Many people compare the behaviour of a Maine Coon cat, with that of a dog. Whilst this might seem a bizarre comparison to make, there is more to this intriguing question than you would first think. This is because in reality, owning a Maine Coon is remarkably similar to owning a dog, since both pets act in a similar manner. So, do Maine Coon cats act like dogs, or has the truth been stretched somewhat?
Maine Coons act like dogs, and are known as the ‘dog of the cat world’. They have a friendly canine-like disposition, enabling them to build strong bonds with family members, and get on well with other household pets. Maine Coon cats are similar to dogs, since both are intelligent, loyal, and will greet you at the door.
There’s definitely more to the Maine Coon cat breed than you might initially expect. Keep reading to discover the single key characteristics that have won these large cats a reputation for being dog-like.
Do Maine Coon Cats Act Like Dogs?
Having originated in Maine (United States), the Maine Coon cat breed has taken the world by storm. This ever popular cat breed was even voted within the top three cat breeds to own in America, during 2015! It’s not the least bit surprising therefore, that Maine Coons are now one of the most desirable cat breeds to own on the planet. The Maine Coons fame is likely the result of their stunning looks, dog-like personality traits, gentle temperament, and highly intelligent minds.
If you are considering buying a Maine Coon cat (read this article first), then you are likely wondering do Maine Coon cats act like dogs? The quick answer to this simple question, is YES. However, now that you have this answer, don’t click the ‘back button’ on your browser straight away. Instead, take a look at my table below, to see a summary of the 15 main reasons why the Maine Coon cat breed is known as the ‘dog of the cat world’:
|Friendly||Very friendly cat breed|
|Affectionate||Massively affectionate. Will show their love for their family, via kisses, cuddles and licking|
|Playful||Remain ‘kitten-like’ until late in their adult lives. Enjoy playing with these cat toys, with their owners|
|Social Bonds||Form strong social bonds with human family|
|Physical Attributes||Largest domesticated cat breed, larger than many small dogs e.g. toy poodles. These handsome, regal felines look very impressive, like many dog breeds|
|Sociable||Love to spend time with human owners, so expect your Maine Coon to be primarily by your side|
|Loyalty||Extremely loyal cat breed|
|Follows You||Purebred Maine Coons are curious, intelligent and value companionship, so will follow owner from room to room|
|Good family pet||Non-aggressive cat breed. Good with children|
|Highly Trainable||Can be taught to play ‘fetch’, and follow basic commands|
|Dog Walking||Maine Coons will can taken for a walk, using a leash (if trained whilst a kitten)|
|Attention||Need lots of attention, so will not enjoy spending lots of time on their own|
|Intelligence||Very intelligent felines|
|Cuddly||Enjoys cuddling owner|
|Sleeping Habits||Maine Coons enjoy sleeping in the same room as their owners at night time. Every cat is different, so some Maine Coons are happy to sleep closeby, whereas others want to be on the bed with you, like dogs|
The Maine Coon cat breed is extremely unique, since they are far less ‘cat-like’ than their physical appearance would initially indicate. As you can see, these large gentle giants align more closely with dogs, as a result of their ‘dog-like’ traits. Owners can therefore be immediately forgiven for forgetting they own a cat, because their Maine Coon acts more like a dog!
Let’s briefly cover these 15 headings in slightly more detail, so that you can gain a true appreciation of the Maine Coon cat breed.
The majority of dog breeds are considered friendly, since they love human company, are affectionate, playful, and are not usually aggressive (unless trained to be). The Maine Coon is therefore similar to dogs in this respect, since these friendly large cats have been rated as one of the most friendly cat breeds to own.
For more information on this subject, make sure to get all the latest facts from my article ‘Are Maine Coon cats friendly?‘.
Maine Coons act like dogs, because they are really affectionate. They are considered less ‘cat-like’ in their nature, when compared to other cat breeds, since they are less aloof, instead preferring to spend most of their time with their human family.
Like dogs, Maine Coons show their affection via licking, so expect to get licked quite a lot if you buy a cat from this breed!
Dogs love to play with their owners, whether it be fetch the ball, or trying to catch that laser light zooming around your home. Whilst these behavioural traits are closely linked to being ‘dog-like’, you might also be surprised to hear that Maine Coons enjoy these games too! So, make sure you are stocked up with the Maine Coons favourite cat toys.
