I recall the first time I laid eyes on a Maine Coon. It was evening, and I finished with the dishes after dinner. Drying my hands, I glanced at the local evening news on the TV. I could not believe my eyes, because on the screen was the biggest, fluffiest, most majestic cat I’d ever seen. I did one of those dramatic movie gestures like taking off my glasses slowly.
His name was Knight and he is male Maine Coon cat, the veterinarian said. He added that Knight weighed more than 20 pounds, and that we could see him in exhibition at the Cat Fancier’s Association cat show this weekend. The jaw-dropping thing was how docile he was even while handled and prodded on TV. Even human actors break a sweat under the studio lights and activity – not this Maine Coon!
I did go to this cat show, and saw Knight, plus a whole host of other Maine Coons. A few months later, I was the owner of a smoke silver Maine Coon girl. And to be honest, I did not know what to expect in daily life.
Today, prospective owners or dreamers ask where they can find a Maine Coon. I was in the same, eager boat when I went to the cat show, so I understand. But, they should also know what it’s really like living with a Maine Coon to get a fuller picture. Let’s talk about that below.
Signature traits abound with Maine Coons, and their personality is a fine place to explain life with this cat breed. The Maine Coon is an easy going, intelligent cat, very sociable, and a great human or family companion.
People with babies and other animals will find the perfect cat in a Maine Coon. And even in the presence of other cats, the Maine Coon is rarely dominating. There is a good reason they are often referred to as “Gentle Giants!”
In temperament, they are unlike other cats, to be blunt. They don’t display any typical cat skittishness or shyness. Maine Coons do not run away in new situations or when meeting a new person. It’s more the case that they will walk up to them in a curious fashion and engage. In a sense, they are a bit like small dogs as opposed to cats!
Proper Sized Products
As you consider the Maine Coon as a pet, never forget they are the largest breed of domestic cat in the world. As such, the products need to be specifically for large cats. These include the essentials: the food bowl, the water fountain, and the litter box. We all want our pets to be comfortable and healthy, and the right sized basics go a long way.
And for recreation, which is also essential for sanity and mental stimulation, size up the cat trees, cat toys, and scratching posts, too. Maine Coons boast the largest paws of any cat, and they are strong, powerful hunters. So no dainty toys and generic scratching posts here!
Living with a Maine Coon, you will see behavior you’ve never seen other cats exhibit. Let’s start with trilling: this is a chirping sound your furry buddy makes as they are looking out the window, towards birds or other wildlife. It’s almost like they are emulating birds, and attempting to bait them. This trilling is definitely not a meow.
While on the topic of noises, you’ll realize a Maine Coon’s meow is very high pitched, and does not match their stature at all. It’s adorable, I hope you hear it often. Maine Coons are well known for being vocal, so chances are good.
Another weird trait is that Maine Coons love water, unlike most cats. So in your house, keep the toilet seat down else, you’ll find them stepping in the bowl! And owners regularly find their Maine Coons hanging out by sinks or bathtubs, looking for a bit of dripping water to bat at. More adventurous Maine Coons also go swimming with their owners. A good compromise is a quality water fountain that has a waterfall feature. It’ll act as an entertaining toy, and provide appropriate hydration.
Owning a Maine Coon has similar qualities to owning a dog. In the above personality section, I spoke to their curious and friendly nature. To go one step further, a Maine Coon also displays the most dog-like of behaviors: loyalty.
It’s quite endearing, because have you ever seen a cat that follows its owner around the house, often from room to room? And it’s not a clingy type of attachment – you’ll go to another part of the house, and in a few minutes, your Maine Coon saunters in and settles down near you. I speak from personal experience that you should watch your step because your Maine Coon may be sitting behind, or right underfoot.
If you close a door on a Maine Coon, they sit outside until you realize your wrong. Or they might sit there until morning. If you leave for work, and come back in the evening, your fluffy friend is sure to greet you with a chirp and head rubs on your return.
Other dog-like behaviors you can train your Maine Coon to do is to play fetch, and even to take a harness and walk on a leash.
For a long-haired cat, Maine Coons are actually quite low maintenance. Regular brushing with a deep slicker or wire brush, plus semi regular deshedding is all you need for coat maintenance. That being said, you will need to do daily or every other day grooming, so get used to it. It’s important to start when your cat is still a kitten.
Grooming is simple because the fine fur of Maine Coons do not tangle too easily, unlike other long-haired breed i.e. Persians. You see, Maine Coons are a hardy, practical cat breed that come from New England. The winters in the North Eastern United States are long, bitter, and cold with heavy snow and ice. The environment molded the Maine Coon into what it is. And I am assuming having a high maintenance coat is not an evolutionary advantage.
If you don’t brush and deshed, get used to a lot of fur on every surface of your house. Plus frequent hairballs your cat hacks up.
I hope you enjoyed a daily snapshot of what to expect with a Maine Coon in the house. You’ll love having this uniquely loyal big cat in your family. But the reality is that there will be work, like daily grooming or cleaning a big litter box. Both cannot be ignored, and they add up to the everyday experience owning a Maine Coon.