Introducing a new puppy or dog into a household where a Maine Coon already resides, or vice versa, will always be a nerve racking experience for an owner. Before you start stressing though, remember that your feelings are completely natural, since you simply want your pets to live harmoniously, without any fights. If you are anything like me, then you’ve probably typed the question ‘are Maine Coon cats good with dogs?’ into Google, repeatedly! Whilst no one can definitively answer this question for you, there are a number of tips you can use to increase your chances of successfully integrating your two pets.
Maine Coon cats and dogs can live harmoniously in the same household, provided owner integrates the two animals correctly. Pets should be introduced slowly, allowing ample time for both cat and dog to adapt to the others presence. To prevent territory battles, owners must ensure their cat and dog have individual areas they can retire too.
Can Cats And Dogs Live Together?
The bond between an owner and their pet is completely unique, special and magical. It can be difficult to describe the relationship in words, however, in general it is normal to find that an owners life literally becomes entwined with that of their pets. In many cases, the owner loves their pet so intensely that they consider their cat or dog as one of their own children!
With such strong natural bonds, it’s not surprising that owners want to extend their family further, by introducing a new cat or puppy into their home. But, can cats and dogs really live together, harmoniously? The simple answer to this question is ‘yes’, however the integration process must be managed very carefully to ensure that neither pet is put out by the introduction of a new animal in the home.
No owner wants their pets to fight like cats and dogs (quite literally!). Therefore, if you are keen to increase your chances that your pets will get on well, and live harmoniously in the same home, make sure that you follow our step by step guide to introducing a Maine Coon cat to a dog, CORRECTLY. Please remember that every scenario, pet and family dynamic are different. There are likely to be slip ups on the way, but the most important thing is that the owner takes things extremely slowly, remains consistent, and never gives up.
Are Maine Coons Good With Dogs?
Originating from Maine, United States in the 1800’s, the Maine Coon cat is known as the ‘dog of the cat world’ due to their very ‘dog-like’ personality traits, that make them ideally suited to getting on with dogs.
Here are a few reasons why the Maine Coon cat is considered ‘dog-like’:
- Love of water
- Large physical build
- Adore human company
- Extremely sociable
- Follow owner around their home
- Talk to their owners, via chirps and trills
- Highly trainable
- Maine Coons will go for a walk, on a leash!
In general, Maine Coon cats are usually accepting of dogs after a period of integration time. This is because the Maine Coon is not phased or scared by loud noises e.g. a dog barking. They are also incredibly sociable, gentle and friendly beings that prefer to get on with everyone, rather than fight. Their non-aggressive personality is also particularly important in terms of the integration, because tend not to attack unknown cats or dogs entering their territory, unless the other animal attacks them, or is considered to be a threat.
Additionally, the Maine Coon is considered a very playful cat breed that will continue to play like a kitten until late in their life. This is helpful when introducing a Maine Coon with a dog, because the Maine Coon will be less phased by a little rough and tumble play from a puppy or dog. They might even enjoy it, as it is great exercise for both animals!
Ultimately though, the integration process between a Maine Coon cat and dog will need to be handled correctly by an owner, to ensure the cat and dog do adjust to each others presence under the same roof. In general though, owners should anticipate higher success rates when integrating a puppy or dog, with a Maine Coon cat, than any other cat breed.
Dog Breeds That Are Good With Cats
Some dog breeds are naturally more suited to living with cats, than others. Therefore, before buying the first dog you fall in love with, make sure that you have researched the dog breeds natural temperament and personality. This is important to ensure that you are selecting a dog that is more likely to get on with your Maine Coon cat.
