Lion or pussycat—are Maine Coon cats friendly?
With their imposing appearance and muscular build, you could be forgiven for being scared of Maine Coons. Add their famed ability as hunters in the great outdoors, and it becomes easy to classify the breed as mad, bad, and dangerous to know.
This could lead you to having second thoughts about adopting a Maine Coon if you have kids or other pets—such as a dog—in your household. Could you feed a Maine Coon enough to avoid attacks on your family members? Is your house even big enough? Do you need a panic room to escape to?
All these questions, and many more, could be understandable when thinking about a Maine Coon—as opposed to a less intimidating-looking breed like Siamese, British Shorthair, Burmese, or Ragdoll—joining your family. Are Maine Coon cats friendly, and what are they really like? Read on and find out the truth!
“Like, duh, do I look nasty?”
Are Maine Coon cats good pets?
Maine Coons belie their appearance by being one of the friendliest, most playful cat breeds around. From the time they are weaned, go through kittenhood, and start developing into adults, they demonstrate what amazing family members they can be.
Playful, intelligent, trainable, and eager to socialise with their family, Maine Coons are great company—the bigger your family, the better!
The only issues you are likely to have with this breed are around keeping your feline occupied safely as they:
- Love hunting outside
- Are incredibly curious
- Tend to be shy around strangers
Maine Coons love hunting outside
Maine Coons are excellent hunters and love nothing more than exploring a garden for possible prey. This could mean that you will find regular presents deposited on your kitchen floor, including:
Regardless of how well-intended these tasty snacks might be, there is always the danger that your Maine Coon could pick up a tummy bug.
The symptoms you could notice are:
This can occur if your Maine Coon nibbles on too many plants or grazes your lawn too enthusiastically. If you notice any of these symptoms, a period of enforced grounding may be necessary until the tummy trouble clears up.
Maine Coons are incredibly curious
Anything left lying around the house is in danger of being investigated by your Maine Coon. This includes the most inaccessible spaces in the back of cupboards but—more importantly—could involve nibbles being taken out of food that you haven’t cleared away.
In most cases, this presents no risk, but Maine Coons’ curiosity could potentially lead them to try something toxic, such as:
- Citrus fruits
- Milk, cheese, and other dairy products
- Bread and products containing yeast
- Allium vegetables, like onion, garlic, or chives
- Coffee and alcohol
- Essential oils like peppermint
- Grapes and raisins
Less harmful snacks that could fall victim to a Maine Coon’s taste for culinary adventure are:
With a Maine Coon in the family, you should get into a routine of clearing everything away before it gets devoured.
Strangers cannot be trusted
Even though your Maine Coon might be your constant companion when the family is alone, the visit of a stranger can cause a rapid disappearing act.
Being highly intelligent and perceptive cats, Maine Coons usually quickly work out whether or not a visitor can be trusted, but the initial reaction will be one of shyness and hiding.
You may need to organise a safe space for your Maine Coon to flee to or at least know where to find your feline after your guests have departed.
Are Maine Coons and dogs a good mix?
The Maine Coon breed is not known to be particularly territorial, so they shouldn’t feel threatened by sharing the house with a dog. In all such cases, the integration period is most crucial.
You should make sure that:
- Each animal has enough space to avoid each other if required
- Food stations are kept well separated to avoid competitive behaviour
- Both animals are given equal amounts of attention
All bark and zero bite!
Your once friendly Maine Coon not acting so friendly? Here’s what might be the issue!
The healthier cats are, the more they will be willing to engage with you. Cats are not only hunters but also prey for larger predators, so their natural instinct is to hide away if they feel vulnerable due to illness, making them less friendly and affectionate.
