Maine Coons are one of the most popular cat breeds. In 2019, Maine Coons were ranked the fifth top cat breed in the United States, and for several years Maine Coons have been in the top five most popular breeds. This number is based on how many cats in a particular breed are registered.
It’s safe to say Maine Coons have always been a great family cat that will most likely remain at the top of the list.
These cats have been seen as “dog-like”. They are one of the few cat breeds that can be easily trained. They respond well to their name, and generally are easy to get along with. They also seem to exhibit unusual cat qualities, such as enjoying the water.
That being said, it is essential to note that each cat has its personality, regardless of general temperament. Just like humans, cats have a unique identity and character. Each cat you meet will be different from the last, and that is what makes cats awesome! One cattery accounts for the personalities of each of the owner’s Maine Coons. They vary between independent to in-your-face affectionate.
Maine Coons are some of the most loveable cats, but their temperament can depend on several variables, such as gender, age, and upbringing.
Maine Coon Temperament
A Maine Coon cat will, more often than not, be a good kitty companion. They get along with humans, and even more surprising; they get along with other animals as well. Like humans, some factors affect their personality.
It is safe to assume that Maine Coons have a baseline disposition that includes:
● Dog-like- They are family pets, trainable, and lovable
● Affectionate- They love you just as much as you love them
● Playful- Although more energetic as a kitten, Coons remain playful all their lives
● Kind- These cats are patient and great with kids
● Social- They quickly warm up to new people
● Quirky- These cats enjoy water and swimming. They have unforgettable personalities.
Kittens are a lot more energetic than adult cats. Everything is new to a kitten, so they want to explore! They are also developing essential skills for adulthood, so they will likely want to play a lot. On the other hand, adult cats have usually grown out of their playful stage. However, a lot of people say that Maine Coons are just oversized kittens. So it’s safe to say that the personality of your coon kitten will be the same as they get older.
Besides, the way a person cares for a kitten is going to have a lot to do with how they act like an adult. If a cat is not adequately exposed to people, their environment, or other cats, they are not going to be as friendly as an adult.
Other variables that will be discussed in depth are if they have been exposed to people, their distinct personalities, and their gender.
Are Maine Coons Friendly?
Maine Coons are known for the friendly demeanor. They have been nicknamed the “The Gentle Giants” for a good reason! Some characteristics of a friendly cat include, affectionate, gentle, great with families, and tolerable.
A lot of ideal cat characteristics are centered around how they interact with people. The environment they were raised and grew up in is important. If a cat is exposed to loving humans early on, it is more likely they will be affectionate towards people. Sun Valley Animal Shelter, located in Arizona, is an excellent example of properly exposing cats to humans. They feature a cat room where the cats are cage-free. People can walk in and play or pet cats. They shelter introduces kittens to the room once they are old enough to eat adult cat food.
Another thing to consider is the Maine Coon’s individual personality and respect it. Just like you can’t force a person to be someone they’re not, you can’t force a cat. If a cat is forced to be more affectionate, they will retaliate. One study found five distinct personalities based on a scale of different traits.
● Neuroticism- This trait refers to how shy a cat is. Cats who scored high were more stressed and needed additional hiding places. Bolder kitties loved having more space to roam.
● Extraversion- cats who are highly extraverted are more curious and smart. Older cats with cognitive issues score lower here. Extraverted cats need more play-time and toys.
● Impulsiveness- Cats with low impulsiveness are generally calm. There are very little outbursts or disruptive behavior.
● Agreeableness- a highly agreeable cat is a friendly cat. This cat is the type of cat most people look for.
● Dominance- a low dominant cat, gets along with other animals.
These traits will be further discussed in a negative viewpoint in the next section. It is important to understand what qualities make up a cat’s personality and what makes them nice. A nice cat would have low neuroticism, some extraversion, low impulsiveness, high agreeableness, and low dominance.
Generally, Maine Coons exhibit the ideal qualities. These cats have extraordinary personalities, far more than any other breed. They are friendly, loving, and dog-like. For a family, Maine Coons are a good cat to have. These cats are as patient as they are big.
Are Maine Coons Mean?
Typically, Maine Coon cats who are seen as mean are not affectionate, aggressive, isolated, and shy. Again, the overall personality of a cat is going to depend on how they were raised and initial interactions with humans.
Socialization is an important term to understand at this point. Socialization is when a cat is friendly and social with people. It is important to start this process early on in kittenhood. The sooner the socialization process, the more likely the cat will enjoy human company.
There is also a difference between stray cats and feral cats. Feral cats have had no contact with humans or diminished contact. These cats are not friendly towards people. Humans are a threat. Strays, on the other hand, are familiar with people. These cats have had some socialization, but they don’t live in a home.
Experienced breeders usually breed Maine Coons, so it is unlikely they are not socialized. However, it is possible they were bred illegally or by someone with little or no experience. These cats are not adequately cared for and can sometimes be tossed out on the streets. As a kitten, that is a very traumatic experience and can result in behavioral problems.
The most common type of behavioral issue a cat can exhibit are various types of aggression. Although Maine Coons are not known for being aggressive cats, it is not out of the realm of possibility. The most recognizable type of aggression is called petting-induced aggression. This is when your cat wants to be pet, but the stimulus is too much at some point, so they attack. Other types of aggression come from the environment or health.