The table below lists the top 10 dog breeds that are good with cats (source):
|Pug||This tough little dog loves attention. They have big personalities and are likely to get on well with Maine Coon cats, who can provide companionship for them when owners are unavailable. A Maine Coon is an ideal playmate for the Pug|
|Papillon||The Papillon is likely to get on with a Maine Coon, because they are often cat sized. Both breeds are very playful|
|Basset Hound||These dogs are known for their very laid back, friendly temperament. They are considered tolerant of other animals|
|Laberador Retriever||This loveable dog breed is known for getting on with other animals. Their friendly, playful and loving nature makes them ideally suited to living with a Maine Coon cat|
|Golden Retriever||This breed has a very outgoing and adaptable nature. Their personalities are big, and they are likely to be a great companion for the Maine Coon|
|Collie||These energetic dogs are known to be good with children, and other animals. They are a very vocal dog breed, but the Maine Coon cat is not usually phased by loud noises, so this should not be an issue|
|Cavalier Kings Charles Spaniel||These spaniels are a similar size to a cat, with big personalities. They are very adaptable to change, and well known for their love of other animals, so will likely be keen to build a friendly bond with your Maine Coon|
|Bulldog||Renowned for their kind temperament, with an easy going personality. They get on well with other animals|
|Beagle||Beagles are a very friendly dog breed, who enjoy companionship. It is possible that this dog will consider a Maine Coon part of their dog pack|
The dogs listed in the table above are those breeds known to have temperaments and personalities that are more amenable to living with a cat. If you cannot spot your favourite dog breed in my list, try not to panic because every dog has a unique personality, and as long as they do not have a high predatory tendencies, there is every chance that your dog will still get on with your Maine Coon.
Ultimately, the upbringing of any dog will also play a key role in influencing your dog’s overall temperament and personality. Therefore, a dog not stated in the list might become just as good with your Maine Coon, as a dog included within the list.
Dog Breeds That Don’t Like Cats
If you are thinking about buying a puppy or dog, never just assume that all dog breeds will immediately get on with your Maine Coon cat. Although Maine Coon cats are known for being extremely sociable and good with with other pets, this definitely isn’t the case for every dog breed.
There will always be exceptions to the rule, however, it is wise for owners to maximise their chances of integration success by avoiding certain dog breeds completely. I appreciate this is difficult for those individuals that utterly adore a certain dog breed, however, in situations like this, your Maine Coons wellbeing and happiness have to be your priority.
Whilst some dog breeds are known for their kind, tolerant nature, others are more instinctively wired to hunt prey. Dog breeds with a high predatory instinct are unlikely to bond with a Maine Coon cat, because they will be more interested in chasing it around your home. Understandably, your Maine Coon will not find this enjoyable. Instead, they are likely to become stressed, and suffer unwanted health issues as a result.
The table below lists the 10 dog breeds that owners should avoid, if they want harmony to reign between the animals in their home (source):
|Dog Breeds To Avoid||Description|
|Siberian Huskies||High hunting instinct. Require high levels of attention, so unlikely to get on with cat, unless they grew up together|
|Whippet||Quickest domesticated dog in their weight class. Have an instinct for chasing small animals like cats|
|Smooth Fox Terrier||High prey drive not suited to living with cats. Enjoy hunting prey and vermin|
|Manchester Terrier||This protective dog breed has been trained to hunt rodents, and critters. They may try to hunt your Maine Coon|
|Standard Schnauzers||High prey drive and fearless. Not suited to living with a cat|
|Irish Wolfhound||Sighthounds used for hunting can only see a cat as prey to be killed, rather than a companion|
|Afghan Hound||Natural born hunters, known for their speed and strength. Like to chase cats|
|Bedlington Terrir||They might be small, fluffy and cute, but they are extremely fast, and ferocious. Likely to attack your cat|
|Samoyed||Working dog with a high hunting instinct. This dog breed is a gamble, they will either love your Maine Coon, or destroy it|
|Australian Cattle Dog||High energy dog breed, with high prey drive. Only work in household with cats, if they were raised together|
The table above is not exhaustive, but simply a starting point for owners researching which dog breeds will get on with their Maine Coon cat.
How To Introduce A Maine Coon To A Dog: 8 Steps To Success
Although an owner may dream of their cat and dog living harmoniously, the reality is not always the case. Therefore, before getting tangled in a situation whereby your cat and dog are at war, make sure that you have thoroughly researched the subject in advance, before taking the plunge.
