My Maine Coon cat, Chelle (pictured above), wakes me up most mornings. She would scratch the side of the bed frame, or the closed-door if I had the nerve to close it before sleeping. I am not a morning person. Fortified with strong black coffee, I am capable of a decent rendition of a contributing member of society. It’s quite arduous otherwise.
So naturally, I am thrilled when she pulls me from slumber to ask for her breakfast. At least the first thing I see in the morning is my majestic girl! She’s 6.8kg of Maine Coon cat with a smoke silver long-haired coat, meaning her topcoat and “points” are a darker grey, but her undercoat is silver, almost white.
She’s large and very pretty. But reality comes back - it’s not only food that calls her. Nature calls too, and I usually have something in her litter box to clean. Some days, still drunk with sleep and slogging away at these tasks, I wonder if I can train my Maine Coon to do these things since everyone always writes about how smart they are.
In any event, these are a few real things to expect (the funny, the weird, the mind-blogging) when you live with a Maine Coon cat. Of course, all cats are distinct with unique personalities, but the below traits seems more common in this lovely breed.
The Water Thing
Most cats seem hydrophobic. Expose an unwilling cat to water, and there will be some blood. But with my Maine Coon, I often need to shush her off kitchen and bath counters. Why? Because of their proximity to that precious item - the faucet. Maine Coon go positively nuts for water, especially moving water. I’ll elaborate.
Going back to the morning routine we’ve established, as I brush my teeth, she is often on the toilet lid. From this perch of hers, she can do a few things. The first of which is to try and jump onto the counter and get close to the falling water from the faucet. The second task she performs with great relish is to watch me (we talk about this later).
After I am through with the sink, I still need to be vigilant and ensure the tap is 100% off. Why? Otherwise, you’re likely to find a Maine Coon nestled in the sink basin, inspecting a dripping drain like a mechanic checking out the undercarriage of a car on a lift!
You must also realize as a Maine Coon owner. You must leave the toilet seat lid down at all times. There are few things more entertaining than moving water. So a whole bowl of it is an invitation to drink and splash around in. More curious cats will also see the bathtub in a similar vein, so putting up a barrier there is advisable too.
And ice cubes. My girl loves to bat around ice cubes on the floor and chase it around. She is so into this cheap fun that she’ll often ignore the new toy I purchased just for her. She’s so practical and down to earth!
What Explains It?
Look online, and you uncover a world of Maine Coons swimming, on boats, wading in bathtubs, even joining owners in the shower. Why is this breed so water-attracted instead of repellant?
Here is my unscientific hypothesis: it is true that the Maine Coon breed’s native homeland is Maine, in the Northeastern USA, which has long and blistering winters with snow, ice, rain, and hail. They are by nature completely able to thrive in these hardcore environments, and would not be phased by some extra water.
Your New Boss
If not already evident, I work for my Maine Coon. And you will too if you become an owner. Maine Coons are natural “supervisors” and will keep a close eye on whatever you are doing. Whether I am working, playing, or doing something around the house, Chelle is a constant companion.
While working out, I can always count on her to plop down right by my weights or the yoga mat. Let’s say I am changing a lightbulb, and looking upward, neck craned. My Maine Coon is always next to me in a similar position with the head straight up too. While cooking, I better set up a stool or a platform she can jump onto and watch or else face a few chiding “meows.”
Even as I am typing this, she is a few feet away, making sure I keep my grammar tight, and I don’t ramble too much. She has quite strict editorial guidelines if I am honest!
What’s the reason for this? Actually, all cats display a natural curiosity, and the adage “curiosity killed the cat” exists for a real reason. But Maine Coons combine this with a laid-back and confident attitude in their daily demeanour too.
This means their innate inclination to investigate can run free. All this to say a Maine Coon will be very interested in what you’re doing because they see it as a novel stimulus, and nothing’s stopping them.
As for my cat, it’s likely not that complex. I think she doesn't trust me to do anything properly in her house. Have I considered the fact that she just adores me? Yes, but I doubt that’s it.
Not only is my Maine Coon a strict boss, but she’s also smart too… sometimes. Many owners have trained their cats to respond to commands like “sit”, “roll”, “shake”, and “jump.” Maine Coons are also famous for being able to play fetch, like a dog. Some of these behaviours are taught with copious amounts of treats and a clicker. Others, like fetch, are more innate and are discovered, rather than taught.
When I watch videos of other Maine Coons doing tricks on Youtube with Chelle, she looks at me with an expression basically saying, “I’m beyond such silly games. I am not your dancing monkey.” And this is true, she has not and will not perform any trick. However, it’s partly my fault for not even trying. It’s fine, and we love her because she is who she is.
If you own a Maine Coon, just know they might be capable of things you never expected. You can even buy a leash and harness and take them walking outside if your cat is so inclined.
I hope this was an insightful tiny glimpse into Maine Coon ownership. If anything, please take away that they are totally wonderful, unique cats. The experience is more like owning a small dog and not a cat. This is a social cat and not one to hide when the guests come over.
Maine Coons are a great addition to any family, and their devotion to their human family is real. Your cat will display loyalty every day. by waiting for you inside doors, or greeting you with a light chirp when you get home. And of course, waking you up in the mornings.