Maine Coons do many things. We’ve owned Maine Coons for over 25 years now and are still discovering things they can do. They are truly amazing cats.
Here are the answers to the top 44 questions that people ask if Maine Coons do (or don’t do.)
1. They do have ear tufts
Maine Coons always have ear tufts but you’ll notice that on some cats they are longer and thicker than on others. Originally, this breed had tufts to protect their ears in cold climates. Domestic Maine Coons don’t need tufty ears to keep warm but they are a very cute feature.
2. They act like dogs
Maine Coons act more like dogs than any other cat I’ve owned or known. They are known to display loyalty to their owners very much as dogs do. Also, like dogs, they are extremely sociable and enjoy human company and attention. Most Maine coons will react to their name.
They love to play and many will fetch small toys just like a dog retrieves a ball.
3. They do NOT bite
Maine Coons don’t bite a lot. I’m not saying they’ll never bite but it’s rare for one to do so unless extremely provoked, frightened or mistreated. In my experience, a Maine Coon will give you plenty of signs to back off if it doesn’t like something that’s happening to it and will only bite as a last resort.
If you ignore the signs and get bitten, then it’s your own fault. You should, of course, ensure you buy a Maine Coon from a trusted source where it has been socialized with people from a very young age. If you rescue a cat from a shelter, it’s difficult to know what its history is.
4. They bond with people
A Maine Coon will bond with the person who cares for it the most, feeds it the most, and lavishes the most attention on it. As I mentioned earlier we have two Maine Coons. Our white cat, Charlie, chooses my husband’s lap over mine any day but will sit on me if I’m the only option.
Our ginger boy, Harry, usually chooses to lay on my legs in bed, but sometimes goes to my husband. So it does seem each cat has his favorite human sometimes but not always. I think most Maine Coons will bond with the person who they perceive looks after them the best but don’t be surprised if their loyalties vary.
5. They do trigger allergies
Maine Coon cats can cause allergies. If you believe (or know) you have an allergy to cats you should try to establish which substance from a cat you are actually allergic to.
In most cases, it is the cat’s dander (dead skin cells) that cause an allergic reaction. People can also suffer from allergic reactions to a cat’s fur, saliva, and even their urine.
If cat dander causes your reaction then the longer the fur of a cat the less likely you are to come into contact with the dander as it is effectively buried. I’m allergic to cats but with Maine Coons, I don’t experience any symptoms, hence our decision to live with this breed.
It’s quite easy to avoid contact with urine if this is your trigger. Obviously avoiding saliva is not so easy. And if you are allergic to cat fur then my advice is: do not live with a cat…unless it is hairless.
6. They do drink milk but shouldn’t!
Yes, a Maine Coon will drink milk if it is put in front of them. However, vets recommend that you don’t give cats milk. They can’t digest it very well and it can ferment in their stomachs causing all sorts of issues. Just stick to water!
If for whatever reason a kitten isn’t getting milk from its mother, there is another option available – kitten formula milk available at Amazon.
7. Do Maine Coon cats have hair or fur?
Hair and fur are the same. They are chemically the same and are made of keratin. We refer to it as hair on humans and fur on other mammals.
8. Do Maine Coon cats roam?
Maine Coons do not roam. To roam means to walk aimlessly and Maine Coons, like most cats never do things aimlessly – they always have a purpose, known only to them.
Most people like to keep their Maine Coons indoors and often agree with their breeder to do this. Those Maine Coons that are allowed out will move anywhere with reason, whether it’s to hunt, explore a new scent or follow a trail.
9. Maine Coon cats can spray
Yes, Maine Coons spray. Generally spraying is associated with unneutered males marking their territory. But neutered males and females can also spray. This is usually caused by stress or an underlying medical condition.
10. Do they ever have black coats?
Maine Coon cats do come in black and a vast variety of other colors – at least 84 in fact, ranging from solid colors to smoke, to tabby, to bi-colors. Actually, this gets asked so often I thought I’d write an article all about it. So, if you want to see some very special black Maine Coons, my article Can a Maine Coon be black has some lovely examples.
