The Maine Coon cat is one of the most popular cat breeds to own in modern day society. In fact, cat lovers all across the United States go crazy for this majestic large cat, ranking it within the top three best cat breeds to own. Their popularity has likely soared due to their stunning looks, gentle passive temperament, dog-like personalities, and affectionate nature. So, if you’re sold on the idea of buying one of these amazing cats, you naturally ask ‘do Maine Coons get along with other cats?’ The simple answer is yes, but the road to success might not be smooth and will take time. Therefore, make sure you follow our 10 step guide on how to integrate your Maine Coon into a household where other less tolerant cat breeds already reside.
Maine Coons are known for getting on well with other cats, however, owners must still ensure they introduce all resident cats, to a new cat carefully. Whilst a Maine Coons extremely sociable, laid back and gentle nature means they will adapt well to the presence of other cats in a house, these positive characteristics are less commonly found in regular cats. The integration process consists of 10 steps, that should be taken slowly.
Maine Coon Characteristics
The Maine Coon is one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in existence. They weigh between 8 – 25 lbs in weight, and reach anywhere up to a 40 inches in length. With such large physical proportions, it’s not hard to understand why strangers may feel intimidated, at first sight. The irony of the situation is that although physically big, the Maine Coon is actually one of the most friendly cat breeds you could ever own. In fact, you are more likely to be attacked by their overwhelming and sometimes unstoppable levels of affection, than any act of aggression!
Many people refer to Maine Coons as ‘gentle giants’, since their gentle temperament and laid back approach to life make them ideally suited to family life. They are very sociable, and a good choice for individuals that have never owned a pet before, or who have young children. They are also thought to be far less aloof than other cat breeds.
Finally, this loyal cat breed are considered very ‘dog-like’ in nature, since they are highly intelligent and can be trained to perform simple tricks, like fetch. Their dog like characteristics don’t end there though, since you can also expect your cat to follow you from room to room, keeping you company like a dog does.
Do Maine Coons Like Other Cats?
One of the huge benefits of the Maine Coon cat breed is their characteristically gentle, docile and friendly nature. Additionally, their laid back temperament and highly sociable personalities make them ideally suited to living with other cats, because they naturally enjoy the company of other animals. In fact, they are rated as one of the most friendly cat breeds an individual will ever own!
For more information on how friendly the Maine Coon cat is, take a look at my article “Are Maine Coon Cats Friendly?“.
Are Maine Coon Cats Aggressive?
Maine Coon cats are not normally aggressive, and are unlikely to be the ones to start a cat fight. Whilst they maybe a very talkative cat breed, they will rarely hiss or attack either humans, or other cats. It would not be an over exaggeration to suggest at this point that they prefer being everyone’s friend, rather than fighting.
Whilst the male Maine Coon is considered very sociable, and friendly with strangers, the female Maine Coon is often considered more aloof and ‘cat-like’ in nature. The female is not more aggressive than their male counterpart though, instead, they simply take longer to ‘warm up’ to strangers in their home.
Step By Step Guide To Introducing Cats
Introducing a new cat into your home can be a daunting process, which often panics many owners. But, before you get stressed, take a step back and envisage the possibility of a beautiful friendship between your cat, and the new kitten or cat that you have just bought home. Once you have that vision, approach the situation with positivity and happiness, rather than nerves and panic. This is vital, since both cats will sense your emotional vibes, and be alert to a potential threat.
Once you are ready to proceed, take a look at the table below which identifies 10 clear steps to introducing a new cat into your home.
|1||Setup cat bases||Create two separate zones. These should include a resting place, scratching post, food, water, litter tray and hiding spot|
|2||Take things slow||Don’t rush the introduction between cats|
|3||Keep cats separate||Keep cats in their separate zones, for the first few days|
|4||Time||Spend time with each cat on their own, each day. Watch for signs of distress in both cats e.g. aggressive behaviour, hiding, stopped eating|
|5||Introduce the scent||Introduce scent of new cat to resident cat, and vice versa. Remain calm|
|6||Plugin Sprays||Install synthetic pheromone plugin smells to help keep cats calm|
|7||Explore||Keep cats separate, but allow them to explore and smell each others territory|
|8||Introduction||Allow cats to see each other, but not physically touch e.g. by placing a mesh divider on the door, or putting one cat in closed cat carrier. Remain calm, and let them explore each other. If either cat gets stressed, separate them|
|9||Repeat||Patiently repeat steps 1-8 until cats are settled around each other|
|10||D-day||Let cats meet each other. Monitor situation closely|
Now that we have identified 10 clear steps to integrating two cats, it makes sense for me to explain a little more about each stage of the process, further.
Whilst following these steps, keep in mind that cats are very territorial and not often keen to share their territory with other cats. Therefore, adding a new cat into your home may cause the existing cat to present unwanted behaviour traits, e.g. damaging furniture, spraying (if not neutered), and aggression.
1. Setup Cat Bases
In order to make the integration process run more smoothly, it is recommended that owners spend time setting up two independent cat bases. The bases should be in different rooms, so that the cats are initially kept separate.
Make sure you include the following within each cat base:
- Cat Bed
- Hiding Place
- Scratching Post
- Litter Tray
Cat bases should be fully equipped with all the provisions each cat needs, to survive independently. At this point, the cats must remain separate. It is likely the cats will be able to smell and hear each other, so closely watch both cats reactions and behaviours, for signs of distress.
2. Take Things Slowly
You might feel tempted to put the cats together in the same room, right from the start. Whilst the ‘fight it out’ strategy is an approach some people do take, it is not an introduction method I would recommend. This is likely to cause more damage, than good.
