If your cat doesn’t seem happy, you might have a bored Maine Coon. It’s a fact – Maine Coons do get bored when they don’t have enough to do. And boredom can lead to an unhappy, depressed cat.
Therefore, ensure you don’t end up with a bored Maine Coon. If you have an indoor-only cat, you must ensure it has plenty of things to keep it entertained in your absence.
When you are home, always make time to play with your cat. Whether it’s an indoor or an outdoor cat, and at any age, Maine Coons loves to play. These cats never really grow up, believe me.
Here are my top 23 ideas for keeping your Maine Coon cat entertained… you could call them cures for a bored Maine Coon!
1. Another Cat
When you get a Maine Coon my advice is, get 2 from the same litter (if you can afford to). Siblings will entertain each other for hours and will be company for each other throughout their lives.
They will, of course, already be used to each other so you won’t have the hassle of getting two strange cats to accept each other should you at a later date think of introducing a second cat to your home.
The older a cat is, the harder it is to get it to accept a new cat into the household. It can take a lot of time and patience to get two strange cats to accept each other and sometimes it just doesn’t work.
2. Prevent boredom: give your Maine Coon plenty of space indoors
If you keep a Maine Coon indoors allow it as much space as you possibly can to explore and run around in. Some people try to contain a cat in certain areas of the house but this isn’t fair on Maine Coons. They are big cats and need lots of space to move around in.
Don’t shut one in a single room, such as a kitchen, as it will get fed up with staring at the same four walls. Do make sure it can see out of a window as cats do like to watch the world go by. If you have a staircase don’t shut your cat where it can’t use it but let it have free movement up and down it as this will give it a chance for some exercise.
3. Scratching and climbing tree
These are just the best thing to prevent bored Maine Coon syndrome. If you have a super-large house you could dedicate a room to several of these, like a cat playroom.
They combine scratching posts, hidey-holes, jumping, and climbing to ensure your cat can keep its muscles and claws in shape. Cats will love leaping from one level to the next.
One of these should definitely help preserve your precious soft furnishings. Tip: keep away from curtains as your cat may not be able to resist leaping on to them.
There are some great scratching trees available on Amazon but (from experience) make sure you don’t buy the wrong one. You don’t have to spend that much money – take a look at my recommendations here.
4. Cardboard boxes
Maine Coons can’t resist boxes. Put an empty one on the floor and your cat will appear as if by magic and try to get in. With my two the smaller the box, the more they like to try to squeeze into it. I think they relish the secure feeling it gives them.
My son’s favorite pass time is taping a few boxes together to make tunnels with various entrances and windows. He creates designated areas for eating and sleeping and attaches toys on strings for the cats to bat with their paws.
Once he made a cat box and painted the inside bright blue. I was more than relieved that it was dry before our white Maine Coon jumped in.
5. Laser pointer
Maine Coons of any age will chase a little red dot. Please don’t buy one of those dangerous high-powered lasers. Even the ones that cast a red dot are powerful enough to cause damage to eyes.
Never shine them into anyone’s eyes – including your cat’s. Move the laser dot across the floor and up a wall and your cat will chase it for ages.
If you never let your cat catch the dot this can make it feel frustrated, so make sure that every so often you let it touch it. Try starting on the ceiling and make sure your cat spots it.
Then slowly come down the wall and along the ground towards your cat. As you cat pounces, move it sharply away to make them chase it. This is an excellent form of exercise, especially for indoor Maine Coons.
6. Fishing rod style toys
These consist of a stick with feathers or a toy etc. on a piece of string tied to one end. You can buy them at most pet stores or simply make your own. Our Maine Coons are content to chase a frayed piece of string tied to a stick.
If you’re feeling particularly lazy you can use one to play with your cat from the comfort of your armchair. And if you’d like some exercise yourself you can run all over the house with one, getting your cat to chase you.
Don’t think you need to spend a lot of money on these. There are some great ones on Amazon that cost hardly anything at all – for instance, you really need look no further than this.
7. Pop-up tunnels
Cats love these. They come in all shapes and sizes and can be straight or have junctions. The bonus is that they can be folded down when you want to reclaim a little of your living space for yourself. If you have two cats one will often hide in the tunnel and leap out on the other cat as it passes innocently by. Hours of fun!