11. Do Maine Coons chirp?
Yes, Maine Coons produce a chirping noise that’s a mixture of a meow and a trill. My two often do this when watching birds through a window. It’s not a noise they make when they are hunting though as this is always carried out with stealthy silence.
12. Do Maine Coons change color?
I don’t think Maine Coons change color. Their coats can look different according to the light they are in. For instance, sunlight can show up reddish colors in darker cats that aren’t usually visible. And our white Maine Coon looks brown when he’s been rolling in the dirt!
13. They do drool sometimes
I can categorically tell you that Maine Coons do drool, especially as they get older. Usually, this happens when they are very content and purring on your lap. They can also drool because of bad teeth.
14. They drink water
Maine Coons should drink a lot of water as it’s essential for good health. One of ours does and one doesn’t appear to. Charlie prefers to drink water straight from a tap. Harry will try to drink water from a tall glass that is barely wide enough to get his head into – this does look strange. The ideal water source is a cat drinking fountain with a filter.
If you’re interested, and you should be because they are awesome – here are three drinking fountains I recommend (opens in a new tab) – these things have come down in price a lot recently so you may be surprised how cheaply you can now buy one for.
15. Do Maine Coons eat a lot?
Maine Coons do eat a lot if you let them. Be careful to give your cat the correct amount of food for its size and lifestyle. For instance, an indoor cat will require less food than an outdoor cat. Don’t let your Maine Coon become overweight as this can lead to numerous health issues.
Here are some excellent cat treats (opens in a new tab).
16. Do Maine Coons get along with dogs?
Our Maine Coons do not get along with dogs. They run a mile or leap out of reach whenever one comes into our house. This is because they were not socialized with dogs when they were kittens.
If you want to be sure a Maine Coon will get along with dogs make sure it meets dogs as a kitten, then all should be OK. This can never be guaranteed to work but it’s the best chance you’ll have.
17. Do Maine Coons get on with other cats?
I’m sure if we tried to introduce another cat to our Maine Coons they would not get on with it. They can’t even stand one entering our garden and on the occasions when a strange cat has popped in through the cat flap for a visit it has not been welcomed with open paws. That said many people do successfully raise a Maine Coon with another cat.
The key is either get siblings who are used to being together or exercise patience and gradually introduce two cats to each other and hope they’ll accept sharing your home. Cats are territorial creatures so this can be a slow process and may require separate living and eating areas in your house for each cat for some time.
18. Do Maine Coons growl?
Maine Coons do growl and in quite a frightening and sinister manner. Mostly they will do this when they spot a strange cat through a window. They definitely growl (amongst a variety of other noises) during a fight and will growl at anything that corners them.
Their growl can be very loud too. I heard an inconsiderate neighbor using a drill at about 7 am one morning – it woke me up. Then I realized it was one of my Maine Coons growling in the kitchen at a strange cat who had made the mistake of entering our house through the flap.
19. Do Maine Coons have long tails?
Maine Coons have very long, bushy tails. If a Maine Coon will allow you to feel the length of its tail, you will find the last couple of inches is long fur. The tail often accounts for half of a Maine Coon’s overall length and is a good measure of their mood.
Definitely beware of a wagging tail as this indicates anger. A tail held upright is indicative of a happy mood. If a tail is down a Maine Coon is unhappy, scared or possibly unwell. When a Maine Coons is hunting or investigating its tail is usually held straight out, horizontal to the ground.
20. Do Maine Coons have blue eyes?
You will only see blue eyes on white or bi-colored Maine Coons with some white fur. Other eye colors are gold, orange, amber,
21. Do Maine Coons hunt?
Maine Coons are accomplished hunters but you will only really discover this if yours is an outdoor cat. You will see the hunting instinct kick in during play. Beware of encouraging a Maine Coon to hunt your hand – if they catch you it will hurt!
