It is always advisable to find out as much as possible regards the personality of a Maine Coon cat, before buying one. In general you cannot go wrong with this particular feline breed though, since they are very dog-like in their nature, with a reputation for being docile ‘gentle giants’. This friendly and affectionate cat breed are also suited to living with other pets, and are tolerant of young children. Potential owners do need to assess their own suitability for owning a Maine Coon cat in advance though, since these cats have a few unique requirements.
Maine Coon cats have similar personality traits. Owners can therefore almost guarantee what their kittens temperament, nature and personality will be, in advance. The 12 most likely Maine Coon personality traits include: friendly, highly sociable, gentle giant, dog-like behaviour, playful, highly intelligent, affectionate, loyal, curious, family friendly, laid back and good with other pets.
Whilst this list pretty much summarises the ideal cat breed, there are a few important considerations to factor into the purchasing decision, to ensure the Maine Coon doesn’t experience separation anxiety and loneliness.
12 Personality Traits Of A Maine Coon Cat
When you buy a Maine Coon cat, you pretty much know what you are getting, even if you’ve never owned a cat before. This is because the purebred Maine Coon cat breed has a very predictable set of personality traits that the majority of Maine Coons will exhibit.
The table below highlights the top 12 factors that represent the personality of a Maine Coon cat perfectly:
|Maine Coon Personality||Description|
|Friendly||Extremely friendly, with everyone|
|Highly Sociable||Loves company, good with strangers. Males are very outgoing. Females slightly more reserved|
|Gentle Giant||Very gentle and docile temperament and nature|
|Dog Like Behaviour||Cat shares many dog-like qualities e.g. they will follow you everywhere!|
|Playful||Energetic cat breed, that loves to play|
|Highly Intelligent||Well known for their high levels of intelligence|
|Affectionate||Overly affectionate with owners|
|Loyal||Massively loyal cat breed|
|Curious||Very inquisitive and curious nature|
|Family Friendly||Very tolerant of young children. Not distressed by loud busy family life|
|Laid Back||Massively laid back and docile|
|Good With Other Pets||Gets on well with other pets|
If you are looking at this list, thinking that the personality of a Maine Coon cat is 100% perfect for your family, keep reading to find out more …
One of the key characteristics of the Maine Coon cat, is their massively friendly nature. Despite being one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in existence, they do not have a bad bone in their body. Instead, they are naturally non-aggressive felines that like to be friendly with literally everyone they meet, including other pets living within the home.
Known for loving to spend time with their owners, you will quickly notice how your Maine Coon cat follows you everywhere. Read my article for more details on this “Why Does My Maine Coon Follow Me?“.
2. Highly Sociable
Whilst other cats tend to run away from noise, finding a quiet space to rest and relax, most Maine Coon cats will do the complete opposite. In fact, this particular cat breed are so sociable that they will actively seek out their family members, even if there’s lots of noise and commotion.
This particular cat breed is very outgoing and sociable, so will benefit from living with other pets who offer them additional companionship whilst their owners are busy, or away. Their laid back, friendly and highly sociable nature means that they are also able to get on with everyone in the family, including other pets. When introducing your Maine Coon to a new pet though, owners should expect this breed to initially protect their territory by standing their ground. This is completely normal cat behaviour, and will pass as long as the owner manages the pet integration process carefully.
Maine Coons adore human company, and are very good with strangers too. The male of the species is more sociable than the female though, so expect your curious and confident male to stride right up to the visitor, or lap up their attention if the visitor goes over to them. By contrast, the female is more cat-like in her approach to strangers, so will take more time to share her love.
3. Gentle Giants
Maine Coons have a very gentle, docile and laid back temperament. They are not known for lashing out at their owners, or young children. Nor are they the least bit aggressive (unless severely provoked). The breed were given the title ‘gentle giant’, to reflect this common Maine Coon personality trait.
Unlike many other cats, the Maine Coon is able to adapt to new situations and occurrences relatively easy, i.e. new pets, or birth of new baby.
4. Dog-Like Behaviour
After living with your Maine Coon for a few months, did you ever mistakenly think you had actually purchased a dog? If you did, you’re not the first person to think this because the personality of a Maine Coon cat is extremely similar to that of a dogs.
Known as the ‘dog of the cat world’, the Maine Coon cat breed has a reputation for displaying many dog-like characteristics. These include:
- Maine Coons are very trainable: Owners have even been known to train their Maine Coon cats to fetch a ball! If you are interested in trying this, you will increase your chances of success by introducing the concept whilst the cat is still a kitten. This is because older cats are less trainable – the male of the species in particular is known to be more stubborn as they get older.
- You can take a Maine Coon for a walk: An indoor Maine Coon can be taught to walk on a cat lead. Owners can then take their Maine Coon cat for a walk outside!
