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Maine Coons Outside
Leashes, Locators & Safety

Should Maine Coons go outside? What about leashes, locators, getting lost or stolen? These are common concerns.

Here are our archived questions and answers related to leashes, locators, and cats outside. Just scroll down to read more about:

  • "Is It Ok To Let Him Outside?"
  • "Is my Maine Coon Cat happy to be a house cat?"
  • "Can I let my Maine Coon go outside?"
  • "Pet Loc8tor - Do You Use It?"
  • "Help! Do Maine Coons Go Off For A Few Days?"
  • "Can I walk my Maine Coon kitten?"
  • "Indoor Kitten Outside - Briefly ???"
  • "I am considering getting a Maine Coon...If I choose to Not let it outside will it hurt this breed?"

Is It Ok To Let Him Outside?

by: Brady

Hello my Maine Coon is about 7 to 8 months old and every time I or my girlfriend open the door he tries to run out.

Is it okay to let him out and run around or will he get lost and not come back?


Hi Brady,

Have you read our page on letting cats outside?

Essentially it's your decision. I can't tell you whether or not your boy will get lost (or worse), but it is of course possible.

Many Maine Coon owners opt to leash train their cat. The Lupine Harnesses are popular among Coonie owners for their adjustable size, quality, and cute designs.

Or, you could look into an outdoor cat enclosure.

A third product that brings peace of mind to owners of outdoor cats is a Pet Loc8tor. It has some terrific reviews.

Most, if not all, Maine Coon breeders are firm in their stand that the kittens they place must be kept indoors. Personally, I am planning to enjoy many more years with my two. I never worry that they may go out and not return. We live in a wooded area, and our Coonies are totally dependent on us for their security.

Just remember that most youngsters will try to slip out like you described. It may last a couple of years, but they do give up!

Although the official stand is that Maine Coons should be indoor cats, it is a cat owners choice. There are also cat owners who do let their cats out. They feel, based on their location, circumstances, cat's personality, and other factors that it is all right in their situation.

All The Best,


Cat Outdoors?
by: Dale

We ordered and installed a 'Cat Fence-In System' 10 years ago and now wonder how we ever let our cats run at-large. The cat enclosures offered on this site are also good choices. Before we 'got smart' about our cat's safety we lost 2 wonderful pets to road deaths. Don't let your beloved pet run counts on you as an intelligent owner/parent to do what's best for it's safety.

Comment about pet enclosures
by: Sharon

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.

Is my Maine Coon Cat Lenny happy to be a house cat?

by: David Houlis

We have started letting Lenny out in our back yard because we thought he was unhappy because he had excess energy the he couldn't burn off.

He started of tentatively but he has now become braver & we are afraid that he may wander off. Do you know if he is happy to be kept in, he does purr a lot & sleeps in comfort a lot.

Thank you


Hi David,

I think Lenny is perfectly happy in the house. Now that he has been exposed to the outdoors, though, you can expect him to crave it even more.

If he hasn't already, he'll be meowing at the door to be let out at all hours. The question before yours has some suggestions for keeping cats safe outside.

But to answer your particular question about happiness: Maine Coons (and any cat actually!) can live a very full, fulfilled, and happy life indoors. They don't need to go out to be happy.

All The Best,

Can I let my Maine Coon go outside?

Are Maine Coons at risk of being stolen if their let out? Are they supposed to be let outside?

Hi there,

Good question. Letting cats outside is always a hot topic, and the subject of a Maine Coon being stolen adds a whole new aspect to it.

To answer your first question, technically anything of value, when left unattended, is at risk of being stolen.

When I had one of my first conversations with our cats breeder, over the phone, he brought up the fact that we would be expected to always keep our Maine Coons as indoor cats.

To this day, we've honored the agreement. I just figured he knew what's best, and of course since then I've learned a lot about the dangers of letting cats outside.

At the time of our conversation, our breeder explained to me that our kittens would be at risk of many dangers, from getting lost, to being in a cat or dog fight, to being attacked by a wild animal, getting hit by a car, catching a disease, or even being stolen!

I was shocked. I hadn't thought of that one. He assured me that it does happen, though. They are valuable, and friendly to strangers. Someone might just be tempted to keep such a beauty.

When our cats were little they went to get spayed and neutered. The vet recommended they be micro-chipped as well. This would provide proof that they were mine if they were ever lost or stolen. So, it does happen.