If you’d like to know just how well a Maine Coon hunts, you should read Are Maine Coons Good Hunters – you might be surprised at what they’re actually capable of.
22. Do Maine Coons jump?
Maine Coons are excellent at jumping. They easily leap up on to surfaces and across wide gaps. They are happy to jump down from heights too, such as 6-foot walls.
Some people say that their Maine Coons have easily leaped across gaps that are 8 feet wide. I’ve never actually measured any distance that our two have jumped but they are a pair of dare-devils.
23. Do Maine Coons like to be held?
Maine Coons sometimes like to be held but not always. You can usually tell if a Maine Coon wants to be held. Ours stand at our feet looking up at us and sometimes meow too. If we stoop to pick them up and they stay still that’s a good sign that they want a cuddle.
Once in your arms, a Maine Coon will purr happily. As soon as it wants to be put back down it will start to squirm. At this point, lower it back to the ground gently. Don’t allow a cat to leap from your arms as it could injure itself.
24. Do Maine Coons like cuddles?
Our Maine Coons love cuddles when they are in the mood. Again it’s easy to tell as they come to us. Our white cat climbs onto my husband and lays up his chest with his paws over his shoulder and purrs manically.
It took a year before our Maine Coons decided to sit on our laps. We just let them do this on their terms and the best advice I can offer is to let your cat decide, don’t try to force it to have cuddles.
25. Do Maine Coons like baths?
People say Maine Coons like baths but our two definitely don’t. I think it depends on how they are introduced to bathing. I believe our two were
If your Maine Coon does appear happy to be bathed, all well and good, just make sure the water is lukewarm and use the best shampoo for Maine Coons. Most cats will lick themselves all over after a bath to get rid of the strange smell and return to their own natural smelly cat scent.
26. Do Maine Coons meow?
Maine Coons meow, chirp, trill and use a whole range of other sounds to communicate. Our two emit very pronounced meows when they want food or want to come into a room where the door is closed, but make other noises to announce their arrival in a room or to wake us up in the morning.
Some people say their Maine Coons never meow in the traditional way. Did you know adult cats don’t meow at each other? This is their special way of communicating with us.
27. Do Maine Coons make good pets?
Maine Coons are the most popular cat breed throughout the world because they make such good pets. When raised correctly they are gentle and patient with babies, children, and adults and they thrive on human company. They are a very sociable cat.
28. Do Maine Coons make good house cats?
Many people have Maine Coons as house cats. Breeders often ask owners to agree not to let their Maine Coon outside. A Maine Coon does make a good house cat as long as it has plenty of space to exercise and plenty to keep it occupied, especially if you go out to work.
29. Do Maine Coons need a companion?
Maine Coons are very sociable cats and do need a companion. That companion can be you, but if you’re going to be out for long spells at a time it will get lonely and bored. This is why we bought two from the same litter. So always consider this when buying a Maine Coon.
30. Do Maine Coons need special food?
Maine Coons don’t need a special diet. Buy good quality cat food for them and give them the correct quantities for their age, weight,
Meow Mix Original Choice is a trusted brand and is nutritionally complete. It contains high-quality protein and also provides a feeding guide according to your cat’s weight. It’s conveniently available on Amazon. Follow this link to see the full details.
31. Do Maine Coons need to be groomed?
I would recommend that you groom your Maine Coon right from the first day you own it. Kittens may not look like they need grooming but it’s essential to get them used to the feel of it and the fact that you are not trying to harm them.
Our Maine Coons were 18 weeks old when they came to live with us and had not been groomed since they were 8 weeks old (they were briefly owned by someone else who returned them to the breeder).
We have never been able to get them to enjoy being groomed and so it’s very hard work for us. If you don’t give your Maine Coon a helping hand with grooming it can get badly matted and often the only way to remove these horrendous knots is to have them clipped or shaved out by a vet.