- Highly intelligent cat breed: Like dogs, the Maine Coon can be trained to do things e.g. you can use the word ‘down’ firmly, to make them jump down from a table etc.
- A Maine Coon is always by your side: These cats like to follow their owners everywhere around the home, like a dog would. They love human companionship, and just want to spend all their waking hours with their family.
- Massively affectionate: Dogs are always considered to be very loyal, and ‘mans best friend’, however, the Maine Coon could easily rival a dog for this title.
- Loyal to owners: A male Maine Coon will attach themselves predominantly to one owner.
- Pack animal: Most cats are not pack animals, like dogs. By contrast however, Maine Coons act like they are part of a pack.
This energetic cat breed will remain playful and kitten-like until late in their adult lives. They require lots of exercise to prevent them becoming obese, and enjoy spending their playing time with their owners everyday.
Here is a list of my five favourite Maine Coon cat toys that your Maine Coon is bound to love.
One noticeable difference about the Maine Coon personality, is their love of water. They will happily play with their water bowl or fountain throughout the day, and some even don’t mind going for a swim or bath! Amusingly, a lot of owners report that their Maine Coon is so intelligent and playful, that they have taught themselves to turn on the faucet to drink water.
Their playful nature is also visible from their ‘mouser’ skills. Maine Coons are likely to have evolved these hunting skills whilst living in the wilderness in Maine, where they originate. This is because they had to hunt live prey to survive the harsh Winter climates. Whilst most Maine Coons today no longer need to hunt for food, the breed still clearly exhibits many hunting skills during play, that would have previously proved useful many decades ago.
6. Highly Intelligent
If you think you can outsmart your Maine Coon cat, you might be surprised. Whilst they might not be Einstein, this highly intelligent cat breed is definitely far more intelligent than the average cat walking down the street. Therefore, expect your Maine Coon to quickly learn your routines and times of day that you might be willing to feed them cat treats!
Their high levels of intelligence enable many owners to train their Maine Coon kittens to be able to play fetch! Take a look at the short video below of a Maine Coon cat playing fetch with their owner:
Another example of the Maine Coons highly intelligent personality trait, is that they are bright enough to determine the easiest way to scale a wall. Whilst most other cat breeds do not think twice about exerting considerable effort into jumping straight upwards, the Maine Coon will first check for a less strenuous route to the top. This isn’t because Maine Coons cannot jump, far from it. They are just smart enough to check for an alternative easy option first!
For more information on Maine Coon jumping, click here to learn how high Maine Coon cats can jump.
What is it about the personality of a Maine Coon cat, that makes them such an incredibly popular cat breed to own across the entire world? One of the most likely answers to this question, is that Maine Coons are well known for being overly affectionate. They love grooming their owners, and being cuddled like a teddy bear. Our Maine Coon also loves being picked up and held like a big baby, for a cuddle.
Whilst technically not considered a ‘lap cat’, many Maine Coons happily enjoy being cuddled by all their family members because they do not have an issue with being handled. If you are enjoy a big cuddle with your Maine Coon however, be aware that your body heat might become too much for them at some point though, so expect them to move to a cooler spot when they’ve had enough.
With so much love to give, this unique cat breed quickly win the hearts of their owners by adorning them with unconditional affection. Sometimes a Maine Coon cannot contain the amount of love and affection that they wish to share. Our cat in particular has been known to regularly force his love on us. When he gets in these moods, he literally refuses to stop attempting to groom and cuddle us, even when we ask him to because we are on the toilet!
Maine Coons might be very friendly with strangers, however, you should not mistake this for a lack of loyalty towards their owners.
In general, the male of the species is usually more loyal to their family, often attaching themselves to one particular owner. By comparison, the female Maine Coon is considered more ‘cat-like’ in her nature, since she prefers to behave more independently and is happy to share her love and affection around an entire family (source).
Have you ever heard of the phrase ‘curiosity killed the cat’? … If I didn’t know any better, I would say that this actual phrase was made by an owner describing their Maine Coon cat.
This curious breed love to know what’s going on, and actively seek out noise and movement inside and outside the house. Owners should therefore keep a close eye on their Maine Coon cat, since this breed could easily get themselves into difficulties if allowed to roam freely outside.For example, they wouldn’t think twice about investigating the neighbours open shed door and then become accidently trapped in it.
Maine Coons are extremely curious, which is clearly visible when you play with them. For example, if you drag one of their cat toys slightly out of their sight, they will immediately follow you to find out where it has gone. It’s literally one big game to them.
Keep your Maine Coons overly curious and highly intelligent mind occupied with cat toys that provide mental stimulation.
10. Family Friendly
One of the reasons the Maine Coon makes such a good family pet, is because they are very good around loud and noisy young children. Their laidback, gentle and docile temperament means they do not become stressed or frightened by busy family lives. Instead, they revel in the chaos because they are highly sociable little beings, and like to feel part of the family. They are also extremely patient with younger children, who are learning how to interact with a cat i.e. stroking them.