I would think that the risk, realistically, is not huge. I'm the type who tends to have faith in human nature, and I trust that most folks are honest.

But it can happen. That, along with all the other risks and dangers, is enough for me to keep my two in the house. They are totally happy and healthy.

To answer your second question, no, Maine Coon cats do not have to go outside. On the contrary, indoor cats lead longer, healthier lives by far.

Those other dangers we touched on are very common and reason enough to keep cats inside. It is much more likely that a Maine Coon will succumb to one of the other common dangers outside than be stolen.

For more on the subject, check out our page on letting cats outside.

Thanks for bring up an interesting thought when it comes to letting Maine Coon cats outside.



Can I let my Maine Coon go outside?
It depends on where you live. I live two blocks from a busy street so I'm not worried about my cat being struck. Also, my neighbors adore my cat.

It also depends on the disposition of your neighbors. Do they like cats? Are there any kids nearby who may bring harm to your cat? Do you live in the woods? Are there wild animals who may attack your cat? A lot of people don't realize that owls have a habit of snatching small animals, especially kittens.

I live on a half acre in a suburb and there is not much traffice on our street. Also, I have a special "cat door" on my rear kitchen window so my cat can come and go as she pleases.

Finally, my cat is trained to stay off the road and tends to visit our neighbor's cat during dusk and dawn. Other times, she just sleeps inside my home.

Maine Coon in cold weather?
Can I let my Maine Coon outside during winter?

PAWSitive Passages!

PAWSitive Passages!

Pet Loc8tor - Do You Use It?

by: jv.hayman
(South England)

Hi Carrie and MC devoted slaves,

Having read about Molly's (S.Africa) Pet Loc8tor,

I'm curious if anyone in England/UK allows their MC (with loc8tor) freedom ? And, how it worked, if it had to?

Glad to hear the gadget has been updated. Has anyone in my area bought one recently?

JUDY, South England

Help! Do Maine Coons Go Off For A Few Days Without Coming Home?

Hi, haven't seen my male Maine Coon for five days now and just wondered if they were prone to going off hunting or something for a few days.

He is one year old neutered nocturnal cat. Sleeps inside all day and goes out every night always the same routine.

We live in a very secluded location and he would have to travel one and a half kilometers to get to the nearest road which is a quiet one. Thanks



No, Maine Coons are not prone to leaving for a few days and returning, I'm sorry.

I've heard a few stories in the past of a cat that disappeared for weeks and came home, thinner. They can get lost, or stuck in a garage, etc.

In the city, dangers include cars & streets, fighting with other cats or dogs, and even being stolen for their good looks.

In a rural area like yours and mine, there are predators in the woods, as well as the possibility of getting lost. My relatives who let their cats out always make sure they come in at dusk/dinnertime.

I do hope he comes back, it is possible. Make sure to call a few rescue centers in your area. Someone might have found him and taken him there.

Best Wishes,


Wanderlust & Microchipping
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

I'm hoping your precious little one also comes back home, but I am hoping (for kitty's sake) that he/she has been microchipped.

In the event the cat is found by someone with a scanner(animal control, vet, shelters, etc.), they will scan the cat looking for the microchip. They will then call the owner to let them know they've got the cat. In the event of theft, if the cat's chipped and the thief tries to pass the cat off as their own, they will be caught or at the very least, will be investigated as to why the chip belongs to someone else.

Coming Home
by: Kim

Try hanging stuff around your yard that has your scent on them. Perhaps your cat will pick it up.

Thanks, stilll no sign
Thanks for all your comments. Still no sign. Contacted all local vets and rescue centres a couple days after he went off. Yes he is microchipped. To me personally cats should not be kept inside. A lot of owners seem to make excuses and saying that their cats have lots of toys and stuff but to me its wrong. I would rather let my cats out knowing that harm may come to them than keeping them trapped in. We may fool ourselves into believing that our pets are people and just want to be with us and watch tele and stuff but this is wrong. I believe that if any cat is given the choice it will go outside. I thinks it's awful how people keep birds like parrots e.g. in cages. This is wrong and they make the excuse that they have toys like mirrors. To me keeeping a cat side is practicaly the same. Would love to know how others feel about this. Sorry for the spelling. Still praying to see him again and am more than happy with the life I provided. Would do it again. Thanks. Please comment.

We Disagree
by: Gail (Quincy, MA, USA)

Here is where we disagree. Although most cats love to roam, people have domesticated them to the point where they evolved enough that they are dependent on us - feral cats notwithstanding.

