Maine Coons are often referred to as “gentle giants” due to their large size and friendly demeanor. However, despite their popularity and many positive traits, they might not fit everyone perfectly.
In this post, we’ll discuss 21 reasons why you should think twice before getting a Maine Coon as your new furry companion. This way, you can make an informed decision before taking the plunge into Maine Coon ownership.
Why Maine Coon Cats Are the Worst
Here are the 21 reasons you should consider before owning a Maine Coon cat.
1. Potential Health Issues
Like any breed, Maine Coons can be prone to specific health problems. While they are generally healthy and robust cats, it’s essential to be aware of potential issues so you can provide the best care possible.
Here are three common health concerns for Maine Coons:
- Hip Dysplasia: This hereditary condition affects the hip joint, leading to arthritis and mobility issues. Regular vet check-ups can help monitor and manage the condition.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: A form of heart disease that causes the heart muscle to thicken, making it harder for the heart to pump blood. Regular veterinary check-ups, including heart screenings, can help detect the problem early.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy: A genetic disorder that affects muscle control and movement. While it’s not painful, affected cats may have difficulty with balance and coordination.
Although no cat breed is truly hypoallergenic, some people believe that Maine Coons might be less allergenic due to their lower levels of Fel d 1, the protein responsible for causing cat allergies.
However, this isn’t a guarantee. If you or someone in your household has cat allergies, a Maine Coon can still cause allergic reactions.
It’s essential to spend time with Maine Coons or visit a breeder’s home before committing to adoption if you’re concerned about allergies.
You’ll need to determine if you or your family members can tolerate being around this breed without experiencing significant allergic reactions.
3. Grooming Needs
Maine Coons boast a luxurious, semi-longhaired coat that requires regular grooming to keep it looking its best. These cats are prone to matting and tangles, especially behind their ears, around their neck, and on their hind legs.
You’ll need to brush your Maine Coon at least twice a week, or even daily during shedding season, to keep your coat healthy and free of knots.
If you’re not prepared to commit to the grooming needs of a Maine Coon, their fur can become a real problem.
The time and effort required for grooming might be too much for some potential owners, so it’s essential to consider this before adopting a Maine Coon.
4. Not Ideal for Small Living Spaces
Maine Coons’ large size and energetic nature make them less suitable for small living spaces, such as apartments or tiny homes. They need room to explore, climb, and exercise to stay physically and mentally healthy.
Limited space can cause stress and frustration for these active cats, which may lead to destructive behaviors or health issues.
5. Vocal and Communicative
Maine Coons are known for being quite vocal and communicative with their owners. They often use a variety of chirps, trills, and meows to express their needs, desires, and emotions.
While some people find this endearing, it can also become overwhelming or annoying for those who prefer a quieter cat.
6. Possible Damage to Furniture
Due to their size, strength, and natural instincts, Maine Coons can inadvertently cause damage to furniture or other household items. They may scratch, climb, or knock over objects while exploring or playing.
While providing scratching posts and regular playtime can help minimize destructive behaviors, accidents can still happen.
7. Seasonal Shedding
Maine Coons have a thick, semi-longhaired coat that goes through seasonal shedding cycles. During these times, you can expect to find more hair around your home, on your clothes, and even in your food.
While regular grooming can help reduce the amount of loose hair, it won’t eliminate shedding completely.
8. Might Not Get Along With Other Pets
While Maine Coons are generally known for being sociable and adaptable, they might not always get along with other pets in your household.
Their size and hunting instincts could pose a problem, especially for smaller animals like birds or rodents. Additionally, territorial tendencies might lead to conflicts with other cats or dogs.
9. Desire to Climb
Maine Coons have a natural desire to climb and explore elevated spaces. They enjoy perching on high surfaces, such as shelves, countertops, or the tops of furniture. This can be a problem if you have fragile items or don’t want your cat on certain surfaces.
10. Difficulty Finding a Qualified Breeder
Due to their popularity, finding a reputable Maine Coon breeder can be challenging. There are many breeders out there, but not all of them adhere to ethical breeding practices or prioritize the health and well-being of their cats.
Researching and selecting a breeder with a proven track record and conducting genetic testing for common health issues is crucial.
