Maine Coon’s are prone to developing behavior problems like any other cat breed, and learning how to navigate those problems is not an easy task—especially when you’ve never had a cat before. Because a wide range of behavior problems can creep up, it takes trial and error to work through them and teach your cat.
- Behavioral Problems
- Separation Anxiety
- Scratching/Clawing Furniture
- They Can Be Very Loud
- Hyper Active at Night
- Not Using the Litter Box
- Playful Aggression
- Aggression Between Cats
- Can Get Grouchy and Destructive When Bored
- House Soiling
- Excessive Meowing
- How To Discipline a Maine Coon Cat
Below, we’ll go over 11 common behavior problems that Maine Coons can have and how to discipline your cat.
Separation anxiety is a condition that develops when cats are young and can linger into their senior years when you don’t address it early on. When you find your cat is incapable of being away from you for even a short while, that’s a clear indicator of separation anxiety, and the severity can differ depending on the circumstances.
Consider buying some toys for your cat to play with when you’re away from home. When that doesn’t work, the best solution is to tire your cat out before you have to leave it alone. This way, it won’t have the energy to cause a ruckus.
Messing around with furniture is the favorite pastime for many cats, including Maine Coons. Unfortunately, it’s a natural habit that cats take up for various reasons, and you can’t stop them from doing it. Instead, invest in some scratching posts. That way, your cat can take out its scratching needs on them rather than on your nice new furniture.
What type of scratching post you get is entirely up to you, but be sure to read through reviews and find one that has the durability to last.
Sometimes, Maine Coons become territorial. This problem is common when you have another cat or animal in your home. You want to get ahead of it before your cat starts making it into a bad habit. To prevent this, introduce your cat to other cats when it’s still a kitten. The more socialization your cat experiences at a young age, the less territorial it will be.
They Can Be Very Loud
Being such big felines, Maine Coons can be very loud when they put their minds to it. The amount of noise they can make when they don’t get what they want or become grumpy is not something that you’ll enjoy having to deal with.
The key to solving this problem is to have patience. Check to see if anything is wrong when your cat starts wailing loudly and causing a ruckus. Sometimes, it might be trying to tell you something important, like if it’s hungry or thirsty. However, other times, it might just want your attention.
When your cat is seeking attention, make it clear that causing a scene is unacceptable and don’t reward it for its behavior. Otherwise, you’ll reinforce the idea that being loud is the best way for it to get your attention.
Hyper Active at Night
Cats aren’t nocturnal creatures. They’re crepuscular, meaning dawn and dusk are the times when they’re most active. However, don’t let that fool you into thinking they can’t be a bundle of energy during the night.
When your cat is energetic at night, it means they didn’t do enough during the day to tire themselves out. If your Maine Coon spends its days lying around doing nothing, you can expect it to get restless eventually, just like we do from time to time.
Like when your Maine Coon gets loud for your attention, when it tries to wake you up in the middle of the night to play, don’t get up unless it’s an emergency. By ignoring it, you’ll teach it that the nighttime is not the time for fun and games because you need your rest. Instead, try tiring it out by playing with it before bed.
Not Using the Litter Box
Typically, Maine Coons don’t avoid their litter box if it’s kept nice and clean. When you notice your cat making little or no use of the litter box, it might indicate several issues, including an illness, so arrange a trip to your local vet as soon as possible.
When you’re playing with your cat, there’s a strong chance that it’ll accidentally nip or claw you during the fun and games. Even though it’s an accident, you want to make it clear to your Maine Coon that this isn’t good behavior, as those nips and claws will hurt you significantly more once your cat grows.
Aggression Between Cats
Similar to solving a Maine Coon expressing territorial behavior, the best thing you can do when your cat starts acting aggressively towards another cat is to take control of the situation. Make your cat behave yourself until it’s comfortable in that other cat’s presence.
The more you expose your Maine Coon to other cats while it’s young, the less likely you’ll have to deal with this behavior problem.
Can Get Grouchy and Destructive When Bored
You might think that scratching posts are the most straightforward solution to a Maine Coon that takes its boredom out on your furniture. However, when a Maine Coon wants to do some damage, it’s smart enough to turn its attention to things it’s not supposed to mess with, like your furniture.
Your best method for avoiding this is to distract your cat with yourself because your lack of attention is the reason it’s destructive in the first place. It isn’t the best solution, but you don’t have to give your cat all your attention. Sometimes, just letting it be in the same room as you is enough to satisfy its boredom when you’re trying to get work done.
When house soiling becomes an issue despite your Maine Coon having access to a litter box, you’ll want to schedule a trip to the vet. Unlike some pets, cats don’t typically relieve themselves in areas where they know they’re not supposed to, so you’ll want a professional opinion to help you get to the bottom of the behavior change.
Meowing is how cats interact with us on a basic level, and constant meowing can signal a desire for food, water, attention, and several other things. Whatever you suspect your Maine Coon is asking for, don’t give it up until it stops meowing. Otherwise, it’ll get into the habit of meowing whenever it desires something.
How To Discipline a Maine Coon Cat
Consistency is the key to disciplining a Maine Coon, so it stops any of the above behaviors. The more consistent you are, the faster your cat will understand what behavior is acceptable and what’s not. So, find a discipline method that works for you and your cat and stick to it.
Maine Coons are intelligent creatures that know how to get what they want, so beating them at their own game is never easy. There’ll be some days when you won’t be able to get your cat to see reason, and that’s okay, especially for a young cat. What’s important is that you clearly define what behavior you won’t stand for. Otherwise, your Maine Coon will continue to have its way.