Few pet cats have as many dog-like characteristics as the Maine coon Cat. If you are the caretaker of a Maine coon Cat, your animal, in all likelihood, feels protective of you and will do all it knows to keep you safe. Like dogs, Maine coons have strong tendencies for loyalty and instinctually protect what they value.
Here are some common behaviors of Maine Coon Cats that indicate it is trying to keep you safe. We’ll also talk about when you should be alert to overprotective behavior.
3 Reasons Your Cat is Protective of You
There is no one explanation for why a Maine Coon Cat feels so protective of you. It is probably a combination of several reasons, or there may be no specific reason. It can vary depending on the animal, its past, and its personality.
What cats think is one of the mysteries of the universe and why it feels protective of you is no exception. Here are a few reasons that might explain their instinctive behavior.
You Care for Them
Maine Coon Cats, more than most felines, know that you take care of them. They understand that you are their food, water, and play source. They appreciate that and do not want anything to happen to you because of it. A protective Maine coon may just be trying to show its appreciation for what you give to it, or it could be protecting its livelihood.
Staking Their Territory
Your Maine coon may see you as part of their territory, and if someone comes calling, they have to make sure that the visitor isn’t threatening their territory. Cats mark their homes with pheromones and stake out specific territorial claims. Anything that threatens that territory is an enemy that your Maine Coon Cat must first check out, try to intimidate, and finally take on.
When your cat detects an intruder in their territory, they will often be quiet and observant at first. If they sense an immediate threat, they can become hostile quickly. Usually, however, your Maine Coon will check out an intruder and try to figure out if it is:
- A threat to its territorial dominance
- A threat to itself or you
- Something annoying but tolerable
Tell-tale signs your cat is moving into protection mode around a stranger is that their fur will stand on end and their eyes will get even larger than they already are. In almost all cases, your Maine Coon will try and intimidate the threat, and given their size, that can work a little too well.
They Think You are a Cat
No one knows what cats think (everyone probably should be grateful for that,) but most studies have indicated that cats believe humans are big, stupid, slow, non-threatening cats. The most likely reason they would be protective of you from this perspective is that you are weak, helpless, and in need of protection.
The same attitude applies to anyone that is around the cat often. Maine coon cats are particularly protective of young children, probably because they view them as kittens. If your Maine coon is extra diligent around your kids, it is protecting them the same way it would its offspring.
3 Protection Behaviors
Like most animals, cats show their protective side in different ways. Not all of them include putting their claws out and baring their teeth while uttering ungodly noises and hisses. Some Maine coon protective behaviors might seem like typical cat characteristics, but these behaviors are ways of protecting what is theirs.
Cats communicate through several methods. One is by their meow. When Maine coon cats are not feeling stressed or threatened, they are usually very quiet. They can become very vocal if something is not right with their environment. Meowing may or may not be a way of warning you. It is, however, one way Maine coon cats show anxiety or displeasure.
For example, your Maine coon cat might meow when its food bowl needs attention. It will also meow if it detects an intruder. An intruder could be another cat, a dog, or a human. Agitated and protective behaviors can continue until it grows accustomed to the intruder or accepts it as another part of its family.
Another way Maine coon cats exhibit protectiveness is by following you everywhere. They want to be by your side partly because they like you and are interested in what you are doing, but also because they want to be there if a threat emerges.
They may also exhibit this behavior when they are hungry and have no food in their dish. That is also part of your cat's protective behavior, though. They are alerting you to a food crisis, both because they are hungry and because they realize a lack of food could affect the entire family.
Patrolling Their Perimeter and Territory
Cats can be very nocturnal animals, During the night, they will cover their entire territory to ensure nothing is amiss. Your cat will usually patrol what it perceives as its territory several times a day.
Your Maine Coon Can Be Overprotective
While it is nice that Maine coon cats seem to care about the well-being of their caretaker, even if it is only to keep the food and water coming, sometimes a Maine coon can be overprotective. If the cat feels you are in trouble or there is danger around, it can morph into hyper-protective mode easily. When that happens, it can be disconcerting.
Here are some indicators that your cat has entered hyper-protective mode or is very close to doing so.
- Rapidly swishing tail (this can also indicate it is angry)
- Claws and teeth bared
- Giant eyes and dilated pupils
- Arched back (a sure sign the cat is under stress if it is not stretching)
If your cat displays any of those signs, investigate your surroundings and try and figure out what is worrying your Maine coon off. Talk to it soothingly. Stroke it if it will let you. It may also help to take your cat to a quiet, separate environment if another animal or person is the cause of the distress.
Maine coon cats are great companions. They can also be very protective. When a Maine coon is in defensive mode, it may overreact. Understanding why and what that means can help you create an environment where your cat feels at ease. Remember to be patient with your pet; after all, they’re doing it because they love you.