Since Maine Coons are the largest domestic cats in the world, it’s natural for potential owners to question whether a Maine Coon can harm them. After all, no one wants to adopt a pet that could be a potential danger. While it is technically possible for a Maine Coon to kill a human, it is highly unlikely to happen. Maine Coons are known for their gentle and sweet temperament, rarely displaying any signs of aggression, let alone a desire to kill. However, it’s important to note that a bite from any cat can become infected if left untreated, leading to potentially serious consequences.
Can a Maine Coon Actually Kill You?
Maine Coons are the largest domesticated cat breed in the world. Originally from the cold state of Maine, they developed naturally, hunting rats, mice, rabbits, birds, and other small rodents to survive. Although they are now popular as pets for their intelligence and gentle nature, some potential owners still wonder if their large size and hunting abilities make them dangerous for humans. While most humans would be able to defend themselves against a Maine Coon, a determined cat of this breed could potentially deliver a deadly bite to sensitive areas such as the throat or major artery.
However, it’s important to note that Maine Coons are highly unlikely to ever land a killing blow. The most dangerous part of a Maine Coon is its mouth, which contains lots of bacteria. All cats have lots of bacteria in their mouths, which helps them kill prey quickly. If a Maine Coon were to break the skin with a bite and it was left untreated, it could quickly become infected. Untreated cat bites can be exceptionally dangerous and, if left untreated long enough, can result in amputation or even death.
Maine Coon Temperament
While a cat’s personality varies wildly from individual to individual, most cat breeds have common personality traits. Here are the key temperament traits that Maine Coons are famous for:
- Gentle: Maine Coons are famously patient and gentle, making them especially good with children. Despite their large size, they are careful to treat their owners gently.
- Affectionate: Maine Coon cats are well known for being incredibly loving towards their owners. They often follow their owners from room to room but aren’t known for being overly clingy.
- Intelligent: Maine Coons are famously smart and often attuned to the emotions of their owners. They can be trained to perform tricks, but their intelligence can sometimes lead to mischief.
- Playful: Maine Coons have a dog-like personality and some can even learn to walk on a leash or play fetch! They retain a kitten-like love of play well into their adult years.
Even though Maine Coons are famous for being gentle and patient, owners can inadvertently cause them to become aggressive. The most common form of aggression in Maine Coons is overstimulation. If you play too rough with your cat, it can become overwhelmed and may start biting or scratching. Maine Coon temper problems can arise from improper socialization or a stressful environment. If your cat is constantly fearful and aggressive, it’s likely that something else, such as your household, lifestyle, or even you, is the underlying problem!
If you’re still unsure about what to expect from a Maine Coon’s temperament and why you should choose this breed, check out this Youtube video of our own male Maine Coon cat.
Common Maine Coon Cat Behavior Problems
Overall, Maine Coons are known for being intelligent and pleasant pets to have around. However, like all animals, they can develop behavior problems if not properly trained. Here are some of the most common behavior problems found in Maine Coons:
Spraying is a common behavior among wild and feral cats, who use urine to mark their territory. Domestic cats are more likely to spray if they feel threatened by other cats or humans in their house. Unneutered male cats are especially prone to spraying.
It’s important to teach your kitten to avoid biting at a young age. If this behavior is allowed or encouraged, it can become a more prevalent problem later in life. Biting is also common in cats that feel threatened or unsafe in their own homes.
Cats instinctively scratch to remove the dead sheathe from their nails, but it can become a problem if they scratch furniture or carpets. It’s important to teach your cat to use a scratching post, or else your furniture might be destroyed. Consider investing in a high-quality scratching post like this one from Amazon, which we highly recommend. Check out this Youtube video that showcases our opinion on this extra-large scratching post!
Maine Coons are famously intelligent and require more stimulation than other domestic cat breeds. If they don’t have enough mental and physical enrichment, they can become bored and distressed, leading to furniture destruction or digging.
Are Maine Coons Dangerous?
In general, Maine Coons are no more dangerous than any other cat. While their large size might make it more challenging to fend them off if they do attack, their gentle nature makes it extremely rare for them to exhibit aggression. However, it’s important to remember that aggression can be provoked by harassment or a feeling of unsafety. By providing a safe and comfortable environment where your cat’s boundaries are respected, the chances of your Maine Coon attacking are close to zero.
If you’re interested in learning more about why your Maine Coon licks and then bites you, click on this link.
How to Discipline a Maine Coon Cat
While most Maine Coons are well-behaved and gentle, they can become a handful if not properly trained. If you’re experiencing behavioral problems with your Maine Coon, here are some important steps to take:
Ignore Negative Behavior
If your cat displays negative behavior like biting or playing roughly, don’t give it any attention, positive or negative, for that behavior. Instead, immediately withdraw your attention and firmly ignore it. This will teach your cat that it won’t receive any attention for negative behavior.
Redirect Negative Behavior
If your cat starts biting you, even playfully, provide a toy instead of your hand. This will teach your cat that your arm is not an appropriate plaything, but a feather toy or mouse is.
Reward Positive Behavior
Rather than punishing bad behavior, focus on rewarding positive behavior. Make a big deal out of positive actions, including pets and treats, so your cat is more likely to repeat those behaviors.
Be Mindful of Your Behavior
Sometimes, you might need to correct your own behavior rather than blaming your cat. If you consistently overstimulate your cat or ignore its warnings by crossing boundaries, it’s no wonder your cat is behaving aggressively. Keep in mind that cats use biting and scratching as a means of communication, and you shouldn’t blame your cat for defending itself.
Assess the Environment
Consider whether your environment is contributing to your cat’s aggressive behavior. All cats need personal space where they can feel safe, so a small and cluttered apartment could make your cat feel threatened. Additionally, rowdy children who tease or hurt your cat could also lead to aggressive behavior. Major changes like moving to a new home or bringing home a new pet or baby could also cause a shift in your cat’s behavior.
Can a Maine Coon Harm a Dog or a Fox?
Maine Coons can vary in size, so while they might not do serious damage to large dog breeds like Huskies or Golden Retrievers, they could potentially kill smaller dog breeds, such as Chihuahuas or Pekingese. Similarly, a Maine Coon’s bite can cause a serious infection that could be fatal to a fox. However, it’s important to note that Maine Coons are generally good at getting along with other animals, and many have formed close friendships with dogs. Encounters with dogs or foxes can be dangerous for both parties involved.
Many potential Maine Coon owners worry about whether this breed can cause serious harm. Due to their large size, the possibility of a Maine Coon causing harm is not entirely unfounded. While a Maine Coon’s bite can contain lots of bacteria and potentially lead to a deadly infection if left untreated, aggression is highly uncommon in these cats. Maine Coons are known for their gentle and affectionate nature, making them excellent companions. They are not illegal to keep as pets, and if properly trained and provided a safe environment, they are not dangerous to humans or other animals.
Are Maine Coons Illegal?
No, Maine Coons are perfectly legal to keep as pets in every country where they are found.
What Do Maine Coons Die From?
While Maine Coons are usually sturdy, they can still die from illnesses such as Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Feline Leukemia Virus, and Feline Heartworm.