The Maine Coon cat is well-known for its sociable temperament which makes it one of the best breeds to have as a pet. It is naturally calm but sometimes can turn out to be hostile and mean. This type of unwanted behavior can be triggered for a variety of reasons.
A Maine Coon might be mean and vicious because it has inherited a mean-streak from one of its parents, it may have been mistreated as a kitten, or it may be injured or in pain. Many other reasons for mean behavior are covered below.
Research has shown that a Maine Coon cat’s behavior may be directly influenced by its father’s behavior. Just like the way that there is genetic inheritance in humans, there is also a similar process in cats.
A cat may grow to behave similarly to how its father did. Yes, your cat is mean because its father was mean. This may be the reason but note that not all cats inherit this kind of behavior and but yours may have. So, what have we learned here?
That your cat might be mean because of its Dad, or maybe not.
The Maine Coon’s Early Life
Just like kids, Maine Coon cats also grow up to behave the way they were taught when they were kittens. If a kitten is not introduced to healthy relationships with those around it, it may grow up to be mean. So, your cat may tend to be mean because of its early life experiences.
Cats by nature are hunters and stalkers hence they tend to pounce on anything that looks like prey to them. If when they were young they were not taught what not to rip apart they may end up hurting those around them. Try to discipline your cat in a positive way whilst it is a kitten so it doesn’t grow up to be vicious.
Problems When Young
Cats are just like babies in many ways. They can’t talk and tell us what is wrong with them so they end up showing it with actions. This may include biting and scratching. Your cat may just be trying to tell you that there is an underlying health issue or it is injured, perhaps from a fight.
If your cat suddenly starts acting meanly and its behavior is accompanied by other actions, like vomiting, it would be best if you visited the vet to have its health checked.
Changes to the Cat’s Environment
Adapting to changes is not really easy for anyone and cats are no exception. Changes to the environment for the Maine coon cat may stress them out and make them change their natural behaviors.
An example could be moving to a new home, introduction to new family members or a new animal – all this may cause changes in your cat’s attitude.
If you just moved to a new house try making your cat’s space feel and seem like its previous space, at least in scent. You may try placing its little box in the same place like in the previous house, maybe a corner. You may also incorporate an item its familiar with, like its favorite toy.
You will have already thought of this though I’m sure. If you’d like more information about stress and the Maine Coon, by the way, do check out this article for further information.
If it’s a new house member or another pet like a dog, try to minimize their contact with your cat to reduce the chances of a physical attack. If physical contact cannot be avoided try making an introduction between them but don’t push it.
Do it gradually so that the cat is given time to process the new situation. If it’s possible to allow the cat to initiate the connection between both of them and this will make things a little easier. Remember the main purpose of all this is to make the cat’s life seem as it was before as well as being comfortable.
Changes in your Cat’s Schedule
If you changed your cat’s schedule recently you may have noted that its behavior may have also changed. Change is as good as rest but cats prefer to do their things in the same old routine way.
If your cat was used to taking it meals at a certain time it would be difficult for it to change automatically to the stated time, and since it won’t talk to tell you that it will do it by changing its attitude and behavior. For the time being, go back to the same routine your cat was used to.
If it’s inevitable to stay in the same schedule for any reason make the changes in small bits and do it gradually without pushing it to give your cat enough time to adapt to the changes.
Craving for attention
You read it right, attention. It might be hard to believe but it’s true. Cats are like babies (I said this earlier) and would do anything in the world just to get your attention. You may have shifted your attention and time to something else like a new hobby or a new pet and your cat may have noted it.
This resulted in it being mean. And by mean I mean bitey. And scratchy. Or if you’re really lucky, both. If this happens to be your situation, just try giving it some more time and attention and show it that you still care and that it’s still in the list of your priorities.
This, of course, would have not been by you but maybe in the past by their previous owner? Or perhaps you have kids who don’t know how to handle cats just yet. Sometimes cats want to be treated like little living eggs so that they don’t break.
They want to be taken care of and treated in special ways and with utmost understanding. If a cat is maltreated then it will become anxious and stressed, if it is anxious and stressed it may become aggressive.
If it continues without being stopped your cat may become meaner even with the littlest kind of touch and the result may be a physical attack. Try handling your cat in the best possible manner.
Hard as it is to believe it might actually be true. Cats don’t talk the human language (why don’t we talk their’s?) and so they use their own ways to communicate.
Being mean doesn’t always have to mean that your cat has turned out to be a bad cat it might be trying to communicate to you. Sometimes humans aren’t the easiest to communicate with especially using small hints and sometimes harsh actions tend to bring the message home much better.
Your Maine Coon may be doing exactly that. It may sound bad but hey, it really does work. You may have done something or not done something to your cat and therefore it resulted in being mean.
Things that may upset your cat are like taking away something that it really likes, like its cat mouse toy or maybe forgetting to change its water. They may sound like small things to you but they really matter to your cat.
Is your Maine Coon bored?
Crazy as it sounds it might be the whole reason for the mean behavior. Cats are not like humans where they can watch a movie or go out with friends for a few drinks and get over their boredoms.
They just have their own space in the house where they can reduce their boredom. Your Maine coon cat may be doing exactly that. It might have gotten bored of sleeping on your lap or playing with its toy mouse and it thought,” why not just be mean to those around?”, and that exactly what happened next.
Maine coon cats belong to the cat family and these really uphold dominance. All cat families have that one member who dominates among the others and that might just be your cat. If you brought another pet cat in your house then that may be the reason for the mean behavior.
Your cat may be acting mean and trying to scare your other pet just to tell and show it that it’s the boss in that house. You can’t do much about that except to give the cats time to know each other and to adapt to sharing the house.
Are you pushing them too much?
By this, we don’t mean the physical kind of pushing but emotionally. This may happen if you are trying to train your cat to do something when it is not interested in learning.
Cats like doing things on their own terms without being pushed. If pushed they may tend to be aggressive and even be mean. If your cat is not the social kind of cat just let it be and don’t try to force it. If you try to achieve something with your cat and you realize your cat is not interested just let it go and try out something else it likes.
Think of your cat as your little baby and try to be the best owner it can ever have. Try to understand its ‘language’ and behavior. Show your cat how much you really love and care for it and be gentle towards it even if it’s being mean.
Punishing it won’t work because it won’t understand what is going on. Don’t overthink things but also don’t overlook them. Whatever the reason for the meanness is, just try to handle it in the best way possible. If you love this breed, here’s an ultimate guide packed full of information about buying and raising Maine Coons.