If you’ve noticed behaviors such as biting and hissing in your cat, you may be wondering “Are Maine Coon cats aggressive?”
Maine Coon aggression can be unexpected, especially because most people agree that Maine Coons are one of the sweetest and gentlest cat breeds out there.
Many cat owners are dismayed if they encounter aggressive behaviors in their Maine Coon, but there’s no need to panic. By understanding why your Maine Coon is behaving aggressively, you can take steps to combat this undesirable behavior.
Maine Coon cats are not naturally aggressive felines, but will act aggressively if they feel threatened or stressed. Whilst Maine Coons are known for their gentle disposition, poor socialization, environmental factors, or an underlying medical issue can lead to them exhibiting aggressive behaviors.
There are a lot of possible reasons why your Maine Coon might be exhibiting aggressive behavior.
If you want to learn how to properly train your cat to be the good-tempered sweetheart you always dreamed of, make sure you read on to find out more!
Are Maine Coon Cats Aggressive?
Many potential Maine Coon owners might be nervous to adopt one of these giant cats. After all, nobody wants to be bitten by such a large animal!
Maine Coon cats are incredibly popular for a reason, though.
The Maine Coon temperament is one of their greatest attributes. In fact, most Maine Coons are so sweet and affectionate that they’ve earned themselves the nickname “the gentle giants of the cat world.”
In general, Maine Coons are not aggressive. However, every rule has its exceptions, and some Maine Coons can exhibit aggressive traits.
If a Maine Coon is behaving aggressively, though, it is almost certainly due to an underlying condition.
Stress, poor socialization, and even illness or injury can cause a Maine Coon to become aggressive.
Types Of Maine Coon Aggression
Cats can exhibit aggression in a variety of ways. Here are the aggressive behaviors that a Maine Coon can engage in.
- Lashing with paws
Causes Of Maine Coon Aggression
Cats are complicated creatures. If your Maine Coon is behaving aggressively, there are a lot of possible reasons why it is acting that way.
Here are the 16 reasons why a Maine Coon might become aggressive:
1. Lack Of Socialization
If your kitten was not properly socialized with other humans, it will likely behave aggressively as an adult.
Unsocialized kittens will perceive humans as a threat and be wary and aggressive.
Sex hormones such as testosterone can lead to increased aggression in cats. Hormonal aggression is most likely to occur in cats that have not been spayed or neutered (source).
If you are planning on neutering your kitten, but are not too sure when to do this is, read my article ‘Best Age To Neuter A Maine Coon Kitten‘.
3. Feeling Threatened
Your cat may be acting in self defense. If it perceives itself to be threatened, your Maine Coon will naturally defend itself through any means possible.
Just like humans, cats can become annoyed with too much interaction. Many owners will find that if they play with their cat too much at once, their cat becomes aggressive for a short period of time.
Maine Coons can also be understimulated. This breed in particular is highly intelligent, and they need lots of toys and enrichment to be satisfied.
A Maine Coon that is not receiving enough enrichment or attention might lash out with aggressive behavior.
A great way to alleviate your Maine Coons boredom is by buying them a selection of cat toys, which help stimulate their senses.
These are my top 5 favourite Maine Coon cat toys.
If a Maine Coon is not receiving enough attention from its family members, it could become aggressive out of sheer loneliness.
Those of you suspecting that your cat might be lonely, should immediately either change your schedule to give your cat more attention, or consider adopting a new playmate.
For more information on why Maine Coons need companionship, read my article “Do Maine Coons Need A Companion“.
7. Feeling Territorial
Cats are more likely to exhibit territorial behaviors if they are not spayed or neutered.
If your cat is frequently howling and marking its territory by spraying, this is likely the reason your cat is behaving aggressively.
Learn more about Maine Coon Howling, by clicking here.
Cats will often behave aggressively if they are stressed. If your Maine Coon feels unsafe, or is upset by many changes in its environment, it will likely become stressed.
9. Other Pets
Your cat might become aggressive towards a new pet if they are not properly socialized.
There is a chance that your Maine Coon perceives a new dog or cat as a threat to their safety or territory, and becomes aggressive as a result.
Owners should note however, that in general the Maine Coon cat breed have a reputation for getting on well with other household pets.
10. Family Tensions
Maine Coons are highly empathetic cats that are sensitive to the moods of their family members. They might even become aggressive during an argument, or if they sense tension within the home.
11. Maternal Instincts
Are Maine Coon cats aggressive? If your Maine Coon has just given birth to kittens, then the answer is YES!
Some cats become more aggressive as a means of defending their young.
12. Disrespected Boundaries
We all love playing and cuddling with our cats, but it’s important to keep in mind that the feeling should go both ways. A cat that feels its boundaries are not being respected might become annoyed enough to lash out.
13. Adversity To Change
Cats love routine. Big changes, such as moving to a new house or bringing home a new baby can cause a cat to react with aggression.