Remember, introducing cats to each other is a marathon, not a sprint! Therefore, for the best chance of success take things extremely slowly. Let your cats set the speed, and if either shows signs of stress give them extra love and attention to handle the situation.
3. Keep Cats Separate
During the first few days, it is critical that the owner keeps the two cats separate. Introducing the cats earlier could be detrimental to their wellbeing, and threaten the integration process of your two cats.
Make sure that all internal and external doors are kept shut at all times, to prevent the new cat (or the resident cat) trying to escape.
Joining a new home can often be an unsettling time for a new kitten or cat, even when a second cat isn’t involved. The situation needs to be handled with great care, compassion and patience, ensuring that the new cat is given plenty of time to bond with their new owner, and home. This stage of the process is vital, since love, time and affection will help make the new cat feel settled and secure.
In the scenario whereby a new cat is introduced to a household that already has another cat living there, particular attention should be made to ensure all their social, physical and mental needs at met. Owners should therefore spend large amounts of time with the primary cat, so the resident cat does not feel neglected. They also need to keep an eye out for any signs of stress that the primary cat is displaying.
Whilst spending lots of time with both cats will be very time consuming in the beginning, you will likely experience a higher level of integration success, if you follow this step completely.
5. Introduce The Scent
Cats have amazing hearing and scenting abilities, therefore will already be well aware that another cat is within the home.
The next step of the process therefore is to introduce both cats to the scent of the other cat. This can be done by letting one cat sniff the cat bed that the other cat has been laying on. If either cat appears distressed by the new scent, remove the cat bed immediately and give them plenty of attention and strokes. When you feel ready, repeat the process again.
You are ready to move onto the next step in the process, when both cats act calm and settled by the other cats scent.
6. Plugin Sprays
In order to help the integration process, owners can install pheromone plugin sprays around their home. These are known to calm and settle cats.
This particular plugin is currently reduced on Amazon. It has been highly rated customers, and is an effective way to calm cats, and fix behavioural issues. Grab the deal whilst it’s still on!
Once your cats are ready, let them freely explore each others cat base, without the other cat being present. It is important that cats remain separate during this step, since both cats need time to get used to the other cats scents.
At this point, remember that every cat is different. Whilst some cats may not have an issue with smelling the foreign cats base, other cats may react more unfavourably. Therefore, make sure that you take this stage very slowly. Remain patient with both cats at all time, since this step may take a few days, or weeks to complete.
Now onto the exciting, yet nerve racking stage of the 10 step integration process!
During this step, your aim is to introduce the two cats to each other. Cats will remain physically separate during this stage, to avoid cat fight encounters where owner and cats can both become hurt, or stressed.
Here are two examples of how to achieve this step:
- Secure a mesh material to the door: Allow each cat to stand on either side of the mesh, sniffing each other. Should either cat appear distressed, return them to the safety of their cat base. The mesh prevents physical contact occurring.
- Place one cat securely in cat carrier: Safety secure one cat in a cat carrier, and place the carrier in the middle of a room. Then allow the second cat to approach the secured cat. The cat walking freely will want to smell the other cat, and their carrier, so do not prevent them from doing this. A small amount of hissing and ‘puffing up’ of fur is likely, so do not feel alarmed if you see this happening. Keep in mind that the cats are not able to physically interact with each other, so are entirely safe. Repeat this process again, but swap the cats position, so that they each take turns in the cat carrier. This process should be repeated until both cats are comfortable around each other.
The cat integration process should be taken very slowly. Owners should only move onto the next step when they feel ready to do so. Thus, be prepared to repeat every step of the process multiple times, until both cats are calm and settle.
This step of the process is known as D-day, since both cats are encouraged to meet each other with no physical barriers between them. They are free to physically interact with each other, and get used to the others presence. Owners should monitor this situation closely and separate the cats if an issue arises.
Do Maine Coons Need A Companion?
Due to their highly sociable nature it is beneficial for a Maine Coon to have a companion, whether that be another cat to play with, or a human whom they can spend their days with.
Although this is not absolutely necessary, it would be advisable to consider in situations where an owner works away from home for large portions of the day. This is because the Maine Coon breed requires high levels of social stimulation and attention, and can become stressed or mentally unwell if they are left on their own for large portions of time.
Introducing New Kitten To Maine Coon
You are likely to have less issues when introducing a new kitten to an adult Maine Coon that is already resident within your home. This is because adult cats feel less threatened by younger cats and kittens joining their family, since their close relationship with their human family members is already established.
Before rushing out to buy a kitten though, don’t forget that the introduction process must be managed carefully. Owners that fail to take things slowly are likely to end up with two cats at war, for many years to come. For a quick reminder on the exact process to follow, click here to jump to our 10 step guide on introducing cats to each other.
Do Maine Coons get along with other cats?
Introducing a new cat or kitten into a home where another cat already resides, will always be a nerve wracking event for any owner. Owners should not let the situation stress them though, but instead remain completely calm, positive and patient at all times.
Even if the friendship between two cats doesn’t look possible in the beginning, keep persisting since a Maine Coon cats personality traits make them ideally suited to living with other cats. Remember to keep in mind that the Maine Coon breed are very sociable and friendly. Therefore, whether they are the first, or second cat joining a home, your chances of success are far higher than if you were introducing two non Maine Coon cats to each other.
Lasty, keep in mind that the cat integration process does not happen overnight. However, if introduced correctly your two precious cats will hopefully reach a point whereby they are friendly with each other, providing each other with a lifelong companion.