What’s cuter than a Maine coon sprawled out with their furry belly pointed up towards the air? Probably nothing. They do often roll over onto their backs just like a dog would, but what is the reason for that?
Why do Maine coons lay on their backs? When your Maine coon shows you its belly, they are exposing to you their most vulnerable spot. It is a sign of complete trust and subtly confirms that they are happy.
Still, if your Maine Coon shows you its belly, there are a couple of rules you should follow. Continue to read to learn more!
What you should do when your Maine coon is on its back
Now that you know your main coon’s rolling over is a sign of trust, you can reinforce this behavior by further building trust with your kitty. The key is to always respect your cat’s personal space. Although they are an outgoing breed, they are still cats after all.
If you plan on approaching your cat while they are laying on their back, move slowly and predictably. Sudden startling movements can frighten your Maine coon.
It’s also a good idea to calmly praise your cat. Of course, your Maine coon will not understand a word you are saying, but they are highly intelligent creatures and will get the point. They can pick up hints based on the tone of voice.
Therefore, your cat will associate the belly exposing behavior with positive reinforcement.
Additionally, if you can not resist the warm call of your Maine coon’s delicate belly, test the water. First, lower yourself to their position, as towering above your cat is threatening behavior. Follow up by gently petting a safe spot on your cat, such as the top of the head.
If they show no signs of being disturbed, you can venture further to their tummy. Though always be cautious. Cats are quite fickle and can change their minds very quickly.
You also always have the option of leaving your cat alone when they lay on their back. Think of their tummy exposure as a friendly greeting to you and less of an invitation to bother them. (Also read 20 Facts that show how friendly Maine Coons are!)
A quick acknowledgment, like eye contact or a “good kitty” praise, is all they need to see you have returned their welcoming gesture.
What you should avoid when your Maine coon is on their back
It may seem obvious, but do not immediately reach for your Maine coon’s stomach. The reason they are vulnerable in this position is that all of their vital organs can easily be targeted.
Despite how well you and your cat are bonded, they are still an animal. Sudden movements to a delicate area can frighten them and trigger them to defend themselves. This means your hand can turn into a target for biting and scratching.
Unless feel like explaining the array of slices on your hand to friends and family, it’s best to avoid petting your Maine coon in this danger zone.
As previously mentioned, hovering over your Maine coon while they are on their back is not the best thing to do either. Cats are good at picking up on body language. If you are towering above your cat, they can interpret this as a dominant position.
This can scare them, and you never want your Maine coon to feel afraid of you. It can unravel the work you put into earning that belly exposure in the first place.
They won’t ignore your body language so don’t ignore theirs. If you approach your Maine coon while in the tummy up position and they quickly turn over, they do not want you to come any closer.
It’s never a good idea to continue to do something your Maine coon doesn’t like. Just like humans, they can get stressed out.
Other ways your Maine coon shows they trust you
A Maine coon laying on their back may be one of the ultimate signs of trust, but it is not the only one. Don’t be discouraged if your kitty doesn’t do this around you, as there are many other ways they can show trust towards their human.
When a cat very slowly blinks at you, it seems as if they are saying “I’m sleepy and want to rest my eyes,” but this is not the case. A slow blink is actually another sign of trust. Maine coon eyes are more than pretty pools of gold or emerald.
They are one of a cat’s best assets. So when they give a slow blink, it’s a sign of vulnerability.
Look out for other wonderful ways your Maine coon shows trust. Gently kneading you, rubbing against your leg and giving headbutts are physical signs of trust. Even actions like purring or walking with an upright tail count as well.
Getting your Maine coon to open up to you
Maybe your Maine coon is not laying on their back for you just yet. However, gaining their trust is possible if you take the appropriate steps.
It’s a Maine coon’s world- you’re just living in it. At all times, ensure that your cat’s environment is stress-free. This means have comfortable spaces for cat naps, a high place for your cat to perch, and a safe space they can hide if they don’t want attention.
Allow your Maine coon to approach you on their own terms and never back your cat into a corner if you are attempting to pet or cuddle them.
If you leave out fresh food and water, your Maine coon will recognize that because of you, they are properly fed. When you feed your cat, speak to them in a pleasant voice and remain close by so they can associate your presence with the pleasurable experience of eating. (Talking about food, have you already read our Maine Coon food guide?) Read it here – it´s great!
The gentle giants love to play with rope, feathers and can even fetch toy mice. So why not make playtime about the both of you? Your Maine coon will exercise, have fun and associate it with you, and therefore build up the bond you share.
Remember to reward them after a good play session with some tasty treats.
Maine coons are trusting, loyal souls so don’t give up hope if earning that trust takes longer than expected. Allow for time and patience and your cat will open up to you before you know it.
What are a Maine coon’s sleep habits? Maine coon kittens sleep for about twenty hours a day while adults can sleep up to sixteen hours a day. They are known to twitch their ears and paws often during sleep. Maine coons frequently dream as well.
What are Maine coon characteristics? These gentle giants weigh between 8-18 pounds on average. Maine coons have thick, silky fur and large, furry feet made for running in the snow. They are vocal, affectionate and get along well with children and other animals.
How long do Maine coon cats live? A Maine coon’s average lifespan is around 10 – 13 years. Factors such as keeping your cat indoors, regular vet visits, and a proper diet can extend your cat’s life to 15 years and above.