2 maine coon kittens close up

The Maine Coon Behavior Guide – What To Expect

Getting a Maine Coon is an exciting time.

That ball of fluff has sooooo much potential.

But where is it all leading!

The kitten will grow up to become a fully functioning adult cat at some point, so what path are you and your kitten going down.

What should you expect from Maine Coon behavior?

Maine Coons will behave like dogs but in a feline way. They will follow you around, bond with you, be very non aggressive, be playful, be talkative, and be curious about many things in the house.

Owning a Maine Coon will be a barrel of fun –  their goofy antics, total fun personality, and general curiosity will bring joy to the household.

a large maine coon relaxing

What Is Behavior In A Cat?

Cat’s are meant to be independent – meant to be.

Through their actions, they are trying to communicate what they are about, and trying to get us to understand them.

That doesn’t mean that how your Maine Coon behaves is breed specific, and may just be an individual cat playing up – they’ve been known to do that.

Behavior is both the indicative trends of the breed and how your own Maine Coon conducts itself.

Some behavior is instinctual, while others are learned.

Your Maine Coon will exhibit many positive traits, but some will be more demanding and take time to understand.

Excessive grooming, although not a breed trait may be behavior to remove the undercoat shedding as they prepare for the coming summer.

Not all behavior is something to worry about.

Destructive scratching or howling though might be an individual trait or indicative that something may be wrong.

Your Maine Coon will display a vast array of behavior that will be positive.

Maine Coons are an affable and friendly breed of cat, so they have much to share.

a maine coon washing another cat

Recognizing Individual Behavior In A Maine Coon

There are many differences in the personalities of cats, just like there are in people.

There is no list of “perfect” cat behavior in order to compare your cat to.

There isn’t even an easily defined normal behavior list.

Just like people, cats all act differently. 

While they have a number of commonalities, each cat is unique and may display different traits depending on their personality and mood.

Most people can list a common set of cat behaviors, like cleaning themselves, grooming, purring, or scratching.

Each breed may have certain preferences for certain things, each individual cat can display characteristic behaviors that aren’t indicative of the breed.

A Maine Coon being scared of a mouse for example, as opposed to their excellent mousing skills that are more associated with the breed.

In order to better understand your cat, pay attention to his/her behavior and anticipate what is normal for them so that you will know when unusual circumstances may need veterinary intervention.

a maine coon lying down on a stone

What To Expect With Maine Coon Kitten Behavior

Kittens don’t tend to know what breed they are.

They come into the world and within weeks they will be stumbling around the house acting playfully while being a combination of endless energy and falling instantly asleep.

Though your cat will eventually grow to a large size, Maine Coon cats are loyal and affable.

Early on the kittens of most breeds will act the same.

A Maine Coon kitten will be born slightly larger than an average house cat but the behavior will be the same.

So, what can you expect of a Maine Coon kitten

a ginger white smoke maine coon lying down

Maine Coon Kitten Behavior In The First 2 Months

During the first few months of life, a Maine Coon kitten will start to learn the basics of the world and acquire social skills.

On days 14 to 21 they will open their eyes so they can easily locate their mother.

Around 1 month old the kitten will be able to start grooming themselves, aided by the mother.

Around 4 to 6 weeks old they will start exploring really close to them, and the wobbliness of walking gives way to being more stable, and is just learning to run.

Quite quickly afterwards they will develop an interest in anything that moves – the ‘ball of string’ phase.

They are starting their way in the world, and learning key social skills as well as instinctive behaviors that will serve their growing hunting skills.

Which will be formidable if they grow into a Maine Coon mouser.

a gray smoke maine coon lying down

Maine Coon Kitten Behavior In Months 3 To 4.

Now that the Maine Coon kitten has learned to run without falling over, the play phase of their lives kicks into overdrive.

They play like everyone thinks of kittens and they start to develop their curiosity and explore.

Everything that moves is pounced upon, chased, or stalked.

And then bitten.

The kitten at this stage is learning the basics of vital skills that will help them navigate the world and survive.

Maine Coon Kitten Behavior In Months 4 To 6

Maine Coon kittens at this age are still very playful but the characteristics of adulthood may start to develop.

The kitten may start to follow you a bit more than another breed might.

They are starting to develop their intelligence and work out the household and its hierarchy.

They will be large kittens in relation to others, but their very gentle nature will start to shine.

a cream maine coon lying down

What Is Classic Maine Coon Behavior?

