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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
A question asked of me a lot by prospective Maine coon owners is if they can learn tricks and are Maine coon cats easy to train?
Having spent time with Maine coons and a variety of different cat breeds over the years I have used my knowledge of this breed to answer your question.
The Maine Coon Cat is highly intelligent so they are generally quite easy to train due to being very fast learners. Training will still require patience and consistency but should be an enjoyable process for your Maine coon cat who naturally enjoys playing with its owners.
Later in this post, I examine just how intelligent Maine coons are, the best time to start training them and we look briefly at the type of tricks you can teach your Maine coon cat to do!
I made an ULTIMATE GUIDE on how to train your Maine coon and how to teach them a variety of tricks! Click here now to take a look or bookmark for a later read!
Is It Easy To Train a Maine Coon To Do Tricks?
Maine coon cats are not hard to train however training your cat will require consistency, repetition and also lots of patience.
When you train your Maine coon it’s important to remember short training sessions work best. Cats, like humans, can easily become bored and training must be carried out at a time of day that your Maine coon normally enjoys playing.
Keep the sessions to under 15 minutes a time.
I find that my cats like to play in the morning after they have eaten their food but your cat may be different. When you are trying to teach your Maine coon tricks some days they may appear to not be interested and there will be no point in continuing until you can find another time of day that suits them.
We all have our ups and downs and cats are no different!
One of the reasons your Maine coon will take naturally to learning tricks and training is partly due to their love of attention and play. They will see the training sessions as a game and thus teaching your cat tricks can help to strengthen the bond you have with them.
You also need to remember that training your cat will involve rewarding good behaviour, so you are going to need treats.
Just make sure you don’t become impatient with them.
Maine coons are natural empaths and they sense your emotions and will not want to co-operate with you if they feel you are frustrated in any way.
Are Maine Coons Cats Intelligent?
A lot of the studies out there in animal intelligence seem to be around the dog. Feline intelligence seems to be very anecdotal.
However, we know that by studying the behaviour of felines they are very clever creatures. Intelligence is often defined as being able to learn from experience, retain memories, information and problem-solving.
These are all traits that are common for your Maine coon. According to an article, I found by fearfreehappyhomes.com the feline’s brain structure and surface folding is 90% similar to a human’s and some studies suggest that a cat has the same level of intelligence as a two-year-old child.
All we need to do is look at how many neurons a cat’s brain contains compared to dogs. A dog’s brain contains 160 million neurons while a cat’s brain contains around 300 million. So even though we don’t have a large number of studies on cat intelligence that doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.
When To Start Training A Maine Coon?
The first training begins when your cat is a kitten, they will learn social skills from their mother and also from their siblings.
This is the most important training your cat will need and when you are allowed to finally bring them home it’s a good idea to start training them from about 4-5 months old.
Any sooner than this and they are going to be far too distracted and dizzy!
Kittens are easier to train than adult Maine coons. That’s not to say you can’t train an adult Maine coon but you may find it slightly easier with any training being done when they are kittens.
The old saying ”It’s harder to teach an old dog new tricks” applies to cats too!
How Long Does It Take To Train A Maine Coon Cat?
I am not gonna lie to you there is no definite answer when it comes to how long it will take for your cat to learn tricks or to train them to walk on a leash or to use the litter tray.
As I have already stated this is where you will need patience. Some cats may take longer than others and it can take them a while to fully learn new tricks. It may even take them months but just enjoy the bonding time with your cat and the results will pay off.
Just remember Rome wasn’t built in a day!
What Can You Train A Cat To Do?
Training can be split into two different categories. First, we have our essential training and then we have tricks.
Essential training –
- Litter training
- Responding to their name
- Not to scratch furniture
- Use a cat flap
- Keep off the kitchen counters.
Tricks (The fun part)
- Sit down
- Roll over
- High 5
- Play fetch
- Train them to walk on a leash
- Teach them to open doors
When it comes to cat training the world is your oyster, there are probably more tricks you can teach your cat but this series of posts is going to teach you how to do most of these common tricks.
Take a look through the posts in this series and get training your big friendly giants for hours of guaranteed fun! (Links coming soon)
Check out these other cool posts within this series
Click the links to take a look
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)