Are Maine Coon cats good with babies, or would a different cat breed be more suitable around your young children? If this is a question that has been preying on your mind lately, rest assured that you are now in the right place. So sit back and absorb all the information you need to know when it comes to your babies safety around a Maine Coon cat.
Maine Coons are the perfect pet for children, because they are gentle; calm; playful; highly trainable; non-aggressive, and love being around children. These ‘gentle giants’ instinctively look after babies within their family, often protecting them from perceived harm. They form strong social bonds with all family members, including young children.
Should expectant parents be concerned about their Maine Coon cat roaming freely around their baby? Keep reading to calm your natural new parent jitters relating to the risk of a cat harming your baby.
Are Maine Coons Good With Babies?
Despite their huge size, these gentle giants are one of the most friendly cat breeds you will ever encounter. These family friendly felines are particularly suited to families with babies and young children, since their calm, docile temperaments help them just ‘go with the family flow’. There really isn’t much that phases a Maine Coon cat, even though a baby can give them ample reasons to run and hide (i.e. loud crying).
Their sturdy build also makes them ideally suited to living in families with babies and young children, since it is less likely that a baby or toddler will knock a Maine Coon cat over! When you consider that Maine Coons can weigh up to 25 lbs in weight, this fact really isn’t that surprising!
Most importantly though, the Maine Coon cat breeds well proven personality and breed characteristics, make them a great combination for families with babies. This is evident in the table below, which identifies 9 key personality traits, and characteristics of the Maine Coon cat, that make them well suited to living with babies and young children:
|Gentle||These cats are one of the kindest, docile and gentle cat breeds in the world|
|Calm||Extremely calm and laidback felines. Not phased by baby noises, nor toddlers inquisitive nature when trying to figure out what a cat is.|
|Tolerant||Very laid back cat breed. Not phased by babies stroking them haphazardly|
|Don’t Mind Noise||Not bothered by loud noises i.e. baby screams|
|Instinct||Maine Coon cats instinctively seem to know that the baby is smaller, and is not trying to harm them. They will also instinctively protect babies and young children|
|Pack Mentality||These cats have a dog-like pack mentality. New babies become part of their pack, which they happily protect|
|Playful||These large cats love playing with young babies and children. The younger generation offer them great companionship, and they consider them to be their playmates|
|Bonding||Maine Coon cats bond with all their family members, particular the female|
|Aggression||This breed is not considered aggressive, so is unlikely to deliberately attack a baby|
Parents across the world will always feel immensely protective over their young, whatever age their age. For those of you that are still not convinced whether to trust your Maine Coon cat around your newborn baby, or not, take a look at the in-depth discussion below.
The following paragraphs expand on our knowledge further, giving valuable insight into the Maine Coon cats characteristics and personality traits. So keep reading to determine ‘are Maine Coon cats good with babies’.
Maine Coons didn’t get their nickname ‘gentle giants’ from nowhere. Instead, they rightfully earned this title through consistent displays of their gentle, calm and caring nature.
When showing their affection towards their family, Maine Coons are very good at retracting their claws. This is important, especially when a baby is concerned because the baby is oblivious to the harm a cat can cause them, is unable to walk away from a cat playing with them.
For more information on their friendly nature, take a look at my article ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Friendly?‘.
Maine Coon cats have a very calm temperament. This laidback feline literally oozes calm vibes, so will not be phased by a baby screaming right next to them, or pushing them around whilst a young toddler tries to learn how to interact with their family pet.
Maine Coons love the attention of their human family, and will happily cover their family in kisses, if you give them the chance. This love and affection will be show to all family members, including the babies.
In the face of adversity, these dog-like cats remain loyal, calm and caring towards all their young family members. Some cat specialists believe this is because the breed instinctively understands that the babies and young children within their ‘pack’, pose them no harm. If true, this theory helps to explain why Maine Coons rarely lash out with their claws at babies and toddlers that ‘manhandle’ them.
Whilst the Maine Coon is known for being tolerant, it is still important that parents actively teach their babies and young children how to stroke, and handle their Maine Coon cat. For example, young children should never be permitted to lift the cat, and drag it along the floor. Children must always be taught to respect and care for animals.
4. Don’t Mind Noise
Babies are known for screaming non-stop when they are hungry, dirty or simply have wind. So why is the Maine Coon just not fussed by their loud noises? … Who knows!