As previously mentioned, rural areas have their own dangers - wild animals like hawks, bear, fox...any number of predators. Aside from rural areas, a cat could also fall victim to eating/drinking something poisonous like antifreeze, poison vegetation, traps, being run over or even cruelty from sick people.

I don't understand what almost sounds like a callous attitude: "..I would rather let my cats out knowing that harm may come to them than keeping them trapped in.." If your area is rural, a 'catio' could be constructed so the cat can roam freely but within protected boundaries. If you'd rather harm come to your cat, please do not get another one, for the safety of future cats. Try getting a dog instead - at least they come when called. (Don't let them roam unchecked either.)

I live in a suburban area, so different dangers exist. My cat is indoor only; however, she loves being on a cat harness/retractable leash and we go outside together. When I'm on the back porch with the door wide open, she has no desire to go outside. She just watches what I'm doing and follows me everywhere inside the house. We spend quality time together, be it brushing that gorgeous fur, playing together, watching TV together or even napping together. She just loves being around me. She's got loads of room inside and toys and could care less about going out. She originally came from our no-kill shelter and I adopted her when she was returned twice before. She knows what it's like being on her own outside and chooses me instead.

I pray that your cat comes back, but if he never does, you may want to re-think your stance on allowing a cat to roam unchecked outside.

Snap! Lily does this too!
by: Jackie

I have just posted about this very thing on the comments section of my page about my cat called Snuffleupagus.

(You should be able to find the page by going to the Maybe Maine Coon? link, from the navigation bar and then scroll down to the list of visitors pages AFTER the invitation).

But if not, Lily (Snuffleupagus' daughter) disappears for about 4 or 5 days on a regular basis and she always comes back. She never seems to be overly hungry or stressed so I think she must have another family that she spends that time with.

I would LOVE to know where she goes, it's certainly a mystery, but as long as she continues to come home then I just have to accept it's part of who she is.

It's a while since you posted this, so I can only hope that your kitty has returned to you safe and sound :)

Can I walk my Maine Coon kitten?

by: Allison

I have a male rescue kitten of 10 months old, and he's getting huge! Because he's a rescue and was from an abandoned litter, they didn't know what type of cat he was.

He has all the traits of a Maine Coon and physical characteristics, so we're pretty sure he is one. He's about 3 1/2 feet long when fully stretched out, and he's already bigger than all of the full grown male cats on our street!

I wanted to know if I could walk him on a leash around the neighborhood. I've never seen any loose animals besides a cat hiding in the bushes from time to time, and there are usually a couple other people walking their dogs, but it's easy to avoid a run in with another animal.

He's getting too big to spend all his time indoors, and I don't want to put him in the backyard because a mommy cat and her 3 kittens are living back there until we can get them to a rescue center. My kitten plays too rough with them because he doesn't realize how huge he is.

If I can walk him, also, what kind of leash should I use? And for how long and how frequently? He really wants to get outside, but I can't just let him roam free. I don't want him to get hit by a car or get lost.

Hi Allison,

You've made a good, responsible decision to keep your boy indoors! I'm sure he wants to go outside. Our cats still try to make a break for it from time to time, but nothing like when they were younger.

A few of our Maine Coon Cat Nation friends have posted about their cats enjoying a walk on a leash. I walked Alice and Leo when they were young, just in the yard, though I didn't take pictures at the time. They style I used was actually made for rabbits. It was flexible and designed so they couldn't wriggle their front legs out. I think an adult Maine Coon would be too large for this, though.

There are a couple of nice harnesses made just for cats available through Amazon. I've had success ordering pet supplies through them. Here are two you might like to check out:

Come With Me Kitty Harness

Smartcat Non-Pinching Cat Harness and Leash

Both have good reviews. The first has around 81 reviews in the medium size, but I figured you would go for the large ;)

As for his needing to go out because of his size and the fact that he's begging, you certainly can, and he'll love it, but it's not essential. There are huge Maine Coon cats stay indoors all the time and live full happy lives, too.

Hope this helps! Maybe some others will chime in with their experiences, too!

All The Best,


Leash training
by: Sharon

Hi Alison,

We started leash training all three of our boys shortly after they came home from the breeder and the process was seamless, they all took to it right away. We simply started by putting the harness on for a few minutes each day so they could get used to it. Once they were used to it then we tried the leash. It might take a little longer for your 10 month old, but be patient.

