4 Maine Coon kittens

Maine Coon Adoption: A Helpful Guide For Adopting Or Rescuing

When you are thinking of bringing a Maine Coon into the household there are many options available to you.

From private breeders to local cats in newspapers.

But how about adopting or rescuing a Maine Coon?

In short, adoption or rescue is the process of owning a Maine Coon from organisations or persons who have taken in the cat for a variety of reasons. Some Maine Coons are found feral, some people can no longer care for them and some are rescued, and the original owners can not be traced.

There are many organisations dedicated to rescuing the Maine Coon breed, and centers and rescue shelters will advertise the animals for adoption.

You will be looking to own a previously owned Maine Coon and this comes with obvious pros and cons.

What Is Adoption For A Maine Coon?

It’s first important to know what adopting cat breeds like Maine Coons actually involves.

The process will be different, depending on where you get the cat.

Nevertheless, it remains a less conventional approach to Maine Coon ownership but can bring many positive benefits.

Maine Coon adoption is the process of taking ownership of a Maine Coon from shelters, private owners and rescue shelters.

Housing issues are the primary reason for cats needing adoption, with apartments not accepting animals clauses for example.

Things like allergies, new pet problems and owner death also contribute.

A good option for some who are less worried about pure breeds but like the idea of bringing a positive change into a cat’s life.

6 Maine Coon kittens

Adopting From Shelters

A shelter is a location where stray, lost, abandoned or unwanted Maine Coons may are either picked up or found stray for temporary living while a new owner is found.

Some are Maine Coon specific but most will be for cats in general, and may take a Maine Coon in, as it is a popular cat breed.

If you want to adopt a cat from a shelter, then then it’s more ideal to visit one in person.

If you see a particular cat you like, then you’ll be required to complete that particular shelter’s requirements for adopting a pet. It usually involves showing your ID and paying the adoption fee, which ranges from $25 to $125.

You’ll then be given get copies of the cat’s sterilization certificate and vaccination records.

Adopting From Rescue Centers

Rescue centers are often run by concerned individuals who like to work with cats.

Again, some are breed specific but most will be for all cats.

Like shelters, the adoption process varies for different ones. It’s important to learn about the instructions for a particular rescue.

Normally though you will have to visit or go through a ‘vetting process’ where the rescue center is satisfied they are giving the cat to a good home, where it will be cared for.

If you decide to adopt the Maine Coon, you’ll get the cat’s sterilization and vaccination records.

You’ll also be required to pay a fee that ranges from about $100 to $300, although sometimes this figure can be higher.

Buying From Sellers

Finally, it’s worth noting the buying a Maine Coon isn’t quite the same as adopting one.

However, it’s not a perfect fit world and there’s some overlap.

There is usually no formal process to go through, just the conscience of the current owner.

They are being ‘sold’ for adoption as their owner can no longer care for them.

Renting requirements, bereavement, allergies and the Maine Coon not fitting in with their current pet are the normal reasons.


How Easy Is It To Adopt A Maine Coon?

Maine Coons are a popular cat breed and it’s pretty easy to adopt one, providing requirements are met.

A pure breed will be tougher to find than a mixed breed.

It will also be tougher to find certain cats like silver coats since the genetics are more complicated.  

However, if you’re less picky about the cat you want to adopt, then you can pick one that has the appearance of a Maine Coon.

If you adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue, there’s a good chance it won’t be a pure breed.

sleepy maine coon kitten

One of the main benefits of adopting a cat is the cost will be significantly cheaper than buying from a breeder.

However, you should still expect to spend some money on costs like fees, and you might have to shell out hundreds of dollars.

The good thing about this option is that there is some payback for people who are doing the right thing.

How many completely disheartening stories about cats being abandoned do you want to read?

Buying from an adoption or rescue center can reward the people who care and goes some way, I think, to helping those who are trying to do good and decent things.

Another issue is that a breeder charges higher prices because a lot of effort goes into making a Maine coon presentable and saleable.

The convenience you get from adopting a Maine Coon also has some drawbacks.

For example, there’s a greater chance that the cat isn’t as healthy or even has some genetic problems.

Many breeders actually guarantee the health of the cat, which is a plus, but you pay for it.

Many cats are available at different shelters like city/county shelters, police/health departments, animal control, and so on.

You can also adopt cats from private shelters like humane societies.

What Choices Are Available When Adopting?

When adopting a Maine Coon, it’s important to think about the various options you have.

When adopting it’s a good idea to write a list, or at least have an idea of what you want when you search for a Maine Coon.

Here are some of the main ones:


Maine Coons are available in many colors including silver, blue, grey, black and white.

The patterns they come in are almost as varied. When adopting a cat, these are some big issues to consider when making your selection. Personally I don’t care, I don’t set out with a color or pattern preference when looking for cat.

You may prefer a certain pattern though, and Maine Coons have various options in terms of the cat’s pattern.

Solid, tabby, smokey and tortie are the main options you will see.

This can include different markings like stripes and spots.


The cat’s or kitten’s gender is definitely something to think about.