Even small changes can cause a cat to become upset.
Some owners have even reported that changing perfumes or laundry detergent has caused their cat to go crazy! (source).
14. Redirected Aggression
Sometimes, a Maine Coon cat might react aggressively towards an owner due to an external source that your cat can’t get at.
For example, a rather common occurrence is when a cat is agitated by another cat or human outside a window. If your cat cannot attack whatever stimuli is outside, it might redirect this aggression towards anyone nearby (source).
An injured cat will instinctually attempt to defend itself from anyone and anything in order to protect its body while recovering.
If your cat is wounded or in pain, it might shrink away from you and even lash out.
16. Health Issues
Underlying health issues, such as urinary tract infections, stomach aches, and parasites can all cause a cat to act more aggressively.
Not all Maine Coon health problems are easy to spot though, so make sure you read up on the key signals to watch out for.
These are the ‘Top 7 Maine Coon Health Problems‘.
Maine Coon Aggressive Body Language Clues
Maine Coons may not be able to talk like humans, but they can give off very strong signals through body language.
So, you might ask, are Maine Coon cats aggressive? Well, if a cat is close to acting aggressively, it will likely assume either an offensive or a defensive posture.
Here are some Maine Coon aggressive body language signals to watch out for, in both kinds of posturing (source):
a) Offensive Posture
- Constricted pupils: An offensive cat’s pupils will be constricted, meaning they are much smaller than usual.
- Piloerection: Piloerection is when the fur on a cat’s shoulders, back, and sometimes tail is raised.
- Stiffened Tail: The cat’s tail will be stiff, and either lowered or pointed straight down.
- Aggressive Sounds: An offensive cat might, growl, yowl, hiss, or spit.
- Legs: The rear legs of an offensive cat will be stiffened, with the cat’s haunches raised upwards.
- Direct Stare: An offensive cat will likely stare directly at whoever it wishes to attack, and might even advance.
- Ears: An offensive cat’s ears will be pointed upwards, with the backs rotated forward slightly.
b) Defensive Posture
- Flattened ears: The cat’s ears will be angled back or sideways and flattened against the cat’s head.
- Piloerection: Piloerection is when the fur on a cat’s shoulders, back, and sometimes tail is raised.
- Aggressive Sounds: A defensive cat will likely hiss or spit.
- Crouched Down: Unlike an offensive cat, a defensive cat will assume a crouching position, with its head tucked in close to its body.
- Tail: Many cats will curl their tails around their bodies if they are feeling defensive.
- Pupils Dilated: A defensive cat’s pupils will be either fully or partially enlarged.
- Lashing Out: If a cat is feeling threatened, it might lash out quickly with one or both of its front paws.
Why Does My Maine Coon Attack Me?
Has your Maine Coon been leaping and attacking you? If so, it’s no wonder you’re trying to establish are Maine Coon cats aggressive!
There are two possible explanations for Maine Coon attack behavior:
1) Your cat is exhibiting a playful behavior
2) Your Maine Coon is attacking you out of aggression
Maine Coons are very playful cats, and in most cases, it is likely simply trying to play. Kittens will play-fight with their littermates when they are young, and this behavior is especially common in younger cats.
Determining whether your cat is truly attacking versus playing can be tricky.
If your cat is truly acting aggressively, it will likely be exhibiting some of the aggressive postures listed in the above section.
If your cat is attacking you in an aggressive manner, it is unlikely it is doing so for no reason. A Maine Coon will not attack unless it feels it has been provoked (source).
How To Discipline A Maine Coon Cat
a) Ignore Bad Behavior
If your cat begins biting or playing too roughly, stop engaging in the behavior straight away. Your Maine Coon will eventually learn that it won’t get any attention by behaving that way.
b) Reinforce Good Behavior
Cats learn best through positive interaction.
If your cat is playing gently, give it a treat and maybe some scratches behind the ear.
Redirect aggressive behaviors towards inanimate objects, such as a scratching post or new toy. Your cat will learn to expel its energy in a healthy way that doesn’t hurt you.
d) Consider The Environment
You can’t always blame a Maine Coon’s behavior on the cat itself. Sometimes, you have to make changes to your cat’s environment, even if that means correcting your own behavior!
If you regularly overstimulate your cat or cross its boundaries, then it’s no wonder your cat is behaving aggressively.
Remove stressors from your cat’s environment that might be causing aggressive behavior.
Are Neutered Cats Less Aggressive?
Maine Coons that have not been spayed or neutered may be more likely to exhibit aggressive behaviors. As a result, in many cases, neutered cats are less likely to be aggressive.
Neutering a cat will often reduce or eliminate sexual aggression and territoriality. However, keep in mind that a neutered cat can still be aggressive, particularly if there are other underlying causes (source).
It is important that owners neuter there Maine Coon kitten at the correct time. Click here to see the best time to neuter your kitten.
