Maine Coons: Cats with Dog Habits

If they barked, you’d be hard-pressed to tell the difference between a Maine Coon and a dog. Behind that furry, feline exterior is a cross between a loyal companion and a persistent mischief maker.

Maine coons don’t act much differently than their canine counterparts. They sniff everything new that comes their way to see who has been there or perhaps whether that critter was friend or foe. Their tails wag when they’re happy, they come when they’re called, they play fetch and do tricks. Yes, they’re a handful, but Maine Coons are all the same rewarding.

Maine Coons have a ton of personality, and in many cases, a ton of fur. Known for their tufted ears and broad chests, they also sometimes have over-sized paws in their younger years with tufts of fur between their toes. They stop growing at about three years-old and according to the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) breed standard, it’s not uncommon to see a male cat reach 12 or 15 pounds. And who could forget that unmistakable “coo” that a Maine Coon makes when he’s vocalizing.

My cat Gary was my first and only cat I have bought from a pet store. He was all alone in his cage one Saturday afternoon when my mother and I walked in and saw him. I held him in my arms and he seemed to melt into them, and I knew I needed to bring him home with me.

When I got him home he was a ball of black furred-fury. I quickly learned that Maine Coons are very strong-willed – and very strong, period. This breed is big and lean – and while Gary only weighed about six pounds at the time, it was a tough job to pin him down.

We soon established the pecking order within the household. It took several days of keeping him closed off from our Siamese cat, but he finally gave into the housecat within. He learned his name quickly and came when he was called, and if he didn’t feel like coming, he thwapped his tail so you knew he heard you.

Gary developed a fondness for hair tiesâÂ?¦ the rubber bands encased in fabric. The nightly ritual came when it was just about time for me to go to bed. He would bring me a hair tie that he had found on the bathroom counter and I would fling it against the wall so that he would catch it in midair. He fell to the bed with a heavy “thud” and dropped it in my hands to be flung again.

I thought I had struck a goldmine with this cat, the best of both quadraped companions wrapped up into one. I convinced my mom to get one of her own, and my husband that we needed a friend to our not-so little Gary, who by then had gained two pounds.

My mother and I brought home half brother and sister Maine Coons from different litters. Her cat came into contact with Gary for only a few weeks early in his life, but still displayed all the characteristics that gave Gary such a great personality. My mom’s cat Nacho follows my mother wherever she goes, plays fetch with small stuffed animals, and has a fascination with any toy connected to a stick. Our new little girl Maine Coon is a beautiful sweetheart who will beg for a belly rub with the neediest of dogs and sniff anything she finds interesting.

Whether you’re looking for a cat to keep you company or to keep you on your toes at home, Maine Coons have a ton of personality in addition to being an armful of love. They’re certainly for homes that can give them lots of attention, but they will repay you tenfold in love and affection.

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