We walk our boys around the yard and have taught them their boundaries beyond which thy are not allowed to go. This has helped when they occasionally bolt out the door. They run to the boundary and stop. We travel with them on vacation sometimes and being leash trained helps alot. This way they can get outside when there is a safe place to do so.

We use Lupine brand harnesses with great success.

Good luck, and post a picture when you get the chance!

by: Sharon

The cat Lupine Harnesses are too small for most coons. We use the one for small dogs.

Can I walk my Maine Coon kitten?
by: Kim

I would never walk a cat on a leash. First off, what seems a short distance to you, due to your long legs and matabolism, is an extremely long and enduring walk to a cat. Also, cats probably do not enjoy being forced to walk long distances. Lastly, if your cat is sick, even if it doesn't show it, this can be an agonizing stress on your cat.

by: Allison

Yes, this all really has helped a lot! And I would never take my kitten for a walk if he didn't want to go! He just really wants to be outside, but it can be dangerous. He runs so much faster than me, so I don't want to have to be chasing him around the block. But, thank you all, very much, for this great information!

Indoor Kitten Outside - Briefly ???

We have a 18 week old silver tabby male maine coon called Buddy and wonder if letting him outside briefly - on a harness and lead would be a good thing? We want to enrich his life, not put his health in danger. We will remain in our house most of the time. In the summer we want to design and build an enclosure, sooooooooo until then ????

Has anyone designed and built their own? What are the pitfalls? I wish ANY one of the cat mags would feature them.

We have a bird feeders in the front & back garden about 35 feet from our windows. A fox used to wander in but haven't seen much evidence lately. A semi feral cat wanders through, plus a young deer sometimes(the type with white spots). Incidentally, Buddy has had his vaccinations etc.

He's rambunctious, very bold, greedy and persistant. While waiting at the vets - for his 2nd vaccination, a pitbull was sniffed in his direction. What did Buddy do? He stood up and pawed the grill and sniff in the dog's direction :)lol.

Has anyone tips on persuading him from scratching the doors? New paintwork has gone for a burton :(

It is wonderful to be able to contact like minded m.c. people.

Best wishes


Hi Judy,
I think it is fine to try Buddy on a leash! Many cats enjoy it, and the best time to start is when they are young.

Just be prepared for him to love it so much he makes a break for it every time you open the back door! Our cats have all but forgotten about going out. Alice sometimes tries to sneak over if it's left open, but that's it. In the dead of winter, we let them on the back deck in the snow (it's covered)! They sniff around, don't dare to get their paws wet, and come back to the warmth of the hearth pretty soon! I think it's good for them, though!

As for the enclosures, there are a couple of companies out there. They can be expensive. Making your own is a great idea!

By the way, you also have a few comments on this subject over on our Facebook page...

Best Wishes,

I am considering getting a Maine Coon...If I choose to Not let it outside will it hurt this breed?

The Maine Coon is one of the breeds I am considering getting. I adore cats, and I like what I read about this breed.

But, I am not much of a fan of letting my cat outdoors for different reasons. I really need to know if this will be harmful to this breed in any way.



It's great that you ask this! I applaud you for thinking ahead of your future cats safety and lifestyle. So, here is your answer:

Your Maine Coon Cat does not need to go outside. On the contrary, he will live a longer, healthier live in the house with you. Nearly all veterinarians and Maine Coon cat breeders are taking this position, too!

It's a myth that these cats (though they are robust!) are more "wild" or "hunters" etc, and need to go outdoors due to their breed being big and evolving outdoors many generations ago.

If you get a kitten from a breeder, he will ask for your word, perhaps in writing, that you will not let your Maine Coon outdoors, and that you will not declaw your Maine Coon.

I hope that puts your mind at rest! If you do get a Maine Coon, he should be an indoor cat!

Good luck with whatever breed you choose!


Getting a Maine Coon
Hi, there just want to say i have two maine coons that live happily in doors as long as you keep them active i invested in a floor to ceiling cat tower and plenty of interactive toys and plenty or tlc.they are a cat that think their a dog and interested in everything you do please do you home work on the breeder as there is a recognised promblem hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM)we sadly lost our first just before his 2nd birthday and will never get over this it was such a shock. my breeder was fantastic had the parents tested and we now have a brother and sister from two negatives just had thier yearly test and jabs and all A ok hope this as helped and not scared you they really are a wonder and add great value to all the family. all the best

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