11. Need for Companionship
Maine Coons are known for being social and affectionate cats that thrive on companionship. They often form strong bonds with their human family and enjoy spending time with them.
If you’re often away from home or have a busy schedule that doesn’t allow for much interaction with your pet, a Maine Coon may become lonely and stressed.
12. Sensitivity to Changes in Routine
Maine Coons can be sensitive to changes in their environment or daily routine. They may become stressed or anxious if their living situation, feeding schedule, or playtime routine is disrupted.
As a result, they might develop behavioral issues or health problems related to stress.
13. Large Size and Space Requirements
Maine Coons are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, with males weighing up to 18 pounds and females up to 12 pounds. Some males can even reach a whopping 25 pounds!
Their long, muscular bodies and bushy tails demand more space than your average house cat.
Before bringing a Maine Coon into your home, you’ll need to ensure you have enough room for them to roam, play, and climb.
A small apartment might not be the most comfortable environment for these large felines, as they need ample space to stretch their legs and indulge in their natural behaviors.
14. Strong Hunting Instincts
Maine Coons have a strong natural hunting instinct, which can be both entertaining and challenging for owners. These cats love to stalk, pounce, and “hunt” toys or even objects around the house.
While this can be a fun way to engage with your cat, it can also lead to unwanted behaviors, like attacking household items or bringing home “gifts” if allowed outdoors.
15. Dietary Requirements
Maine Coons have unique dietary needs due to their size and energy levels. These large cats require more calories and nutrients than the average feline to maintain their muscle mass and fuel their energetic lifestyle.
It is crucial to feed them a balanced, high-quality diet that meets their nutritional requirements.
16. Need for Mental Stimulation
Maine Coons are highly intelligent cats that require mental stimulation to keep their minds sharp and engaged. Boredom can lead to destructive behaviors, such as scratching furniture or knocking items off shelves.
To prevent this, you’ll need to provide a variety of puzzle toys, interactive games, and other forms of mental enrichment.
17. High Initial Costs
While Maine Coons are undoubtedly beautiful and loving cats, they can be quite pricey. Since they’re a purebred cat breed, you can expect to pay anywhere from $800 to $2,000 or even more for a kitten from a reputable breeder.
The price varies based on factors such as the cat’s pedigree, age, and coat color. Additionally, you’ll need to factor in the costs of initial vaccinations, spaying or neutering, and microchipping.
These high initial costs are definitely something to consider before getting a Maine Coon.
18. High Energy Levels
Maine Coons are known for their high energy levels, especially during their younger years. They love to play, explore, and interact with their human companions.
This means that as an owner, you’ll need to be prepared to invest time and effort into engaging with your Maine Coon on a daily basis. Regular play sessions, interactive toys, and environmental enrichment are essential to keep them happy and healthy.
19. Longer Lifespan
Maine Coons have a relatively long lifespan compared to other cat breeds, with many living up to 15 years or more. While this can be a blessing for those who form a deep bond with their feline friend, it’s also a commitment that shouldn’t be taken lightly.
As your Maine Coon ages, they may develop age-related health issues, such as arthritis or kidney problems, which can require ongoing care and veterinary attention.
20. Litter Box Management
As large cats, Maine Coons produce a lot of waste, which means they require a larger litter box and more frequent cleaning. This can be time-consuming and potentially unpleasant for some owners.
Additionally, if the litter box is not kept clean, Maine Coons may be prone to developing litter box aversion or other health issues.
21. Need for Training
Maine Coons are intelligent and trainable cats, but they do require consistent training and socialization to prevent destructive behavior or aggression.
They are also known for their strong hunting instincts, which may lead them to hunt small animals or birds in your home or yard. Proper training and socialization can help mitigate these behaviors, but it requires time and effort from the owner.
While Maine Coons are undoubtedly stunning and affectionate cats, they come with their own set of challenges and considerations.
From their grooming needs and health concerns to their size and energy levels, weighing the pros and cons before adopting one of these gentle giants is essential.
Take the time to assess your lifestyle, living situation, and personal preferences before deciding if a Maine Coon is the right fit for you.
If you determine that this breed isn’t the best match, many other fantastic cat breeds and rescue cats are out there waiting for their forever homes.
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