Do Maine Coons Like To Be Held? (or do they hate it!)

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Welcome, crazy cat people!

Maine Coons are the big friendly giants of the cat world, they are little snuggle buddies and are full of love and affection but do Maine coons like to be held?

I used my knowledge of this breed to answer your question.

As a general rule, Maine coon cats love to be held and they love all forms of affection. They tend to build a very strong bond with their owners, and if your Maine coon allows you to hold them, then it’s a sign that they trust you; however, they may be wary of strangers picking them up.

Now you know that Maine coons generally like to be held let us explore not only how to pick them up correctly but also the signs to look for to make sure they want to be held.

Keep reading my fellow crazy cat people 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.

Do Maine Coons like to to be picked up?

There is a general belief out there that cats are aloof and purely independent creatures and depending on the breed this is partly true.

Let’s remember though that even though I can go into the general characteristics and traits of the Maine coon their personality will vary so much from cat to cat. After all, they are just like people and we can’t put them all into the same category, we can only generalise.

If any cat breed is going to enjoy being handled then it’s the Maine coon.

I often refer to the Maine coon as the ”dogs of the cat world” because in a lot of ways they behave very similar to a dog and are known to play fetch, they are loyal to the core and they want all of the fuss and attention you can give them.

They are big cats but they also have an even bigger heart! They possess a truly loving nature and make a very affable companion to adults and children alike.

They love to be held by their owners as long as you have gained their trust, they can be wary of strangers and it’s not a good idea for someone who hasn’t spent time with them to just go in and pick them up as this could scare your Maine coon.

Picking them up is a privilege only for the ones who have taken the time to build that trust and respect.

When researching some forums online I found that a lot of owners said that the Male Maine coons generally preferred to be cuddled and picked up more than the females but again this is not correct in every case.

In my experience with Maine coons every one I have met has been super affectionate regardless of sex!

Just be wary of children handling the cats until they get a little older has Maine coons tend to be a very large breed and your child may not be able to handle them correctly (More on this later)

How do I know if my cat trusts me enough for me to pick them up?

When you first bring your Maine coon home from the adoption shelter or the breeder you may not want to pick them up straight away!

They can be shy at first so it’s quite normal for them to be hidden away while they get used to their new environment and picking them up too early may cause them to be fearful and they may scratch or bite out of fear.

Give them time to adjust and get used to their new surroundings.

Once your cat is established here are the signs to look for so you know that your cat trusts you

  • Rolling onto their back and exposing their belly – This shows that they trust you enough to expose their most vulnerable area of the body
  • The slow blink – Cats only do this around people they trust to show they don’t want a staring contest with you
  • Rubbing their cheeks and body against you – They are leaving their scent on you which generally means they trust you
  • They are happy around you – If they don’t run when you go to stroke them and they appear confident then they should be confident to be held and picked up by you

When you get your Maine coon if they are not showing these signs around you then spend time building up that trust with them, feed them, play with them and pet them when they are ready.

Respecting their wish to not be held until they are ready will also help to build up that much-needed trust and respect.

I made a great post on 13 ways you can build trust with your cat that goes into much further detail on the subject, take a look by clicking right here.

13 ways to gain a cats trust! (So they love you forever)

But how do you know if a Maine Coon wants to be picked up?

It’s best to attempt to pick your Maine coon up and hold them when they are content and relaxed which for a Maine coon should be a big proportion of their day.

These laid back happy chappies will want cuddles and kisses frequently.

If they appear frustrated or hiss or they struggle when you try to pick them up then they probably want a little alone time and to build up trust with your cat you should respect that.

How do you pick up a Maine Coon cat?

Maine coons are enormous breeds compared to other more petite cats. In fact, until the introduction of the Savannah breed, they were the biggest domestic cat.

On average males weigh a whopping 13-18 lbs and females weigh in at between 8-12 lbs.

This means that even though they do like being picked up you should be careful with young children picking them up who may not be able to fully support their weight.

It is a good idea to first place one hand and arm under your cat’s stomach to see if they want to be picked up and assess their mood. If they object then respect their wishes and try another time.

It’s important to make sure your cat is comfortable when holding them.

Maine coons are a large breed especially the males

When picking them up you want to use one arm to support their back legs and hindquarters and use the other arm to allow your cat to rest their legs over.

Make sure when holding them that they are close to your body and chest, most of the cat’s body should be touching yours for extra comfort and warmth.

One of my cats even lets me pick him up like a baby and cradle him in my arms which is super cute but just beware has not all cats like this position, just be aware of the cat’s body language and let them jump down whenever they start to struggle or meow has not all cats like to be held for a long time.

Never pick a cat up by the scruff of its neck Maine coons are big and this can hurt and cause muscle damage in that area.

Do Maine coons like to cuddle?

As well as being held by their owners Maine coons also like a nice long cuddle.

Due to their size, they are not always lap cats but they will let you know when they want your affection by sitting at the side of you or near you.

They can be quite vocal when they want your affection too without being overly clingy.

There are several reasons they may like to cuddle up next to you and one of them is your body heat. Cats are not keen on cold weather and they prefer warm places and what better place to be warm than cuddled in your arms.

The one thing about cats is they don’t spend time with people they don’t like so when they cuddle you it means that they love you, especially if they only want to cuddle you to the exclusion of anyone else in the home.

You also provide a sense of security for your cuddly Maine coon and they feel safe around you.

If you’re looking for a cuddly affectionate cat that loves to be picked up and held then look no further than the stunningly beautiful Maine coon cat who behaves just like a puppy!

Key Takeaways: Do Maine coon cats like to be held?

  • Maine coon cats love affection of all kinds including being picked up and held by their owners
  • They are the dogs of the cat world and behave just like puppies
  • The Males in general tend to be more cuddly and affectionate than the females but this is just a generalisation
  • Never pick up a Maine coon by the scruff of their neck
  • Be prepared for lots of cuddles

As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!

Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)


Mark loves Cats, he is the Daddy to two little cats who you will see throughout his blog. He has a passion for Cat care and enjoys everything cat-related. You could call him the crazy cat man.

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