Unlike most cat breeds, it is likely that your Maine Coon cat will be drawn towards the noise within your home, including that of a baby! Whilst this might initially sound weird, it is to be expected because Maine Coon cats are really curious and clever felines. They want to be involved in everything going on around them. Their gentle and caring nature also makes it more likely that they will want to calm, and look after a screaming baby.
From experience, the only noise that we have found our Maine Coon to be phased by, is the handheld hoover. He’s simply not a fan of it, however, put the robot hoover on nearby him and he just doesn’t care! Most likely because it is far quieter.
If you watch a Maine Coon cat around your baby, or young children, then you will quickly notice that the cat seems to instinctively know they are safe. This is evident because they remain calm, and rarely act aggressively when babies or toddlers roughly stroke them (whilst learning what cats are, and how to look after them).
Maine Coon cats are so dog-like, that they consider human babies to be younger ‘pack members’, so instinctively lick babies to keep them clean! They will also purr, and rub themselves against a baby, to scent them. This is effectively your cat saying that your baby is part of ‘their’ family, too.
6. Pack Mentality
The Maine Coons dog-like behaviour has resulted in many owners calling them ‘dogs of the cat world’. One of the dog-like characteristic that they display which makes them ideally suited to living with babies and young children, is their ‘pack mentality’. This pack mentality is important because it enables Maine Coons to adapt well to new babies joining their ‘pack’.
Thankfully, this breed quickly accept new babies within the household, and instinctively protects them, knowing they mean no malice towards them.
Maine Coons are extremely playful felines, and love to play with their human family. This makes the Maine Coon cat breed ideally suited to living with babies and young children, since the younger family members become great playmate companions for them.
Unlike many other cat breeds, the Maine Coon cat will remain playful late into their adult lives. They will therefore bond closely with children whom offer them lots of attention, and playtime fun.
Young children and babies will be amused by the Maine Coon cats quirky behaviour, and fun loving characteristics. Parents could even show their young toddlers how to play ‘fetch’ with their Maine Coon kitten.
Maine Coons are very loyal cats, who bond closely with their families. Whilst the male of the species is more likely to bond closely with one owner (most likely the one that feeds them!), the females are happy to bond closely with all family members.
This cat breeds desire to bond with family members make them ideally suited to living in families with babies and young children. This is because the Maine Coon will want to have a relationship with all members of the household, both young and old.
Babies have no preconceived ideas about cleanliness, dirt, nor are they the least bit bothered by cat fur all over their clothes. This makes the Maine Coon ideally suited to living with babies, since these loving gentle giants will lavish affection on babies, and the baby will happily bond closely with them.
Maine Coons are not naturally aggressive felines, so will very rarely attack a baby or young child. If they do lightly scratch a babies arm, this is usually a complete accident, only occurring when your cat has failed to retract their claws quick enough during play.
The majority of other cat breeds act more aggressively towards young children. They will hiss and lash out at an unsuspecting baby or toddler. The Maine Coon by contrast is very docile and tolerant of babies, therefore makes the ideal pet choice for families with young children.
Are Maine Coons Family Friendly?
If you are looking for a family friendly cat breed, the Maine Coon cat is definitely the best option. Not only do they have a reputation for being amiable and loving felines, their friendly temperament also makes them ideally suited to living with young children.
Take a look at the video below of our 5 year old daughter interacting with our 7 year old Maine Coon. Their bond is strong, possibly because Aimee is younger than him, and ‘Pippin’ has always seen it as his job to protect her. Our Maine Coon loves to lick her, and this is a clear sign of his affection for her.
Are Maine Coons Phased By Loud Children?
One of the key reasons why Maine Coons are good with young babies and children, is because they aren’t the least bit bothered by loud noises. Take a look at the short video below of our children playing violin, if you don’t believe me! Just for clarity, our Maine Coon cat actively strolled over towards the violin noise the minute it started, then remained close for the entire violin lesson! With such good cat hearing, I would have expected him to run a mile!
Are Maine Coon Cats Protective?
Maine Coon cats are often very protective of the young babies in their families, most likely due to their dog-like pack mentality. They instinctively want to protect young babies, and if a parent permits them then they will try to calm and care for an upset baby that is crying.
Here is a great video of a Maine Coon kitten protecting the baby whilst it sleeps in its crib:
Are Maine Coon Cats Good With Children?
