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Maine Coon Behavior Problems


These owners of rescued and adopted Maine Coon mixes & possible Maine Coons are dealing with aggression & behavior problems. Our community offers lots of advice!

Maine Coone Cross Rescue Cat Is Aggressive

by: Ellie
(England)

Hi,

I have recently adopted a Maine Coon cross rescue, she is 3 yrs old and has been in 3 foster homes in quick succession. The first kept her in a room on her own which made her more aggressive and traumatized.

The cat rescue told me she is affectionate and gets on well with other cats however she will not tolerate my resident 12 week old kittens.

She lets me stroke her head but only briefly before hissing/biting. I have invested in a Feliway Diffuser and am considering getting Bach's Rescue Remedy.

I let her mix with kittens unless its bedtime or I’m out of the house, is there anything else I can do to help her accept the kittens and me and my daughter who's 9?

Reply:
Hi Ellie,

How long have you had your new girl? It sounds like you are doing everything right. Both of the remedies you mention work well. Sometimes it takes animals quite some time to adjust. Your girl has had an especially hard time, the only reality she has known till now has been to be shuffled around.

The goal is to reach the point where she forgets the past and can't remember life before you. The best thing you can do is give her time and patience.

I would suggest that you let your daughter give her a nightly treat, and perhaps a quick stroke on the head, working up from there. Kids tend to move quickly and be loud on occasion. So even if your daughter is always calm and kind to the cat, the cat doesn't quite know what to make of her yet.

As for the kittens, they probably try the patience of your girl. She doesn't know what they will do next, and does not want to to play with them (yet!) You are right to let them be together only when supervised. This will improve as they age, calm down, and she gets acclimated.

Sometimes, when the kittens are in another room, try to get your new girl to play with you. Try a feather or something similar on a string. Tease her gently with it and see if she will start to play. This will really help her guard to come down.

Perhaps others will have some suggestions or experience to share, too.

All the Best, and Congrats on your new kitty family!
~Carrie



10 Month Old Female Maine Coon; Jekyll and Hyde??

by: Sarah
(Omaha, NE)

Hi! I just adopted a 10 month old female Maine Coon from a shelter last week.

I already have a 1 1/2 year old neutered domestic shorthair who is just as sweet as can be, but I could see he could benefit from having a cat pal.

I have the female in her own room, and the two cats have visited each other a few times, and it has gone well. She lets him lick her head, and she rubs up against him, etc.

However, a couple of times I have been visiting her and as I was about to shut the door she spots him, and runs at full force out of the room to attack him; I can't even stop her in time! (This all happens just as I am shutting the door to her room).

She runs after him, attacks him (she has very short claws from being spayed so she doesn't hurt him) and he is left completed terrified, even after I get her back in her room.

I just don't understand why she tolerates him in a room, but the moment she gets out into the rest of the house randomly attacks him!

Any thoughts?

Reply:


Hi Sarah,

That is odd, isn't it? Well, it's as you know it's related to the new environment and changes. And I do think it will subside as she acclimates. The way that they are already accepting each other at times is a good sign of things to come.

It seems to have something to do with the exposure to rooms. You might want to try switching the cats for a little while sometimes. I wonder if she just needs to see and be comfortable in the rest of the house.

As a side note: Females can be a bit "moody" at times. My Alice sometimes hisses at her brother Leo when he gets in her space. Girls!

All The Best,
Carrie

Comments:

Introducing cats
by: Helen

Any time I introduce a cat (not a little kitten) to my other cats I set the newcomer up in an extra large wire crate in the living area of the house. The litter box is in the back, bed in the middle and water & food up front in the crate. This allows my resident cats to come near, investigate, smell and leave safely. I leave it that way until the residents and the new cat seem unperturbed about each other. This takes a month or more.

I have never had this method to fail. The cats will sort out the pecking order with a few hisses and slaps, but nothing bad.

Good luck.



Aggressive Behavior In Female Maine Coon

by: Lisa Corey
(Keller TX)

Help. My female Maine Coon has been acting aggressive at night time when I go to sleep.

She has not been neutered nor do I intend to breed her and she is an inside cat. Her parents were show cats which I have no interest in I just want to understand what I am doing wrong. I am not sure if I should have her neutered and that is why she is acting more aggressive.