The most common health problems among Maine Coons are related to:
- Skin and coat
- Weight management
- Heart disease
- Renal failure
Skin and coat
As a long-haired breed, Maine Coons tend to shed excessively. While shedding is a natural process and helps with temperature control through the various seasons, too much hair being lost can result in:
- A constant battle to keep your feline groomed
- Frequent hairballs
Grooming should be a regular—even daily—routine, and you may even find that your friendly Maine Coon enjoys the attention you lavish. With short-haired Maine Coons (a rarer sight), the grooming regimen doesn’t need to be quite as intensive.
Hairballs, while a natural occurrence, can also be minimised if you take over much of the grooming responsibility yourself. Your Maine Coon will thank you for not having to regurgitate matted clumps of hair and mucus too often.
Too little exercise—common with indoor cats—and the wrong kind of food can quickly turn your Maine Coon pear-shaped. The two often go hand-in-hand, typically when your cat’s diet consists of too much food that is high in calories from carbs.
- The cat’s system is flooded with sugar, leading to lethargy as the pancreas tries to manage blood sugar levels and a slump as the sugar dissipates
- Unburnt calories are stored for later use as fat cells
This combination is the perfect vicious circle and can quickly lead to excess poundage.
Maine Coons are genetically predisposed to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, affecting the function of the heart.
Most breeders will routinely screen for the genetic markers in their breeding queens and males, but you could be unlucky enough to have a Maine Coon that suffers from the disease.
Lifelong medication and the healthiest possible diet can usually alleviate most of the symptoms of the disease.
Over time, these can lead to kidney damage, causing renal insufficiency in older Maine Coons.
While kidney failure can’t be reversed, healthy nutrition and medication can maintain your Maine Coon’s quality of life for as long as possible.
Good nutrition is the key
The common denominator in all the above conditions is nutrition.
Making the right food choices as early as possible can avoid many of the health issues Maine Coons are prone to and ensure your feline is a friendly bundle of joy every day!
“Can’t wait for my next nummies!”
What is the right food for a Maine Coon?
To stay healthy and happy, Maine Coons—like all cat breeds—need:
- Animal protein
- Animal fat
Meat is the most important element in keeping your Maine Coon healthy.
The best protein sources to look for in cat food are:
All commercial ready-made foods and recipes—wet, semi-moist, dry, or raw—must list all their ingredients in descending order by volume. If vegetable protein sources appear anywhere on the list, you should look for a healthier option for your Maine Coon.
- Fatty acids for:
- Cell structure
- Inflammatory response regulation
- Skin and coat health
- Organ function
- A taste that cats go wild for
Getting the balance right
The food you choose should contain these three nutrient groups in approximately the following proportions:
50% or more
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
How can Untamed keep a Maine Coon happy (and friendly!)?
Want to keep your Maine Coon satiated and content? Untamed has the answer!
- Twice as much animal protein as other commercial cat foods—Your Maine Coon will benefit from the energy, nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that only meat can provide. Even fussy or sensitive cats go wild about the taste, even if wet food isn’t usually on their menu
- Vet-designed formulas—Having started as homemade recipes, Untamed formulas have been fine-tuned by vets to ensure your cat gets the healthiest food possible. All our recipes are free from known allergens and excellent at keeping your Maine Coon in the rudest of health. Whether you choose Chocka Chicken, Tuck-in Tuna, or Full-on Fishy, you can rest assured that you’re getting the best of the best for your feline
Untamed is as committed to the planet as we are to cats, so we:
- Only collaborate with cruelty-free, sustainable suppliers
- Ensure our packaging is 100% recyclable
- Operate as a carbon-neutral organisation
The way to a Maine Coon’s heart is through the stomach
Image (c) Untamed
Getting Untamed for your Maine Coon
Getting Untamed is as easy as one, two, three:
- Tell us about your Maine Coon
- Create a meal plan for your feline companion
- Order your initial trial pack
Your trial pack will arrive in no time, and your best friend can start to enjoy what Untamed has to offer. We’ll keep you stocked up so you never run out of your Maine Coon’s fave food.
Cat parents who have gone over to the Untamed side tell us you should notice:
What Untamed can achieve
Within a week
After 2 months
Within 4 months