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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
The Maine coon are often called the dogs of the cat world, they are generally gentle, soft and very affectionate but Are Maine coon cats territorial?
I have studied this breed for quite some time and spent several years around various cat breeds, watched them closely and I have used my knowledge to answer your question!
As a general rule, Maine coons cats are not less or more territorial than other breeds. A cat’s instinct is to mark its territory to set boundaries against intruders. Their space can include objects, other animals, and even you. If needed they will fight to protect their territory.
How exactly do Maine coons Mark their territory? How can you deal with a cat who is acting very territorial and how do you stop your cat from spraying urine in the home?
Keep reading fellow crazy cat people to learn more!
Check out my full post to find out if Maine coons are aggressive, the different types of aggression in cats and how to deal with a mean cat in the correct way. – Click here to take a look or bookmark for a later read!
Are Maine Coon Cats Territorial?
All cats are territorial! It is in their nature and it’s really difficult to say if Maine coons are more or less territorial than other breeds. I have watched the nicest, most laid back cats go from lovely to defensive within seconds if they feel their territory is under attack from a perceived intruder.
Generally Maine coons are laid back, gentle and friendly and they are big softies but if another cat comes into their home that’s when they can easily switch into protective mode. Cat’s need places that they can mark as their own within the home and also outside.
Cat’s often make sense of their world through smell, according to Wikipedia cat’s have between 45 million to 200 million odour sensors in their nose compared to a human who has only 5 million.
Now that is a big difference. Cats use these sensors to sense if danger is around, to work out the intentions of other cats and to do a scent investigation on other animals and people around them.
If they have marked somewhere with their scent and another cat comes along and tries to claim that area as their own this is where territorial conflict may arise even in the gentle loving Maine coon!
How Do Maine Coons Mark Their Territory?
A Maine coon will mark its territory in many different ways and normally through its scent glands which are located in different areas of its body such as the cheeks, the front of the head, paws and flank.
They will leave their scent in an area they want to call their own, normally somewhere where they spend a lot of time and they will do this by rubbing against items, scratching items in the home and sometimes spraying urine!
When they scent mark they are releasing cat hormones called pheromones to let other cats know that this is their area and territory and to keep away.
Scent marking also helps to make your Maine coon cat feel safe and secure within their environment which may help to prevent behavioural issues.
You may have noticed your cat not only leaving their scent on objects but they will also leave their scent on you and potentially other animals within the home, again this is to let other cats know that they own you and you belong to them.
Remember a cat chooses you, not the other way around 🙂
If your cat is spraying in the home this behaviour can be awful, you will know the difference between marking with urine and them using the toilet outside the box. With urine spraying, they will back up against an object with their tail held high and release a stream of urine.
If this happens you may wish to consider getting them spayed/neutered which can sometimes help the problem but please always get a cat checked out at a qualified vet first has this behaviour can sometimes be related to an underlying illness.
Later in this post, we look in detail at what you can do to prevent this behaviour once you have ruled out any potential underlying issues.
Do Maine Coons Attack Other Cats?
Maine coons are less prone to aggression than other more exotic hybrid breeds such as the Bengal but again conflict does happen sometimes in a multi-cat household.
A small amount of conflict now and again is completely normal and nothing to worry about. If they are constantly attacking each other then this is a different story.
What to look out for
- Hissing and spitting
- Avoiding each other
- Staring at each other in a defensive way
- Sleeping far away from each other
- Sitting in doorways all the time and swatting when the other cat passes by
To prevent this type of territorial aggression you must understand that cats need their own space. When there is a lot of conflicts it can mean that your cats are struggling to define their territory.
This can often be overcome quite easily by making sure that they have plenty of individual space such as multiple beds, multiple scratching posts, separate litter boxes and plenty of vertical space.
Cats will mark these areas with their scent and left to their own devices they will work out and agree on boundaries. I once bought a new bed for my two cats to share and all hell broke loose in the home and then I realised just how territorial cats can be.
The solution! I bought another identical bed and the problem was solved almost instantly.
How To Stop My Maine Coon Spraying in The Home?
Training your Maine coon to be less territorial can be easy with a few changes.
As long as there are no underlying health issues with your cat then first we need to understand the reasons why they may be spraying.
Spraying outdoors is a behaviour that cats do because they smell the scent of neighbouring cats all around them but what about when they start doing this inside the home?
A cat who sprays frequently indoors feels like they don’t own anything in their territory and can often be a stressed, anxious cat because of this reason.
It is a very unconfident way of marking territory, they are saying ”I have nothing to mark to ward off any intruders so I am going to leave my scent around because they will smell that”
Provide lots of areas where they can let their scent soak into their surroundings, the best way to do this is to provide multiple different cat beds in different areas of the home. Ideally, if you have a big window get a window hammock too.
Multiple scratching posts are also a necessity in the home.
Cats have scent glands in between their toes so when they scratch they will mark the post with their scent. If your cat can sense their smell around the home in multiple places they may then feel less need to mark their territory with urine.
Make sure also that there are no shared litterboxes if cats are spraying, the litterbox is the ultimate scent soaker and some cats do not like to share. If they are spraying in a certain place to the exclusion of other areas, try also moving their litterbox to this area and you may just find them starting to spray in the litterbox rather than on your walls and carpets.
When they do spray it’s important to clean it up straight away with a cleaner because they will be attracted back to that area next time they scent mark. Never use products that contain ammonia as this will just attract them back to using that area again and again.
The product I recommend for all Cat owners to have in their cupboard is ”Live Pee free”
This stuff will make sure the urine is cleaned up straight away so your cat doesn’t associate this area with spraying.
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)