If you’re thinking about getting a Maine Coon or you already have one, you might be wondering whether these cats benefit from having another pet around (whether a cat or dog) or if they prefer their own company. Many cats are solitary creatures and don’t mind being left alone.
Do Maine Coon Cats Need A Companion?
Most Maine Coons don’t like being left alone too much. They will cope with their own company reasonably well and are easygoing creatures, but they prefer to be around their people or other pets. So if you are away from home for more than 12 hours per day, consider getting a playmate for your cat.
Do Maine Coons Mind Being Alone?
This is a slightly tricky question. Maine Coons will cope with being alone, as they are very gentle and adaptable cats. And they will adjust to it if you are usually out for long hours at a time. However, you shouldn’t mistake this acceptance for happiness.
Maine Coons don’t like being on their own much. So they will almost always choose to be in your company when you are at home, although they aren’t clingy and are usually happy just to watch what you are doing and sit near you. They don’t demand constant attention, but they like regular companionship.
For your cat to be happy, it does need companionship for a good chunk of the day every day. While it will cope without, it will often not be very happy, even if it doesn’t show this.
If you can’t be at home, consider getting a pet sitter or asking a friend to pop in and play with your pet every few hours.
Having a predictable schedule will make it easier for your cat to adjust. For example, if it knows that you always go out to work for four hours and then come home or shop for about an hour a week, it will usually be able to cope with this sort of solitude.
However, if your schedule is erratic and you can unexpectedly go for many hours, your cat is much more likely to get stressed and unhappy. Therefore, it is not a good idea to get a Maine Coon if your schedule is variable and demanding, and you are often out of the house for most of the day.
Should I Get My Maine Coon A Friend?
If you can’t be at home, you might be wondering whether your Maine Coon would benefit from a friend to play with. As established, these cats are highly social, and although they may not vocalize when unhappy as much as other kinds of cats, that doesn’t mean you should assume they are okay.
If you and other household members struggle to give your cat enough attention, you should consider getting it a friend. These cats are very intelligent and will benefit from animal companionship just like they benefit from the presence of people.
Another pet could stave off the loneliness and keep your Maine Coon happy if you are out a lot.
Maine Coons are known for being patient with most other pets, so you don’t have to get another Maine Coon to be friends with your first one.
They will get on with most other cats very well and will usually appreciate the company of another cat.
You should consider getting a friend for your Maine Coon if:
- You are suddenly out of the house more than you used to be
- Your cat is off its food
- Your cat is grooming excessively
- Your cat is clingy, depressed, or lethargic
- Your cat is suddenly destructive, especially when you are out of the house
All of these are indications that your Maine Coon is getting lonely or there is something wrong. When that happens, you need to take action to ensure your little friend’s quality of life is restored.
Some Maine Coons will even accept other pets such as rabbits or dogs. That said, it has to be a dog breed that will get along with a Maine Coon.
However, you need to introduce any new pet (cat or other species) slowly and carefully, respecting both animals and their needs.
Ensure that your Maine Coon has a spot it can retreat to if it needs a break from its new friend. Even a lonely Maine Coon may not immediately take to an addition to the household, so be careful about the introduction.
How Do I Introduce A New Cat To The Home?
Introductions set the tone for future interactions, so you want the initial meeting to be as positive as possible. It is crucial to go slowly and treat both animals with care and respect. Avoid allowing a fight to break out.
It is usually best to choose a younger cat to introduce to the household; these will be seen as less of a threat by your existing Maine Coon.
You should keep the two cats separate initially and give each cat its own space with a full setup, including food and water, a scratching post, a litter tray, a hiding spot, and a comfy place to sleep.
Allow the cats to hear each other (if possible. And exchange their bedding to introduce the scent of the other to each one. Do this gradually, and don’t rush the introduction.
Try to associate the smell with positive interaction, such as stroking or treats. Don’t leave the scented bedding around if your cat seems distressed by it. Remove it, and try again later. Over time, your cat should start to accept it.
Next, allow each cat to explore the other one’s space while the resident cat is not in it. This will encourage them to accept each other as having a place in the home. Reassure them while this exploration occurs.
You can then introduce them in a neutral space, preferably with a barrier between the two that lets them hear (and possibly see/smell) each other. Next, feed both cats so that they get a positive association with the other and have a distraction.
Repeat this process a few times and watch their behavior.
If the cats seem accepting, you can remove the barrier, but keep a close eye on them until they have established a relationship. Then, separate them and slow down the process if you see signs of aggression.
Hopefully, your Maine Coon will accept the new addition to the household, and they will become friends. It may take time for friendship to develop even if they tolerate each other, but because Maine Coons are friendly and affectionate creatures, they probably will eventually bond with the new addition.
Remember to keep reassuring your cat throughout the process of adding a new feline to your home. You don’t want them to feel replaced. But, equally, the new cat will need a lot of attention and love to show it that it is welcome.
Adding a new cat can be exhausting, but it’s a great way to help your Maine Coon feel less lonely in the long term.
Maine Coon cats do need a companion if you are away from home a lot. While they will manage a few hours of solitude, they will be unhappy if this is the norm.
It is better to provide them with a friend to play and socialize with as much as they choose to. They are affectionate, intelligent kitties and need a companion to live a happy and healthy life!