Maine coons are an absolute joy to have as a pet, but they can be quite high maintenance. They are really not like other breeds of domestic cat. Here’s a list of 7 things you need to consider before adopting a Maine coon (I’ll also include some helpful links along the way):
They Do Not Like to be Alone
Maine coons get lonely very quickly. They are a really loyal breed of cat, with a personality more like that of a dog. As a result they do pine for their owners. In fact, many struggle with being left alone in the house while their owners are out at work for the day.
It is often recommended that you buy Maine coons in pairs. That way their litter mate can keep them entertained during the day. You can read our story about why this became necessary in my article Do Maine Coons Need a Companion?
Finally, have a good think about your holidaying habits before adopting a coon. Many breeders would not recommend putting them into a cattery but equally they do not like being left home alone. Some breeders offer to have the cats back when you are away on holiday so this might be something you want to discuss before getting a Maine coon. For more information see my article, Can I Leave My Maine Coon Home Alone When on Holiday?
If domestic holidays are your thing then you could always consider taking your Maine coon with you. Being house cats they make great travel companions and would love to explore a new holiday home or have fun riding in an RV. If you are thinking of travelling with a Maine coon then take a look at this page, Travelling With a Maine Coon by Plane and By Road.
Most Maine coons are Kept as Indoor Pets
This is a bit of a contentious issue but nowadays most Maine coons are kept as indoor pets. This is for a variety of reasons and you can read more about these on my article, Should I Let My Maine Coon Go Outside? In fact, many breeders will not let you adopt one of their Kittens if you do not agree to keep them as indoor cats.
If you do choose to get a Maine coon then consider how you will keep them well exercised. Indoor cats run the risk of becoming overweight and in a creature with such a large frame this is not a good thing. Maine coons are genetically prone to issues with their heart and their joints. Keeping them a healthy weight will help to stave off these issues.
Indoor cats can be exercised by regular play time but it’s a good idea to invest in a good quality, reasonably-sized cat tree. For more information on cat trees see my owner’s guide: Best Cat Trees for Maine coons. Finally, so owners also choose to walk their coons outside using a harness but if you wish to do this you’ll want to get them used to it from a young age.
Maine coons are pedigree cats (unless you choose to buy a mix/cross). That comes with a hefty price tag. We paid £850 each for our Kittens and I’d say that was middle of the road for current UK prices. Inquire with the breeder as to what will be included in this cost e.g. microchipping, neutering. Then you’ll need to think the cost of buying all of the bits and bobs you’ll need to care for your coon at home. For more information on what you’ll need to get started and how much this might cost see my article, How Much Does It Cost to Buy a Maine Coon? You will also want to this about the cost of pet insurance, see How Much Does Pet Insurance Cost For a Maine Coon?
As mentioned previously, Maine coons are prone to a number of medical issues. Years of breeding the pedigree have resulted in certain bloodlines developing genetic abnormalities. These genetic conditions should be screened for in pairs of breeding parents and every Maine coon owner should make themselves aware. The most common condition in Maine coons are hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and spinal muscular atrophy. Read more about medical conditions affect the Maine coon breed in my comprehensive owner guide.
They are Obsessed with Water
Maine coons have some really strange habits when it comes to water. It’s not uncommon to find a Maine coon sitting in the sink, trying to have a drink from the facet. Some of them will even jump in the bath or shower with their owners! I’ve interviewed a group of owners regarding their coon’s water habits and you can read all about this in my article, How to Manage Your Maine Coon’s Water Obsession.
Their obsession with access to running water may stem back to the natural instinct that running water is less likely to harbour bacteria. It’s a good idea to invest in a cat water found to provide your coon with a constant supply of running water to drink. For more information on this please see my owner’s guide: Best Cat Water Fountains.
Being such large creature with a fur coat made up of multiple layer you’ll need to be prepared for a whole lot of shedding. That fur gets everywhere! In order to keep this under control, and prevent their fur from becoming matted, you’ll need to be prepared to groom them every day. Not for long, but just a quick brush to remove any fur that’s loose. Then once a week give them a good old brush as part of a thorough grooming session. See my Ultimate Guide to Maine Coon Grooming for more details on how to do this. For advice on keeping your house clean please also see my article, Do Maine Coons Shed a Lot? How to Manage All That Fur!
They are Huge!
The Maine coon is the largest breed of domestic cat. Fully grown they are they size of a small dog. You’ll need to take this into account when you are buying equipment. Cat carriers are a good example of this. You’ll need one that can take the weight of a fully grown Maine coon and is large enough for them to stand up and turn around in (see my guide to the Best Cat Carriers For Maine Coons). Cat trees are also an issue. You’ll need to find an extra sturdy one that can hold the weight of a Maine coon (or two) and won’t end up tipping over!
Don’t let this list put you off! Life with a Maine coon is just beautiful. You just need to be well prepared before you bring them home. Once you are set up with the right equipment and a healthy coon prepare for the fun to begin, life will never be the same!