I do not want her personality to change and fear that having her neutered would change her usually adorable self. With that being said her behavior lately has me puzzled.

I also have keep her claws clipped she does not scratch furniture and she has all the toys several huge cats trees that are placed high so she can see outside.

She plays fetch is great with grandkids and always talks to me. We have a routine and she is my shadow always helping me do laundry, cook, make the bed and clean. She has been an absolute joy.

Every night when it is time to go to bed she usually needs me and then settles down beside me and sleeps right next to me every night. No matter how many times I toss and turn she just meows and settles right back down. This is our routine. My husband is also in bed but she is always on my side.

Since I keep her claws clipped she cannot scratch me but now when I go to bed at night now she jumps up on the bed ears back and bites really hard and draws blood then jumps off bed and comes back for another round.

At night we close the bedroom door with her in the bedroom we have done this with her since she was a kitten. We have a huge bedroom and bathroom and she has everything she needs food, water litter box.

I have had to remove her from bedroom and close the door because she will not calm down. This has gone on for a few nights and in the morning she is her usual self following me around until I go to work.

I did go out of town for a few days recently is she just mad at me or should I be doing something else as far as getting her neutered?

Reply:
Hi Lisa,

Well, this is a problem for sure! I honestly have no idea if it is related to her not yet being spayed (boys are neutered), but this would be a good question to ask your vet.

Not having her spayed would mean that she would go into heat, though, several times per year. It's no fun for you or her, and if you are not going to breed her I would advocate for getting her spayed asap.

If she were in heat, you would know it. She will raise her rear end, and howl a lot. Perhaps even spray in the house, much like a male cat.

My thoughts are that she is either going into heat soon or is in pain. Female cats can get aggressive in their desire to find a male cat, no matter what. (She will also try to bolt out the door, so you may end up with a surprise litter of Maine Coon mixes one day.) It's possible the aggression is related to heat.

Or, something could be bothering her. It's odd that she's her normal self during the day, though. I would ask the vet.

Comments:

spaying/neutering can cause weight gain
I know that getting the female cat spayed would make her more fatter than before.

it happened to both of my male and female cats after their fixing operation.

Aggression
by: Helen

Get your girl spayed. She is probably suffering from polycystic ovaries because she comes into heat and isn't bred. Females only release their eggs when stimulated by the tom in breeding. Spaying also reduces the chance of ovarian and mammary cancer. Spaying will not make her any less adorable and loving, in fact, she may become more loving since the hormones aren't running her crazy.

Spaying/neutering does not necessarily lead to obesity. Their metabolism doesn't change, but their activity level does. Since they aren't as active when they get older, they need fewer calories than kittens. You control the kind of food and amount. They can't jump in a car with their friends and go to the burger joint and get a double order of cheese fries. HeHeHe

Helen

Spaying doesn't make a cat fat
by: Toni Bondy

I have always spayed or neutered my cats and not one of them has ever gotten fat because of it.

My biggest cat was my Maine Coon male. He weighed 19 pounds for most of his life and as he aged, his appetite lessened on its own, so he actually lost weight instead of gaining it.

It's also important to only feed a cat quality foods. The inexpensive brands are full of corn and other grains along with a lot of fat. They are just empty calories for cats.

Back to the aggression problem!

I don't know if spaying your cat will fix her night time aggression, but I do know that it won't change her sweet personality during the day. Spaying actually makes a cat sweeter and calmer.

The hormones prior to spaying make cats nervous and edgy. Compare it to a teenaged male human and you'll have a good picture of the frustration a female cat goes through every month during her cycle. It's NOT fun!

If spaying doesn't work, come back and ask for more help. Aggression is usually related to:
1) Pain
2) Illness
3) Someone treating the cat badly and making it fearful

Good luck and I hope you get your sweet night time kitty back soon



Maine (Mean) Coon Cat help me with worming!

by: Diane Dudley
(Hemlock MI USA)

My cat (whom I love dearly) hates me, well sort of. He doesn't like to be petted, brushed, he only likes to rule the house, eat, dominate big Golden Retriever (who will walk way around KiKi), sleep on the bed and God forbid you disturb him!

I am worried because he has lost weight, 7 yrs old, always hungry, meowing a lot more than usual.