4. Social Bonds
Maine Coon cats form strong bonds with their family members, just like dogs do. Both animals are confident, and good with strangers, though the female Maine Coon might take more time to warm up, than their male counterpart.
Owners will likely find that the male Maine Coon wil bond more closely to their key owner i.e. the owner they spend most of their time with). Female Maine Coons by comparison prefer to share their love more freely, to all family members
5. Physical Attributes
Nature has created some amazing looking animals, and the dog and Maine Coon cat are definitely winners in the looks department. Both large dogs, and Maine Coons, are honoured with words like ‘regal’, ‘stunning’ and ‘impressive’.
The Maine Coons highly sociable nature is yet another reason leading many individuals to claim Maine Coons acts like dogs. This is because both animals enjoy spending copious amounts of time with their owners, and are not considered aloof.
Everyone knows that dogs are very loyal to their family, but did you also know that Maine Coon cats are too?
Whilst many cat breeds are considered fickle, happily transferring their love to another individual offering them more tasty food, the Maine Coon is different. Maine Coons act like dogs in this scenario, since they remain completely loyal to their owner.
8. Follows You
Both dogs and Maine Coons are quite curious creatures, so don’t be surprised when they follow you from room to room. These nosey animals want to know what their owners are up to at all times, and love the social connection they share with their family members.
Dogs have a pack mentality, so treat their owners as if they are part of their pack. Maine Coons seemed to share this trait too, making them very dog like. They will therefore follow their ‘leaders’ a.k.a. humans.
9. Good Family Pet
You’ll be hard pushed to find a Maine Coon that doesn’t make for a great family pet. This is therefore yet another reason where Maine Coons act like dogs, since the majority of dog breeds are also considered to be good family pets.
Take a quick peak at this short video of our Maine Coon interacting with our 5 year old daughter:
10. Highly Trainable
One of the key characteristics supporting theories that Maine Coons act like dogs, is that they are highly trainable. Like dogs, these gentle giants can be taught to play fetch! They are also able to understand basic command words, such as ‘down’, and ‘no’.
11. Dog Walking
Cats are usually independent creatures that can quite happily take themselves for a walk. The Maine Coon cat breed is slightly different though, since many are more than happy to be taken for a walk, as if they were a dog!
They adapt particularly well to cat leashes such as these being sold on Amazon, if you are interested in taking your indoor Maine Coon cat out for some much needed exercise.
Maine Coons are very similar to dogs because they require high levels of attention. They are not naturally aloof creatures, and are happiest when they get to spend the majority of their time with their owners.
Like dogs, Maine Coons prefer not to spend too much time on their own. They are not a breed suited to owners that travel away a lot, or spend most of their days out at work. If you are away from the home on a regular basis, consider purchasing a second Maine Coon cat to keep your first one company.
Certain dog breeds are more intelligent. This is no different from the Maine Coon cat, since this breed are known to have a higher than average intellect level.
Although technically not a lap cap, the majority of Maine Coon cats do enjoy a cuddle with their owners, like dogs do, from time to time. They are also similar to dogs, since they are happy to lay next to you, rather than physically on top of you.
15. Sleeping Habits
Both dogs and Maine Coons alike, enjoy sleeping in their owners bedrooms during the night. They will also have no issue licking their owners awake, when they want some food!
Maine Coon And Dogs – A Good Combo?
If you are wondering whether your resident Maine Coon cat will cope when you introduce that new puppy you have been thinking about buying, don’t panic. This is because Maine Coons:
- Enjoy companionship
- Not highly territorial felines
- Good with other household pets
- Highly sociable
Of all the cat breeds, you are pretty safe when it comes to the Maine Coon and dogs. This is because Maine Coons are tolerant, highly sociable, friendly, and laid back cats, who are unlikely to have any issues with sharing their home with a dog. In fact, it is more likely that your Maine Coon will enjoy the additional companionship that a dog offers.
Maine Coons are also not usually strongly territorial, so will be more willing to share their territory with other household pets. Just in case though, make sure you buy a large cat tree like this, to ensure that your gentle giant has a high up platform where they alone can go, and the dog cannot.
