Maine Coon cats, sometimes referred to as “gentle giants,” are the third most popular cat in the world because of their size, heavy coat, and their friendly personalities. They are naturally gentle cats that get along well with children, cats, and yes, even dogs.
Introducing a cat to a new dog should be done slowly so the animals can become used to each other, which allows for a better chance of successful integration of a new pet into the home. Before we can determine if Maine Coon cats get along with dogs, we first need to learn more about this special cat breed. Read on to learn more about the “gentle giant,” the Maine Coon cat.
What is the Personality of the Maine Coon Cat?
The Maine Coon is a friendly and sociable cat that bonds closely with its owners, often following them from room to room so they can stay close. They tend to “talk” to their people, often through chirping, trilling, yowling, or the occasional meow. So be prepared to get an earful when you get home from work for the day. They will cuddle if they want to, but are known to be independent cuddlers with no need for a lap to have a good nap.
Maine Coons are very intelligent cats that respond well to training, so much so that they are often described as being “dog-like” in nature. They sometimes like to play in water, which may stem from their purported history of arriving in America as cats that were used to kill vermin on boats.
What Are Some Physical Characteristics of Maine Coons?
Besides their friendly personalities, Maine Coon cats are also known for their large size, dense fur, and the fact that they’re very vocal cats. Female Maine Coons can weigh between 8 to 12 pounds, while male Maine Coons typically weigh between 12 to 18 pounds1. Adult cats can reach heights between 10 to 16 inches and have long bodies, sometimes reaching up to 38 inches (including their bushy, raccoon-like tail).
Maine Coons cats have broad chests and muscular bodies to support their increased weight. Their coats are usually dense and long, but smooth and water-repellent. Maine Coons cats typically have shorter hair around their shoulders, with long hair on their stomach2. This distinctive coat helps them handle extremely cold weather temperatures, while their paws help them walk on snow.
Where Did Maine Coon Cats Originate From?
The Maine Coon’s origin story is surrounded by mystery. One possible origin theory is that Marie Antionette, the Queen of France in the 1700s, sought to escape France before her execution, with the assistance of Captain Samuel Clough. Some believe that six Siberian, or possibly Turkish Angora, cats were loaded onto the ship with her other possessions. Marie Antionette met an untimely end, but some believe her cats made it to Wiscasset, Maine, and interbred with the cats of the region to make the modern-day Maine Coon breed.
Another theory is that the Maine Coon may be descended from the Siberian or Norwegian cats that came to the Northeastern United States with early settlers. There is no paperwork to back up either the Marie Antionette or the settler theory, but a contest called the “Maine State Champion Coon Cat” appeared at the Skowhegan Fair as early as the 1860s.
Maine Coon cats are known for their friendly and “dog-like” personality, and get along well with other cats, dogs, and kids. If you’re interested in introducing a Maine Coon cat to a dog, watch both pets carefully while you slowly introduce them to each other. Whether a Maine Coon cat will get along with a dog will depend on both specific animals and their general temperament. Depending on the personality of both animals, it may take a few slow introductions before they’re comfortable with each other, but eventually, they should get along well.
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