The Maine Coon cat is well known for being the gentle giant of the domestic cat family. It is unlike other cats, not just in its size but in its personality. They have been described as having many dog-traits due to their canine-like skills, passion, and love for their owners.
They are also well known for never losing that kitten-like behavior and will want your time and effort interacting with them for as long as their little lives last.
Having owned Maine Coons for around 25 years, I have a lot of experience with this breed. I hope some of my experience can be of help to you when answering this question. Currently, we have two Maine Coon brothers, Harry and Charlie who are now 15!
When do Maine Coons calm down? The Maine Coon will calm down a little after six months but many will go on to be extremely active throughout their lives. An unneutered Maine Coon will be more likely to spray and show aggressive tendencies to other cats. Your Maine Coon will therefore also calm down once neutered or spayed.
Are Maine Coon Cats Hyper?
Maine Coon kittens and cats play energetically and rarely lose their playful natures. However, this is not a trait that should be described as hyperactive. Hyperactivity in Maine Coons often results in destructive behavior. Preventing boredom through interaction and an enriched environment is the key to preventing hyperactive tendencies.
Do You Need to Calm Your Maine Cat Down?
Usually, someone will want to calm their cat down if they believe they are behaving anti-socially. Now, this could mean several things but the most common complaints I’ve heard are:
- Running around the house like a complete crazy cat, jumping onto tables and knocking stuff off. Also, running up and down the stairs, meowing.
- Spraying the furniture with their scent.
- Aggressive behavior towards other cats and some (or all) people.
- Wandering off at night, usually looking for a mate.
So, let’s deal with these points individually. The first point, about them running around the house and onto stuff is completely normal. They may do this at any age, neutered or not but usually not during the night-time. This is completely normal behavior and trying to stop this behavior is like asking a kid to stop running around! If this is an issue then perhaps a cat is not well suited for you but I’m sure that’s not the case.
The other three points (spraying, aggression and wandering off) are not normal in a cat that has been neutered or spayed. So, if you notice this behavior prior to this (in the first six months or so) you shouldn’t worry as after this they will calm down (more on this later).
When Does a Maine Coon Stop Being a Kitten?
It’s a good question and there’s no hard and fast rule governing when you should categorize your feline as either a kitten or a cat.
Typically though, at around six months to a year their kitten-like behavior will calm down just a little and at this point, they can probably be referred to no-longer as a kitten. It doesn’t really matter though, does it? Also, there’s nothing you can do to change this and why would you?
Take our two Maine Coons, Harry and Charlie. They are brothers and are now over 14 years of age. This is actually a couple of years older than the average life-span of a Maine Coon.
They have never been healthier though and although one of them, Charlie, is getting a little slower these days and likes to sleep for long periods of the day – he still plays.
Harry, on the other hand, would play all day if it was up to him. We have set-up all their toys in one of our rooms and often as we’re walking through it, he’s sitting there, waiting for someone to play with him. I actually believe that having regular play-sessions with your Maine Coon helps them (and us) in a number of ways.
Playing with cats helps reduce anxiety levels in the cat and in us also, there are literally no down-sides to this. Although neither cat can be seen climbing up curtains these days, they (like all Maine Coons) can be very active and very kitten-like, throughout their lives.
Maine Coon neutering
Maine Coons should be neutered as young as possible. At twelve weeks is ideal as long as they weigh at least 2 lbs. If this is not possible, try to do it by 4 months of age: before they hit puberty.
Neutering before puberty reduces the likelihood of spraying, aggression and the tendency to roam in search of a mate. It also clams a Maine Coon down to a certain extent.
If you miss the puberty window, neutering is still possible and recommended – seek a vet’s advice.
The procedure is very low risk but the price does vary depending on where you live. In the US, it will cost from around $200 – $500, whereas in the UK it only costs around £50.
There are many positives to neutering a Maine Coon, for instance:
Spaying Female Maine Coons:
- Reduced risk of breast cancer and other diseases (some of which can be fatal).
- If an un-spayed Maine Coon becomes pregnant, this has its own significant risks (including the birthing process) to the mother.
- Ensuring the population of unwanted cats doesn’t increase and therefore won’t put any more unnecessary load on the local rescue center.
Neutering Male Maine Coons:
- Neutering a Maine Coon will reduce their chance of catching diseases, such as the feline immunodeficiency virus – which is incurable and caught when fighting other cats. This risk is reduced as neutered cats are a lot less likely to get into fights than un-neutered cats.
- Neutering a male Maine Coon will reduce the chance that they will go off and wander and fight (see above) – this means they are also less likely to get involved in traffic accidents.
- If a Maine Coon is un-neutered they can become anxious and frustrated, which may lead them to attempt to escape from wherever they are (most likely your home) – potentially getting themselves lost.
What Can You do to Calm Them Down?
If you’re finding that your Maine Coon has excess energy and has already been neutered or spayed then maybe you need to up your game! Simply put, they need your help to get rid of some of their energy.
Dedicate at least 20 minutes a day (at least) to spend with your giant bundles of fur and give them some of your time. You’ll find you’ll feel a lot better after it as well as them!
If you’re not sure how to do this then here are a few ideas:
- Buy them some toys! If you’re short of ideas then I’ve tried all kinds and it tends to be the simplest things that work best. Here is my pick of the best toys for Maine Coons (opens in a new window).
- Allow them outside. I know it’s not as easy as that but if you can, allow them to do what comes naturally. The Maine Coon is a hunter. It will want to go out and find and chase little mice, rabbits or anything that moves outside. If you can let them out safely, then please do. If you’re worried about them getting stuck in a garage nearby, then get a cat locator. I recommend the Loc8tor Handheld Cat Locator as we have used it successfully for 14 years. It’s small and fits into your hand very nicely and is very reasonably priced!
- Build them stuff! Maine Coons, just like any cat, like to run around and jump and/or climb onto things. There are some great scratching posts online that you can build up taking up as much space as you can give. Some people have even dedicated a whole wall to this and I wish we could do just this as we most certainly would.
Hopefully, you now understand that the Maine Coon is a unique breed of cat and will be happy playing with you not only during their time as a kitten but well into old age and beyond.
If your Maine Coon has been neutered or spayed, don’t try and change their personality – let them express themselves naturally and if you don’t currently let them out, consider it.
The Maine Coon is naturally a hunting cat and depriving it of this activity will invoke the need to compensate somehow.
If you’d like to know more about this breed, why not check out this Complete Guide to the Maine Coon – it will tell you everything you need to know.