If you have children then you may be wondering if a Maine coon is the right choice of pet for your family. Or maybe you have a Maine coon and are wondering how they will react to a new arrival. Well, we have been considering our future family plans recently and had a good old chat with a bunch of Maine coon owners. This was the general consensus.
Maine coons are a very playful breed of cat, keeping their kitten-like playfulness well into adulthood. They are so well-mannered in fact that they have earned the nickname of ‘the gentle giant’. In general Maine coons are very tolerant of children. Of course every cat is an individual and therefore some you may find some are less tolerant than others.
Getting a Maine coon when you already have children
If you are buying a Maine coon kitten from a breeder then the breeder may be able to offer you some advice, particularly if they have children at home themselves. They may say that all of the litter would be suitable but then again they may point out a couple of Kittens that they wouldn’t advise being around small children. This may also be due to the kitten’s health. This isn’t necessarily because the kitten is bad around children. If they are particularly frail or vulnerable then the kitten may need a calm and quiet home to grow up in.
If you are adopting a rescue Maine coon from a shelter then you can ask how they are known to get along with children (and other pets if relevant). Depending on the history of the particular cat they may be able to advise you whether or not this coon is suitable for your young family. Even if the cat has not com from a home where there were children present you may want to avoid one that is known to exhibit any aggressive tendencies.
Introducing your Maine coon to your new baby
In general, a Maine coon who is settled at home will be very receptive to having a new baby in the family. Their dog-like tendencies often mean that they will act as if they are on guard duty to protect the child. There will always be some exceptions though as cats can be territorial.
There is not much you can do in the way of preparing your Maine coon for your new arrival. Allow them into the nursery as you are preparing it so that they can see a change is occurring within the household and get them used to the smells of all of the baby products. Cats often can tell when a woman is pregnant and gravitate towards them. You may find that a coon who normally has more of an affinity for men suddenly starts paying you more attention.
Once the baby has arrived you can introduce the two in a controlled manner. Try not to leave the two of them alone in a room together without supervision until you are sure that your coon is not displaying any aggressive or territorial-like behaviours.
Make sure that your coon is still getting some of your attention. They are a very person-centric breed and therefore will get lonely if the attention stops. Make sure you continue to play with them and groom them even after the baby arrives. As your child grows the child can join in with play time and they can keep each other entertained!
Also, just keep an eye out that your coon doesn’t get over excited and accidentally smother the baby with all that weight and fur. Remember that a fully grown Maine coon can weight anywhere from 8 to 25 pounds! Thankfully coons generally like to be around people than actually on people so it is more likely that you’ll find your coon sitting next to your child. You may also want to make sure that their claws are not too sharp so that they can’t accidentally scratch the baby.
The advantage of having a Maine coon is that your child will grow up having a very loving and attentive pet. This will teach them to treat animals well throughout their whole life.