Maine Coon and dog—a match made in heaven or hell?
Step forward the family dog, who can also be large, unafraid, and constantly seeking human companionship.
Living in the same house as a dog means sharing personal space for your Maine Coon but can also involve food etiquette, the rules of communal games, and rivalries for attention from the home’s human interlopers.
Is the combination of Maine Coon and dog one that will stand the test of time, or are you setting yourself up for constant pitched battles between the two species? Read on and find out!
The Maine Coon personality explained
Maine Coons are, in truth, pretty easy-going creatures.
Known for being affectionate and playful, Maine Coons retain kitten-like qualities well into old age—which can be a long time—and love nothing more than to cuddle up with their human parents after a hard day’s playing outside.
If this sounds strangely dog-like, you won’t be surprised to learn that Maine Coons are highly intelligent and responsive to training. Games of fetch, hide and seek, and tag are a Maine Coon’s idea of fun, and their intelligence and hunting skills can even mean they will regularly beat you.
Maine Coons are not universally gregarious, though. While they develop strong relationships with family members, they can be wary and shy when it comes to strangers. You may have experienced pre-warning first-time visitors to your home that they may end up covered in Maine Coon hair of various shades, only for your kitty to go entirely AWOL as soon as the newcomers arrive.
The same is often true when you introduce a dog to the household.
“Call yourself a dog?”
Source: Maine Coon Guide
Do Maine Coon cats get along with dogs?
Maine Coons and dogs share similar interests. Both enjoy:
- Playing outside
- Cuddling with humans
- Relaxing in front of the TV
- Energetic games
Due to their friendly and unfazed nature, Maine Coons and dogs will generally get along fine, but care should be exercised when:
- Introducing a new dog to the household
- Bringing a Maine Coon home to a house with a dog
Introducing a new dog to the household
The first thing a dog—particularly a puppy—will do is explore the new environment. This could be a disaster in the making for a Maine Coon, as the chance of private spaces being invaded is high.
The dog will smell the presence of your Maine Coon and may pay particular attention to areas where the smell is strongest—exactly the places your kitty holds most sacrosanct.
The best advice is for you to seal off your feline’s favourite spots to limit the dog’s access and keep the dog firmly under control while exploring.
Bringing a Maine Coon home to a house with a dog
Your Maine Coon will be nervous at being transplanted into a new environment. The last thing your cat needs is an over-enthusiastic dog slathering and yapping everywhere, so it is vital to keep the dog well under control while your Maine Coon gets comfortable in the new surroundings.
One theory claims that dogs and cats frequently misunderstand each other due to body language differences. Dogs wagging their tails is a sign of happiness and excitement, whereas the same movement in cats is frequently a sign of irritation. Temperamentally, the two species may be similar enough to get on, but the language barrier can preclude even the first steps in becoming friends
As with any relationship, it might take time for the two species to feel comfortable together. Maine Coons are chilled, though, and most can become firm friends with their canine co-habitants.
The perfect pairing!
How to improve Maine Coon cat and dog relations from the word go
Your best advice is to control and limit contact in the first week. You can achieve the best results by:
- Keeping the newcomer in an enclosed space
- Designating favoured safe areas for the established animal
- Dividing love and attention equally
Keeping the newcomer in an enclosed space
Kittens and puppies don’t need much space. If your newcomer is still young—Maine Coons are generally rehomed soon after weaning—you can keep them in a box or crate with enough room to move around but sufficient screening from long-distance views.
If you are introducing a kitten to an established dog, you should allow the dog in for short periods every day to inspect and sniff around the kitten. You can then gradually extend visiting hours as the two become used to each other.
When introducing a dog into a cat-dominated household, you will probably find that your Maine Coon will dictate the pace of getting acquainted. The initial reaction will probably be to run away and hide, but your Maine Coon’s natural curiosity means the new dog will be investigated from ever-closer distances.
Designating favoured safe areas for the established animal
If the animal-in-residence gets the feeling that they are being disadvantaged by the new arrival, rivalry may develop.
Any area that your established dog or cat treats as a safe space should be off-limits for the newcomer—this could be:
- The favourite couch berth in front of the TV
- A corner of the kitchen where the established pet usually relaxes
- Any nooks or crannies that are favourite hidey-holes
Dividing love and attention equally
It is absolutely crucial to make sure you don’t favour your new pet over the one that has been your companion for longer.