Habitualization is another part of a cat’s behavior. A cat needs to be comfortable with his or her habitat. If they are not, they can get stressed out. The stress can lead to aggressive behavior or unfriendliness.
A cat’s personality is unique. Let’s look at the five personality traits of cats and what makes an unfriendly cat
● Neuroticism- A shy cat tends to want to hide. They do not like strangers, and they prefer to be left alone.
● Extraversion- Cats who are not extraverted do not like to play with others. Usually, this is a trait that most cats have unless they are old. Older cats are not as quick as younger cats.
● Impulsiveness- When a cat is more impulsive, it means they are stressed. These cats are reckless and generally seen as disruptive. Think about the cats that look at you as they knock all your prescription bottles.
● Agreeableness- Cats who are not agreeable are not friendly. They don’t enjoy people and would rather do their own thing.
● Dominance- Dominant cats are bullies. They do not like other animals in the house or a disturbance of their space.
Unfriendly cats are less extraverted and agreeable. They are more dominant, neurotic, and impulsive. When provoked, these cats might be aggressive.
It is not a Maine Coon’s natural disposition to be mean. It takes a unique combination of events and personality that would make a Maine Coon temperamental.
Male Maine Coon Personality
Many breeders express that there is a difference between male and female Maine Coons. Not only in size but also in personality.
Males tend to exhibit the phrase “boys will be boys.” They are more clownish in behavior and love to be the center of attention. Male Main Coons are more likely to act “dog-like” and want more affection than female cats.
Because of these habits, they are more commonly picked as a pet. There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to your cat, it just depends on what you prefer.
If you have a lot of space for antics and can keep a steady stream of affection, the male Maine Coon might be a better choice for you.
Female Maine Coon Personality
Female Maine Coons are a bit more reserved. They need to watch the males goof off and prefer not to get involved. They also tend to be more “matriarchal” and motherly. This is different from many other mammals. Generally, the males are the ones that are protective and observant.
Female Maine Coons also can be a bit more mischievous. Because they are reserved and smaller, they can get into tight spaces that the males can’t.
Even though the females are more reserved, they are still affectionate and loving pets. If you want a pet that is lovable but still independent and can be left alone, a female coon might be a better choice.
Prepping Your Home For A Maine Coon
When getting a new cat, it is vital to prep the home. Remember, habitualization is when a cat is comfortable in their surroundings. If a cat is not comfortable, they are not going to be stressed. A stressed cat is not a friendly cat. So be sure to take the time to create a comfortable space for your cat.
To prep for a Maine Coon kitten, there are a few tools to grab
● Toys- Kittens are active, especially Maine Coons. They need a lot of attention and playtime. Some great toys to buy are balls, stuffed mice, or even an unshelled walnut. Kittens, like children, have choking hazards, so avoid rubber bands and threads. Here is a huge list of affordable toys for cats.
● Litter box- everyone needs a place to go. Be careful with using harsh chemicals to clean the box.
● Grooming tools- Maine Coon fur is long. It should be kept up with throughout their lives. Start getting your kitty accustomed to grooming.
● Scratching post- Scratching posts are used for exercise and grooming—two very important things for a kitten.
Also, you should kitten-proof your home. If you don’t, then you can expect a ton of scratched furniture, ripped carpets, and broken valuables. Kittens are a lot like babies and need special proofing. Always pick up loose items, and closing the lids on jars are just a few ways to help your kitten.
It is easier to acquaint your adult cat to your home. I have had to help several kitties get used to their new house. After buying the necessary tools, start to slowly introduce your cat to their new environment.
Begin by keeping the cat in one room. Once the cat is adjusted and willingly exploring, open up the door and allow them to leave. Usually, it is best if no one is in the house for the first full home exploring session. Eventually, your cat will be comfortable in their new home and comfortable with you being there too.
Making Your Maine Coon More Friendly
Even though Maine Coons are generally sweet cats, there can be instances where they are mean. When this happens, there are steps you can take to help your cat be more friendly.
● Understanding their personality- You can’t force a cat to change its personality. Some cats are simply shyer than others. If the cat is not being aggressive or causing harm, allow your cat to have his space. If you force yourself on the cat, they will be less likely to want to be around you.
● Positive reinforcement with treats- When your cat is affectionate, reward them. Using treats as positive reinforcement encourages your pet to continue the behavior. It’s Psych 101.
● Spend extra time with them- This part will vary depending on your cat’s personality. If they are shyer, it might be best to just be in the same room. If they are very energetic, spend more time playing with them.
● Give affection during feeding time- Some cats let you pet them during feeding times. Take advantage of their good mood and show them that a good petting is as good as the food.
● Be playful- All cats like to play. Kittens play to learn but to also bond.
● Socialization- This point is especially important for kittens. For a cat to be friendly towards people, they need to have as much interaction as possible with as many people as possible.
Maine Coons are known as gentle giants. They have a patient, loveable, and gentle demeanor. Just like humans, each cat is going to have its own personality. Certain things, like age, gender, and upbringing, can affect how a cat behaves.
Thankfully, the natural demeanor of Maine Coons makes it easy to train them to be more friendly. There is no right or wrong Maine Coon personality; it is all up to preference. In any case, it is safe to say Maine Coons are some of the sweetest cats you will encounter.