Do Maine Coons Like Dogs?

The Maine Coon is a friendly cat breed that generally gets along with other dogs. Yet, each cat is different, making proper socialization important.

Jun 2, 2024By Sara Payne
do maine coons like dogs

Maine Coons are gentle giants that many people consider to be some of the most dog-like cats. These big, beautiful felines are great pets, but do they get along with dogs well?

Every individual Maine Coon is different, but in general, this breed tends to get along well with other animals, including dogs with proper introduction.

To learn more about how to introduce your Maine Coon to your dog, read on.

Maine Coons Are Friendly and Easy Going

gray maine coon yellow eyes
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Maine Coons are well known for their playful, friendly, and affectionate dispositions. They are great family pets that enjoy time both indoors and outside. For this reason, Maine Coons are known to be some of the most dog-like cat breeds.

However, every cat is different. Even if the breed as a whole gets along well with other pets and dogs, individual cats may vary.

With proper introduction, a dog and Maine Coon could coexist well in your home. Yet, it’s important to note that while Maine Coons may tolerate dogs, some prey-driven dog breeds (such as German Shepherds) are not good with cats. Before choosing to have a dog and cat, make sure the animal you already have is comfortable with a new companion.

In the long run, this can save you from having to rehome a pet or constantly being on the lookout for signs of aggression.

How to Introduce a Maine Coon to a Dog

white maine coon
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When you bring a new pet home, you should introduce your pets under careful supervision. Introduce the cat and dog in a neutral space, so that neither pet feels compelled to protect their territory. The introduction should also be a calm, quiet location without a lot of noise, people, and stimulation.

Introductions can be stressful for animals, so it is important to take your time and bring the two pets together slowly. Let each animal clue you in on how they feel about the interaction and follow their leads.

Here are some tips for making a smooth introduction between your Maine Coon and dog:

1. Use Scents

schnauzer sniffing
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Before your Maine Coon and dog meet, let them smell an item that has the other’s scent on it. Humans are very visual, but dogs and cats learn a lot about their environment and other animals through their sense of smell. Cats have about 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses––more than humans. Dogs have an incredible sense of smell, better than both humans and cats.

They use scent to communicate with each other. Familiar scents can bring comfort to your cat if it is stressed. So, allowing your cat to become familiar with your dog’s scent is essential in the introduction process.

Start by having your cat in one room of your house and your dog in another. Leave them in this room and then switch them. This will give them a chance to get comfortable with the other pet before ever coming face-to-face.

2. Train Your Dog

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Maine Coons are pretty chill, but some dogs (looking at you, Australian Shepherds) are innately excitable. Even as large as the Maine Coon is, many dogs are larger. This size difference can intimidate even the boldest cat. Also, dogs with strong prey drives or herding instincts may be more prone to bullying or cornering the cat.

Before introducing your dog to a Maine Coon, brush up on some basic commands, such as sit, stop, and recall. These basic commands will be essential during the introduction if your dog gets over-excited, or the cat gets stressed. If you haven’t trained your dog, perhaps wait to adopt a cat until it responds to your cues.

3. Give Your Pets Calm Down Areas

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Ensure each pet has a space to retreat if the introduction turns stressful. For your Maine Coon, he may like a high perch or bed in a hidden corner. Your dog may enjoy a crate lined with their favorite toys and blankets.

Once you’ve done this, you are ready for the actual introduction.

4. Introduce Your Maine Coon to Your Dog

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Start slowly. Patience is key. Your dog should be on a leash for the first interaction. Let the two animals smell each other. Monitor how each pet reacts to the other. If you see signs of stress for either animal, it is time to recall the dog and discontinue the interaction for the time being. It may take several of these shorter introductions before your Maine Coon and dog can interact casually.

Understand the Signs of a Stressed Pet

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When introducing your dog and Maine Coon, it’s vital to understand the signs of stress in both animals. That way, you can gauge the interaction and end it on good terms.

A stressed-out cat may exhibit:

  • Increased vocalizations, such as growling, hissing, or meowing
  • Excessive grooming
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Aggressive actions, such as pouncing, biting, stalking, and scratching
  • Hiding
  • Changes in appetite

Some signs of stress in a dog include:

Even once your dog and Maine Coon coexist positively, it is important to continue to supervise their interactions.

Dogs and Maine Coons Can Be Friends

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With a thoughtful introduction, a Maine Coon and a dog can live happily together. It is important to give both animals their own space and time to get used to one another. Each dog and cat have their personalities, so some may take to each other easier than others. Time and patience are key to seeing these two beloved pets happily coexist.

Sara Payne
By Sara Payne

Sara is a mother of two and a high school English teacher who rediscovered her love of writing during the pandemic. She has 5 rescue cats: Neville and Luna, who are white cats with black and grey spots, and Ginny, Blue, and Fairy, who are calicos. Besides taking care of humans and fur babies, Sara enjoys gardening, crafting, and spending time in nature.