As people wonder about getting a cat of their own they are drawn to several breeds.
A natural question to ask would be what breed of cat is best.
Cat breeds vary in traits from the very passive to the more high maintenance.
So, if you are drawn to the idea of owning a Maine Coon as a 1st-time cat owner, is the Maine Coon a good breed of cat to own?
Maine Coon cats are a great choice for beginners and first time cat owners. They are laid back, loyal, friendly and easy to get along with. Maine Coons bond with the ‘family’ and are good with changing environments if you move or add pets to the household. They need regular brushing and a higher protein diet.
There’s quite a lot to this loveable breed, and they possess many qualities that make a Maine Coon a good choice if you are beginning your foray into cat ownership.
Maine Coons possess a few traits as a breed that make the introduction as a first time cat owner much easier.
That’s not to say they don’t come without understanding a few things, but the knowledge base is not problematic.
So, if you’re thinking of getting a cat, and are drawn to the Maine Coon but have some questions, then read on.
If you are new to cat ownership, choosing the breed that suits you best makes sense.
You want to choose a breed that’s attractive to you, that comes with as few problems as possible and you want to know the particular characteristics of that breed.
You want to know whether you are letting yourself in for a problem through lack of knowledge.
You might ask if Maine Coons are high maintenance?
It’s a reasonable question to ask, after all, who wants to dip their toe into the world of cat ownership with a breed that’s going to be difficult to work with.
The answer is no, Maine Coons are not high maintenance per se.
The two biggest issues you might deal with are their attention needs and the length of their coat.
The Maine Coon has a personality and a way about them that 1st-time cat owners will find easy to deal with.
They’re not destructive, clumsy, aggressive, or socially awkward.
They are loyal, affable, gentle-natured, and very friendly, despite their larger than life reputation.
Most long haired cats will need brushing and grooming regularly.
It’s not like you HAVE to do it, especially if the cat is good at grooming itself but brushing the coat will prevent knots, tangles, mats, and hairballs.
Prevention is better than cure, and a good brush prevents a load of problems down the line.
Maine Coons have a few dog-like characteristics.
They are quite loyal and they will follow you around the house.
You will have to mind where you are placing your feet a bit more than other breeds.
Also, most cats just meow.
The Maine Coon doesn’t.
It meows .. as well as trills, chirps, and howls a bit. Sometimes it combines two noises to make a completely new one.
Your cat isn’t broken. It’s just being a Maine Coon.
Maine Coons are big cats but they’re not bigger responsibilities compared to another breed.
So what about the Maine Coon might actually complement a new cat owner.
Beginners are often drawn to the Maine Coon for its large size.
This is understandable as many people who have never owned a pet before think that bigger animals need more care and attention than smaller ones, which is not always the case.
As long as you can provide your Maine Coon with regular meals, healthy snacks, and plenty of water then they will be happy in return.
OK, so what qualities do Maine Coons possess that make them beginner friendly pets.
Loyalty – a Maine Coon will fully connect with the family that owns them.
They’re interested in what you are doing, will follow you around, and even lie on you if you lie down.
They consider your family their own and will be friendly to other cats, dogs, and even children.
As a breed, it’s the least likely to run away I think unless treated very badly.
When a Maine Coon bonds with you – it’s there for life.
Indoor Maine Coons can be placed on the ground outside and they won’t run away.
Friendly – Maine Coons positively exude friendliness and social ability
They aren’t particularly aloof cats and won’t seek shelter from your company on a regular basis.
Quite the reverse.
People aren’t met with suspicion and they will investigate people entering the house.
Maine Coons like company, and they seek a fair bit of attention in return.
Gentle giants – The term “gentle giants” is often thrown around to describe Maine Coons.
They can be large cats, but don’t necessarily have to be. Females are smaller than males.
Despite their large size relative to other cats, they don’t push their weight around.
They seem to be patient and considerate cats that are not quick to anger.
They are not an aggressive breed at all and will rarely cause you anger management problems.
Intelligent – Not that it matters but the Maine Coon is quite an intelligent breed of cat.
Social awareness is said to be a key to intelligence but the Maine Coon can be taught tricks quite easily, and even walked on a lead with ease.
They are adaptable, robust, and communicative with a few having worked out how a fridge door works.
Kittens for longer – Maine Coons have a longer growing cycle than other cat breeds.
They are considered kittens past 15 months of age and can continue growing for 3 to 5 years into their life.
