As one of the most popular breeds of cats, it is almost inevitable that your Maine Coon Cat will come into contact with a dog. If you own both, you might wonder if Maine Coon Cats co-exist peacefully with dogs, or do the two just tolerate each other, or will you always be one offense away from a dog-cat throwdown?
A few variables will influence whether and how well your cat and dog get along.
The following discusses those variables and will give you some advice on what dogs work best with Maine Coon Cats, as well as how to introduce one to your dog.
In a perfect world, cats and dogs would get along famously, but unfortunately, we do not live in an ideal world, so we have to consider a few things before introducing a Maine Coon Cat to a canine.
Maine Coon Cats Are Friendly
Main Coon Cats are big, and they know it. Not many domestic animals would tangle with a Maine Coon Cat if the other animal judges on size alone. A Maine Coon Cat is a "go along, get along" type of animal despite its size. Most other cats will get an attitude around a dog, whereas a Maine Coon will opt to tolerate it.
Better, Maine Coon Cats seem to like other animals, including dogs, and often play with them and even become friends. If anything, the issue between a Maine Coon and a dog will be something the dog harbors versus the cat not liking the dog.
The Breed of Dog Matters
Some dogs do not like cats. It is that simple. A Maine Coon Cat's size can put those dogs even further on edge. Dogs with territorial or space issues with a Maine Coon Cat include Shih Tzu, Australian Shepherds, and the Siberian Husky.
Eventually, a Maine Coon and any of those dogs will tolerate each other, but they likely will never become good friends.
The other wild card is dogs that view anything larger than them as a potential threat. These dogs are usually tiny and loud. A smaller dog will eventually come around to liking a Maine Coon Cat, but they might be standoffish and even a little hostile until they realize the cat will not hurt them.
Like humans, animals that "live on top of each other" tend to have spats. This tendency is exacerbated with a Maine Coon because the cat is so large. If a Maine Coon Cat and a dog are vying for space on a couch, a fully grown cat will take up most of the area, irritating the dog and leading to a clash.
The same applies to any living space, inside or out. If your space is limited, your dog and a Maine Coon Cat might never get along. Both animals need enough space to feel safe and have room to roam.
If space is an issue, it is wise to ensure that both types of animals have avenues they can take to get away from the other and a place they can go and regroup.
What Dogs Get Along With Maine Coons?
Because Maine Coon Cats are so amiable, the question is not what will the cat get along with the dog, but what dogs will have an issue with a Maine Coon Cat? The breeds mentioned above most certainly will make any "getting used to" period problematic, but most dogs, even big dogs, will quickly become comfortable with the cat.
A Maine Coon Cat can show apprehension when introduced to a new dog or if the dog is particularly aggressive. In these cases, do not force a meeting. Let the dog move freely, and the cat will adjust on its own schedule. Because the cat is a Maine Coon, it will eventually come around and at least tolerate the newcomer.
More likely, however, after getting used to the new dog, the cat will warm up and befriend the dog. If the two becoming friends is too much of a stretch, at least the cat will tolerate the dog, and if the dog does not antagonize the cat, they will live peacefully together.
How Do You Introduce a Maine Coon Kitten to a Dog?
The first thing you should know is that introducing a kitten to a dog is not difficult if your dog is naturally friendly. You have to take precautions, but the dog will not usually display aggression because the kitten is not a threat. Nonetheless, you should proceed with caution.
Introduce your Maine Coon kitten when you have time to spend with your kitten and dog. Do not introduce them and then leave, hoping for the best. The best time is at the beginning of a weekend so you can spend time with them to head off any issues. If you cannot be present for several hours to two days after introducing them, find someone that can.
Quiet and Calm
Your home should be quiet. If possible, clear out any young children and introduce the kitten alone. Likely, the kitten will want to hide and will emerge when comfortable. If possible, have a blanket or towel that the kitten is used to and place that in their bed.
Give Them Their Own Place
Before introducing the kitten to a dog, give them room to become acclimated to their new home. Let them explore for a day or so.
Introduce the Dog Slowly
Bring the dog into the room the kitten is in while the dog is on a leash. Oversee the meeting between the two and make sure that each is comfortable before removing the leash. If the dog is too rough or aggressive, remove the dog and try again later.
The meeting between your Maine Coon Cat and your dog will likely surprise you because of how smooth it goes. In most cases, the introduction is smooth, and both cats and dogs become friends quickly.