Maine Coons are in the top three breeds of cats, beloved due to their unusual size, sweet personalities, and also hunter ability.
Are Maine Coon Cats Good Hunters? They are renowned for their hunting abilities, due to their size, ability to withstand harsh climates, and above average intelligence. They were even used for hunting mice back in the day. While they look the part, Maine Coons are not dangerous and are loving, amiable pets that just want to play.
Knowing that Maine Coons are great hunters is actually very important as it is a huge part of their character. Continue to read to learn more about that and to learn to satisfy their inner hunter.
Genetics and history play a factor
The Maine Coon´s exact origin is debatable. Raccoons, Vikings, and even Marie Antionette all have been touted as playing a part, none of which has been proven entirely correct.
It is fitting, however, that such an unusual breed would illicit strange tails.
Due to their Norwegian Cat ancestor, the Vikings legend probably hones in closer to the truth.
It is fitting to imagine these massive fur babies stalking the ships making sure rodents don’t get into the limited sources of food. What else would a Viking have by their side than these massive felines?
What we do know is they were domesticated initially to serve as barn cats. Like many cats that were tamed for this use, their instinct is to hunt and not just for food. Ever have a cat that placed their “offering” at the door or even worse at your feet?
They are showing you that they are doing their job.
Male MC’s go up to 25 lbs, while females can grow up to 18 pounds. Their paws are specially equipped for combat along with walking on the snow.
Some even have the internet beloved 6th toe, giving their feet the perfect snowshoe to skip across white fields while everyone else sinks in. They are named Maine Coons for a reason.
Meows manifest in trills and horse chirps instead of the typical wistful or boastful caterwauls in your day to day cats. It might sound cute when they are sitting at the window talking to a bird.
In fact, it is something that has been both the process of evolution and breeding to entice these little squeaking friends to come on by while your cat patiently waits to pounce.
Due to these genetic benefits, the Maine Coon is well equipped to keep your home vermin free. Just be cautious if you have smaller animals in the house.
They have been reported to be great with dogs and other breeds of cats, even ones smaller than them. It would be smart, however, not to adopt smaller animals that they instinctually see as prey or take deliberate steps to introduce your new friend to them.
Keep them active
Due to the hunting instinct, they are known for and their above average intelligence it is important to keep them engaged.
They tend to reach maturity slowly, attaining adulthood at around age 4. What this means for you is they need something to occupy their mind and keep them active.
When you do get toys for this breed to make sure to go for sturdy. Due to their size, some toys might be inadequate when they really get going. (If you want to get a toy for your Maine Coon cat, have a look at this article and learn about the 3 best toys for Maine Coons.)
They will tear up the stick and feather type toys with a snap and a tug. Making you wonder why you wasted your money in the first place.
Check the weight amount that your new cat tower can hold. Otherwise, it will fall to the ground with their bounding leaps. Even the rope that is used to wrap the poles of the tower is no match for their claws. (Of course, I also have written an article on the 3 best cat trees for Maine Coon cats – read it here!)
Another activity that you can try with your Maine Coon is tug of war or playing fetch.
They are an excellent cat for walking, a harness being the better choice for them instead of the standard collar and lease. You can easily teach your Maine Coon to walk on a leash – read our guide on that here!
A good harness for your Maine Coon is crucial, as your Maine Coon could escape if you buy a harness that doesn´t fit properly or is of low quality. These harnesses will do that job perfectly!
Not only that with a lack of fear for water you can finally get that water fountain bowl that has been in your cart forever. More on their love for water here.
If this reminds you of a dog then you are correct, a phrase most commonly associated with them is “the dogs of the cat world.”
Just a tip from an owner of a shocking large cat when playing fetch, be careful where you throw the toy.
They will bound over furniture, other animals, or even you if you are in the way to get their prize. I like to let my cat get the scent of the toy, as you would for a dog, then throw it all over the house to see if they can sniff it out.
Just like with humans there is nothing worse than an active mind that doesn’t have action. Expect a mischievous cat that likes to play and have fun.
If your nerves expect a docile well-behaved kitty that just wants to sit in your lap, you might be disappointed.
Due to their hunter nature, it is advisable to keep them inside as much as possible, domesticated cats are responsible for wiping out entire species of birds and mice.
Not their fault, this is what humans have trained them to do for centuries.
Are they dangerous?
Not unless you are a mouse or a bird. Due to the Maine Coon's size and thick fur, they do look fearsome, like wild cats of old.
However, listen to your mother when she said don’t judge a book by its cover. Their loyalty, intelligence, and playfulness will prove to you their moniker as the “gentle giant.”
They are renowned for their loyalty to their humans. When you arrive home, they will probably be waiting for you at the door.
As mentioned before a Maine Cat’s personality matches more of a dog than what you would expect from a feline. Also read: Maine Coon Personality – 15 Things you must know!
The Maine Coon's dedication to family and ease with children, dogs, and other cats make them the perfect family pet. They might show caution towards strangers but are not known to attack.
At the most, they will skitter away and then slowly come back to check out the new human that has come into their domain.
While researching this topic I came upon YouTube videos that depict them attacking their owners. As you watch these videos, you can see the person shoving things in their cat’s face, and the cat gives them ample warnings to please don’t do that.
Treating any animal as a punchline is showing that you have no respect for their well-being and that isn’t funny. As any cat servant knows what a cat ultimately wants is respect and acceptance.
Disrespect those two sentiments, and they will let you know about it.
A qualification to even be considered a Maine Coon is friendliness and amiability. People who have never had a cat before, especially a Maine Coon, have assumptions about them due to their appearance.
Really they just want things their way and love. When they want pets, they will come to you, and if they want to be left alone, they will let you know. Simple as that. Respect that and care for them then you will have a loyal companion for years.
If they are showing aggression
Like a lot of cat breeds, there could be many reasons why your Maine Coon is showing aggression since it is not inherent in their kind. There are a few things to check first before you start to hyperventilate.
If you are the owner of your cat for a while and know that this is a change in temperament first check any changes to their surroundings.
- Have you moved?
- Is there a new cat in the house or their territory?
- Have you made a change in the house?
Changes, even small ones, cause stress to a cat’s sensitive nature. Reassure them that everything is ok, by pets, cuddles, and playing. If they need some time alone, let them have it so they can go through the process of adjusting.
They will spring back to their usual selves given time. When bringing a new cat into your home, you will have to deal with their process of accustoming themselves to each other.
If there haven’t been any changes in their environment, then there might be something medically wrong. A trip to the vet may be necessary to make sure your kitty is in its best health and make you stop worrying.
If you want to learn more about aggression in Maine Coons, read this article!
What do you feed a Maine Coon? Due to its size and proclivity to gain weight caring for a Maine Coon means that you have to be proactive with their food. Any feed bought should be high quality, and meat should be the first ingredient on the label. Avoid food with high qualities of fat.
How do you care for a Maine Coon’s fur? With an undercoat of thick hair and the tufty guard hair negligence of there, hair will result in what is call hairballs, lose hair around your home, and matting which is painful. Brush 2-3 times a week and bath them when their fur becomes stringy, about once a month.
Do I have a Maine Coon or a Siberian Cat? The differences are slight due to their common ancestor the Norwegian Forrest Cat. The differences are minor but a few clues are Maine Coon is more independent, don’t enjoy climbing, and tend to have a softer meow.