8. A fish tank
If you have a secure tank on a shelf that your Maine Coon can ideally sit close to, but not on top of, it will enjoy watching the fish for hours. You don’t want it situated where the cat can put its face up to the glass as you don’t want the fish scared to death. The ideal type of tank is one that is recessed into a wall, a few feet above ground level. If you don’t want the hassle of a tank of real fish, another option is to have a virtual fish tank playing on your TV.
9. Talk radio
To prevent your Maine Coon from getting bored with the sound of silence try leaving a radio playing. A talk radio station is better than a music channel as, hopefully, the voices will trick it into thinking it’s not alone.
10. Hanging toys/mobiles
There are two types to try. The first type has colored glass pendants dangling from it and is hung high up to reflect colored light onto the floor when the sun shines.
Your Maine Coon will be fascinated by the shapes and clours it makes on the ground. If a breeze makes the mobile sway, the shapes will dance on the floor and your cat will chase them.
The other type is similar to a cot mobile. It should be hung where your cat can roll on its back and bat at the toys. Make sure there is nothing that your cat can get its head through – short strings with toys attached are best.
Above, Harry is playing with a dangling Christmas decoration.
11. Catnip lifts a bored Maine Coon’s mood
Most cats adore catnip. But there are some that just don’t react to it at all – I hope your cat isn’t one of these. Catnip is a herbaceous plant which secrets a chemical that most cats just can’t resist the smell of.
It can quite literally send them into a frenzy. It is usually dried and sewn into toys. A cat will rub itself all over a catnip toy, toss and chase it like crazy.
We’ve tried to grow the herb ourselves but the cats kept digging them up. If eaten, a catnip plant has a sedative effect. You can also buy catnip spray to coat things like scratching posts with to entice your cat to use them.
What you want to do is buy a toy that the catnip scent doesn’t wear off of after only a few days, which happens with most of them! I have this one and the scent really does last for ages. Check it out on Amazon (opens in a new tab).
12. Leave the TV on
Maine Coons will watch certain types of programs. Mine like snooker for instance. We have played videos of birds and they have been glued to the screen and have even made that cute chattering noise they make when watching a prey that they can’t reach (usually made at birds through a window).
Cats focus better when more than 30cm away from an object so don’t put them on a chair right in front of the screen. Our two perch on the coffee table about 5 feet from the screen to watch TV and they don’t if they block our view.
If you’re going out and have a smart TV try playing a long video from Youtube for your cats. There are plenty they will love available and they last for hours. For instance:
You can also have a virtual fish tank showing on your TV or a computer monitor. Some cats are fascinated by these. If you don’t have a real tank and don’t want the hassle of purchasing one, then try this:
There are also apps specially designed for cats you can install on tablets such as iPads. For instance, there’s one where a fish swims around the screen which your cat can try to catch with its paws. If you go down this route, invest in a sturdy screen protector! See an example of what these look like below:
13. Collect things from outdoors
The outside world is full of free things that Maine Coons can play with. Look out for bird feathers. Tie one to a piece of string and you’ll have an instant cat toy that they’ll love to chase.
A slim and bendy twig is also an excellent toy to a cat. Conkers and acorns are excellent for cats to chase. They also quite like rustly leaves.
These are just a few ideas, but the point is to vary your cat’s toys, mix it up a bit and prevent boredom – all without spending any money. Things like this from nature are free and easy to dispose of at the end of the day. And tomorrow you can bring home a fresh set.
14. Bird tables and feeders
These are best for indoor cats only. Position a bird table, a birdbath or hanging bird feeder (or all three) near to a window that your cat can sit by and see out of.
Make sure you keep them well-stocked with seed and water. During the day, when you’re not around to provide entertainment your Maine Coon can watch the birdies.
If you’re home, listen for the chattering noise your cat will make. It’s believed this is a noise a cat makes only when it can’t reach its prey. Our birds soon move out of their birdhouse after Harry visited one day (right).
15. Ball of wool
Any people who like knitting and happen to own a cat will vouch for the fact that cats love balls of wool. As you knit and the ball unravels, a cat can’t resist pouncing on it.
