A Maine Coon near my laptop

Are Maine Coons High Maintenance?

Cats are known for being low-maintenance pets, and a lot of people love them and prefer them to dogs because of this. But is this always the case? Some people may wonder whether some cat breeds could be more complicated to take care of. Some breeds are more prone to health issues, some require expensive grooming, some don’t like to be left alone… what about Maine Coons?

So, are Maine Coons high maintenance? In short no, not really. There are some aspects of taking care of a cat that could define high or low maintenance. Health issues, attention-seeking, sociability are some of them. Maine Coons have relatively strong health, they are highly sociable, they are friendly to other animals and babies, they’re smart and they are not known for being attention seekers. On the other hand, they have long and bushy fur so they may require some help with their grooming. Also, despite they usually have strong health, there are a couple of health issues they are prone to, and this is another aspect that could be defined as high maintenance.

Alita the Maine Coon watching river

Why Is This An Important Question?

When you decide to adopt a cat or any other pet, you must be ready to take care of them. Asking whether or not the pet you’d like to adopt is high-maintenance is a fair and responsible question to ask yourself. Whatever your cat is going to need you must be ready to provide it for them.

Some cat breeds are easier to take care of. Low-maintenance cat breeds have strong health, they don’t require grooming (they can provide grooming care by themselves), they can eat any type of food, they are okay when they are left alone, and they are friendly with people, babies, and other animals.

High maintenance cat breeds, instead, would require some more attention from you. For example, some breeds are more aggressive than others: it doesn’t mean that you should avoid adopting a kitten of that breed, but you must be aware that you’ll need to spend some time teaching them how to trust you. 

Some breeds, also, are more prone than others to health issues. In this case, you’ll need to take your cat to frequent visits to the vet – this would not only require time and attention but also money. If you opt for a high maintenance cat breed, you must be ready to provide your cat with everything they need. In exchange, you’ll get a lot of love and cuddles.

If you are in a position where having a high maintenance cat breed might be problematic, such as being busy, spending long periods away from the home, or elderly, then knowing whether choosing a Maine Coon would be too stressful is a very legitimate question.

After all, you might be adding to your problems if you have to constantly take care of your cat.

How Do We Define A High Maintenance Cat?

Some cat breeds, or some cats, require more attention, care, money, time than others. We can distinguish between low and high maintenance cat breeds on the basis of how much care they require.

Health

Some breeds are genetically prone to certain health issues. If you opt for a breed that’s in this group, you’ll need to take your cat to regular visits to the vet. It will require time and money so proneness to health issues is one of the factors that define high maintenance.

Attention

Some cats are great on their own, they are even annoyed when you bother them too much. Other cats, instead, require your attention, they jump into whatever it is that you’re focusing on (your computer, your book, your newspaper). If a cat is an attention seeker he or she will require a little more of your patience. Main Coons can fall into this category. They will watch you and follow you around the house if you are not careful.

Alita the Maine Coon close up

Grooming

Long-haired cat breeds require more grooming than other breeds. You may need to brush your cat, in some cases even giving them a bath. I would describe the Maine Coon as moderate here. It has long fur, and could be tangled, but a quick brush through to keep on top of it, is enough to keep problems at bay for me.

Sociability

Friendly cat breeds are lower maintenance. On the other hand, when you have an aggressive cat you have to pay constant attention to what he or she does to your furniture or your other pets. Maine Coons are particularly social, with everything. They are naturally curious and make friends easily. You will have no problems with this issue with a Maine Coon.

What Is Owning A Maine Coon Actually Like?

So what about Maine Coons? On the paper, they don’t seem to be that high-maintenance. Let’s analyze the aspects that we’ve just mentioned:

  • Health. Maine Coons aren’t prone to many health issues. They are subject to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which is the most common form of heart disease in cats and can be diagnosed through an echocardiogram conducted by a veterinary cardiologist, and hip dysplasia. Hip dysplasia can lead to severe lameness or cause no pain at all – it can be diagnosed through an x-ray.
  • Attention. Maine Coons are known for not meowing but making their typical trilling sound. They are not known for being attention seekers.
  • Grooming. Maine Coons have beautiful coats and long and soft furs. They’ll do their best on their own, but they’ll definitely require some help when it comes to grooming.
  • Sociability. You don’t need to worry when you adopt a Maine Coon. He or she will adapt quickly to the new environment, and they’ll be friendly to people and animals (they can behave even with strangers!) 

Maine Coons are relatively healthy cats, friendly and they are also easier to groom than other long-haired cats. They are very curious and you can have a lot of fun when you have a Maine Coon wandering around the house. On the other hand, you must be aware of a couple of health issues they are prone to so that you can take them to the vet and provide the best care.

Are There Any Aspects Of High Maintenance With A Maine Coon?

According to what we’ve discussed so far, Maine Coons don’t seem to be high maintenance. But if you decide to adopt a Maine Coon, they will still be a breed of cat that may require some additional attention and care, especially if he or she is going to live indoors.

The first thing we should mention is breeding. When you have a Maine Coon you want to avoid them accidentally mating with a cat of a different breed (or a cat you don’t approve of!). This is an aspect that could be considered high maintenance: you’ll need to keep your cat indoors to avoid unwanted mating, and, when the time comes, you’ll need to search and find the perfect mate for him or her. 

If you don’t have any intention to breed your Maine Coon, that neutering them at the right age is highly recommended. This would require spending some money, and it can be considered another high maintenance aspect of Maine Coons.

If for any reason, you can’t allow your Maine Coon outside, he or she will automatically become higher maintenance. There is some extra care that you must be ready to provide to your cat if he or she can’t go outside. For example, they’ll need to exercise indoors so you should provide toys and playtime (and – why not – another cat!). 

Maine Coons are very smart: if, on one hand, they can adapt very quickly to new situations and friends (both human and animal) and they can be taught tricks like you’d do with dogs, on the other hand, they can get bored very fast. If they can’t go outside you must be careful and notice when they need attention, or if they may need something to climb up or scratch on.

I’d say, there isn’t a great deal to be troubled by on the basis of high maintenance of a Maine Coon that isn’t just as applicable to another breed.

Alita the Maine Coon watching people

Conclusion – Should You Get A Maine Coon?

Maine Coons are beautiful. They are known for being smart and gentle, and they are also recommended to those who are adopting their very first cat. That in and of itself should tell you something.

What about you? Should you get a Maine Coon? Let’s sum up the breed pros and cons to help you make your final decision.

Pros

  • They are highly sociable. You won’t have any problem making them adapt to newcomers, new situations, strangers that come to your house and they’ll never be aggressive towards babies or other animals.
  • They are affectionate. If you want a loyal friend than a Maine Coon will never disappoint you. He/she will also know when you need some time for yourself and won’t bother you (as long as you do the same for him or her)
  • They love water. If you’ll ever need to bathe your Maine Coon, he or she won’t try to make you blind.
  • They are smart. You’ll have no difficulty teaching them to use the litter box or the scratching pole. 

Cons

  • They are long-haired. Even though they are easier to groom than other long-haired cat breeds, in any case, they will require some help with their grooming.
  • They are subject to hip dysplasia, PKD and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Take them to the vet for a check-up. 

All in all, they are a good choice for a cat owner that is worried about high maintenance.

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