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Keeping Maine Coon Cats Indoors Is Hard!

Are you weighing the pros and cons of keeping Maine Coon Cats indoors? Looking for tips and tricks to keep them happy inside the house? Let's discuss!

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Why Is Keeping Maine Coon Cats Indoors Recommended?

hershey the cat wants to go outsideHershey wants to go out!

Breeders and veterinarians alike overwhelmingly recommend that we keep our beloved Coonies inside for the longest, healthiest and happiest life possible.

Don't be surprised if your breeder even has this clause in your agreement that you sign together.

Some people think of Maine Coons as a rough-and-tumble kind of cat that "needs" the outdoors to satisfy it's strong hunting urge, or get proper exercise for that tough looking big body.

But the truth is, they are no more wild than any cat. They're just sweet kitties with a unique look! 

Others think of keeping Maine Coon cats indoors as cruel, and denying their deep connection to the "wild."

I like to think of a parallel as being our human children at an amusement park or candy shop. Of course it looks fun!

But after all this time, they are not wild anymore - they are domesticated pets, dependent on us for their care and safety, so it's our responsibility not to just let them go run wild and free.

There are numerous benefits to keeping cats inside. It is safer, of course. We have explored the risks of letting cats outside here.

For me, I simplified it by just knowing how much longer they'd live as indoor kitties. Alice and Leo lived to 17 and 14, respectively.

"But Keeping Maine Coon Cats Indoors Is Hard!"

Oh my gosh, don't I know it! My two Coonies made a full time hobby of trying to escape, mostly as kittens. Naturally, they succeeded a few times.

We'd always collect them immediately, and fortunately they were always too entranced by the new surroundings to actually run off.

If we lived in a more urban area they may have darted into a street or through neighboring properties, maybe getting lost so I'm glad we're a bit rural.

I'll never forget the time little Alice escaped and right away was chased by a neighborhood dog who saw her from afar. She bolted up a tree like lightning! But she went up so high she was stuck!

This tree was tall with few branches. She must have been 20 feet up! After some cajoling, she shimmied down a bit, then actually let go, landing roughly in a pile of leaves.

I think she was less of an escape artist after that. I was glad when they grew out of the desire to run for a closing door!

Actually, we found that once our Coonies left their "crazy kitten" phase behind, they were perfectly content and fulfilled with life in the home.

They didn't try to escape anymore, and were more than happy with sitting on a windowsill watching the small animals scurrying about, feeling a lovely breeze through the screen. This is something many Maine Coon lovers have experienced.

The best advice I can give for keeping Maine Coon Cats indoors is simply keep the doors and windows closed, and bring them in whenever they escape. They do adjust.

Options For Letting Cats Outside

parker the cat on a leashParker on leash

There are lots of cool products on the market now! If you really want to let your Coonie experience some outdoor fun, you could consider:

  • A homemade or professionally installed catio - some people are lucky enough to have a deck or patio area that lends itself to being stylishly enclosed.
  • Supervised visits to the outdoors in the snow or cold. We used to visit the back deck with the cats after we got a foot or so of snow. They weren't going to be going anywhere!

Tip From a Fellow Coonie Lover:

On our Cats Outside Q & A page, Sharon advises:

"I live in coastal ME and there is plenty of wildlife that would find a coon cat a very pleasant meal even in the village of our little town of 900.

Many of the commercial cat enclosures will only keep them enclosed ... not protect them from wildlife like fox, fisher, coyote, bear and birds of prey.

We opted for a chain link 10 x 10 x 6' kennel that has a reinforced shade cloth cable tied over the top.

A predator could not get through the chain link and the shade cloth protects them from birds of prey and from the sun. We would never consider anything less substantial."

Indoor Kitty Fun

Of course, a cat live a full, enriching life inside! There are lots of ways to spice up life when keeping Maine Coon Cats indoors.

Toys for playing together, catnip, cat trees for climbing, scratching posts, even "kitty tv" - aquariums, bird and squirrel watching come to mind. How do you keep your Coonie's active mind and body happy?

What are your thoughts?

Everyone's experience is different! What works for you? Does your cat care about being outside? Do you have any tips or tricks to share regarding leash training or outdoor enclosures?

What Others Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other cat lovers...

Indoor Cats; Visitor Suggestions 
Our two Main Coon brothers are definitely indoor boys. We saw early on that they were more lovers than fighters when they never even bothered to flee when …

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