I want to worm him as he is outside a lot and has squirrel dinner sometimes with bird dessert. He will fight me getting pill down and will walk away from any powdered med on food no matter how hungry.

Any suggestions short of vet and sedative? Don't want to do that.

Thanks, Diane

Reply:

Hi Diane,

It's too hard to know what's going on with your boy without recommending a trip to the vet. I don't know about your vet, but mine is never quick to recommend a sedative. In fact, that has only been used in rare occasions. And the decisions are always up to me with regard to testing, etc.

You shouldn't ever feel like going to the vet is a last resort because of what your pet might "have to" go through. If that's the case, you might want to ask some friends for vet recommendations.

If he's losing weight, it is possible that worming him will take care of the weight issue. But, since he's quite a hunter there is a good chance they will come right back.

As for the pilling itself, there is a technique that works quite well. I like to coat the pill in lots of butter. This makes it very slippery. Then I "sit on" or straddle the pet from behind (with no weight applied of course) tilt the head back and open the mouth, popping the pill as far down the throat as possible. Then clamp that mouth closed with your hands and stroke the throat until you feel him swallow at least once. The key is not to hesitate, and get it down the first time. You may need a second person to hold his feet, if he's a scratcher.

It sounds like quite a procedure, but really it's not. When one of my pets needs a pill I can do this in 3 seconds, before they even know what hit them!

I should add that a key to this is we have a very hands-on relationship. They are used to being touched, they are submissive to people, and trust us to touch them anywhere, anytime.

Your story is different, so I hope some of our visitors will comment and add their suggestions: How do you pill a difficult animal? Is there a food you mix it with?

And one more time, Diane, I must add that it really sounds like your boy needs to be checked up by a vet. Worms may or may not be the problem.

All The Best,
~Carrie

Comments:

A different kind of worming treatment?
by: Caroline (UK)

I agree with Carrie that a visit to the vet is in order to rule out possible health issues, including thyroid, which might be indicated by the loss of weight and constant hunger.

On worming - again, great idea from Carrie about putting butter on pills (thanks, I shall use that trick!) but there are treatments for worming which are 'liquid droplet' medications you put on the back of the cat's neck. I use one for my cat that is called Profender - it's only available on prescription from the vet (at least, here in the UK) but it works well for cats who don't like pills or powder sprinkled on their food. I use it for my cat and have seen no ill effects, and it certainly keeps the worms away.

Outdoor cats should be wormed regularly so it's a better option than trying to get a pill down your cat every three months, especially if he doesn't want to be pilled!

Go to the vet
by: Helen

Go to the vet! Truth is you don't know what is wrong with him and the wrong treatment might kill him. All the older cats that I have had in my life that started loosing weight weren't wormy. One had hyperthyroidism, another was diabetic, another had kidney failure, another congestive heart failure, and the list goes on and on. I had one cat that was 21 when she died and it just was from old age; she was worn out.

Put a plastic Elizabethian Collar on your cat's head and when you pill them they can't reach up and scratch or grab you. If I have to do it by myself I "scruff" them by the nape of the neck and usually their mouth flies open. Pop the pill down quickly.

When you visit your vet, have him show you how to effectively give KiKi medication without being scratched or bit. (If you don't have an E-Collar the vet will have them.)

Good luck.

GO TO THE VET!
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

Perhaps your cat hates you because you keep trying to medically treat him when he really needs to go to the vet. He sounds pretty stressed. Independent though cats are, they still look to you as their 'mom' and being their Guardian means going to the vet to rule out anything serious. If your cat doesn't like the vet, maybe it's time to find a new one.

I've never known a Maine Coon to behave the way yours does. Mine is no lap cat, but she loves attention, likes brushes and follows me everywhere talking a blue streak, LOL!

I'm not a fan of having an outdoor cat since there's so much for them to get into; however, to each their own. If your cat is decimating the animal population - birds, squirrels and the like, he could've contracted something that's causing the weight loss. Worms may not be the only issue; there could be another underlying condition. He could also be missing some nutrient(s) causing him to eat wildlife. Only a thorough vet exam will tell.

