Last Updated: February 17, 2023
The Maine Coon personality is probably the best thing about this cat breed. This may be a surprise to most because of their other identifiers, that infamous size and unique look.
Maine Coon cats are easy-going, agreeable and a pleasant addition to any household. They’re confident and gentle, very friendly, and adaptable to living situations with kids or other pets.
They’re also very funny and silly with character traits that charm, like following you in the shower, swimming in a tub, or as my girl like to do, singing to birds on the balcony. Later on, they will show you how smart and loyal they are.
Let me paint you a fantastic picture of life with a Maine Coon!
- They Are Gentle and Affectionate
- Maine Coons Are Almost Never Aggressive
- Why Your Maine Coon Seems Aggressive
- They Are Awesome Family Pets
- Gets Along with Kids and Other Pets
- Maine Coons Tend To Be Independent
- Are Maine Coon Cats Okay on Their Own?
- Are They Lap Cats?
- Male vs Female Personality Traits
- Maine Coon Kitten Personality
- Maine Coon History and Personality Traits
- Maine Coons Are Vocal, But Don’t Meow Much
- Maine Coon Personality Characteristic: Intelligence
- Maine Coon Personality Characteristic: Helpful
- A True Companion
- The Most Dog-Like of Cats
- Maine Coons and Water
- Playtime is Required
- Frequently Asked Questions
They Are Gentle and Affectionate
Maine Coons are always gentle, never have a mean bone in their body (mischevious, yes!). Across the world, Maine Coons are known as “gentle giants” by breeders and owners alike. Who want an easy-going cat that is not neurotic and doesn’t hold grudges? I do!
But not to worry, a Maine Coon can be as affectionate to their human as any cat. Sit down next to them, or walk into the room and they just might scamper over to you and rub your legs, groom your hair, head bump or knead you all the while purring loudly.
The ultra-dense coat of the Maine Coon cat that evolved to survive harsh winters is also irresistible to the human hand. I find that petting my Chelle is so soothing!
Maine Coon cats are generally very easy to pet and handle. They have a reputation for being docile when they’re picked up. Treating a Maine Coon cat with gentleness and care is the fast ticket to earning their full trust.
Maine Coons Are Almost Never Aggressive
With a cat as large and as wild looking as a Maine Coon you might wonder if they are ever aggressive. Well the answer is a solid no. Just look at the face above! When it comes to an even mannered pet with an awesome personality, you cannot find a better cat than a Maine Coon.
Even in new situations or with another cat, larger cat, or even kids, a Maine Coon always handles the situation smoothly. They are low-aggression, highly agreeable breed. They will almost never show aggression to others, unless self defense or when they feel threatened. Any cat can become aggressive when it feels scared or threatened.
Why Your Maine Coon Seems Aggressive
One thing I must note: If a Maine Coon seems aggressive or scratches or bites a bit too hard, they are probably not being mean. It’s probably because they have excess energy from laying around all day and not doing what their ancestors did: hunt.
A Maine Coon cat will almost always be ready to play. So provide toys! For centuries, the Maine Coon breed has been characteristically known as a great mouser breed. Active games give them something to occupy their time and use up their curious energy.
Behavior Problems Are a Symptom
However, be careful if you are unaware of the cat’s past and upbringing. A history of poor treatment can cause a cat to be more aggressive around humans as a defense mechanism. Even feeling ill can cause a laid-back cat to display aggression.
If your cat becomes aggressive, do your best to discover the root of the behaviors. Aggressive behavior in a Maine Coon cat may point to illness, stress, hormonal issues, anxiety, boredom, poor socialization, jealousy/territorialism, changes in the household, and other causes that require attention.
They Are Awesome Family Pets
Going on further, Maine Coons vibe very well with all types and sizes of humans, environments, and circumstances. Maine Coons are comfortable with familiar people, but also calm and confident with strangers.
In fact, that exactly is one of the reasons Maine Coons make wonderful therapy cats.
They are also very relaxed, making them ideal family pets, and their friendly temperament makes for easy bonding!
Gets Along with Kids and Other Pets
As a member of the family, you can bet Maine Coon cats also love kids!
“Originally, this long-haired breed worked side-by-side on family farms of early settlers where they learned to adapt to human needs,” according to PetMD. This probably explains why Maine Coon cats have a reputation for adapting to the needs of children.
You can fully expect your Maine Coon cat to form a strong bond with any kids in the house. In addition, Maine Coon cats tend to get along beautifully with other cats and dogs, no matter how shy or “alpha” they think they are.
Maine Coons Tend To Be Independent
These beautiful, big cats can be sociable but not overly demanding of attention. They will enjoy being around you and seeing what you are doing. They will not typically butt in impolitely.
Maine Coon cats show an independent streak and are equally fine sitting off in the corner and left alone, bird watching or taking a long nap in the day. Basically, they know how to be alone, although very much enjoy human companionship.