Owners should then follow our 8 step guide to introducing a Maine Coon cat to their dog. Make sure that you follow all of the steps, to ensure your treasured pets have the best chance of becoming lifelong friends, under the same roof.
The 8 step guide includes:
- Breed Analysis
- Setup Bases
- Separate Animals
- Introducing Scent
- Quality Time
- Switch It Up
8 Step Guide To Integrating Maine Coon With A Dog
Follow our 8 step guide to ensure a successful integration process between your Maine Coon cat, and a new puppy or dog.
1. Breed Analysis
If you already own a Maine Coon kitten, or cat, but would now like to add a puppy or dog to your happy family, the most important thing you could do is analyse your preferred dog breeds character and personality traits in advance.
Should you be considering an older dog, an owner must make their best efforts to discover as much out about the dogs history as possible i.e. have they lived with other animals before? are they naturally aggressive? etc.
Owners must address the key factors covered in the table below:
|Socialisation||Was the puppy/dog socialised with other kittens/cats during 2-9 weeks of age?|
|Predatory Levels||Is the dog breed prone to high levels of predatory behaviour?|
Owners should aim to purchase a puppy, or dog that has been socialised with other cats whilst they were between the ages of 2 – 9 weeks. This is incredibly important, since a dog socialized within this primary socialisation period will be far easier to integrate with a Maine Coon cat, than a dog that has never come into contact with a cat before.
b) Predatory Level
Owners should research the different dog breeds thoroughly, to ensure they only purchase dog breeds that have a low predatory level. Failure to do this could result in integration disaster, or even the death of your treasured Maine Coon. This is because dogs with high predatory levels are naturally more prone to hunting and chasing other animals. Dogs with high prey levels are more likely to chase your Maine Coon around your home tirelessly. Not only will these severely frighten your Maine Coon, but it will also make cat and dog integration process unsuccessful.
Avoid these dog breeds who are known to have high prey levels (source):
- Rhodesian Ridgeback
- Airedale Terrier
- Bull Terrier
- English Springer Spaniel
- Siberian Husky
- Irish Wolfhound
- Pharaoh Hound
2. Setup Bases
Before bringing a new puppy home, make sure that you have created two separate dens within your home. This is vital because it ensures that both your pets will have a place to return to, which is free from the other animal.
Each den should include:
- Litter tray
- Animal Bed
- Pet Toys
- Scratching Post
- Pet pheromone plugins
Pet Pheromone Plugins
I highly recommend owners use plugin pheromone products in their home, to help ease the integration process between the cat and dog. These pheromone products in particular, by Feliway, are a great way to calm your cat and dog.
Owners should ensure that the dens are separate from each other, though in an ideal world the dens will be adjacent to each other with only a closed door in between. This layout is preferable because it ensures that both animals are given time to get used to each others scent and sounds, before meeting. The door also acts as a barrier, preventing any negative physical interaction between the Maine Coon and the puppy/dog.
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3. Separate Animals
When you first bring your new puppy or dog home, make sure that you keep your Maine Coon completely separate from them. This is important because both animals need to get used to each others scents and presence. The Maine Coon is also likely to consider the house as ‘their territory’. Therefore, coming across a dog in their territory will likely stress your cat, and potentially cause a cat Vs dog fight.
Owners should ensure that the resident cat does not feel put out by the appearance of a dog in their home. In order to smooth the transition process therefore, owners must allow their cat to roam freely around the home, as they usually would. The only room that the cat must be restricted from entering, is the dog’s den.
Although this might seem cruel to the dog, it is very important that the puppy/dog is restricted to one room of the home in the beginning, for their own sake. Being contained in a smaller space will help a dog acclimatise to living in a new home, thus reducing the chance of them trying to return to their breeders house. Containing a dog to one room of the house initially will also help reduce any stress the dogs is suffering, from moving home.
4. Introducing The Scent
Your cat and dog are already fully aware of each others existence, however, in order to integrate them correctly an owner must ensure that both pets remain separate at this stage.
The next step in the process is to introduce the scent of the dog, to your Maine Coon. This is achieved by taking a blanket covered in the dogs scent, then leaving it next to your cats bed. Give your cat time to sniff and scent the blanket, whilst watching their reactions closely to ensure they do not become overly stressed.
