A close up of face of Maine Coon Alita

Are Maine Coons Dangerous?

I think Maine Coon cats look gorgeous – they are the largest domestic cat breeds, they’re majestic, beautiful and, like any cat, they have personality. A lot of people who think about getting a Maine Coon wonder whether or not they may have aggressive behavior. 

It’s good to ask yourself such a question if you’re considering adopting a Maine Coon, especially if you have kids. Every cat lover knows how much even the tiniest kitty could be dangerous when (s)he gets aggressive, and given the Maine Coons size it’s important to question if they have an aggressive temperament.

Maine Coons are not aggressive or dangerous. They are known as “gentle giants” for being one of the most gentle and friendly cat breeds. However, some factors, such as diseases or bad husbandry, can cause aggressive behavior in Maine Coons. In 90% of the cases, Maine Coons have behavior and traits that would make them the perfect companion or family member. What about the remaining 10%? Given the Maine Coon’s size, and given the fact that they’re feline, the smartest move would be to identify the source of the aggressive behavior and learn how to calm them down.

Maine Coons Aren’t Dangerous

Aggressiveness, and therefore a propensity for being dangerous isn’t a distinctive trait of a Maine Coon cat’s behavior. It’s quite the opposite actually. Maine Coons are known to be friendly, even when they’re not happy, and are known to be very smart. They are called the ‘dog-like’ cat breed, since they’re so smart they can learn some skills just as dogs do. 

They’re curious and socialize greatly with both people and other animals. They love having warm snuggles and they’re often very affectionate. They can also get used easily to new situations: cats can become aggressive when they’re scared (the best defense is a good offense) – with a calm cat that’s curious towards new situations you can rest assured they’ll never become aggressive, especially towards you or other family members.

A Maine Coons personality features heavily here, making them the perfect breed for cat beginners. When someone who has never had a cat wants to adopt their first kitten, they often have it suggested to them to adopt a Maine Coon, because they’re friendly and because they’re reliable.

They never show sudden personality swings like regular cats sometimes do (regular cats can be friendly and gentle for most of the time but turn aggressive when they’re fed or… when you want to play with them and they don’t).

As there are exceptions to any rule, and despite the fact Maine Coons are generally gentle and friendly, a small percentage could show aggressive behaviors in some circumstances. If your Maine Coon becomes aggressive, there is probably a cause for such behavior and it’s important for you to learn how to identify it, and make sure your cat is happy so it won’t hurt anyone.

Why Could a Maine Coon Become Aggressive?

Your Maine Coon is Annoyed

This is common sense more than science – and it’s a behavior that’s common to pretty much every cat breeds. You can tolerate them far more and indeed better than how they’re disposed to tolerate you. If you bother your cat, he/she will react.

If you annoy your Maine Coon, despite Maine Coons are known for their high tolerance, he/she will run away. But if you won’t leave them, you might get a slap or bite. Bother them a bit more, and they’ll draw doodles all over your hands and arm with their claws.

Loneliness

This happens pretty frequently: if your Maine Coon becomes aggressive there is a 90% chance that she/he is feeling lonely. This is more frequent in cats that live indoors and don’t have a cat companion. No matter how much you love and take care of your Maine Coon, you will forever be human, and cats need other cats to be happy. Some suggest adopting two cats together in the first place to avoid the problem – but if you have one Maine Coon that lives indoor and you notice some aggressive behavior, consider getting a second one – and yes, your Maine Coon will be tremendously offended by this choice of yours, and he/she may keep a distance for a while, but they’ll get along eventually.

Pain

If your Maine Coon suddenly shows aggressive behavior, chances are that he/she is suffering from a disease. Such changes are often very abrupt: all of a sudden your cat doesn’t want you to touch him/her and growl if you even move your hand close to them. If you notice such behaviors in your cat you should bring him or her to your vet.

Seeing your veterinarian at least once a year could be your best chance of preventing this – it would be better for both your Maine Coon and the other family members, humans and non-humans.

Hormones

Hormones going crazy are one of the first causes of your Maine Coon becoming aggressive. Most cats show a really weird behavior when they’re in heat, including showing aggressive behaviors. If you don’t intend to breed your Maine Coon, it’s always recommended to get them neutered or spayed at the right age (when they’re 6 to 8 months old). You’d not only prevent them from becoming aggressive but also a lot of other annoying behaviors that intact cats often show (spraying, being noisy, always wanting to leave the house).

You’ve Changed Your Perfume

This is rare, but some cats can react badly if their owners change their perfume or washing powder. If you notice a change in your Maine Coon behavior, this is one of the things you want to check.

How To tell If Your Maine Coon Is Becoming Aggressive

We will never get tired of saying that Maine Coon cats are not aggressive. They don’t have an aggressive nature – showing aggressiveness would be an exception and something that happens for a reason. That being said and repeated, let’s see how you can tell if your Maine Coon’s behavior falls within the exception.

Symptom of aggression

  1. Excessive marking of the territory – all cats use to mark their territory, but if your Maine Coon starts marking too much, he/she is showing their insecurities and may become aggressive.
  2. Change in appetite – Maine Coons are usually very stuck to their diet. If they start eating differently, it can be a reaction to stress which may lead to aggression.
  3. Behavioral changes – each cat have their temperament and behavior. If you notice something unusual in their behavior, it could be the start of their aggressiveness.

Your Maine Coon Is Showing Aggressive Behavior – What Should You Do?

As you’ve learned in this article, although Maine Coons are usually friendly and gentle, some of them can become aggressive in certain circumstances. What should you do to prevent such behaviors or to help your cat calm down when needed? Here are some tips.

Prevention

  1. If you don’t plan to breed your Maine Coon, you should get them neutered or spayed at the right age. Most of the annoying behaviors will show up when your cat hits sexual maturity – by neutering/spaying them at the right age you’ll prevent such behaviors to manifest.
  2. Avoid bothering your cat when he or she clearly wants to get some peace, especially if they have a temper. If you annoy your cat, he/she will react. Cats are what they are: beautiful, charming, independent, feline – you don’t mess with cats.
  3. Take your Maine Coon to regular visits to the veterinarian – aggressiveness is often a sign that they’re in pain. Schedule a check-up once a year and keep their health under control.
  4. Some suggest cutting your cat’s claws short since they’re very sharp and they could be very dangerous, especially if they come close to your face and eyes. I am not a fan of this practice, but if your Maine Coon is particularly aggressive, we understand how this might be a solution.
  5. Make sure to provide your Maine Coon with a hygienic environment and a clean litter box.
  6. Try to build a routine for daily activities like feeding and litter box cleaning.
  7. Play with them since they’re really young: they can learn how to play without hurting you.

What To Do When Your Maine Coon Gets Aggressive

  1. When your Maine Coon becomes aggressive, you should take him/her to a quiet place and let them be alone and calm down. If you’re at home, usually a bathroom works well. Avoid trying to cuddle him or her when she/he is aggressive and never gets the cat close to your face.
  2. Speak in a low, calming voice.
  3. When your Maine Coon calms down, let him or her approach you.
  4. If your Maine Coon’s aggressiveness gets out of control, you should seek professional help: talk to your veterinarian and try to figure out together the best solution for you and your cat.

 

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