These fluffy felines are really something special. Known to be real gentle giants, they’re often referred to as the dogs of the cat world thanks to the unique Maine Coon personality.
So if you’re a self-proclaimed dog person but looking to broaden your horizons, this will be your perfect transition to being a cat owner too.
Maine Coons are friendly, loveable, and very vocal. Their sizable bodies and heavy, double-layer long hair kept them well-protected against the brutal cold in Maine, which is the state they originated from.
With so much personality and love to give, you may soon find yourself leaning towards the Maine Coon breed. However, other than knowing how to properly care for your cat, it’s important to know the ins and outs of the breed you’re considering making a part of your family.
Here’s everything you need to know about the nature of Maine Coons and what makes these wonderful creatures tick.
- 1 Maine Coon Personality: History
- 2 Maine Coons as Family Pets
- 3 The lifestyle of Maine Coons
- 4 Maine Coon Males
- 5 Maine Coon Females
- 6 Other Maine Coon Personality Traits
- 6.1 1. They Chirp When They’re Excited
- 6.2 2. They Promise to be your Helping Hand
- 6.3 3. They’re Very Affectionate
- 6.4 4. They’re Gentle Giants
- 6.5 5. They’re Very Forgiving
- 6.6 6. They Use Their Paws a Lot
- 6.7 7. They’re Very Intelligent
- 6.8 8. They Don’t Meow Much
- 6.9 9. They Get on Well with Other Animals
- 6.10 10. They Love to Play
- 6.11 11. They are very adaptable
- 6.12 12. They love to be the centre of attention
- 6.13 13. They enjoy quirky things (for cats)
- 7 Maine Coon Personality: Final Thoughts
Maine Coon Personality: History
There are certainly many things that make these pawed furballs extra notable. As previously mentioned, they were first recognized in the state of Maine. A popular myth is that the Maine Coon is the result of breeding between a cat and a raccoon but alas this is biologically impossible.
Another common story around the history of the Maine Coon cat breed is that it is originally French. Some believe that Marie Antoinette sent her cats to the United States as she hoped to one day join them. However, it is most likely that the Maine Coon is the result of short haired United States cats meeting up with long haired foreign cats that were brought back to the USA by New England sailors. But they are good stories!
But Maine Coon cats have a history that dates way back to when they were originally wild, outdoor cats. Later, they were domesticated to work in homes where they’d catch rodents and other pesky creatures. Maine Coons are known to be excellent mousers.
The first mention of a Maine Coon cat was in 1861. The cat was called Captain Jenks of the Horses Marines. Cat started to appear in the newly popular cat shows in Boston and New York. In 1895 a brown Maine Coon won Best Cat at the Madison Square Garden Show.
The popularity of the breed dropped when other long haired cat breeds came over from Europe. By the 1950s Maine Coon cats were declared to be extinct. The Central Maine Cat Club was created in response to this to increase the awareness and popularity of the breed.
And interestingly enough, this breed happens to be the largest of the domesticated cats – from nose to tail, they come in at about 1m long (39.37 ″).
They also boast the title of the oldest natural breed in North America. Because of their long-standing history and far-reaching popularity, they’re known as ‘America’s Cat’.
Maine Coons as Family Pets
The first thing to know about Maine Coons, is that they are friendly little fellas. While not clingy or overly dependent, they are certainly people-orientated. This makes them, like Siberian cats, excellent additions to any family.
They’re amicable with their owners and strangers alike and are also very adaptable to their environment. In fact, they are rather perfect to have around young children because they’re super laid back and patient.
So whether you’re on a farm, in an apartment, or a house in the suburbs, your Maine Coon cat will adapt and thrive excellently.
Just be aware that they are natural-born hunters. Whether you choose to let them pounce on mice or rather on their interactive toys, they need mental stimulation.
The lifestyle of Maine Coons
Their chunky bodies don’t take away from their rather active and playful nature. It would be a great idea to invest in a cat toy to fully harness the fun you can have with these guys. And make no mistake, they require some regular exercise and room to move.
It’s essential to accommodate their need for movement in order to avoid them becoming overweight. So while being an active and energetic owner will get first prize, getting a decent cat tree is a good idea for those times that you can’t be around to play fetch (yes, these little guys enjoy a game of fetch).
The Maine Coon cat breed is very independent, so playing alone isn’t a problem for them. This can be a relief if you find it bothersome to have a clingy cat. But bear in mind that their size makes them easily clumsy when it comes to knocking things over.
Maine Coon cats definitely need daily attention. Grooming your cat is one way to spend time with them. To ensure a smooth coat and avoid nasty fur tangles, they should be brushed regularly with a good cat brush. If your kitty is well-trained this grooming process should be easy and even fun.
Maine Coon Males
While no huge differences exist between the sexes, there are one or two things you may want to keep in mind if you’re deciding between a male or a female Maine Coon.
If it’s bubbly, outgoing, and charismatic that you’re after, then the male cat will be perfect for your family. These little guys tend to be more playful than their female counterparts and often even display some rather comical behavior.
They love to make friends, show off, and be the center of attention, which can be thoroughly entertaining for you. The males tend to be more sociable and keener for attention than the females of the breed. They will be more likely to follow you around the house or to want to sit on your lap.
Males also tend to be very curious and won’t be able to resist an open door or drawer or box.
Maine Coon Females
If it’s a smaller and less raucous cat that you prefer, then a female Maine Coon will be right down your alley. They still live up to the sociable reputation of the breed in general, but they tend to keep to themselves quite a bit more.