While it’s natural for a new kitten or puppy to demand constant attention, you should be very particular in lavishing as much love as possible on the pet already in residence. This is particularly true with Maine Coons. As highly intelligent cats, they will be fully aware of any favouritism and may react by:
- Beginning to spray their territory
- Developing acute gastrointestinal problems, such as diarrhoea, nausea, or vomiting
- Avoiding food or refusing the regular diet
How to avoid food rivalry and health issues—Maine Coon vs dog
Two areas are of major concern when it comes to your Maine Coon sharing a living space with a dog, namely:
- Avoiding cross-contamination with illnesses
- Keeping cat and dog food separate
How can you avoid cross-contamination and illness?
The most likely health conditions that could be transferred between your Maine Coon and your dog are:
- Gastric upsets—Maine Coons can be fairly sensitive, succumbing easily to tummy upsets, especially as kittens with immature digestive tracts and immune systems. Any stomach disorder that affects one pet can easily jump to the other four-legged members of your household
- External parasitic infestations—Both dogs and cats can catch external conditions such as ringworm or mange from each other. Ringworm is a highly contagious fungal infection, while mange is caused by mites that can easily jump between species.
- Internal parasites—Tapeworms, roundworms, and hookworms are also commonly transferred, particularly if your dog takes the occasional nibble of the contents of your Maine Coon’s litter tray
Why do you need to keep food separate?
Keeping cat and dog food separate is essential if you want to ensure both pets get what they need nutritionally.
Carbs in the form of fibre provide fast-release energy, but if the calories are not used quickly, they will be stored as fatty cells. Your cat can quickly pile on the pounds in this way, and only a strict diet and regular exercise will get your Maine Coon back to a healthy weight.
Keeping food separate is also important psychologically. Maine Coons love routine, and having a quiet, private place to eat forms part of their safe space. Placing your Maine Coon’s food bowl well away from where your dog eats can go a long way towards avoiding stressing your cat out.
High-quality protein is the basis of all healthy cat food!
Image (c) Untamed
Maine Coon nutrition—how is it different from that of dogs?
When it comes to making sure your Maine Coon doesn’t start barking, the right amounts of the best food—and sole access to it—are crucial.
- Animal protein
- Animal fat
The highest-quality meat or fish should be the largest component of your Maine Coon’s—and all cats’—diet. This will ensure that your kitty gets all the amino acids and energy required for a healthy life.
The best protein sources you should look for in cat food are:
Products that contain the following vegetable protein sources should be avoided:
High levels of animal protein have a beneficial effect on:
- The prevention of urinary tract infections (UTIs), such as cystitis or bladder stones
- The condition of your Maine Coon’s skin and coat, including reducing shedding and the number of hairballs produced
- Digestive health—animal protein is easily digested
- Weight control—as calories are delivered in a healthy form
- Linoleic acid
- Arachidonic acid
- Omega-3 and omega-6 acids
These help maintain cell structure and positively influence your Maine Coon’s inflammatory responses. Minor skin blemishes, scratches, or areas affected by food allergies will heal quicker, and your Maine Coon’s luxurious coat will look better.
What is the ideal protein to fat ratio for Maine Coons?
The optimum levels of each of these nutrient groups in your Maine Coon’s food are:
50% or more
Up to 20%
Less than 3%
Untamed has your Maine Coon covered
Untamed is the best choice you can make for your Maine Coon’s nutrition! With their relatively sensitive metabolisms and high energy requirements, Maine Coons thrive on Untamed due to the:
- High levels of exclusively animal protein
- Vet-designed, allergen-free formulas that keep your feline healthy and happy
Whether your Maine Coon is a kitten in the middle of a major growth phase, a pregnant female that is fussy, an adult male that’s been neutered, or a senior that has weight loss issues, gum problems, and disappearing teeth, Untamed is sure to hit the right spot. We even offer two hypoallergenic recipes (Chocka Chicken in Jelly and Tuck-in Tuna in Jelly) for super sensitive kitties!
At Untamed, we are also committed to keeping the planet as healthy as your Maine Coon. This means we:
- Only source from cruelty-free, sustainable suppliers
- Use 100% recyclable packaging for our cat food delivery
- Operate on a carbon-neutral basis throughout the supply chain
Give your Maine Coon the absolute best—try Untamed today!
Nutritional perfection for your Maine Coon!
Image (c) Untamed
Getting Untamed for your Maine Coon
Giving your Maine Coon high-quality, meat-based wet food couldn’t be easier!
All you need to do to get Untamed delivered to your door is:
Once your cat food trial pack arrives, the feeding frenzy can begin, and you might start to notice the following:
The Untamed effect
Within a week
After 2 months
Within 4 months