Maine Coon kittens soon start to develop the traits consistent with the breed.

As the kitten ages into late kittenhood you might recognize some of the following behaviors.

Bonding With Owners

While a cat usually bonds well with the person who usually feeds them, a Maine Coon starts to bond with the family.

It doesn’t ignore people, wander off, and just come back for feeding.

You will find them trying to be included in things, and making sure everybody in the family, including other pets are OK.

They will come over for a fuss to let you know they’re there.

They also nudge you with their head or nose quite frequently, a sure sign of bonding.

a gray maine coon close up

Follow You Around

Some members of the family will notice the Maine Coon behind them a little more than is regular.

They are never under your feet, but as you go to another room, they will pick themselves up, and sit back down again in the room you are now in.

They like to know what you are doing.

It’s not like they are after your attention, but making sure you aren’t doing something without their knowledge.

If you sit in one place they will be nearby, if you move to another room, they will follow you around.

If you have a home office, guess who will be sitting there watching you work.

It’s not obsessive behavior, it’s just your Maine Coon being a Maine Coon.

Alita the Maine Coon on the other side of the door

Curiosity

Lots of things around the house will interest a Maine Coon.

Curiosity is part of a cat’s nature, and there’s a good reason to think it’s connected to the cat’s natural hunting ability.

As Maine Coons are excellent mousers and rodent hunters it makes sense that they have natural curiosity.

The Maine Coon will poke it’s head into anything to know what’s going on.

It’s also a large part of why they follow you around.

maine coon on the balcony

Talkative

Maine Coons will often look directly at you and make a sound.

Whether it’s a trill, a chirp, a meow, or a warble.

They seem to make a vocabulary out of the sounds they are capable of making.

Maine Coons are very vocal cats and most will talk to you a lot.

They can make sounds and when you respond, they can stop.

More than once I’ve caught myself thinking – was that an actual conversation.

Non Aggressive

At some point you will start to connect the dots that your Maine Coon isn’t really very aggressive in its manner.

That’s typical of a Maine Coon.

You may notice the way they behave towards things they are not fond of.

They are called gentle giants for a reason.

If your Maine Coon doesn’t like being picked up, you may notice that they don’t scratch and claw at you to get away.

They place trust in you.

You will notice their more tolerant nature.

Alita, my Maine Coon, despite not really wanting to take a pill (what cat does) only ever wraps her front legs around my arm.

She NEVER scratches.

Again, typical Maine Coon behavior.

a ginger maine coon lying down

Playful

A playful Maine Coon is an indication of a happy home.

Cat owners don’t need to buy expensive toys.

Maine Coons enjoy interactions with their family.

They like high places, and male Maine Coons may be a bit more playful than the females.

Dog Like Behavior

Maine Coons are considered the nearest things to dogs from the selection of cat breeds available.

They seem to display a loyalty to their owners above and beyond that of typical breeds.

The Maine Coon will enjoy the company of humans to whom it knows well.

They are extremely sociable and affable.

Maine Coons even play fetch a fair amount of time.

Mine doesn’t as it’s an indoor cat, but the breed is known for it.

You can always try it with toys and see if the Maine Coon brings things back to you.

a maine cooon kitten tilting

Conclusion

The Maine Coon cat is a breed that is extremely loyal and affectionate.

Although they may be playful, they are very laid back in nature.

Maine Coons are also one of the oldest breeds of cats still around today.

Their lineage dates all the way back to pre-columbian times when Vikings would sail.

They have been popular ever since then!

This breed was designed for companionship and seems to fit this description throughout history!

The reason is they are very affable and friendly cats.

Their natural behavior is indicative of their breed becoming one of the most popular in the world.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you tell if a cat is being playful?

When a cat is being playful it looks very alert. Their ears are upright and their eyes look very focused. Playful behavior looks a lot like the training for hunting behavior. They will hide, stalk, and pounce as they practice their skills.

What is normal kitten play behavior?

Kittens behave very much like human kids. There’s a lot of rough and tumble along with active play. The play is not deliberately hurtful and they pull their punches at the end to prevent real damage, but you can witness stalking, chasing, hiding, pouncing, swatting, along with mock ambushes.

Why is my cat so playful all the time?

A cat being playful a lot is a good sign. It’s normally indicative of a happy cat. If your cat plays with you and other animals it is engaging in bonding behavior with people or animals it trusts.

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