Try holding the end of a ball of wool and letting your Maine Coon at it. It’s great fun. But I wouldn’t leave a cat unsupervised with a ball of wool (or similar) because there’s a chance they’ll become completely entangled in it. This is definitely a game for two – you and your cat.
16. Ping-pong ball in a bath
This is a good game if you have a cast iron bath that won’t scratch easily. One of our Maine Coons likes to sit in an empty bath (show him water and he’s off) so we added a little ball one day and he batted it about for ages.
Try this yourself as follows: place your cat gently into an empty bath and then drop in a ping-pong ball. It will love the way this light-weight ball moves around and rolls up and down the edges as it bats it about.
I’ve seen it suggested that injecting water into a ping-pong ball through a syringe makes it move in a really random fashion that cats love. You could try this if you just happen to have a syringe at home.
17. Remote control toys
Yes, you can get remote control toys for cats. There are so many to choose from that you may find yourself buying too many and spending a fortune.
You can get remote control balls about the size of a ping-pong ball – you could even try one of these in a bath as mentioned above. As you might expect, you can get a remote control mouse too.
And a centipede! Again these types of toys are great if you are lazy but want to get your cat to exercise. The downside of remote control toys for cats is you have to be there to work them. The upside of remote control toys for cats is you will find them as much fun as your cat.
18. Bored Maine Coon Interactive toys
There are now a large variety of toys for cats that are more than just something to bat about the floor. Toys that test cats intelligence are becoming quite popular. Maine Coons are very clever cats and will enjoy the challenge that interactive brainteaser toys have to offer.
There are all sorts from boxes to unlock with certain sequences of paw patting, to mazes. These will help to prevent boredom and will amuse your cat for longer than a basic cat toy.
If you provide an interactive toy where they can unlock a little treat, even better. These toys are particularly good for inquisitive cats. Even older cats may show a renewed energy for playing with toys like these.
I could watch them play with these things for ages but don’t buy any old one as there are lots that just don’t work. You don’t have to spend a lot of money, just take a look at this one on Amazon – I can definitely recommend it.
19. Scratching posts
Maine Coons need to keep their claws in order and a scratching post will take the strain instead of your favorite furniture. So if the scratching tree mentioned earlier is too big for your house (or your budget) at the very least invest in a good, sturdy scratching post.
They are also a great way for cats to flex and work their muscles. Add a little interest by tying a ball on a string to one. Cats of all ages will benefit from a scratching post.
Do check out the only scratching posts I’d recommend here.
20. A slippery rug
Maine Coons love a rug on a slippery floor to stop them feeling bored. They like the way it moves and rucks up when they run at it. Our two are expert at making the center of a rug pop up to make a tunnel beneath.
Whichever cat makes it do this will then hide in the tunnel and pounce out at the other cat as it walks by. The other cat usually almost hits the ceiling. It never seems to sense the ambush.
21. Bored Maine Coon Baby Gym
It wasn’t until we had our son that we realized that a baby gym mat also doubled as a great cat toy. Ours had two bars that crossed diagonally and held all sorts of toys on ribbons, from rattles to bells to soft toys.
The cats used to lay on their backs and play with this on a daily basis. When our son grew too big for it the cats used it for years after.
22. Bored Maine Coon Climbing wall
I saw a photo of one of these a few days ago and think they’re fantastic. If you’re a DIY expert you could make one of these yourself. It’s just a series of shelves placed like steps that your cat can clamber up and down on.
Definitely don’t put ornaments on them as cats like nothing more than to knock things off of edges. There’s a saying that goes, “If the world was flat, cats would have knocked everything off of it by now.” You’d better believe they would!
23. Paper bags
The photo says it all… As kittens, our Maine Coon used to trap each other inside paper bags. They still can’t resist them. As a safety measure, cut the handles off so your cat doesn’t get a bag stuck around its neck!
I hope you’ve been inspired by this list. The message is, “Keep your Maine Coon entertained!” All cats love to play, especially Maine Coons who are always kittens at heart. I’ve got two 14-year-old “kittens” to prove it!
One last thing, here’s a similar post to this one about entertaining any cat, do take a look (opens in a new tab).