They are human-oriented cats without clinginess. There’s something very healthy about the relationship with a Maine Coon because they give their all without becoming attached in a way that feels stifling.
The confident, independent streak that shines through also makes it possible to leave a Maine Coon cat home for the day without feeling like the worst cat parent ever!
I personally love the way that my Maine Coon cat is sociable with humans whenever I have company over. However, I also love that she is aloof and independent enough when we’re hanging out at home to let me get work done at my desk.
Are Maine Coon Cats Okay on Their Own?
Based on my personal experience, these cats do just fine on their own as long as they’re getting enough personal attention from their favorite human. My Maine Coon is my only pet. She seems to enjoy being the center of our household.
While my busy schedule takes me out of the house for long stretches of time on any given day, I put effort into bonding with her daily.
Are They Lap Cats?
If it’s a lap cat you’re after, the Maine Coon’s temperament will tolerate being in your lap. Otherwise, their slightly independent spirit means they’d rather follow you around from room to room and settle next to you, instead.
(Of course, that’s not 100%, this is just my experience with my Maine Coon. Yours may end up a wonderful lap cat!)
And maybe consider cat to be your lap cat. As the world’s largest domesticated cat breed, the Maine Coon cat is often recognized in record books. They can reach up to 25 pounds, especially males. Do you really want that on your lap?
Male vs Female Personality Traits
The personality between males and females are small. Both male and female Maine Coons are affectionate, outgoing, and have lots of fun.
But some claim male Maine Coon are more social and playful, while females are lady-like and keep a bit more to themselves while still focused on their humans.
And in my experience as a parents to female, this is true.
My girl is not a lap cat, not overly affectionate and dependent, but fiercely attached at healthy distance. She’s loyal, and not overly clingy. It’s a great compromise and I really dig her dignified air.
Maine Coon Kitten Personality
A Maine Coon kitten’s personality is shaped by the cattery they are in. The first few months of their lives must be in a good environment with a wide array of stimulus and interactions.
Only then can they develop the interesting behavior, characteristics, and personality traits described here. That is why if you’re thinking about owning a kitten, visit the cattery in person and check out their set up.
Maine Coon History and Personality Traits
The history of Maine Coons have definite ties to their current day personality. Here’s how.
The Maine Coon cat breed developed naturally a long time ago. Their origins go so far back that many legends have arisen to explain their appearance and history.
Maine Coon cats probably originate from the mixing of long-haired cats brought to America by Vikings and short-haired North American cats.
They worked as mousers in barns, but humans soon started to grow fond of these large, friendly cats. Maine Coons were then brought into the home. So through athleticism and charm, Maine Coons thrived. So not very different than current day!
In 1885, the breed began to win cat shows in New York and Boston. Cosie, a brown tabby Maine Coon cat, won the first major cat show to be held at Madison Square Garden in New York City. And Maine Coon cats are common in all cat shows even today.
After a resurgence in popularity, Maine Coon cats are here to stay. They hold the honor of the official state cat of Maine, which gives them their name. And their coat perfectly into the cool northern climate of Maine and the northeastern part of the United States.
Maine Coons Are Vocal, But Don’t Meow Much
Maine Coons have a stereotype of being loud, “talkative” cats. But interestingly, they do not meow a lot vs regular cats. The noises they make are more varied than other cats. These can include:
To birds or other wildlife outside the window.
My girl will park herself on the balcony and stare at birds flying by, and chirp all day like so:
To make a comparison – if you are a dog person – you might say that Maine Coons are like the Siberian Huskies of the cat world. That is, vocal, stubborn, and gorgeous with personalities to match.
Maine Coon Personality Characteristic: Intelligence
Besides all of the above, you should know that these cats are highly intelligent creatures that are trainable and love to problem solve.
Many owners agree. They say that their Maine Coons are the smartest cats they’ve ever had. I’ve seen Maine Coons who are potty trained and who can open doors. Then there are those who tip over glasses to play with the water!
My silver girl knows she can’t be the dining room table… So she will wait until you are away, then hop on there and enjoy herself. The same with beds. The moment I get home, she jumps off.
Intelligence also means mischievous and boredom, though, so always have daily, frequent play sessions. At night, if I am not giving her enough attention, she will scratch the side of the bed or sofa to get my attention, like this:
Once I get up, she runs away. This characteristic is adorable, but also annoying!
Maine Coon Personality Characteristic: Helpful
The curious and engaged Maine Coon personality also has them always investigating and getting involved with whatever their parents are doing.
We call her the “supervisor.”
- Opening a new box?
- Cutting vegetables?
- Fixing the sink or assembling some furniture?
There they are!
How about a new social situation, like a new relative or friend stopping by your place? Other cats would be scaredy-cats and hide away someplace dark.