For example, males tend to be more aggressive so it might become an issue and especially if your new pet will be a house cat.

On the other hand, the cost of having a cat spayed is somewhat higher than having it neutered.

Females tend to be a little smaller, and are perhaps a little more suited as an indoor cat.


You can also adopt an adult or baby cat when selecting one. In most cases, you’ll have fewer health issues if you pick a kitten.

Meanwhile, if you pick a young cat you’ll also have to deal with more behavioral issues.

However, kittens are much in demand and the said fact is, from adoption and rescue centers, there are more older

Maine Coons than kittens. Some are well into adulthood, and some are just young adults.

If you want an older cat, and not a kitten specifically, adoption or rescue is in excellent way forward if the individual Maine Coon has the right temperament.


The cost of vaccinating a cat can be somewhat expensive.

This is especially true during the first year when the total costs can be up to $100 or more.

So, if you want to save some money in the long term then check if the cat you’re adopting is already vaccinated and dewormed.

A lot of the respectable adoption centers and rescue centers have very dedicated and passionate staff who perform health checks, but you should ask about the health of the Maine Coon.

black maine coon kitten surprised

Process Of Adopting A Maine Coon

The process of adopting or rescuing a Maine Coon is not too dissimilar to buying one.

The process might be somewhat different depending on whether you adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue one, especially health wise.

However, the general steps are the same.

Step 1: Search For Your Maine Coon

You should visit a shelter or rescue and look at some of the Maine Coon cats there.

This will give you an idea about which ones are your favorites.

Alternatively you can search known websites designed for placing adopted or rescued Maine Coon into the hands of a new owner.

Step 2: Pick A Maine Coon

Once you have searched you will essentially have to narrow down your search.

A local shelter you know and can visit easily you can have a look around and see if you bond with the cat.

You will otherwise have to contact the adoption or rescue center and show interest in a particular cat. They will then see if you are a good fit.

They may require a personal visit, and this isn’t a bad thing, as you will see if the Maine Coon ‘takes to you’.

Make sure to inspect, or at least ask a lot of questions of  a particular cat before you decide to adopt it.

Check out things like the eyes and ears to make sure they look healthy.  

Step 3: Do The Paperwork

You’ll have to complete some paperwork before you can adopt a cat/kitten from a shelter/rescue.

In addition, you’ll also have to provide some info to prove that the cat will have a good home.

Finally, you’ll have to pay an adoption fee. This can range greatly although it’s often in the under $50 range.

Step 4: Introduce Cat To New Home

The first week or so will be the most difficult. This is especially true of shelter/rescue cats because they’ve had a tough life already.

Make sure they get a check-up from the veterinarian to make sure the cat/kitten is healthy and doesn’t have any serious health problems.

You should also slowly introduce your household’s new member to other people and pets.

Maine Coon litter in a box

Pros And Cons Of Adopting

There are pros and cons of adopting a Maine Coon, so it’s important to be aware of both of them to make the best decision.

Pros – Adopting A Maine Coon

One main benefit of adopting a cat is the costs are much lower.

You’ll likely have to pay a small adoption fee.

However, this is usually quite low. How about if you buy a Maine Coon? You should expect to pay an average price of $1,000 and more if you want the more rare features like a silver coat.

Another big benefit of cat adoption is you’ll be saving an animal’s life.

Many cats at shelters and rescues have been through very tough times even if they’re kittens.

Providing them a loving home benefits the animals themselves as well as society at large.

Cons– Adopting A Maine Coon

One possible issue is the health of the cat.

This could be due to factors like the cat’s genetics, environment, etc. There’s a chance if you adopt a cat from a shelter or rescue it will be very healthy.

By no means all are unhealthy, and in most cases they are perfectly healthy and well housetrained.

However, rescue shelters are there specifically to rescue cats, and some of them will have been treated atrociously. They might be very suspicious of humans in general.

A lot are fine, I don’t want to give a distorted impression, however, it’s much more likely than if you buy the cat from a breeder.

Another possible issue is there’s less of a chance you’ll get a purebred. In fact, many neighborhood cats might look like a Maine Coon, but that doesn’t mean they are.

When you buy a cat from a breeder, you can learn about the feline’s pedigree to help verify it’s indeed a Maine Coon.

You will less likely have a chance of a kitten. Most adopted cats and rescue cats are older, usually into adulthood.

You often have no proof of health issues or vaccinations sometimes, so ask about this when you select a cat.

Cost of Adopting Compared To Buying A Maine Coon

If you buy a Maine Coon, you should be ready to shell out an average of $1,000.

The cost will be even higher for and the most adorable kittens. Certainly when you add premium breeders and well looked raised pedigree kittens.

However, for many households spending a thousand bucks on a cat can be tough. After buying the cat there’s also the costs of food, litter, vaccinations, toys, and so on.

Adopting a cat can save you lots of money.

If you get the cat from a shelter, you’ll maybe have to spend less than $50 for the adoption fee. Fees vary depending upon conditions.

The fees are somewhat higher at breed rescues and can cost $300 or more. However, the main benefit is you’ll be more likely to get a healthy cat.