Maine Coons seem able to distinguish between the younger and older members of their family, adjusting their behaviour accordingly. A perfect example of this was when our daughter was a young toddler. She was playing with our Maine Coon, with a piece of string, encouraging him to catch it. At one point, our young Maine Coon was about to pounce, but immediately recalled his movement when the string mistakenly fell on our toddlers feet. I am certain to this day, that the Maine Coon didn’t pounce on the string because he was protecting his younger family member.
Below is a video of our now 7 year old purebred Maine Coon cat interacting with our 5 year old daughter. They have always had a very close bond, and ‘Pippin’ is definitely very tolerant of being petted by a young child, even it is means he gets pushed around a little. His docile gentle temperament means that he has never lashed out at either of our young children:
11. Laid Back
One of the classic personality traits of a Maine Coon cat, is their very laid back, gentle and docile temperament. They are literally so chilled, that nothing ever seems to phase them at all. This makes them a great pet to own, since they offer a very calming influence on their owners.
12. Good With Other Pets
If you are thinking of introducing another cat into your household, then try not to worry too much over how your Maine Coon cat will handle the newcomer. This is because the personality of a Maine Coon cat means that they are likely to get on with any new cat, provided they are given enough space to call their own. The additional cat will also offer valued company to your highly sociable and inquisitive Maine Coon.
Before introducing your Maine Coon to another cat or dog, please follow our 10 step integration guide detailed in the following article: ‘Do Maine Coon cats get along with other cats?‘. If the steps are adhered to slowly and carefully, the integration period is likely to run smoothly. Rushing this delicate process will only increase the chances that the animals struggle to accept each other.
For those of you wishing to add a dog into your household, take a look at this article first, so that you select the dog breeds most suited to the Maine Coon cat: ‘Are Maine Coon Cats Good With Dogs?‘
Maine Coon Quirky Behaviour
Owning a Maine Coon is not like owning a standard cat. In fact, half the time you are likely to think that you are the proud owner of a dog, rather than a cat.
Here are a few quirky personality traits of the Maine Coon cat breed:
- Will follow own around the home, from room to room
- Happily goes for a walk on a cat lead
- Likes to play with water
- Needs high levels of company
- Cannot be left on own for long periods of time
The Maine Coon might be an independent cat, however, it is important that potential buyers seriously consider whether they can meet the needs of this pedigree cat before buying one.
Here are a few things to think about, before you buy:
- Owners that spend large amounts of time away from home are not best suited to owning a Maine Coon. This is because the cat will become lonely, and might experience mental health issues due to separation anxiety.
- Maine Coons like a lot of attention. They also deserve a great deal of love and affection. Have you got the spare time to devote to this cat breed?
- A Maine Coon will need a large amount of space, to consider their territory. Do you have the room for a large cat tower? or other cat paraphernalia?
- If you live in a built up, busy area, it is not recommended (or allowed in some countries) that you allow your Maine Coon to roam freely outside. In cases such as this, the outside world poses a clear danger and threat to your Maine Coons health and survival. Individuals must therefore consider if they have a large enough garden for the Maine Coon to explore and play in. For more information, read my article ‘Can Maine Coon cats go outside?‘.
- Do you have room in your home for multiple large scratching posts, litter trays, water stations, and larger than average cat towers?
- Maine Coons dietary requirements are slightly different than the average cat, since they need high levels of protein. Owners need to spend time assessing the most suitable food types for their cat. They also need to determine if they can afford this breeds expensive premium food.
Male Maine Coon Personality
The male of the species is far more outgoing and sociable than their female counterpart. They usually have huge personalities to match their huge physical frames, and are particularly loyal towards their main owner i.e. the one that feeds them!
Males are very curious, and affectionate towards strangers entering your home. They are often considered more stubborn though, than females.
Female Maine Coon Personality
Known for being more ‘cat like’, the female Maine Coon is considered very independent. Expect to find her resting away from the noise and commotion of a busy family home.
The female is usually physically smaller than the male Maine Coon, and tends to have a calmer personality. They are often considered easier to train, and enjoy playing with their owners as much as the males do.
Female Maine Coons are also more reserved, and will be initially wary of newcomers. Ultimately though, they will be affectionate and loving towards a stranger, but only on their own terms and timescales.
If you are keen to learn more about the personality of a Maine Coon cat, feel free to read my other fascinating articles on the Maine Coon characteristics. You might also be interested in the following article I wrote: ‘Purebred Maine Coon Personality Traits‘.
Owning a Maine Coon is definitely an honour, rather than a chore. They make ideal pets, since they are not too dependent upon their owners. However, they will want to be around you most of the time.
These lovable and crazily affectionate felines make the best of friends, and are so full of love for their families that you will definitely want to buy a second!