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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
Main coon cats are playful, loving and are often known to behave like puppies. They are big friendly giants but are Maine coons shy?
I have spent a long time studying cats in general and used my knowledge of the Maine coon to answer your question.
Maine coon cats can sometimes be shy around strangers. They are generally a social breed but can often take time to adapt to new circumstances and people. If they are socialized correctly from a young age and get used to spending time with the family, they should grow into confident adult cats.
In the rest of this post, I examine why your Maine coon may be acting shy and also some practical ways in which you can reduce that shyness and allow your cat to grow into the confident gentle giant they were always meant to be.
So keep reading to learn more
Read my Full-length post that accompanies this series of articles called ”Are Maine Coon Cats Friendly (The poll results and proof) to find out just how friendly and loving this breed truly is! – Click here to take a look.
Are Maine Coons Shy?
First of all the one thing, I wanted to mention to you is that cats are like people. Your experience with your Maine coon may be completely different.
Their personality will vary depending on their background and also their sweet like individual personalities.
What I do know is their general personality traits from studying this super cure breed over the years. Some cats are more playful and energetic such as the Bengal whereas some cats are big friendly giants with docile temperaments.
The Maine coon is a social cat at heart, they become very attached to their owners and they are very loyal.
Think of the Maine coon like a puppy, they are loyal to the core, playful, love attention and are fantastic at giving cuddles.
One thing that a lot of Maine coon owners say is that their cat can be shy especially when it comes to strangers.
They can be a little wary when meeting new people so it’s quite normal for them to be a bit standoffish at first and not trust just anyone who walks through your door.
They can appear skittish and timid at times and react easily to sudden movements by dashing away to hide, this is all completely normal behaviour for a Maine coon.
Being timid doesn’t mean that they are overly fearful and will hide away all day it just means that they are extra careful, just how you would expect a big soft friendly giant to be.
They do have a very playful nature however so it won’t be long before they come out to investigate their surroundings and as soon as they warm to the ”stranger” you can bet that they will be all over them for strokes, cuddles and playtime.
Why is my Maine Coon Shy?
It can be quite sad to see your Maine coon shy especially if it’s your first time getting a cat and it’s not what you expected.
It’s only right that you will be searching for a way to help bring them out of their shell a little bit and before I delve into exactly how to do that first I think it’s important you understand the reasons why your Maine coon may be acting shy.
First of all, you need to understand that your cat may be naturally inclined to be this way, it may just be their unique personality and if that’s the case then a little acceptance must come into play.
It’s only when they are hiding away all the time or very shy that we may need to put on our detective outfit and find solutions!
When you adopt a cat you learn to love them no matter what and accept them for who they are.
Some other factors come into play especially if your Maine coon is a new pet or if they are very shy and hiding away all the time such as –
- Changes in their environment – Cats are not the easiest species to be resilient to change. Any changes that occur even moving furniture around can make your cat shy for some time, cats are creatures of routine and can get upset easily with drastic changes.
- Bad previous experience – Has your Maine coon been with a previous owner? Do you know their background?
- New people in the home or new pets – Again this is a big change for your cat and they may take a while to adjust
- Not socialised correctly from a young age – It’s important for your Maine coon to stay with their mom and littermates from a young age and until they reach at least 7 weeks old otherwise they may grow into a clingy and shy pet.
- Too many cats or another animal that may be intimidating them
How do you deal with a shy cat?
Now we get onto the important part, How do you deal with a shy Maine coon cat?
I’m talking about cats who are living under the bed constantly or they may have taken up permanent residence under the bed and won’t come out.
These cats may be suffering from bad nerves and anxiety, in their mind, they think as long as they are invisible then they are safe from the world.
This is not good and if this is your cat then it’s time to take action!
You must challenge this fear and the last thing you want to do is cater to this fearful cat by feeding them in the closet or under the bed, this well-meaning behaving is only making their fearful traits worse!
This is where its helpful to buy a cocoon-shaped bed or even a hooded bed ideally one where you can take the hood off (You will find out why later on)
First, you want to place the cocoon under the bed or in the closet or wherever your cat is hiding to get them used to the scent and when they start using the bed the idea is to slowly bring the cocoon out, each day moving it a little further from under the bed or in the closet until your cat begins to use it in that area.
This process may take a while but eventually, you can move the bed closer until it’s in a more suitable place such as next to you or in the living room.
When your cat has got used to the bed being in the living room or whatever place you want them to be you can then eventually take the hood off the cat bed to make it more of a bed than a cocoon.
Try this process, it works!
To find out more, watch the Youtube video below by the original cat daddy, Jackson Galaxy!
If your cat is new then it’s natural for them to be shy at first it’s only when they stay shy that you have a problem.
It’s important when you get a new cat after the initial settling in stage to make sure they are socialised with other people coming to the home.
Get them used to the new smells, the new sounds and the new people while they are young so they grow up into confident cats.
What I would say is if your cat decides to hide away when new people come around DO NOT drag them out from hiding as they may become even more mistrusting.
Cats learn by association and the last thing you want is your cat to associate the new person being around with feelings of stress and anxiety which will make the problem worse.
To reduce feline stress it’s also important to
- Keep a regular routine, cats thrive on routine
- Create a calm environment
- Provide high places where they can jump up onto such as cat trees rather than hiding places under the bed
- Use Feliway plugins or pheromone diffusers to release calming cat hormones into the home
- Have patience, your cat may just take a little while to become a confident Kitty Cat!
Key Takeaways: Are Maine coon cats shy?
- Maine coon is a big friendly giant and generally sociable
- They can at times be timid and wary of strangers
- Hiding away all day is not normal behaviour
- Become a detective, observe your cat and find out the reasons why they are shy
- Block access to the ”under”. Block access to under beds and closets if possible!
- Follow the advice of Jackson Galaxy by watching the youtube video.
- Have patience and love your cat for who they are right now
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)