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Do Maine Coons Like To Climb?

Though they are quite a size Maine Coons are agile, active cats. They are fast runners but do Maine Coons like to climb?

Maine Coon cats instinctively love to climb. They climb using the strength of their well-muscled hind limbs and the grip of their retractable claws. Like all cats, Maine Coons take great comfort from climbing to elevated positions where they feel safe from predators whilst guarding their territory.

Do Maine Coons Like To Climb? Cat in tree

Do Maine Coons like to climb trees?

Maine Coons are great at climbing trees. To get high into the branches, they use a combination of their retractable claws, hind legs, balance, and power.

I have noticed they usually do this when they are having a mad 10 minutes where they have a sudden burst of energy and run around like crazy for a bit.

Actually, a little fact you might not know is the reason why a cat has a burst of energy and tears about after it has been to the toilet. It’s because in the wild after they’d done their business they would need to get away from it before the smell gave away their location to any enemies.

Anyway, these days a Maine Coon climbs a tree just for fun – not to chase anything and not (usually) to run away from something. They, like most cats, are more likely to climb when they’re kittens and it is not so common for them to climb in their senior years.

Our Harry will be 15 soon and it’s been a fair few years since I’ve seen him high up a tree.

Maine Coons often race up to a tree at top speed and literally run up the trunk. It’s amazing to watch. If they decide they can’t get to a bough, they halt, turn and leap back down.

Maine Coons might climb up curtains

Do Maine Coons like to climb curtains? I remember some years back when we had just moved to a new house. I walked into our living room to find our red tabby Maine Coon Harry halfway up one of our curtains.

He was just hanging there and when he noticed me he froze and looked at me rather guiltily. The holes his claws made in those curtains were joined by many more over the few months until we gave up and took them down.

Do Maine Coons Like To Climb?
I actually managed to take this of Harry up our curtain before he jumped down!

It’s not just trees and curtains that they like to ascend. When they are kittens a Maine Coon will literally climb up anything it can – including your trousers. It’s surprisingly painful to have a little kitten clawing its way up your leg!

What we wish we’d done earlier but have only done recently is get them a climbing tree for inside. More on this later as they really are a great idea.

Do Maine Coons like to climb brick walls?

Don’t think for one moment that a high brick will we deter a Maine Coon. I’ve seen two Maine Coons run up a wall. Here’s the evidence:

Do Maine Coons Like To Climb?

Maine Coons are capable of running up surfaces such as brick. They grip to an extent with their claws to do so. when it comes to their descent, they place their front paws as far down the wall as possible before springing off.

My two above were sensible enough to jump back the way they went up, which was 6-feet high, back into our garden. The other way consisted of a 12-feet drop down to our drive.

Why do Maine Coons Like to Climb?

It’s fun for them – that’s why – and Maine Coons like doing things that are fun! No, actually there is most likely a much better answer to this question than that, although that statement is true.

The Maine Coon (and cats in general) most likely had to climb trees for a better reason than just for fun. It enabled them to do two things.

  1. Escape from possible predators as (unless they were being chased by bears which wasn’t that likely) there aren’t many animals as nimble as the feline and most certainly wouldn’t be able to climb trees.
  2. Although the above is more likely, the most likely reason is that it enables them to have the high ground, which cats just love. It would have given them an advantage during hunting.

Even these days, being able to climb trees is such a valuable skill for them if they are being chased by dogs. Which is another reason why choosing to declaw a cat just so they won’t scratch your precious furniture is so wrong.

I have an article about this if you really want to hear me get cross about it, but I wouldn’t blame you if you didn’t!

How Does a Maine Coon Get Stuck Up a Tree?

We’ve all seen firefighters rescuing a cat stuck in a tree on the television. But why does this happen?

Well, let’s think about how the Maine Coon gets up the tree in the first place. They power themselves up using their strong hind legs and their claws help to gain purchase in the bark.

The point to remember here is that their power comes from the back, they are rear-paw-drive primarily.

Do Maine Coons like to climb? Kitten in tree


Sometimes, they are able to reverse back down backward and this can work as their hind legs are able to be used as a good control mechanism and keep them from slipping down.

However, often they try and run down in a controlled fashion head first. The problem with this is that now, those strong hind legs and curled retractable claws are working against them. They are rear heavy and braking is difficult.

Also, when they are going up they don’t think about how they are going to get down! Then, when they are really high up they can’t see a route down so they do the only thing they know in this circumstance which is to stay put and meow.

At which point they are pretty helpless and usually need rescuing!

I’ve had to put a ladder up a tree to rescue our Harry before. I was dressed up ready to go out and ended up stained with tree moss – but at least Harry was safely bought back down to Earth. Luckily the restaurant held our reservation!

Do Maine Coons Like to Climb Indoors?

Maine Coons will climb up a whole variety of things indoors from shelving to curtains. If you keep your Maine Coons indoors, indoor climbing trees are perfect.

Actually, what I really wish is that we could devote a whole room to them. I’d put these climbing trees all over the place – it would be great fun!

Here’s a picture of the one we bought with Harry and Charlie enjoying the higher ground it offers:

As you can see from the above, this scratching tree has scratching poles which they also love. Now, all our cat need is another one. This cat tree on Amazon is on my wish list.

If you don’t fancy spending money though, that’s absolutely fine – you don’t need to. Just build stuff (your kids will love doing this with you) out of items lying around your house.

To you, once you’re finished, it will look like a complete mess – but to your Maine Coons, it will be awesome.

Should You Stop the Maine Coon From Climbing?

Please don’t stop your Maine Coon from climbing. Not only does it give them an opportunity to keep their claws healthy by scratching them on the posts but it’s another thing to keep them from getting bored.

Believe it or not, a sad cat may lead to other mental complications and a happy cat is usually a healthy cat.

Harry, who can’t quite fit into the cat tower

Although personally, I think it’s right that cats spend as much time outside as they want, I do appreciate that this just isn’t possible for many owners. If this is the case then having these cat tree towers is a great alternative for them being outside and using the real thing.

This has started to sound a bit like one big advert for tree towers – it’s not! I’m just a bit enthusiastic over them at the moment. I actually picked our first one up for around $20 on Gumtree but the problem with this was I think it still had a lot of previous cat-scent embedded into it as it was second-hand, which I don’t think our two furry boys particularly appreciated…

Do Maine Coons Like to Climb? – Conclusion

Maine Coons have excellent climbing skills and love to use them. If something is climbable expect to find a Maine Coon on top of it. Maine Coons are very inquisitive, and it will drive them crazy not knowing what’s inside or on top of something.

They will want to get up there and then worry about how they will get down later. If there’s something up high that they can knock over the edge, this will simply make their day complete.

For my information about Maine Coon antics, here are 44 things that Maine Coons do.

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