As for pills, when my (late) Sadie needed a pill for her thyroid condition, I bought Greenie's Pill Pockets. They're flavored (tuna, salmon, beef, turkey, etc.); they're soft and have the consistency of Play Dough and can be purchased at any pet supply store, no prescription. It's a little pocket you put the pill in, then you seal it up and give it to the cat like a treat. Mine loved them! Since Sadie knew what the word 'medicine' was, I used to say to her 1st thing in the morning: "Sadie...Mommie's got a special TREAT for you!" Her little body would quiver with excitement and she gobbled it up without a problem. Who knows? Maybe it'll work for you to.

Please let us know how you make out with your petulant little furkid. Good luck!

Please take him to a vet.
by: Marg

As above, I would be taking the cat to a vet for peace of mind. My Maine Coon X has to have asthma medication and while he does not enjoy it, he is no bother. I avoid pills if possible, otherwise I crush them and give on his teaspoon with a little water. Charlie Brown always gets extra hugs and praise afterwards. I nearly lost my boy to FUTD so he has been on CD diet for over 6 years. He was on antibiotics for three months when he was very ill. I found him just in time, he was in the cat enclosure all the time.



Maine Coon, very aggressive, HELP!

by: Eunice
(Malaysia)

Hello there! My parents bought a Maine Coon cat who is about 8-12 months old.

At first, she was shy and she hisses, bites and/or scratches us. About 5 days later, we could already hold her and she was very affectionate. After 2 days, my parents brought her to a vet.

The vet gave her the microchip implant and her vaccines. After this, she was still affectionate but sometimes doesn't want us to pet her. We noticed she liked peeping out of the windows and likes to see the birds outside.

Now, (after 7 days) she has turned very aggressive and we can't pet her. She has already scratched me and my parents and hisses. At first we thought it was because of the vet visit but her behaviour after the visit was calm.

We can't seem to understand what the problem was and my parents are already talking about selling her or donating her to the pound. She is very aggressive, but I don't want to give her up. Please Help!

Reply:


Hi Eunice,

I'm sorry your new girl isn't settling in well. I just don't have know enough about your situation, home, lifestyle, or her personality and past experiences to know why she is acting out.

Is she a purebred Maine Coon from a breeder? If so, reputable breeders will always take back their cats and find them a home that's a better fit. Maine Coons shouldn't be aggressive, it's not in their nature.

If she's not from a breeder, you may have a Maine Coon look-a-like or mix. That gentle personality is only a guarantee with purebreds.

It almost seems like she's acting out of fear. Have you slowly introduced her? One of our visitors suggests a good method for introducing a new cat on this page.

My guess is that she's overwhelmed and feeling pressure to be the "family cat" too soon. If she's already roaming freely and you have other pets, that would increase her stress.

I recommend re-introducing her, starting from scratch. She's not comfortable yet.

Wishing you all the best,
~Carrie

Comments:

Reply
by: Eunice

Hello again, thanks for replying. As for your question on whether or not she's a Maine Coon, I definetely know that she is. While looking for a cat, my dad and I came to your website to look at the personalities and traits about the Maine Coon. We are absolutely positive that she is one. She has been very affectionnate up until now.

We just found out that her stool has blood on it. I saw in a site that says she might've have a stomach irritation or even diarrhea and that if she's under a lot of stress, it may lead to an irritable bowel condition.

My family is gonna move to a new country really soon, so I think that she has come to a lot of stress. I don't really know if that is her case though.

Please see the vet again
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

Hi Eunice, If your cat has blood in her stool, you really should return to the vet. She could be in serious pain, but only the vet can make that determination. She may also have URI (urinary tract infection), which is very painful and requires meds; otherwise, it could eventually become fatal. If that's the case, each time you touch the cat, her pain will make her act aggressively. Keep in mind that cats, by nature, are good at hiding pain - it is instilled in their nature. For yours to behave in this manner, something is terribly wrong.

Your cat also sounds like it's under a lot of stress. That could also make the cat act out; however, my money's on a health issue. Why are your parents in such a hurry to get rid of her? You say you're moving to another country or county? Either way, sudden change exacerbates stress too.

Cats are not disposable items, to be discarded just because they may have an issue. It is a lifelong commitment. If you cannot give your baby the proper quality of life, PLEASE do not give her to the pound; she will be killed. (Euthanasia is not the appropriate word here; that is reserved for terminally-ill animals.) If you cannot find someone, give her to a 100% NO-KILL shelter or rescue group who will re-home her into an appropriate setting.

Good luck. Please let us know how you make out.


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