Once the cat is comfortable with the dogs scent, take a blanket covered in the cats scent and place it by the dogs bed. As with the cat, allow the dog to sniff and scent the blanket. If they appear overly stressed by the cats smell at any stage, remove the blanket immediately.
Repeat this process for both animals, until both are comfortable around the other animals unique scent.
5. Quality Time
During the integration process, make sure that you spend quality time with both pets on an individual basis. This is vital, to ensure that neither pet feels rejected, and left out. In particular, owners should spend ample time with the primary cat so that they do not feel cast out by the introduction of a new pet in the home.
You are likely to feel stretched for time during this integration process, since your new puppy or dog will also need one to one attention as well, to ensure they bond with their new owner and family.
Ensure that the animals are kept separate, until both appear comfortable in their separate living areas.
6. Switch It Up
Once both pets are happy and contented living in their own separate areas, it is time to switch things up!
In order to achieve this, the owner should remove the dog from their living space, then allow the Maine Coon to investigate the dogs room. Give your cat plenty of time to scent and smell the dogs room. If your Maine Coon shows any signs of stress though, do not force them to stay in the dogs area. This process should be repeated until the Maine Coon is completely settled with the situation.
The next stage in the process is to introduce the dog to the cats living space, whilst the cat is not present. As with the cat, allow the dog plenty of time to investigate the cats room. If the dog becomes stressed, remove them from the cats room. This process should be repeated until the dog is completely comfortable in the cats living space.
Once your Maine Coon and dog are completely comfortable with each others smells and scents, it is time to introduce them. This stage should be managed very carefully, always ensuring that there is a physical barrier preventing the animals touching.
A barrier between the animals can be achieved in a variety of ways:
- Keep cat in cat carrier
- Place dog in their cage
- Instal baby gate that separates animals from each other
- Place a see-through screen up on the door, which prevents either animal getting to the other side.
During the introduction process the animals should be allowed to investigate each other. This process may take some time, therefore it is imperative that the owner does not try to rush the process. Additionally, owners should monitor both animals closely, to ensure that neither pet becomes too stressed, or too upset by the situation. If you notice an issue, immediately return both animals to the safety of their bases, then repeat this process at another time.
Repeat the introduction stage until both animals are content with the others presence. Make sure that you reward both animals when they are calm, quiet, and non-aggressive towards the other animal.
Please Note: If the dog is not contained during this stage, it is important that owners keep them on a leash at all times, to avoid the dog tries chasing the Maine Coon cat.
The final step in the integration process is to allow your cat and dog to physically meet each other. It is imperative that owners are always present during this critical stage, ensuring that both animals are returned to their bases immediately, should any issues arise. This process should be repeated until both pets are comfortable in the others company.
This stage of the process is understandably quite nerve racking for an owner (and animal!). However, it is important that owners remain as calm, and positive as possible since their pets can sense their nervous vibes.
Maine Coon Playing With Dog Videos
If you are still not sure that your Maine Coon and dog will get on with each other, watch this video of a Golden Retriever Dog playing with his Maine Coon house mate.
And if you still need convincing that Maine Coon cats can live with each other entirely happily, take a look at the following video. You will see s Maine Coon kitten playing with the small dog, and an adult Maine Coon tolerating the hyper dogs endless play attempts.
We all want our pets to live in harmony together, but sometimes this just isn’t possible. Despite our best efforts, some cats and dogs will never get on. Those owning a Maine Coon cat however are more likely to succeed during the integration process, since the Maine Coon is well known for being overly friendly, gentle and docile. These attributes, added to the fact that Maine Coons have extremely laid back temperaments around other household pets means that the integration process is usually easier.
Ultimately, the success of integration will depend upon two key factors. Therefore, if you are still wondering ‘Are Maine Coon cats good with dogs?’, make sure to increase your chances of success by selecting a dog breed known to have a low predatory hunting characteristic. Then, follow the 8 step guide to the letter, and watch an amazing relationship develop between your two amazing animals.