The Maine Coon Temperament

Gentle Giants Or Rugged Ruffians?

by: / Author, Mainer, Maine Coon Mama!

How would you describe the Maine Coon temperament? Cats in general are known for being aloof and independent.

But if you are familiar with the Maine Coon cat breed, you know what treasures these pets really are!

"I'm thinking about getting a Maine Coon, and researching cat breeds. What is their temperament like?"

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Arthur, a gorgeous brown tabby Maine Coon Cat sitting outdoorsArthur, a gorgeous example of a Maine Coon Cat

Believe it or not, some still think Maine Coon cats are aggressive, rough, or territorial by nature. This is probably due to a couple of factors:

They are large in size and rugged in appearance, which can convey a certain dominance, physically.

Also, this cat breed is known to have developed outdoors, in nature. They are Maine's barn cats of old. Therefore, some might assume that they have a feral, or even wild disposition.

They are known to be great hunters, too. One might think they would therefore be dangerous or aggressive. It's a natural assumption, but when it comes to the Maine Coon temperament, nothing could be further from the truth!

Looking back on Maine Coon cat history, we can see that these cats were left to their own devices originally. But that does not mean they are, or ever were, "wild cats." that was many generations ago. They were soon taken in by families, and the breed was established, preserved and protected.

As the breed was young and just being established, these families fell in love with them for their great looks, mousing skills, and gentle Maine Coon temperament. They truly are wonderful house pets.

Those big, beautiful barn cats were rugged in appearance because they needed to survive the harsh New England winters.

As local families took them in, they soon learned that their personality was another aspect that made them terrific family pets.

Purebred Or Mixed Breed?

On this page, when talking about the Maine Coon temperament, we must make an important distinction.

This is the temperament you can expect from a well-bred cat or kitten, one who comes from a Maine Coon Cat Breeder.

collage of six different beautiful Maine Coon Cats

A cat can have all the same personality traits of a Maine Coon, and even some physical resemblance and not actually be a Maine.

There are lovely look-alikes and mixes. 

If a cat comes from a shelter, rescue, friend or acquaintance and you have been told it's a Maine your cat might have the sweet docile Maine Coon temperament we talked about here! But it isn't a guarantee.

When you read or hear about Maine's that exhibit aggression, dominance, or other cat behavior problems, they are usually (though not always) not a purebred Maine Coon.

A purebred Maine Coon comes from a quality breeder who consciously breeds for this Maine Coon cat temperament and raises kittens with love and underfoot.

A cat who comes from a shelter, friend, backyard breeder, or Advertisement and is labeled a Maine Coon might be a purebred, (due to unusual circumstances) but is more likely a mix or a look-alike. He or she still might have this Maine Coon temperament (as any cat can).

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Getting To Know The Maine Coon Temperament

So how do we describe this personality, or disposition? A few terms come to mind:

  • Sweet
  • Docile
  • Laid-back
  • Friendly (a breed requirement!)
  • Smart
  • Dog-like
  • Loving
  • Happy
  • Family-oriented
  • Affectionate

They are wonderful companions. Maine Coons are great with kids, dogs, and other cats. A Maine Coon kitten arrives to their new home as a confident, friendly explorer. They tend to integrate into the family quite quickly.

Some things you can expect your Maine Coon to do include greeting you at the door when you arrive home, chirping or trilling to you in conversation, playing in their water dish (or even the shower!), following you from room to room, and "helping" you as you work around the house.

They are prone to sprawling out in the middle of your path, often with their soft belly exposed. What a show off!

row of five different Maine Coon Cat Pictures

There is so much to love about about the Maine Coon temperament! It's no wonder these beauties are so cherished.

Top of Maine Coon Temperament

About this site: Welcome! Founded in 2010, MCCN has been helping owners and future owners of these gentle giants worldwide for over 14 years. With our regular additions of breed-specific articles, this has become the ultimate online location for breed information!

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