And while they may be less socially inclined than males, they are still playful and also highly intelligent – they love to study those around them.
Other Maine Coon Personality Traits
There are a surprising amount of unique characteristics and traits that these cats have. So if you’re deciding what type of kitty to get, perhaps some of these may draw you in.
1. They Chirp When They’re Excited
As a parent, I’m sure you appreciate your cat babies meowing answers back to you when you talk to them. However, incessant meowing can become really irksome.
The good news is that while Maine Coons are considered to be vocal cats, they don’t meow very much. In fact, when you hear a meow, it can often be a rather endearing sign that they miss you. Their sounds are also rather kitten-like which can be comical when escaping from such a large body.
They communicate mostly with what has been described as a gentle chirp. You’ll usually hear it when they are excited by a bird or a spot next to you on the couch. So be sure to listen out for a chirpy response to your question, or possibly just a friendly headbutt.
2. They Promise to be your Helping Hand
If you spend lots of time at home or you could simply do with some company while you go about your human tasks, you’ll find a loyal companion in your Maine Coon kitty. They are particularly curious and observant creatures.
So whether you spend hours at the computer or you regularly engage in household chores like cooking and cleaning, you’ll have some excellent company. They love to remain close-by, ready to lend a ‘helping hand’.
3. They’re Very Affectionate
If you’ve ever been led to believe that cats are cold or unaffectionate, then you’ll be very pleasantly surprised by the nature of Maine Coons. And while not lazy in the slightest, one can go as far as also categorizing these guys as ‘lap cats’ when it comes to their displays of affection.
You can expect regular bursts of love in the form of kneading and loud purring. There’s a strong possibility you’ll end up with a sleeping furball next to or even on you. These felines are always happy to see you and will be sure to show you with regular chirps and nudges.
Maine Coons are happy to be adored by any and all members of a household – and visitors. However, they will tend to have one particular person in a household to whom they bestow the most affection.
4. They’re Gentle Giants
These furry friends are not aggressive at all, which makes them excellent to have around kids. Even when they aren’t exactly happy campers, whether it be with humans or other animals, they’ll remain calm and gentle.
5. They’re Very Forgiving
It’s no surprise that cats can be moody, temperamental, and even hold grudges. Unlike other felines, your Maine Coon will rarely slap you or avoid you for days after an incident. They will always be ready for cuddles and love.
6. They Use Their Paws a Lot
While all cats do, Maine Coons go as far as to use their paws when they eat. You’ll see them picking up dry food or treats and eating them out of their paws.
They also use paws to show signs of affection and stay in contact. While sleeping beside you, your kitty will likely touch you softly to make sure you’re still there.
7. They’re Very Intelligent
Maine Coons learn quickly, which is ideal for training them well. You can even go as far as to teach them little words or sounds like ‘come’ or ‘stop’ and they’ll obey. So if you want a cat to train or even travel with, then a Maine Coon is the way to go.
But this type of intellect comes with responsibility. Their stimulation should never be neglected or they risk becoming restless, unhappy, and bored which may lead to troublemaking.
8. They Don’t Meow Much
Relative to other cat breeds, Maine Coons are quite silent. However, if your Maine Coon starts meowing this is normally their way to communicate that that they are missing you.
9. They Get on Well with Other Animals
As Maine Coon cats are generally gentle and affectionate this holds to other animals as well as to how these kitties treat their owners. Maine Coons as a breed tend to get on well with other cats – of the same breed as well as different breeds – as well as dogs and other animals.
10. They Love to Play
Maine Coons just love to play. They will happily play by themselves but they will love it if you come and play games with them. They just love to clown around.
11. They are very adaptable
Maine Coons adapt well to different environments. They can live in apartments, houses, farms – they don’t mind as long as they are getting a good level of attention. Not much else hassles them. This also means they can be a great breed for living with small children. Their laid back personality means they are very patient so can deal with having their tail pulled multiple times by small people.
12. They love to be the centre of attention
You can’t give a Maine Coon cat too much attention. They love being involved with everything going on in their home (they are also quite curious) and want to be at the centre of things.
13. They enjoy quirky things (for cats)
Unlike most other cat breeds, Maine Coons are fascinated by water and will be keen to be in the bathroom when you are showering or in the tub. They can actually finding a dripping tap quite fascinating and stare at it for hours as well as putting his fur under it. It is speculated that their fascination with water comes from their ancestors who were on board ships.
They also like to sleep in very odd places and positions – even more so than most cats. This is probably due to their history of living in barns. They will also come when their name is called, will play fetch and are often willing to learn to walk with a lead. And they love to greet guests.
Maine Coon Personality: Final Thoughts
The bottom line is, no one ever got a Maine Coon and later said “It was nice but I think I’ll get a different breed next time”. Once a Maine Coon, always a Maine Coon. In fact, some may say that even non-cat-lovers will be converted once exposed to these endearing cuties.
They’re extremely loyal, especially to their primary caretakers. They’re happy to be handled which has made many cat owners loyal fans of them. And what other cat can you claim is drawn to water? Maine Coon’s are often excited for a splash or a dip.
So while this is certainly a more hands-on breed in ways, like needing proper nutrition to remain their cheery selves, you’ll reap the rewards in love, loyalty, and even some laughs at these goofballs.
If you’re considering it, then take the leap. Having one of these kitties will keep your home lively, fun, and full of love.
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