Maine Coons are perhaps one of the most social, affectionate and gentle cat breeds out there, but that still begs the question, are they good with dogs? It’s very important to be completely sure that the Maine Coon and dog pairing will go well before committing to the pet partnership as a bad relationship can make a very stressful situation for everyone in the household.
Cats and Dogs in General
Cats and dogs in general are a difficult pair to put together, and it oftentimes depends largely on the specific cat and dog you’re dealing with. Some dogs can be overly excitable or aggressive, and might see a cat as being a threat or a fun playmate that the cat has no desire to partake in. And alternatively, the cat might be grouchy or aloof, and want nothing to do with an energetic, playful dog.
Maine Coons and Dogs
As many Maine Coon owners will attest, though, Maine Coons are incredibly social and patient cats. It’s highly recommended that you get them a pet companion as they get lonely very easily, especially of you work regular hours and are gone for most of the day. A dog can be a great companion for the Maine Coon as they’re usually willing to engage enough to satisfy the Maine Coon’s need for interaction.
Maine Coons are often described as “dog-like” as well because of their loyal and social personalities. Like dogs, they’re constantly wondering where their owners are or what they’re doing, and might even follow you around the house. It’s very likely that a Maine Coon won’t be bothered by a dog and will even welcome their neediness for attention.
It’s also very possible that the Maine Coon will develop a close bond with the dog, snuggling together, playing together and trying to be in the same room as one another.
Maine Coons and Puppies
Perhaps a Maine Coon will get along well with a dog, but will they get along well with a puppy?
Maine Coons are extremely patient cats, which is why they’re nicknamed the “gentle giants” of the cat world. A rambunctious puppy is likely to be met with a very calm, patient demeanor on the Maine Coon. It’s unlikely that a Maine Coon will lash out or claw at an energetic puppy that’s trying to play, and they’d rather just leap up to the top of their cat tree when it’s time to get some space.
Ultimately the relationship between a Maine Coon and a dog is going to depend heavily on how they were raised. Any animal that is raised in a hostile or abusive environment will be less trusting and more volatile towards their owners and other pets. Taking away a kitten or puppy from their mother too soon can also have negative affects on their socialization and render them unable to develop bonds with other pets properly.
Cats or dogs that were neglected or left alone for long periods of their life might also lack the ability to socialize properly or read the body language of other pets and interpret an innocent behavior as frightening or threatening.
At the end of the day, you have to gauge many small individual factors in determining if a Maine Coon or dog will get along well.
Testing the Interaction
Before committing to adopting or buying either a dog or Maine Coon, it’s important that you test the interaction first as it’s a huge, lifelong commitment that could have big implications.
Ask the breeder or pet shelter about the animal and how they get along with the other animals. Do they ever growl, hiss, claw or bite? These can be crucial indicators of an animal’s tendency to fight or cooperate.
If possible, see if you can introduce the dog and Maine Coon to each other in a safe environment, ideally with a barrier between the two that allows them to see and smell one another. Notice their body language and whether they seem to be in fight or flight mode, if the hair on their backs or tails are raised, or if they’re completely calm or excited to see each other.
Finally, see if you can take one home to live with the other pet for a few days, reserving the ability to take them back to the shelter or breeder if they don’t get along. It might seem cruel to give a dog or cat back after taking them home for a few days, but it’s certainly far better than forcing them to live in a stressful situation if they don’t get along well with the other housepet.
Give the interaction time, it can take a few days or weeks before two pets become comfortable with each other. Monitor how their interactions change over time and if they’re becoming more friendly or relaxed around each other. It could be a sign of a major problem if the interactions do not improve or become more hostile.
Final Word: Are Maine Coons and Dogs Compatible?
Theoretically, Maine Coons should get along very well with most dogs because of their social, playful and gentle nature, but that doesn’t mean that is always the case. Their compatibility will ultimately rest on the personalities and temperament of the individual Maine Coon and dog, so it’s important to take precautions when introducing them to one another.
Maine Coons are not called “dog-like” for nothing, though, and of all the cat breed’s they’re probably the best feline candidate to be a dog’s best friend.