Just when you thought Maine Coons couldn’t get any cuter, Felix– a black and silver kitty from Norway– proves there’s always more to love about this long-haired breed.
Felix masterfully demonstrates the Maine Coon’s affinity for learning tricks, owing to their high intelligence, playful personalities, and ability to connect with their owners.
His owner has been working with him on a repertoire of impressive tricks since he was a kitten. Now, at 13 months old, he’s got an entire lineup of treat-fueled maneuvers to show off.
Let’s explore all eight of this handsome kitty’s talented demonstrations in detail.
First, Felix shows off his furry high-five by standing straight up on his back legs to better reach his owner. When she gives the signal and raises her hand, this majestic Maine Coon greets her with a pawful of tufty toes.
2. Walk on the Owner’s Feet
For his next trick, Felix proves his impressive coordination by placing his front paws on his owner’s feet, then staying in place as she walks towards the camera. He keeps pace with her, moving in perfect synchronicity.
3. Go Through
Felix’s Go Through trick involves weaving through his owner’s crisscrossed legs, similar to the weaving poles at dog obedience competitions.
While he lacks the breakneck speed of canine competitors, he makes up for it by adorably glancing up at his human hands to know which direction to go next.
The talented Maine Coon’s dizzying display of “Spin” lets watchers get a better view of his gorgeous pelt patterning. Felix follows his owner’s finger around in the circle while flourishing his tail plume, keeping it in line with his body.
5. Jump Through Arm Hoop
Perhaps the most impressive trick Felix has up his sleeve is jumping through his owner’s arms like a hoop.
While it seems to take him a moment to understand what he’s supposed to do, his flawless form proves he’s had plenty of practice as he leaps through.
6. Lay Down
Felix’s Lay Down trick seems to elude him initially, but he figures it out, granting his rapt audience a lovely view of him slowly transitioning to a relaxed lounging position.
From there, he can easily move to his next demonstration.
7. Roll Over
Before standing back up, Felix shows us his “Roll Over” ability.
He twists his 18-pound (8.2 kg) frame to the right, then back to the left with his paws raised high in the air the entire time.
To round out his theatrical performance, Felix moves from laying down flat to sitting tall and proud. He looks statuesque in his stature, with his tall, tufted ears alertly tuned in for any further instructions.
As the video ends, we are treated to Felix playing a lazy ball game, using his back foot to push the toy to his owner while lying on the floor. Even while playing a silly game, this majestic Maine Coon is a nimble and talented athlete.
Tips for Teaching a Maine Coon Tricks
Known as dogs amongst felines, Maine Coons take to learning tricks much more straightforward than many other breeds.
They are incredibly intelligent and love to please their owners, so Coons are happy to show off their skills if it means a little extra love (and a treat or two) in exchange.
If you’re interested in training your Maine Coon, these helpful hints can make the process easier for you and your beloved pet.
Choose Healthy Training Snacks
Be conscious of calorie counts in your treats. Training helps cats stay active, but overindulging them with goodies can offset all that cardio and lead to obesity in the long term.
One excellent option is Feline Greenies Natural Dental Care. Not only do they contain less than two calories a pop, but they also help maintain your Maine Coon’s dental health by cleaning their teeth, reducing tartar, and freshening their breath.
Remember That Consistency Is Key
Keep a consistent training schedule. Maine Coons, like many domesticated animals, understand routines and will be more open to working on their tricks if it’s built into their typical day.
Additionally, use the same trigger word and hand signal every time.
Cats learn tricks by associating sounds and gestures with their behavior, so if you mix multiple signals together, it can get confusing for your kitty.
Teaching animal tricks is about repeatedly rewarding a behavior until they can replicate it. Bringing negative emotions into the process may accidentally make them fearful or aggressive when you use trick trigger words.
Never show frustration or anger, even if that’s how you feel. Instead, keep a calm voice while giving your kitty plenty of praise, then end your training session early.
Limit Training Time
Remember that brief is better. Cats, including Maine Coons, have short attention spans and can quickly tire of training when they’re ready to do something else.
If your cat tends to wander off, consider bringing in a high-value treat to keep their interest. Tiny pieces of salmon, tuna, or chicken, which are low in fat and contain plenty of protein, might encourage a distracted Maine Coon to engage with you better.
Celebrate the Little Victories
Start easy, then increase the difficulty. Small successes make the cat and the owner grow their connection, so it’s best to teach simple things like giving high-five and sitting first.
Once the training routine is more familiar, you can try complicated demonstrations like weaving or jumping through your arms.
Reinforce Outside of Training
When you catch your talented kitty doing trick behaviors throughout the day, lavish them with extra loving to help reinforce your teachings.
For example, when your cat moves from standing to sitting, say your trick trigger word as they do, then give them a treat or a few scratches in their favorite spot.
It’s an easy way to sneak in a few extra minutes of trick mastery without extending the formal training session.
Make It Fun for Everyone
Unless you’re planning on entering your Maine Coon in high-stakes obedience shows, there’s no pressure to take trick training too seriously.
It should be a fun activity you share with your kitty, not a stressful, overwhelming task that both of you dread.
Did watching Felix spark your interest in teaching your Maine Coon how to do tricks?
Maine Coons are amongst the easiest cat breeds to train, but they still require a loving, consistent hand and plenty of patience to get it right.
The most important thing is to make sure it’s a fun experience, rather than a frustrating one, and makes your bond with kitty closer than ever.