32. Maine Coons Purr
Maine Coons produce all sorts of purrs from soft and low to loud and high. When they get going they sound like engines rumbling. Most of the time purring indicates contentment but it can indicate stress, worry or hunger. Also, cats might purr for comfort when recovering from an illness.
33. Maine Coons pant
Maine Coons may pant more than short-haired breeds when the weather is extremely hot or they have overexerted themselves. They may also pant if distressed.
34. Maine Coons play detch
Our ginger Maine Coon plays fetch with hair bands, of all things. He steals them from my makeup basket. Our white Maine Coon won’t play fetch at all. So the answer to this question is some do and some don’t.
35. Do Maine Coons run away?
Maine Coons don’t run away per se. Running away is a deliberately planned act which I’m sure cats don’t aren’t capable of plotting. Cats do get lost at times. They should be kept indoors at a new home until they are totally used to you and their new environment.
If a new cat escapes and you rush to capture it you could scare it enough to make it run away from you. A good way to encourage a cat home is to use noise association. We have always tapped food dishes as we feed our cats so now when we want them to come indoors tapping a dish brings them running.
36. Maine Coons shed
With all that long fur Maine Coons can’t help but shed. Regular grooming helps to keep shedding around the house to a minimum. We have a cordless vacuum cleaner to hand to keep on top of it…and several lint rollers.
Many owners (ourselves included) prefer the Hertzko Self Cleaning Slicker Brush. It’s great for removing loose undercoats and has an easy clean function. It’s available on Amazon and has thousands of great reviews – follow this link to see more information.
37. Maine Coons can sleep a lot!
Maine Coon kittens sleep for about 20 hours a day and adults, on average, for 16 hours. If yours is sleeping for more than this then it is probably bored … try to entertain it more or give it some new toys.
Here are my recommended Maine Coon cat beds – and they are all very reasonably priced!
38. Do Maine Coons swim?
Maine Coons are able to swim and you will find plenty of examples of this on youtube. I have never seen our two swim though.
39. Do Maine Coons talk a lot?
Maine Coons are very vocal cats and most will talk to you a lot. Our two start a conversation with a trill and will respond if we speak to them. It really feels like we are holding a conversation.
40. Do Maine Coons travel well?
Many people travel successfully with Maine Coons. I would ensure your cat is microchipped, is wearing a clearly labeled harness, and that your carrier is good quality, comfortable, sturdy, secure and the correct size.
It is not recommended to sedate a cat for travel as it is not believed to make them calmer but does stop them from being able to behave normally.
There are three Maine Coon cat carriers I recommend and many you certainly steer clear of (for many reasons) – check out the only ones you should consider here.
41. Do Maine Coons trill?
Yes, Maine Coons do trill. A trill varies in pitch and sounds a bit like rolling an “R”. Our two do this to announce their arrival in a room
42. Maine Coons use a litter box
Maine Coons will happily use a litter box as long as it’s the right size, is in a calm area, and is kept clean. They are not so keen on sharing one that’s been used by another cat so you may need two.
At the moment, everyone is raving about the Purina Tidy Cats Litter Box System. It requires far less litter and cleaning than a usual tray and has excellent odor control. It’s conveniently sold on Amazon. Click this link to see more information.
43. Do Maine Coons wag their tails?
Maine Coons do wag their tails and for various reasons. A whole tail wagging signifies anger. If the end of the tail is twitching this indicates boredom or restlessness.
44. Do Maine Coons wander?
Maine Coons like to explore and so will wander off on a trail or towards an interesting sound. If they wander from their territory they may get lost.
Encourage your cat to stay near home by making your garden an interesting place to spend lots of time. Also, neutered and spayed cats tend to wander less.
A large catio offers a safe alternative. The biggest I have found are on omlet.com. They are easy to assemble and extend to make huge areas for cats to play in. Follow this link to see plenty of information and photographs.
There are plenty of things that Maine Coons do but I hope I’ve answered the most common questions and you now feel like a well informed Maine Coon owner (or owner to be).