Are Maine Coon Cats Man’s New Best Friend?


The Maine Coon is one of the oldest natural breeds of domestic cat, originating from matings between preexisting shorthaired cats and longhaired Angora types introduced by sailors in the mid-late 18th century in the state of Maine, USA ( Often described as dog-like, Maine Coons are known for their robust size, intelligence, friendliness, and readily adapt to being walked on a leash. This article explores the various dog-like traits and personalities of Maine Coon cats, such as their trainability, vocalizations, energy levels, family-friendliness, and ability to play fetch. Evidence is provided comparing Maine Coon behavior and characteristics to dogs in order to answer the question – are Maine Coon cats like dogs?


Maine Coons are known as the “gentle giants” of the cat world due to their large size. The average adult male Maine Coon weighs 13-18 pounds, while females reach 8-12 pounds ( Maine Coons are much larger than the average domestic cat, which typically weighs 8-10 pounds. In terms of height, male Maine Coons range from 10-16 inches tall and females are 8-14 inches tall.

When compared to dogs, the Maine Coon is similar in size to smaller dog breeds like Cocker Spaniels and Beagles. However, some male Maine Coons can reach the size of a small Labrador Retriever. The Maine Coon’s sheer size definitely sets them apart from other cat breeds. They are considered the largest domesticated cat breed that is not a hybrid between wildcats and domestic cats.


Maine Coons are known for their high intelligence, similar to dogs. They have an impressive ability to learn tricks, retrieve objects, and walk calmly on a leash. According to Learn all about training a Maine Coon cat!, Maine Coons can be taught more complex behaviors like handshakes, high fives, and sitting. Their intelligence and willingness to learn makes training Maine Coons enjoyable. This video demonstrates a Maine Coon performing tricks like spinning, jumping through a hoop, and rolling over. Their trainability rivals that of dogs, leading many to compare Maine Coons to canines in their smarts and ability to learn commands.


Maine Coon cats are known for their affectionate, social, and loyal personalities that resemble dogs more than typical felines. They bond deeply with their owners and families and often follow their favorite people from room to room. Maine Coons crave attention, play, and interaction and have an uncanny ability to sense when their owner is feeling sad or ill. Their devotion and sensitivity makes them excellent emotional support animals.

According to the experts at Maine Coon Central, “Maine Coons display dog-like behaviors and personalities. They are social, fun-loving and enjoy being around people and family so much that Maine Coons hate to be left alone for any period of time.”1 These gentle giants will often rest their large paws on your lap and nuzzle your hand to get petted. While independent at times, the Maine Coon is truly a “people cat” that bonds strongly with its family.

The playful and good-natured Maine Coon can learn tricks, play fetch, walk on a leash, and get along with dogs, attributes many associate more with canines. Maine Coons retain a kitten-like spirit throughout their lifespan and are energetic, curious, and often mischievous. According to The Cat Fancier’s Association, “The ideal Maine Coon is friendly, intelligent and gentle, if somewhat skittish with strangers. But most Maine Coons will bond with the whole family.”2 With proper socialization and training, these gentle giants make exceptionally loyal and loving companions.

Energy Level

Maine Coons typically have higher energy levels than most other cat breeds. While they are not hyperactive, they do require more daily exercise than typical house cats in order to stay physically and mentally stimulated.

Most Maine Coons enjoy and benefit from activities that engage their natural instincts. For example, a game of fetch allows them to simulate hunting. Many Maine Coons even enjoy swimming or going for walks on a leash, which enables them to burn off excess energy.

It’s recommended that Maine Coon owners plan for at least 30-60 minutes of playtime or other vigorous activity per day. This exercise helps prevent behavior issues that can arise from boredom. Satisfying their energetic nature with plenty of activity is key to a happy, healthy Maine Coon.

So while they are laidback in temperament, Maine Coons do have higher exercise requirements than other cats. Providing adequate physical and mental stimulation will allow a Maine Coon’s energetic side to thrive. Activities like fetch, swimming and leash walks are great outlets for their surplus energy.



One of the qualities that makes Maine Coons similar to dogs is their high trainability. Maine Coons are known to respond exceptionally well to training and positive reinforcement.

With proper training, Maine Coons can learn common commands like “sit”, “stay”, and “come.” They can even be trained to walk on a leash and harness, play fetch, give high-fives, and more. Their intelligence and people-oriented personality make them very receptive to learning tricks and commands.

Positive reinforcement training using treats, praise, and play is highly effective with this breed. Maine Coons aim to please their owners and will happily perform for treats and attention. Consistency is key when training a Maine Coon. Short, positive training sessions every day will produce the best results.

According to this article, handshakes, high fives, and sitting are normally the first tricks to teach your Maine Coon. You can go considerably further with more complicated commands and behaviors as you build a bond and establish training routines.

Overall, the Maine Coon’s energetic nature, loyalty, and desire to interact with their owners makes them one of the most trainable cat breeds. With time and dedication, Maine Coons can learn amazing tricks that rival some dogs.


Maine Coons are known for having an increased vocal range compared to other cat breeds.1 They often chirp or trill to communicate with their owners. Maine Coon cat sounds include distinct chirpy meows, chatters, andmrrowing vocalizations.2 Maine Coons will use different meows and vocal tones to express their needs and emotions. For example, they may chirp happily when greeting their owner or meow insistently for food.3 Overall, the Maine Coon is a highly vocal breed that relies on a variety of unique sounds to interact with their human families.

Family Friendly

Maine Coons are known for being affectionate, loyal, and gentle family companions. Their sweet temperament makes them excellent cats for families with children. Maine Coons tend to be very patient and tolerant of kids. They enjoy playing games and can make great friends for children. According to one source, “They are sweet and gentle personalities which makes them an especially good choice for families with children.”

Maine Coons generally get along well with dogs, other cats, and even strangers. Their friendly dispositions allow them to make friends easily. Maine Coons like being around people and thrive when they receive a lot of love and attention. They make devoted and loving pets for the whole family.

Overall, the Maine Coon’s wonderful temperament and family-friendly nature make them ideal house cats. Their affectionate and gentle personalities allow them to fit in well in homes with children, other pets, and frequent guests. Maine Coons truly enjoy being part of the family.



Maine Coon cats have a large, silky coat that requires regular maintenance to keep it looking its best. According to Petveer, Maine Coons should be brushed 2-3 times per week to remove loose hair and prevent tangles and mats1. Using a metal comb can help detangle the fur and distribute skin oils. Though they have long fur, Maine Coons do not require extensive grooming. Their coats tend not to mat as easily as some other longhaired breeds2.

While Maine Coons keep themselves very clean like other cats, they should occasionally be bathed, especially if they get into something dirty or smelly. Their coat sheds water easily, so bath time should not be too difficult. Be sure to use a cat-safe shampoo and thoroughly rinse out all soap residue. Regular brushing, occasional bathing, and trimming their nails are the primary grooming needs for this breed to keep their coat beautiful.


In summary, Maine Coon cats exhibit several dog-like traits that set them apart from other cat breeds. Their large size, high intelligence, friendly temperament, energetic nature, trainability, vocalizations, family-friendly attitude, and need for frequent grooming allows them to live happily alongside dogs and fit right into a busy household.

These unique traits likely developed due to the origins of the Maine Coon breed. They are a natural breed that adapted to the harsh winters and rugged environment of Maine, becoming an all-purpose farm cat able to mouse, interact with children and dogs, and handle cold weather. Their dog-like qualities made them highly useful companions to early American settlers.

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