Cat Breeds That Act Like Dogs
It’s safe to say that most people are either a ‘cat person’ or a ‘dog person’. Neither is right, nor wrong, instead it is simply down to your own personal preference, and lifestyle choices. So what if I told you that you could have the best of both worlds? … the best of both species, but in one tidy package? You might assume this isn’t possible, since cats and dogs really aren’t that alike, but there is a solution! Why not select a cat from breeds know to act like dogs?
There are a number of cat breeds that act like dogs though. So take a look at the table below, for a brief synopsis of which cat breeds might offer you the best of both worlds (source):
|Cat Breed||Dog-Like Traits|
|Ocicat||Intelligent. Trainable. Bonds with family members. Plays fetch. Follows voice commands|
|Siberian||Intelligent. Loyal. Good jumpers. Greet owners at the door. Playful|
|Maine Coon||Intelligent. Highly trainable. Greet owners at the door. Playful. Talks to owners. Follow owners around house|
|Abyssinian||Trainable. Will play fetch. Loves water. Follow owners around house|
|Sphynx||Affectionate. Follow owners around house. Playful.|
|Turkish Angora||Loves human company. Good with strangers. Greet owners at the door. Can swim|
|American Curl||Affectionate. Good with children and other pets. Will follow owners around house|
|Chartreux||Bonds closely with owners. Follow owners from room to room. Trainable. Will play fetch|
|Ragdoll||Laid back personality. Friendly. Loyal. Good with children and other pets. Moderately playful|
|American Bobtail||Intelligent. Loving. Affectionate. Not phased by loud noises|
|Birman||Good with children. Attentive, playful and active when given attention|
|Ragamuffin||Follow owners around home. Enjoy attention from human family|
|Burmese||Prefers to always be by your side, and will follow owner around home. Affectionate. Intelligent. Will play fetch if trained|
|Manx||Will retrieve toys. Trainable to a degree. Form strong bonds with family|
|Bombay||Will play fetch. Can be walked on a lead|
Do Maine Coon cats act like dogs? … As you can see from the table above, Maine Coons are very dog-like, but certainly aren’t your only option if you are looking to buy a ‘dog-like’ cat breed.
Most Trainable Cat Breeds
If you are after a highly trainable cat breed, that is more dog-like in their nature, then the Maine Coon would make an ideal choice. This is because these highly intelligent felines can be trained to fetch household items, such as balls, scrunched up paper and hair bands, on command.
Whilst there is no definitive list of exactly what ‘tricks’ you can teach your Maine Coon, I have had fun teaching my Maine Coon to kiss both my cheeks on command, like he is French!
Other trainable cat breeds include (source):
- Turkish Van
- Japanese Bobtail
- American Shorthair
I’m biased towards the Maine Coon cat breed, since I own one. Therefore, why not watch this adorable video of a Maine Coon playing fetch with their owner:
If you’ve never been that ‘into‘ cats, then owning a Maine Coon cat will take you completely by surprise. In reality, having a Maine Coon in your home is more like owning a dog, than a cat. Future owners should therefore ensure they have the time available to attend to their Maine Coons social, physical and mental needs. You should also be comfortable with owning a cat that thinks it is a dog, and therefore desires to spend copious amounts of time by your side, whichever room you are in.
Like dogs, these independent felines love spending time with their families, and are well known for having extremely friendly and docile natures. The advantage to owning a Maine Coon however, is that owners do not need to take them for a walk, since they can take themselves for a walk if they want to! If you have the time though, your Maine Coon will enjoy being walked on a leash, provided you introduced the concept of the leash whilst they were a kitten.
So do Maine Coon cats act like dogs? As you will have seen throughout this article, the simple answer, is YES!
1. My Cat Wants To Be A Dog
Maine Coon cats have similar personality and character traits as dogs i.e. loyal, playful, trainable. Owners that have never experienced the Maine Coon cat breed will often assume their cat wants to be a dog, since they associate these behaviours with that of dogs.
2. Why Does My Cat Beg Like A Dog?
Maine Coon cats are a particularly chatty feline breed. They will make varying Maine Coon sounds, like chirps, trills (never meows) which indicate that they would like their owner to give them food. Owners often mistake this communicative cat breeds sounds as ‘begging’.