a maine coon and a backyard fence

Can Maine Coon Cats Jump Fences? (Containing In A Backyard)

Maine Coons are one of the largest breeds of domestic cat.

Maine Coon owners often have a yard that is enclosed by wooden paneling fences to keep their Maine Coon from running away or getting into fights with other cats living in the neighborhood.

Maine Coons love going outside, but many owners worry about how high they can jump and whether it will be enough to clear the fence when they try to get them back inside.

A natural question to think about is if the Maine Coon is a large cat, then does it have superior jumping ability.

They love to climb after all and aren’t intimidated by high places.

So, can Maine Coons jump over fences?

An average Maine Coon will be able to jump and scale a fence of around 5 to 8ft in height. Maine Coons can jump around six times their height which averages 12 to 16 inches. An average jump height would be around 7ft, and males will be able to scale higher fences than females.

Alita, my Maine Coon is a small female, and she can jump 3 to 4 feet with ease.

It barely looks like she’s trying.

The balcony is 3ft and she can leap onto it really easily and balance on the 3 inch balustrade.

I’ve never seen her jump much more than that, but cats are meant to be able to jump six times their height.

Alita is 14 inches in height, so should be able to jump 84 inches which is 7ft.

And she’s a small Maine Coon.

With respect to fences for keeping a Maine Coon within a backyard, remember a Maine Coon can claw and climb, as well as jump.

This article provides an overview of Maine coons’ jumping ability and what you can do if your Maine Coon is determined to jump over your fence.  

The information below should help you determine whether or not your fenced area has a sufficiently high fence for keeping your Maine Coon contained.

a maine coon and a backyard fence

How High Can A Maine Coon Jump?

It’s been reported Maine Coons can jump as high as eight to ten feet when they are full grown. 

Jumping on a countertop is one thing, leaping onto a fence panel in order to escape is quite another.

They can easily jump onto the top of a refrigerator from the ground.

A normal and average sized cat can leap onto a platform to around six times its height, which is up to 8 feet.

This sounds a lot, but don’t underestimate the cat’s ability.

Often the claws can dig in and pull the Maine Coon up to increase the height.

Put simply they can scale walls slightly higher than they jump.

Much like you can.

Can A Maine Coon Jump A 6ft Fence?

Yes, a standard 6ft garden fence will not contain a healthy Maine Coon.

By the time they are no longer a kitten, around 12 to 15 months after birth, a fit Maine Coon should be able to scale a basic fence if it wishes.

So Maine Coon owners either need to consider getting a fence with a cat guard or one that is higher than six feet – quite a bit higher.

Maine Coons are quite intelligent and when they discover how high they can jump, will find ways of scaling fences, usually by using other platforms.

Like small sheds, utility houses, nearby trees, or tables.

If you want to stop a Maine Coon leaving the backyard make sure there are no nearby platforms that provide a useful jumping springboard.

For instance Maine Coon owners with wooden barn style houses have reported Maine Coons climbing up onto their roofs and then leaping over the fence (using window sills).

They are very determined cats and ingenious when it comes to finding solutions for getting what they want.

It seems Maine Coons never tire of practicing their acrobatic skills!

alita the maine coon on a balustrade

How High Do You Need A Fence?

The height of your fence is primarily about keeping your Maine Coon contained in your yard and making sure it doesn’t have access to other Maine Coons and wildlife outside of your yard.

So how high do you need a fence for Maine Coon cats?

The larger Maine Coon the higher fence you need.

An average Maine Coon might be kept in by an 8ft fence, but there’s always the possibility of a specially athletic one.

The smallest Maine Coon will need a 7 to 8ft fence to be sure of keeping them within the backyard boundary.

Do Maine Coons Like To Jump?

Yes, Maine Coon cats seem to enjoy jumping, and Maine Coon owners just have to accept it’s part of their very nature.

Some Maine Coons like heights, and getting there often requires a jump or two.

Ideally they climb, but that can only be done with opportunity.

They can jump a bit higher than other breeds such as the average size domestic cat, and are quite adept at getting themselves up onto high places.

Maine Coons may not be able to jump garden shed roofs but they will leap over a small fence with ease if they so desire.

However Maine Coons don’t like being left alone, they’re very family orientated, so you might be able to get away with a lower fence if you know your Maine Coon is happy to stay inside when you’re out for the day or night.