You should also expect to pay higher adoption fees for younger cats.

For example, if the feline is 6 months old or younger then there is a bit more demand for those and the price is correspondingly higher.

You can also save money sometimes by adopting multiple cats.

If you’re willing to add two new pets to your household and shoulder the extra costs, it’s a great way to save some money.

Make sure to keep in mind you’ll have ongoing costs whether you adopt or buy a cat. In fact, you might decide it’s worth spending more to buy a Maine Coon from a breeder in order to get a healthy cat.

Alita the Maine Coon

Do I Have To Visit The Adoption Center?

Before adopting a cat, one of the issues to consider is whether or not you have to visit the adoption center. This is typically a good option for various reasons.

Here’s why. It’s helpful to visit the potential pet to check it out physically.

This can include its eyes, ears, coat, etc. When you can inspect the cat in person, it’s much less likely there will be health issues in the future.

Another benefit of visiting the Adoption Center is you can see the environment the kitten/cat was raised in.

This includes factors like how clean the environment is. You can also see how the kitty-cat has interacted with other cats.

In some cases, the center will actually have a cargo option.

This involves the center shipping the cat to your home, or at least the nearest airport.

The main benefit is it allows you to get your cat from centers that aren’t in your local area.

This option offers more convenience since it saves you a trip to an Adoption Center whether it’s across town or cross-country.  

If you pick this option make sure to get details about the shipping process.

This includes the type of container the feline will be shipped in and a guarantee they’ll be provided with enough air and fresh food/water.

It’s still important to make sure the cat has all the health certificates and vaccinations it needs. This will help to minimize future health problems.

The disadvantage obviously, is that without seeing the cat you cannot guarantee certain things, most notably might be that you cannot see upfront before purchase if a bond will develop.

From my experience though, asking a lot of questions, getting them to send video and pictures can tell you a lot. I have bought Maine Coons sight unseen and been delighted with the result.

That Maine Coon temperament makes sure they settle in very well. Just make sure it is from a trustworthy center.

It’s a good idea if you are going to do this to ask as many questions as you can about health and the personality of the individual cat.

Asking about the history helps ascertain if they might be a good fit for you.

Adopting a feral Maine Coon comes with more risks than one needing rehoming for example.

Some Places To Search For Adopting A Maine Coon

If you’re looking for place to adopt a Maine Coon here are some options:


This is the USA’s biggest non-profit website for pet adoption.

The site contains more than 17,000 groups like pet adoption agencies, humane societies, and animal shelters the ability to advertise cats, as well as dogs.

The site’s blog also provides info about how people can be better pet owners.

Animal Welfare Societies/Associations

These are non-government groups that support better treatment of animals through methods like animal sheltering and education.

These organizations are a good resource if you’re looking for local shelters and rescues to adopt a Maine Coon.

A local google search should bring up your choices.

Maine Coon Rescue Centers

This is one of the best resources if you want to adopt a Maine Coon since the rescues specialize in the breed.

These rescues include both pure Maine Coons and Maine Coon mixes. It’s a good option because the workers share your love for the cat breed.

In fact, one of the main goals of these rescues is to find a forever-home for the cats staying there. They take steps to screen potential homes to pick the best ones.

When applying to one of these specialized centers, make sure your best foot is put forward.

They will be looking to check that the Maine Coon will be well cared for. It’s how they take in the cats, by promising the current owners that thye will be going forward to good homes.


This website allows you to search various shelters and rescues to find cat breeds like Maine Coons.

The site provides various helpful resources.

They include searching adoption organizations, finding shelters and rescues, and learning about local adoption events.

You can also learn information about pet care.


If your household wants a new Maine Coon, then one option is adopting instead of buying.

This step has pros and cons that you should weigh carefully.

For example, one plus is the relatively low adoption fees are cheaper than buying the cats from breeders.

From a good adoption center or rescue center they will have taken care of the cat as well. It will have been well looked after.

On the other hand, there are some possible drawbacks.

There’s a greater chance of the feline being unhealthy.

It’s also tougher to find a pure Maine Coon if that’s one of your priorities when adopting a cat.

You can still find the Maine Coon you want at a local shelter or rescue.

That’s true whether you want an orange tabby or blue tortoise.

As always make sure to do your homework so you’ll get a healthy kitty-cat.

What’s most important is cat adoption can provide a loving home for a baby or adult Maine Coon.

It will obviously take more time finding a Maine Coon at the specialized centers for the breed.

Do a bit of googling about the rescue center or adoption place as well.

Have a look at their facebook page and look at the comments. This will give you a good idea as to authenticity and owner engagement.

Perhaps they have a web page which you can visit.

Think about picking two cats who know each other as well.

That can be a big plus for helping them settle in.

Visit whois.net website and put in the adoption agencies website address. See how long they have been in business.

As a final word, a lot of rehabilitation goes into some of these cats – it’s really worth considering if you want to reward the people who go out of their way to make the world a better place for Maine Coons to live in.

As a final additional if you have any relevant experience or a point you’d like to make, please consider adding a comment down below.

About the Author


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