to share a home with another cat.
The Bengal cat shares some similarities as the Maine Coon. It has a very strong personality, they are exceptionally curious and regarded as intelligent.
They also don’t like being left alone and require a lot of attention to their owner. They are mischievous and their life revolves around their human owner and the interaction they get from them.
So, you can already see, in the above, I could have been talking about the Maine Coon – there are that many similarities!
The Bengal likes to jump up onto things and will play with water, and similar to the Maine Coon, don’t be surprised if they would rather drink from the tap than the water bowl!
One last point and one that is also appropriate with the Maine Coon is the importance of getting a Bengal that has been handled by humans at an early age.
These first few weeks of the kitten really help to develop the personality of the cat and the more they are handled at this stage the easier they will be to manage in later life.
Assuming this handling has taken place, it is possible that both the Maine Coon and the Bengal cat could share a home.
What Can You Do To Help?
The first thing you should do is to ensure that nothing is rushed. Doing this will almost guarantee failure – especially with older cats. There is a formal process behind introducing two cats together.
It’s not particularly hard but you do need to take your time and understand that you won’t get results overnight!
Whether you are introducing one of the cats into the home of an existing one or whether you’re introducing the Maine Coon and the Bengal at the same time, the below plan should be followed.
The Cat Introduction Plan
- Maintain a Feeding Schedule – only relevant if you have an existing cat – if you do, make sure you feed them at the same time during the day for a good couple of weeks prior to the new introduction – the reason why will be explained below.
- Prepare Separate Areas – the two cats will need to be kept separate initially. You will need to make sure in each area they are fully independent, so they will have their own litter tray, toys, scratching post, food, water etc. Neither cat should be able to see (or smell) the other cat from their safe area.
- Introduction to Safe Areas – on the first day they are in the same home they should be placed individually in their own safe areas. They should be fed according to a schedule. If you have an existing cat, they can have more roaming space (access to other areas of the house) but should always have one room separating them from the other cat.
- Spoil them – spend as much time as you can with each cat during the first few days. Make sure you keep interacting with them and keep them happy – if you have an existing cat then pay special attention to it to ensure it does not become anxious due to a change of schedule. Your mission during this phase is just to keep them as happy as possible!
- Swap them around – once they both feel comfortable (and don’t rush this bit) they should be swapped around. Without seeing each other, each cat should be taken (and left) in the others safe zone. Here they will explore the smells and start to become familiar with it. Only leave them in each others area for a short amount of time before taking them back to their own safe area. Repeat this a few times but delay if one cat appears anxious.
- Feed when closer – the next stage is to feed them both (during your regular feeding times) but with only a door in between. Initially, put each bowl about 6 feet or so from the door but each time they eat, move it a little closer. They will be able to hear and smell each other, but won’t be able to see each other.
- Let them see each other – when they appear comfortable with the feeding routine, it’s time for them to set eyes on each other. Invest in a stairgate or some other barrier so they don’t physically have access to each other and consider putting a blanket over the top so you can limit how much they can see.
- The First introduction – finally, the time when they should meet. Make sure that this happens in neither of their safe zones. With one person responsible for each cat, let them into a communal area. Try and interact and play with them, keeping them happy and a bit distracted. If you notice either of them reacting badly, stop and take them both back to their safe zones. If things are going okay though, allow them to sniff each other.
- More time with each other – once the above is going well, allow them to live in the same space. For these first few days and weeks, make sure you keep an eye on them.
I think what stands out from the above is how long it takes. Just reading through the above will make it abundantly clear that this is not an overnight process.
It can take several weeks to perform these initial steps but if you’re patient then you’ll be giving yourself the very best chance of this working out.
The Right Age
There might not be much you can do about this but the younger you can get your cats then the better chance you’ll have. It hardly needs me to say that if you have had a cat for a long time (whether it’s a Maine Coon or a Bengal) and then choose to introduce another cat into your home then it’s obviously going to be difficult for it and they may well feel quite put out. Your chances of success are dramatically increased if both of the cats are still young.
Be Prepared To Admit Defeat
It’s not an exact science and no two cats of either breed are the same. It may be the case that no matter what you try the two cats just don’t get along. Actually, I have the feeling that this would be the case with one of ours, Charlie.
At some point, you’re going to have to know when to throw the towel in and move on. It wouldn’t be fair on the cats for them to live together in this way and one (or both) may well start to suffer from anxiety related problems. Know when to do the right thing.
Conclusion – Do Maine Coons and Bengals Get Along?
Hopefully, by reading this article it will be clear that introducing two cats is a difficult process and can be affected by many things. Both the Maine Coon and the Bengal are breeds that can live together and enjoy each others company.
That doesn’t mean it’ll be the case for you though. Only by applying the above-mentioned process and having not a small amount of luck will you be able to achieve this.
So, do Maine Coons and Bengals get along? Hopefully, you now know that they can but it will require some effort and patience from your side!