This makes them playful but you will need to feed them kitten food, which is typically higher in protein, for longer than a normal breed.
If you are going to select a Maine Coon as your first breed of cat then let me run you through a few things that you may wish to know.
Perhaps the first few things you should know are they are kittens for a little longer and they don’t stop growing till 4 to 5 years after birth.
They are NOT high maintenance cats and you will not spend more on a Maine Coon than another breed because of its size.
The extra amount of food and cat litter will be negligible, and regular brushes and scratching posts will do, although you will have to get the large size of things more often than not.
You will almost certainly have a laid back cat. Their general demeanor is to be relaxed and not stressed so they are not highly strung cats either.
Most of their physical features like flowing manes and bushy tails will develop later in their life, but when they are young they are very playful.
Maine Coons are often enthusiastic players of a game called “fetch”.
With some breeds of cat you may not see them for days. This is unlikely with a Maine Coon.
They like to follow you around the house and check up on what you are doing.
If you want a cat breed to watch chop carrots then the Maine Coon is for you.
They aren’t obtrusive with their presence. They’re not really lap cats, and most don’t like being picked up, but they will be a constant companion around the house.
They do lie on you though. If you are relaxing on the couch, they will jump up and lie down on you.
Something you will have to work on is grooming.
Maine Coons have long fur and are much healthier if you assist them in their grooming efforts.
Regular brushing is recommended to stop mats, knots, and hairballs.
You will probably need a good set of grooming tools so you can get the kitten used to being held and brushed.
It’s much easier when they are young to get them ingrained into the procedure.
Maine Coons are popular as well, so there is plenty of information on them and vets should have good knowledge because they see them so often.
Because of this popularity, there are plenty of places to find them. Rescue shelters, animal shelters, private sellers, private breeders, or even professional breeders.
They are actually quite a vocal breed. You will get to know shortly no doubt but you will hear meows, chirps, trills, warbles, and purrs.
Although Maine Coons are a breed and share similar looks and personality traits you should prepare yourself that each cat will be individual.
It’s possible to find a small Maine Coon that doesn’t follow you around, isn’t vocal, and is as dumb as a brick while being clumsy.
If you do decide on one, it’s best if you get one at the 12 week stage which may be the result of contacting the sellers when they are 8 weeks old and making the arrangements.
12 weeks is needed with the mother, to learn to socialize and all the other various stuff that goes with bringing healthy Maine Coon kittens into the world for sale.
Something that’s important to know about Maine Coons is that they require a higher protein content in their food when they are young and as they keep growing.
As such they will probably be on kitten food a little longer, typically 15 to 18 months after birth.
Even after 18 months, it’s important you keep up the protein content feeding your Maine Coon animal proteins rather than grain-based foods like rice or barley.
When looking at foods for your Maine Coon try taking a look at the ingredients.
You want to see a lot of protein, and good meats as the first on the list, rather than carbohydrates and fillers.
The litter box you get will have to be large and have high sides otherwise you are looking at cat litter all over the floor.
You will need two litter boxes if you have 2 cats with no access to the outdoors either.
They can be indoor cats quite easily. My Alita is an indoor Maine Coon and she is fit and healthy.
Maine Coons are social animals who adore the company. Long periods of isolation for a single cat are not healthy.
If you are leaving the house for long periods then consider a 2nd cat to alleviate the boredom, but as they are intelligent cats they will require plenty of mental stimulation.
Maine Coons are adaptable cats and adjust really well, so it shouldn’t be too long before your new pet gets the measure of the house and starts to feel comfortable,
Oh, and get a decent scratching post from the start.
The fact is that if you are looking for a breed of cat that is beginner friendly then the Maine Coon is an ideal choice.
There are other good breeds that are known for being easy to deal with such as Ragdolls, Himalayans, and Birmans.
It’s more about the individual cat than the breed, but there are so many Maine Coon owners that would suggest the breed that they are a breed worth considering.
Lots of Maine Coon owners are actually on their 2nd, 3rd, 4th, or 5th Maine Coon as once you fall for the breed you may not want to look at another one.
They’re incredibly friendly, easy going, with not a mean bone in their body unless you’re a mouse.
They are loyal and are intensely curious as well as a fabulous companion.
If you are looking for a first time owner cat breed, then you really can’t do better than a Maine Coon.
Maine Coon 101 | Read This Before Getting One