Generally, the answer to this question is a simple “No”. However, there are some things that may factor into this answer, making it a little more complicated. This isn’t to say that Maine Coon Cats will never be needy, but habitually, this is rarely the case.
These animals are affectionate and enjoy spending time with their owners and even just having them nearby, but they usually do not make a habit of being clingy to the point of being in the way or underfoot.
Their affectionate behaviour that isn’t exactly comparable to other cat breeds has earned them the affectionate title of being the dogs of the cat world. Maine Coon Cats thrive on the relationships that they form with their owners. That being said, it’s only natural that they would thrive when they get to spend time with their favourite people.
As much as they may enjoy the attention that they do get, they’re unlikely to demand more from their owner. Their ability to be both affectionate and independent sets them aside from a lot of other species.
If your Maine Coon Cat is needy and has always been that way, there’s a chance that your specific cat just has that personality type. However, if these behaviours come out of nowhere, there may be a greater reason beneath the surface.
Potential Causes for Excessive Clingy Behavior
Signs of excessive clinginess can mean that there is a larger problem. If this newly developed behaviour continues, the problem can become even greater for not only the cat but also for you.
One thing that may be an influential factor in how your cat is behaving is that they aren’t getting a sufficient amount of attention on a regular basis. As stated previously, these cats are not needy, but they do rely on their relationships with their owner.
These cats are wildly social. As a matter of fact, their social personality and nature are one of the main reasons that they are such a popular choice amongst pet owners. Some cats may be okay with you simply providing for them, but the Maine Coon Cat also wants to spend time with you and feel your love beyond you setting down food for them and cleaning out their litter box.
If you spend a lot of time with your cat while you are home, they will grow accustomed to it. This can potentially become a problem if you have to be away from home and unavailable to your cat often and for extended periods of time, leading to loneliness and separation anxiety.
Due to the fact that a lot of families are unable to avoid leaving their pets alone for at least a portion of each day, it may be a good idea to consider getting your pet a companion that can keep them company in your absence.
That being said, if you have recently added a new member to the family, such as adopting a new pet or even giving birth to a child, there’s a chance that your cat is being extra clingy out of jealousy. This breed is known for being intelligent and sensitive, so the idea that they may be feeling replaced or even a little abandoned isn’t too far out of reach.
This is especially likely if the new addition to the family or the sudden change has caused changes in the cat’s typical routine or environment. There’s a chance that after being used to things being a certain way for x amount of time, changes can be a shock to the cat’s system.
These environmental and routine changes can be as simple as relocating their bed or toys that they favour, or changing the times at which they are fed. If you used to play with your cat every night after you got home from work and suddenly you don’t anymore, you can imagine how that would influence the emotions of such a sensitive and aware breed.
Since it’s fairly easy to throw these cats for a loop, you should try to keep their routines and whatever they are accustomed to as close to normal as possible, even if you’re experiencing a seemingly unrelated change in your life.
Another possible cause for the sudden change in your cat’s behaviour is that they aren’t getting enough time to play. Generally, a cat should be played with for at least 20-30 minutes each day in order to keep them mentally and physically exercised. The Maine Coon Cat requires a little more playtime, the minimum being 30 minutes to an hour per day. These cats are very smart and very active, so it’s important to keep them entertained in order to prevent any negative feelings that may result in new clingy behaviours.
It's possible that even if your cat is getting enough playtime each day that the toys that they are provided with during playtime aren’t exciting enough for them. With their level of intelligence, the simple cat toys that most likely come to mind when you think about them simply won’t do. These stereotypical toys will likely become boring for the Maine Coon Cat after playing with them, even if for only a short time.
To challenge your cat a healthy amount, try adding puzzle toys, tunnels, mazes, and even the occasional motorized toy to your cat’s collection. The simple toys will still serve a purpose as the cat will continue to bat the toys around, but the more intricate toys that require more thought and consideration will be great for your cat.
If you’ve tried implementing all of these things, consider if your cat can truly feel safe in the environment that you’ve provided for it. If there are parts of the environment that can be too loud or overwhelming for your cat, they will also need a place that they can go where they can escape the chaos. Without a place to hide where they can feel safe, and comfortable, and be left alone, they can get stressed out and become clingy to whoever brings them that sense of comfort.
Giving a cat their own space doesn’t have to be a separate room entirely. Even if you provide your cat with shelves or a tall cat tree they can still be a part of the situation in the room without being noticed or focused on. Having the opportunity to be a fly on the wall when things get to be a little overwhelming and a little uncomfortable can be just the security that your cat needs.
Although we’ve already covered that Maine Coon Cats should have as close to the same schedule, routine, and environment as possible, there’s also a possibility that the cat may not have enough of a variety.
Without access to a variety of toys that will challenge them in new ways, there’s a chance that they will get bored. Even if you have provided multiple puzzle toys and other ways for them to use their intelligence and remain entertained, it’s good to introduce new things and switch things up a little bit. As we’ve previously touched on, it’s a fine line between changing the cat’s routine and the environment too much and keeping everything the same to the point of the cat’s stress or boredom.
These cats in particular need to be introduced to new experiences for their senses. This includes new things for them to smell, hear, and see. This is the perfect thing to keep them on their toes slightly rather than giving them the chance to get too comfortable and used to the same exact day on repeat.
Some people also like to grow plants that are safe for cats so that the cat can be stimulated by them. They can smell it, touch it, see it, and play with it. Plants that are safe for cats include catnip and cat grass.
The cats may also be fond of a new substance that they can play in. If you put dirt, sand, or something similar in a tray and put it out for them to explore and play with, they will have that stimulation that you’re looking for without it being too much of a change to their environment to the point that they will be made to feel uncomfortable.
If your cat is truly adventurous, you may want to consider putting a harness and leash on it and taking it outside for short walks. There are some cats, even outside of the Maine Coon Cats that like being outside and experiencing new sights, sounds, and smells. Being able to keep your cat stimulated, happy, and cared for in all aspects can help prevent this clingy behaviour that so many owners dread.