A Maine Coon is right there in the center of the attention, curious to know about this new person and basking in the attention.
This social aspect of Maine Coons is endearing and combined with the below loyalty trait, makes this breed such a wonderful family companion.
A True Companion
If your impression of a cat is they are shy or skittish – always hiding or needing a comfortable, quiet, environment…
Then get ready to have your mind blown. Maine Coons have that most dog-like of traits: LOYALTY.
- When I open my bedroom door in the morning, there she is greeting me
- When I walk to the bathroom, she follows me in there and plops herself down near me
- While working on the computer, she is near
Basically, Maine Coons interact with their parents like few other cats.
The Most Dog-Like of Cats
One thing that many of us Maine Coon cat owners discover is that this breed’s personality is often more “dog” than cat. They are loyal, friendly, cuddly, and highly trainable.
They are naturally inquisitive too, and their trainability makes people compare these large cats to dogs. In fact, they have a dog-like sense of adventure and action. Some people teach them successfully to walk on a lead outdoors.
While other cats can be loners and aloof, maybe only showing up during feeding time. Not Maine Coons! They will wait behind closed doors for you, and greet you when you come home like Milo or Lucky.
Maine Coons are the perfect indoor house cat: they consider themselves part of the family, and they’ll acquaint themselves with all members of that family, just like a dog. Some Maine Coons even play fetch, that essential dog activity.
Maine Coons and Water
Another odd characteristic of the Maine Coon breed is their great love for the water, in contrast to most other cats. They have little fear around water, plus their fur coats are naturally water-resistant.
My cat adores water and find any opportunity to watch with great intent, and bat her paw at it.
And when it comes to dripping faucets, she’s all over it. Find her in the bathtub or even jumping on the counters to be near a sink.
In our household, as in many Maine Coon households, we learned to keep the toilet bowl closed. Or else we’d find our cat with her two front paws in it, splashing and making a mess.
Some Maine Coons even follow their human into the shower!
Playtime is Required
Consider this – the Maine Coon breed is a hardy, rugged working cat, but now they are mostly pampered indoor pets. They were first and foremost mousers, and the lineage and ability lives on within them, for sure.
That is why another defining trait of Maine Coons is their love of playing. They have boundless energy, and as long as you find the right toy or gadget, the athletic Maine Coon can be engaged and running, jumping, and chasing multiple times a day.
Daily play time is non-negotiable with all cats, but holds even more true for a Maine Coon. Their large frame and big appetites easily lend themselves to inactivity, which leads to weight gain. Think of an out of season bodybuilder!
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Maine Coon personality like?
The personality of a Maine Coon is typically well-mannered, easy-going and very friendly. Their gregarious personality and gentle manner make it one of the best cat breeds. Maine Coon cats famously don’t have any personality issues and this often makes everything from mealtime to litter-box rituals much easier for cat parents.
Do Maine Coon cats like to be held?
Maine Coon cats will tolerate being held if that is what they feel their human wants to do. With their large size and long-haired coat, they seem like natural candidates for hugging and cuddling, and it is possible. But not for too long, as these cats show a more independent nature and would rather settle next to you rather than be lap cat.
Are Maine Coons good house pets?
Maine Coons are wonderful house pets because they get along great with everyone from kids to babies, to dogs, other cats, and even strangers. They are affectionate, friendly, and have a great temperament. In addition, Maine Coon cats are social when others around, but also know how to be by themselves.
Are Maine Coon cats difficult?
Maine Coon cats are definitely not difficult in personality and temperament, in fact, they are one of the most easy-going cat breeds. But they do have “idiosyncrasies” potential parents should consider.
As the largest breed of domestic cats, they require space and larger cat products, and their long coat means regular grooming. They can be prone to health issues like hip dysplasia and hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, so it’s important to choose a reputable breeder.
Is it cruel to keep a Maine Coon indoors?
Is it not cruel to keep a Maine Coon indoors. In fact, it is the safe and proper thing to do and ensures their well-being. Outdoor cats are exposed to risks, like traffic accidents, diseases, and interactions with other animals or humans. You should be providing a mentally stimulating indoor environment with many toys, cat trees, scratchers, and catnip.
This does not mean your Maine Coon will be okay with this arrangement though, and possibly be looking out the window or waiting by the front door, ready to bolt. Consider leash and harness training so you can take them walking outside safely. However, your Maine Coon’s welfare is the top priority.
Can Maine Coons be left alone?
Maine Coons can be left alone for a reasonable amount of time, like a workday, because they know how to be independent, as long as basic needs like food, water, and litter box matters are met. This is one of the best parts of the Maine Coon personality, because they are neurotic nor will they hold grudges.
But of course, they do require daily human interaction and playtime. The important thing is to establish a regular routine when you are home, because Maine Coons, like all cats, thrive on that!
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.