Maine Coon Kitten Behavior Problems
Most kittens will learn to play gently from their littermates.
If they bite or scratch too roughly, a sharp cry will tell the kitten that they were a little overzealous. This is how a kitten will learn to control its strength.
If a kitten is removed from its littermates too early, it might not learn to behave gently.
Also, if you teach your kitten to play roughly, it will retain its behavior into adulthood. It may be adorable when your little kitten bats and bites and claws at your hand, but will it be just as cute when your little lion is fully grown? Probably not!
The best way to prevent a cat from playing too roughly as an adult is to discourage rough play when it is still young (source).
Maine Coon Cross Kitten Temperament
A Maine Coon mix will likely exhibit many of the personality traits of a Maine Coon, meaning it is likely to be gentle and affectionate. However, it may also receive some of the personality traits of whatever breed it has been crossed with.
- A Maine Coon mixed with a Ragdoll is likely to be one of the gentlest, most even-tempered cats around.
- However, if your kitten is a cross between a Maine Coon and a Siamese, the Maine Coon kitten may exhibit some of the more aggressive and temperamental traits of the latter (sources: 1,2).
Read more about the Maine Coon Vs Ragdoll cat breeds, by CLICKING HERE.
Why Does My Maine Coon Hiss At Me?
Cats can’t use words to communicate like humans do. Instead, they use other sounds and kinds of body language.
Hissing is a cat’s way of saying “Back off!” If your cat is hissing at you, it feels threatened, or it simply doesn’t want to be interacted with.
If your Maine Coon hisses at you, back away and give your cat the space it needs (source).
Are Maine Coon Cats Moody?
Maine Coon cats are not usually moody.
They are generally recognized as being one of the sweetest and most even-tempered cat breeds.
If your cat is acting moody, it is likely a result of stress or an underlying health condition.
Why Does My Maine Coon Growl?
Growling, like hissing, is another way for cats to communicate that they are upset, frightened, or threatened.
If your cat is growling, leave it be and give it plenty of space (source).
Why Does My Maine Coon Bite Me?
There are three different reasons why cats bite, and they all mean wildly different things.
1. Aggressive Biting
This kind of biting is usually the most painful!
A cat will bite aggressively if it is angry, scared, or stressed. You can usually tell that your cat is biting you for this reason if its posture is aggressive.
2. Playful Biting
Cats sometimes bite when they are playful. This is not done out of anger, and it is not usually painful.
If your cat becomes too rough, gently redirect it or ignore it until the behavior stops.
3. Love Bites
This gentle form of biting is one of the unique ways a cat displays affection.
If you are petting or cuddling your cat, it might give you a gentle nibble as a show of love (source).
Maine Coon Cat Attacks Family
If your Maine Coon is attacking you and your family members, you must first assess if your cat is acting playfully or aggressively.
Note whether your cat is displaying an aggressive posture.
If your cat is attacking you playfully, but it is acting too roughly, discourage the behavior by redirecting your cat’s energy to its toys, or by ignoring the behavior.
If your cat is attacking out of aggression, assess the possible reasons why. Is your cat feeling stressed, jealous, or threatened? Or is your cat sick or in pain?
Cats rarely attack without reason. If you can discover and fix the cause behind your cat’s behavior, you will be able to prevent future attacks.
Here is a playful example, of a Maine Coon attacking his family. Credit
Do Maine Coons Get Jealous?
Maine Coons are fiercely loving towards their humans, so it should come as no surprise to learn that they can become jealous.
If a new cat, dog, or even baby is introduced to the family, your Maine Coon may feel betrayed if it receives less attention.
Although unlikely, your Maine Coon might behave aggressively towards you or the new addition as a result (source).
However, more likely than not, your Maine Coon will be just fine as they are one of few cat breeds that like companionship, and the company of other household pets.
10 Aggressive Cat Breeds
One of the trademarks of the Maine Coon breed is their gentle temperament. However, not every cat breed can boast the same gentle personality.
Here are 10 cat breeds that are notorious for being aggressive:
- Scottish Fold
- Egyptian Mau
- Pixie Bob
- American Wirehair
Even though most Maine Coons are known for being affectionate and gentle, some owners may be wondering “Are Maine Coon cats aggressive?”
While relatively rare, Maine Coon aggression can occur in a cat that is stressed or suffering from an underlying condition. To eliminate this behavior, you will need to find and remove the root cause beneath your cat’s aggression.
1. Why Is My Maine Coon So Mean?
If your Maine Coon is behaving aggressively, it is probably suffering from an underlying condition, such as stress or illness. To change this, you should eliminate the cause of your cat’s aggression.
2. Are Maine Coons Vicious?
Maine Coons are not vicious. This breed is well known for its sweet and gentle nature. If your cat is acting aggressively, it is likely due to stress, illness, or another environmental cause.