If you are thinking of buying a cat, the Maine Coon is a solid and trustworthy cat breed to buy, since they love children, and will thoroughly integrate themselves with your children. In fact, you might not be able to part the companions!
Before we purchased our purebred Maine Coon, I spent a great deal of time researching the Maine Coon cat breed online. At the time our son was only 12 months old, and only just crawling. Being the protective mummy I am, I needed to reassure my anxious mind that the Maine Coon cat breed was suitable for us.
Everything I read about the Maine Coon indicated that Maine Coon cats were good with children, and from experience I would have to agree. Yes, every cat does have an individual personality, but our Maine Coon couldn’t have been better. He immediately made attempts to bond with our son, and they still love to play ‘chase’ and ‘catch’ together, with a piece of string.
Just watch the interaction between our 7 year old Maine Coon, and 5 year old daughter in this video:
Are Maine Coon Cats Safe With Newborns?
Make sure you consider the following factors, before leaving you baby around your Maine Coon:
Weighing between 8 – 25 lbs (3.6 – 11.3 kg), the Maine Coon cat is considered the largest domesticated cat breed in the world.
These gentle giants are well known for being family friendly, gentle, and good with children. However, parents must still ALWAYS remain vigilant when their Maine Coon is in the company of their baby. This is because the sheer size and weight of the Maine Coon cat poses a threat to small babies, since they may accidently crush a baby, if left unattended.
2. Rolling Over
Young babies cannot roll over on their own. Owners should therefore ensure their Maine Coon does not sit on the babies body, and smother them, since their fur might accidentally cover the babies access to oxygen.
3. Sharp Claws
Maine Coon cats are great hunters, with extremely sharp claws that can catch, hold and rip their prey to shreds. Imagine what those claws could do to your baby.
To protect your baby, make sure that you either trim the Maine Coons claws regularly. Alternatively (and more preferable), owners should provide their cats with multiple cat scratching posts around their home, to enable their cat to naturally keep their claws short. These cat towers on Amazon are particularly suited for the job, since they are sturdy, designed to withstand the Maine Coon cats extra weight. They also include multiple scratching posts, whilst also offering the cat additional places to sit and climb.
Is It Safe To Leave A Baby With A Maine Coon?
Although Maine Coons are well known for being child friendly cats, parents should always aire on the side of caution. This is because Maine Coons are historically wild animals, capable of hunting prey and killing such prey with ease. Although these cats are now domesticated, their natural instinctive behaviour will always exist. This makes a Maine Coon potentially unpredictable.
Whilst many owners might argue that their cat is entirely trustworthy around their child (and in many cases they are), the safest approach when ANY pet is concerned (whatever their upbringing, and, nature) is that parents must always be vigilant. Careful supervision is imperative to ensure a baby or young child does not act in a way that angers the cat.
It is therefore recommended that parents never leave their babies, on their own, with a Maine Coon cat. Although the risks are miniscule, there is always the possibility that this now domesticated cat breed could harm a young child with they claws or teeth. These sturdy, heavy, muscular felines might also knock household items onto a baby accidentally, as they jump up on furniture. Although harming a child would have been unintentional, the risk is still there.
How To Introduce Maine Coon Cat To Baby
As with any animal, make sure that you introduce the Maine Coon cat to the baby gradually. Never force a relationship to develop. Instead, let it grow naturally by allowing your baby and cat to explore, sniff and get to know each other at their own pace.
During the initial introductory period, NEVER leave the baby and Maine Coon cat on their own since both cats and babies are unpredictable.
Male Maine Coons tend to be the life and soul of the party. They are naturally more confident and inquisitive than their female counterparts, and are most likely to approach the baby straight away. By contrast, female Maine Coons are considered more ‘cat-like’, so will approach the baby on their own terms.
So, are Maine Coon cats good with babies? In short, YES! In fact, of all the cat breeds out there, they are possibly the absolute best choice available. Not only is their calm and docile temperament ideally suited to loud, clumsy baby and toddler interaction, but their physical build means these cats are more similar to owning a small dog than a cat.
1. Baby Friendly Cat Breeds
There are a number of baby friendly cat breeds, these include:
- Devon Rex Cat
- European Burmese
- Cornish Rex Cats
- Bengal Cats
- Japanese Bobtail Cats