Why A Maine Coon Can Jump Quite High

The Maine Coon is genetically a very athletic cat and can run, jump or climb surprisingly well for its apparent size.

They are not frightened of seeking out new locations in which they can play or explore for hours on end without interruption.

Maine Coon Cats are athletic cats and can jump onto high places like roofs.

They are both large and also powerfully built.

It has a very muscular physique that combines size and prowess with the ability to jump quite high, probably higher than a normal domestic breed if they so choose.

If your Maine Coon is also well fed and in excellent condition then those muscles will be able to perform much better than those that are not as healthy due to lack of nutrition or exercise.

Elderly cats are less prone to large jumps, young kittens lack the capability, so once in adulthood, you have a cat with great leaping abilities.

a maine coon and a backyard fence

Can A Maine Coon Escape Your Backyard

Maine Coon cats have made it clear they can escape the confines of the average backyard pretty easily.

Without proper precaution, a Maine Coon could escape most backyards.

A thing to consider though is intent.

Maine Coons bond with the family and normally like to follow you around.

They will explore – as all cats do – but they aren’t traditionally known for running away given the chance.

Alita, my Maine Coon, is female, and despite being an indoor cat, doesn’t really bolt towards the door when it’s opened.

They are family friendly cats.

With all that said, if a Maine Coon wants to escape a backyard, then you will have to have decent sized fence paneling, or install some kind of cat guard.

You’ll never be quite sure with a standard 6ft fence.

Maine Coons don’t claw a lot, but they can climb.

Even a tall fence panel can be climbed rather than jumped.

Use A Cat Guard To Stop Maine Coons Escaping

For keeping a Maine Coon within the confines of a backyard, your best option is to install some kind of cat guard.

They can be installed quite easily, and they prevent the Maine Coon from trying to jump to a fence post top and equally as importantly, prevent the claw and climb scaling that’s possible.

A cat guard is some simple netting suspended by brackets at the top of the fence posts that are slightly tilted inwards.

The effect is to place a net that prevents jumping and scaling of a fence.

They work extraordinarily well.

Take a look at what I mean,

cat guard netting on a fence

There are a few other simple options as well.

Some upside down drainpipe creates a smooth curved surface that a cat can’t get a purchase on and prevents escape.

There is also the option of rotating spindles for the top of a fence that spin when the cat puts weight on them which also prevents a sure foothold.

a cat guard on 2 fences - double picture

Decide what’s the best solution for you in terms of cost, aesthetics, and practicality.

Conclusion

Maine Coons can jump quite high and might be able to escape a normal sized fence, certainly one around 6ft high.

The Maine Coon can jump around 6 times its height, and a large Maine Coon can be 16 inches high, which means it can jump 8 feet.

An outlier cat, with a strong physique, could possibly go beyond that.

However, they are intelligent cats that generally stay close to home with the family and want to explore inside the house.

An outdoor Maine Coon is fine, they thrive well in that environment, but plenty of owners think it’s too risky.

Protecting them from leaping over the fence and into the unknown isn’t a bad idea.

If you install a Maine Coon cat guard, then you’ll solve your Maine coon jumping fence issue forever.

It’s a physical barrier that prevents escape, not just from leaping but from the equally possible danger – clawing and scaling.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Maine Coon cats have trouble jumping?

No, Maine Coons don’t have trouble jumping. They seemingly like to climb as well to get to high places and are quite happy to use any firm object as a stepping stone to go where they need. They are quite capable of jumping when necessary.

Can Maine Coon cats go outside?

A Maine Coon can thrive as an indoor cat or an outdoor cat. They are excellent hunters and do well outdoors. Many owners keep them indoors for safety reasons, but there’s nothing stopping a Maine Coon from doing well when allowed to wander.

Do Maine coons like being up high?

Maine Coon cats enjoy climbing. They love to sit down from a high vantage point and watch the world. They tend to climb rather than jump, but either way, they often seek an elevated position.

About the Author

MaineCoon

My name is Ann and I have been looking after and breeding cats since 2013. I am currently the proud ownder of Alita, a female Maine Coon to whom I've dedicated this site. She has had 2 litters and is around 3 years old. We share adventures and stories together.

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Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One