Have you spotted an adorable picture of a Maine Coon online and decided that you needed one to be your purr-fect companion at home? It may have made you curious about their nature, too. Do they enjoy being cuddled? Is this breed affectionate?
The short answer is, yes – Maine Coons are affectionate cats, and they love cuddles, too.
There is a lot to know about Maine Coons; no doubt you have already stumbled across several stories of how friendly these giant furballs are. It is very important, before bringing a new cat home, to understand their temperament so that you know whether their breed fits well with your lifestyle.
Do Maine Coon cats get attached to their owners?
Just like dogs, Maine Coons are known for being extremely loyal to their human caretakers. This intelligent breed forms an emotional bond with humans by following them around, spending time with them when they are home, and enjoying cuddle sessions, among other things. If you are looking for a loyal feline companion, a Maine Coon is definitely one to consider.
Aside from their amiable and calm personalities, these gentle giants are also wonderful companions for kids and other household pets. They tend to display dog-like behavior and can be trained to play fetch and respond to commands. In fact, it is no surprise that these adorable felines are dubbed the ‘dogs of the cat world.’
How Maine Coons show affection
1. They love to follow you around
Maine Coons are popular for being one of the most affectionate cat breeds. They can easily form a genuine and strong bond with their owners, and display this through a variety of gestures, such as following them wherever they go. They will meow and rub their heads against your legs while following you from kitchen to bedroom and back again.
They might even follow you to the bathroom and the shower, watching your every move. If this sounds like your cat, do not worry. It might seem a little creepy, but know that it is just your cat’s way of showing how much he enjoys your company. Your furry friend loves spending time with his caretaker and is interested in everything you do. Unfortunately, this means he is unlikely to give you much privacy, especially in the toilet where he will be able to pick up your scent most easily.
2. They love cuddling
Most cat breeds, including Maine Coons, like cuddling with their owners for warmth and protection. This is a natural behavior that most cats learn while they are still kittens. Additionally, cuddling is also a cat’s love language. Maine Coons are unlikely to object if you want to snuggle with them, since this means they can bond with you some more.
3. They slowly blink their eyes
If you have spent a lot of time with your Maine Coon, you will probably have noticed his partially-closed eyes and slow blinking at times. This facial expression usually means that your kitty is feeling relaxed and content. It is almost the same facial expression as in humans when they are smiling and their eyes start to narrow. Basically, then, a cat’s slow blinking is the feline version of a smile. At this moment, the best way to respond is to slowly blink back to let your cat know that he is loved.
4. They show their belly
Like most domesticated animals, if a cat exposes his belly without a care in the world, it is an expression of complete trust. Your Coon is feeling totally relaxed and comfortable in his environment. With his favorite human around, he feels safe enough to expose his vulnerable areas because he does not feel threatened. Keep in mind that, unlike dogs, a cat showing off his belly does not always mean that he wants belly rubs – cats are particularly sensitive about their bellies. He is simply telling you that he trusts and loves you.
5. They head-butt you
Cats generally head-butt as a way to spread their scent. How is this possible?
As you may know, cats use their scent, in the form of pheromones, to mark their territory, and some of the glands that produce these chemicals are found in the cheeks and forehead. By spreading or depositing their scents on furniture or on their owners, they are able to make themselves more familiar and comfortable with their environment.
So, when your cat starts rubbing his forehead on you, it probably means he is trying to establish a deeper bond with you. Sometimes, the gesture could also be a request for attention and scratches. The question is, could you resist a Maine Coon’s adorable request?
Are Maine Coons clingy?
Some fur parents find clingy cats fun and adorable, while others find it a nuisance and worrisome beyond a certain point. If you are the type of owner who prefers pets with an independent streak, then the Maine Coon is a good choice.
Although Maine Coons are known for being loving and affectionate toward their caretakers, they are also not too demanding of attention. They do not need your presence all the time to be happy; they are perfectly fine being left alone. In fact, there are times when a Maine Coon actually prefers to spend time doing his own thing for a while.
This independent temperament is generally desirable, since cats with a clingy nature are prone to depression and separation anxiety when left alone.
Keep in mind, though, that not all Coons display the same personality traits, especially those adopted from shelters. Some Maine Coons with tragic histories can develop anxiety problems, causing them to be overly clingy. If this sounds like your feline, then he has probably experienced trauma and abuse from a previous family, or perhaps he has never been loved. Now that he is re-homed, it is your responsibility to make up for those lost moments. With patience and time, you should be basking in the company of a loving, sweet, and gentle cat.
Do Maine Coons like to be held?
Not all cats enjoy being picked up, and this is not necessarily because they do not like you. It has more to do with their instinctive fears, such as being taken by a large predator. Imagine yourself being picked up and held by a larger creature: it could be a frightening experience for you, too. So, although your intentions are good, your cat might not understand the gesture in the same way.
However, if your Maine Coon is used to being held as a kitten, he is more likely to enjoy being held by you. That is because he trusts you and knows he will only get cuddles when you pick him up.
Are Maine Coons lap cats?
Maine Coons are generally heavier and larger than your average cat. Although they love cuddling with their owners, these furballs might not be ideal lap cats. Due to their size and weight, they can become uncomfortable when they sit on your lap for any length of time.
However, this does not mean Maine Coons cannot be lap cats. You can train yours to become one by providing enough space, as well as a cushion to make him feel comfortable. Encourage the behavior by giving him rewards such as tasty treats and cuddles.
Why has my Maine Coon stopped being affectionate?
Even though Maine Coons are known to be extremely affectionate, not all cats have the same temperament. Every individual is different, and their personalities could also be influenced by other factors such as how they were raised, their age, early socialization, parental traits, and others. Some possible scenarios are described below:
- Your cat feels envious of a new pet, baby, or other family member. Eventually, the feeling of being left out might cause him to become more reserved or aggressive.
- Your cat feels that his boundaries are not being respected. Although Coons like their human’s attention, there are times when they need to take a breather, away from everyone.
- Your cat is simply not affectionate. Again, every cat is different. Some might like cuddles while others do not.
- Your cat is not properly socialized. If you have adopted an adult cat that was not properly socialized by his previous family, it will take some time and patience to correct his behavior. Do not fret – even if your cat is fearful, you will eventually see his affectionate side. Just allow him some time to warm up and experience being loved by you.
- Your cat is stressed due to some major life change, such as moving to a new home or being adopted by a new family.
- Your cat has experienced abuse from his previous family. Unfortunately, not all people are loving toward their pets. With a history of trauma and lack of love, it is only normal for a cat to be mistrusting and fearful of his new owners.
- Your cat is feeling sick. This should be considered especially if he shows other symptoms such as lethargy, pain, or lack of appetite. Any worrying symptoms should be checked by a professional veterinarian right away for proper diagnosis and treatment.
Wrapping it up
As you can see, Maine Coons are extremely affectionate toward their owners, and they might express this affection in numerous ways! Additionally, these friendly cats can fit in well with a big family due to their calm and gentle personalities. They can even get along easily with other pets.
However, not all Maine Coons are so affectionate; every individual cat is different. Some cats might be less affectionate or simply hate being cuddled due to factors such as improper socialization, past abuse, or anxiety. Whatever the reason, the most important thing is that you shower your furry friend with lots of love and attention. With proper rearing and patience, even the most fearful feline should eventually show their affectionate side to the person they trust the most.
Image: istockphoto.com / krblokhin