Although known as the Gentle Giant of the felines, a Maine Coon could have an off type day just like humans and other animals.
Sometimes this can lead to aggression, not something you are likely to see very often in your Maine Coon.
However, since it does happen, we should try to understand what is possibly causing the issue of aggression.
Not only do you want to know what it was caused by, you also want to try to stop or prevent the negative behavior of aggression. There are actions that can be taken that will help in this matter.
When there are things happening in the home, major changes or even small ones, this can affect your Maine Coon cat very easily. It could be the feisty feline sees that you are packing a suitcase. She or he may understand that this means you are leaving. If there is another person in the home that your cat is unsure of, this could cause stress and depression in your cat.
Stress can also happen when the cat is feeling sick or out of sorts.
Check your cat dish, has the cat been fed today, is there fresh water available for him or her? Are there any other daily needs that your cat is used to that have not been taken care of for the day?
Is your Maine Coon experiencing a period of loneliness? Have you been gone longer than normal, or more often than normal? Cat’s can be considered creatures of habit. They are accustomed to their human being with them for a certain amount of time.
The Maine Coon is a highly sociable breed. Without this socialization and interaction, the Maine Coon can become lonely and possibly end up being aggressive.
There is the possibility that your Maine Coon cat has had too much overstimulation. Especially around the Holidays, there may have been many family members and friends around, more so than your feline is accustomed to. Too much play can also be a reason for overstimulation.
Have you had your Maine Coon been fixed? If you have a cat that is still able to have babies, and you do not want that, you should make an appointment with your Maine Coon cat’s veterinarian. Any hormonal changes in your cat could cause some aggressive behavior.
When a cat feels threatened, they will tend to get aggressive. At times, it does not take much to make the Maine Coon feel threatened. If there is a human they do not trust, a strange animal, or if the cat had been accidentally hurt at one point, the same person may cause the cat to feel threatened.
All cats can be territorial over their areas. Sometimes their toys are what can set your Maine Coon into a territorial tirade. Just as human beings are territorial, the same is said for cats. They do not want strange people, strange smells or strange cats in their area.
When your furry feline friend is not feeling well, he or she may tell you this by acting aggressively. Any underlying health problems can cause stress which will cause aggression. If your Maine Coon is acting aggressive and you are unsure why, call the vet and make an appointment for a check-up. If there is something happening that is making your cat not feel well, the veterinarian will be able to determine what the issue is and help with it.
When Maine Coon is in pain he or she will show signs that they are in pain. The pain that they are in will likely be enough to cause them to be aggressive, even if they really do not want to be. If you are witnessing any signs of pain in your Maine Coon cat, please call the veterinarian immediately and get the help your cat may need right away.
When a Maine Coon or any animal or human for that fact are alone for too long, or not busy doing things, the boredom sets in and some animals, like Maine Coons can develop boredom. Sometimes, along with this boredom comes destructive behavior. You may find that your furniture is getting scratched or torn, that wood is scratched. Some cats may even start spraying or marking territory when they are bored.
The behavior does not just happen, there is always a root cause for this type of behavior. Whether this is pain, being upset or frustrated, there is something that is causing your baby to act out. She may be sick, she may be hungry, or she may be lonely and want your attention.
The Maine Coon is known to be a gentle and docile cat. In order for the behavior to flip in this manner there is logically something wrong.
Helping Your Maine Coon
When your Maine Coon is being aggressive, it is a behavior that you want to end as soon as possible. The most obvious way of putting an end to the behavior is to ignore it. If the cat is in your lap when it begins, set him or her down gently on the floor. From there it is best to not focus on the cat until the behavior stops.
If it is possible for you to do, walk away, to a different room and give your Maine Coon a few minutes to himself or herself.
You do need to determine if there is an issue for your Maine Coon. For instance, if they are in pain, they may allow you to stroke their back, legs and head. Watch their behavior closely for signs of a reaction. If the cat begins to hiss, you know you have found an area that is sore or painful to the touch for them. Make an appointment for the veterinarian as soon as possible.
If the cat drops food while they are eating, not just one or two pieces during the whole time, but with each time. They could have sore gums or a bad tooth that needs to be checked quickly so that your Maine Coon does not stop eating completely. Again, make an appointment with your veterinarian so he or she can check out the cat’s mouth and gums.
There could be the chance that your fur baby had not been socialized when he or she was a kitten. This would cause them to not know how to react with other cats or animals. Socialization is one of the most important aspects of learning in a kitten’s life. They are highly sociable and need interaction with others, humans included.
Socialisation and Age
During the process of learning socialization, the owner would then be teaching the cat what is appropriate behavior and what is not. For example, if the cat nips at you, as the owner, telling the kitten “No” in a stern voice should be enough for them to begin to understand that is not acceptable. The process is not much different than that of teaching a young child appropriate behavior. You do not reward inappropriate behavior by continuing to play the same way. The play should stop for a while and then be started later.
The older a cat becomes, the more they are set in their ways. This means it is more difficult to train them and teach them how to get along. Not to say that it cannot be done, it will just take a longer period of time to accomplish the task of teaching and training.
If the cat is at that age where hormones can be the issue, now is the time to make an appointment for your cat to be medically fixed. Wither neutered or castrated to prevent the continued hormonal aggressive behavior. The four month mark is the age when the surgical procedure should be considered.
The four month point is when they can become sexually active, which obviously means the hormones could be to blame for the undesirable behavior. However, if there is any intention of breeding your Maine Coon cat, then do not move forward with the surgery to prevent pregnancy.
In the cases of mental health problems, most often these are genetic issues. Those that are genetic cannot be fixed. However, due to the fact that these cats love interaction and socialization, oftentimes what aggressive behavior means is that they are lonely. They want to spend time with you. This could be caused by you putting in more hours at work, travelling more or spending more time outside of the home.
Feeling lonely will cause this negative behavior and you are the only one that can help stop it. This is done by making the time to spend with your Maine Coon. Make some time when you get home, or right after dinner, or even for a time before bed. When this is made into a routine, the cat learns that playtime and interaction will happen each day and that will give the cat something to look forward to each day.
If you need to, hire someone who can come to the home a couple of hours after you leave for work. This will break up the day so there is not such a long stretch of time without some interaction with someone.