If you're lucky enough to be a Maine Coon owner, then you know just how gentle and loving this breed is. Their friendly nature dictates their desire to spend most of their time with their family of humans and fellow pets – not alone.
Can Maine Coons Be Left Alone? While cats are a stereotypically independent species, Maine Coons do not like to be left alone. Maine Coons are highly social and emotional cats that thrive on connection with their loved ones. Leaving Maine Coons alone can cause them to experience stress and even depression.
While it may seem surprising to learn that Maine Coons should not be left on their own, they possess many characteristics which make the reasoning understandable.
Maine Coons On Their Own
It’s important to understand that leaving your Maine Coon alone is not likely to result in immediate high stress or depression.
The reality is, however, that although your Maine Coon will become accustomed to spending time alone, isolation will never feel good for them.
You’re not likely to notice any specific signs that your Maine Coon is unhappy being left alone, especially early on.
For example, they probably won’t exhibit any physical symptoms of stress or display a marked decrease in their mental health. That’s why it’s very important to be aware of the potentially subtle negative effects.
Maine Coons are typically known for being the ‘gentle giants’ of the cat world. This reputation can sometimes be confused for comfort in all situations. Maine Coons are very calm in temperament and able to adapt easily.
Their lack of outright protest, when left alone, should not be taken for contentment.
As a breed, Maine Coons stand out from other cats due to their love of spending time with people. They will almost always choose to be in your company than on their own.
While Maine Coons don’t demand constant attention like some other breeds, they do value the ability to simply sit by your side.
Your Maine Coon will adjust to your household’s daily schedule and come to rely on the consistency. This is another important thing to consider when considering leaving your Maine Coon on its own.
If you find yourself running out for errands around the same time each day, your furry friend will feel comfortable knowing the routine. On the other hand, unexpected periods of being left alone could cause stress.
The amount of time your home is empty each day is a factor that should play a role in deciding whether a Maine Coon is the right breed of cat for your family.
Maine Coons require a hearty amount of daily interaction, attention, and affection in order to ensure their optimal well-being.
At the end of the day, it is likely inevitable that you will need to leave your Maine Coon on its own for some time. The best way to prevent your cat from experiencing high levels of stress or falling into a depression is to limit the amount of time they spend completely alone.
Try to keep work and errand schedules predictable and be sure to spend plenty of loving time with your Maine Coon when you’re home.
Maine Coon Kittens Alone at Home
Leaving an adult Maine Coon at home alone is one thing, but what about kittens? As you can imagine, you want to avoid leaving Maine Coon kittens alone when at all possible.
Plan ahead and know that for at least the first two weeks your kitten spends in your home, you don’t want to leave it completely alone.
Remember, Maine Coons are a highly social breed which relies on daily connection for well-being. The adjustment period of being welcomed into your home will be a big change for your Maine Coon kitten.
Without the company and attention of their mother and siblings, your Maine Coon kitten will be dependent on you for constant comfort and reassurance.
Leaving a Maine Coon kitten who has just come to live in your home alone will likely cause it to feel sad and even confused about what is happening.
Over time, your kitten will become more accustomed to you and your home, so you will be able to leave them alone for longer periods of time.
Here is a basic overview of how long you can comfortably leave your growing Maine Coon kitten at home:
- 4 hours maximum for kittens under 4 months old.
- 5 hours maximum for kittens between 4 and 6 months old.
- 8 hours maximum for kittens between 6 and 24 months old.
- 12 hours maximum for Maine Coons above 24 months old.
Keep in mind that if you do find yourself needing to leave your Maine Coon kitten at home alone, it is vital that you have kitten-proofed your space!
That means securing sharp edges, making sure there are no cords for tangling and keeping all doors, windows, and small spaces tightly secured.
Maine Coons Want Companions
If you've lived with a Maine Coon before, you will know that leaving them alone is simply not the ideal option. Maine Coons are intelligent and curious cats that want to be a part of all the action.
They display their friendly and loyal nature by following you from room to room and truly enjoy being in your company as much as possible.
To really honor your Maine Coon’s nature and needs, it is best to get a second cat. Maine Coons need companions to feel comfortable, happy and loved at all times.
Having two cats together will ensure that both have company even when you have to be away from home for many hours at a time.
It’s ideal to adopt two Maine Coons from the same litter when possible so that they have a companion they truly feel at home with. You will see that your Maine Coon is less stressed about being left alone when they have a feline companion to pass the time with.
The Right Space for Alone Time
Even when your Maine Coon graduates from kittenhood, it’s important to make sure that your home is safe and stimulating when they are left alone.
You don’t need to go to extreme measures with adult cats, such as confining them to small spaces, as is often necessary with kittens. That being said, exercise basic caution.
To feel comfortable and confident when leaving your Maine Coon alone, use this checklist to leave your home in the safest possible condition:
- Sharp edges and other objects such as knives.
- Electrical cords that your Maine Coon could chew or get tangled in.
- Close all doors and windows securely.
- Check that all small spaces where your cat could get stuck are blocked.
- Ensure that large and heavy items like televisions cannot be knocked over.
- Eliminate climbing paths to very high and potentially dangerous spots.
Safeproofing your home to leave your Maine Coon alone is just the first step. With their curious nature, it’s critical to leave your Maine Coon with plenty to do when they’re home alone.
There are many ways to keep your kitty occupied while you’re out and about. Consider some of the following ideas:
- Invest in an indoor cat tree to encourage your Maine Coon to climb and keep fit. (Here is the best cat tree for Maine Coons you can find)
- Provide one or more soft and cozy beds for cat naps while you’re away.
- Scatter scratching posts around your home if you’re worried about the furniture! (Here are 5 great scratching posts for Maine Coons)
- Build a perching spot by a window for bird watching and place a bird feeder outside that window!
- Leave the television or radio on, so your Maine Coon feels like they have company. Wildlife channels are a great choice.
- Make sure that your Maine Coon has access to a variety of toys to play with when you’re gone. You can even try interactive toys.
- Set out a new box or two right before you leave for a long period of time. All cats love boxes, Maine Coons included!
- If you are out for a few hours at a time, think about whether it might be a good idea to leave some food out for grazing. (Also read our Maine Coon Food Guide!)
- Don’t leave without providing fresh, cool drinking water. Some Maine Coons love to drink from the sink. You can find cat drinking fountains which provide a steady stream of fresh water for your cat.
Can you leave Maine Coons alone on workdays? Most Maine Coons will be comfortable being left alone while you’re at work for a few hours each day. They will adjust to your routine schedule and await your return each day.
Can I leave my Maine Coon alone overnight? If your Maine Coon is a fully grown adult, you can leave it alone once in a while as long as your home is safe. It is best not to leave your Maine Coon alone for more than 12 hours at a time, so you may need to ask someone to feed them the next morning. Be sure to leave fresh food and water, and leave your television or radio on for comforting noise.