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Welcome, Crazy Cat People!
The Maine coon is popular all over the world for its unique personality but are they good with dogs? Can a Maine coon live peacefully with a canine companion or will they hate each other?
I have used my knowledge and experience of working with this quirky, intelligent cat breed to answer your question!
As a general rule, Maine coons get along really well with dogs. Their personality is often described as being very dog-like. They are laid back, friendly and often less territorial than other breeds, so a canine is often the perfect companion for the Maine coon.
Now we know that the Maine coon gets along perfectly well with a dog let’s examine the subject in a bit more detail!
Later in this post, we will explore in a bit more detail the breeds of dogs that will be perfect for your Maine coon and also which dog breeds you should avoid! We then explore in a little more detail how to introduce both pets to make sure they live in harmony from day one.
So keep reading my fellow crazy cat lovers to learn more!
Do Maine Coons Get Along With Dogs?
Some cat breeds are very territorial in nature and another pet coming into their territory can cause hell on earth!
The Maine coon is very much still a cat in a lot of ways but they are very laid back and friendly with a gregarious nature so introducing a new pet to them whether that be another cat or a dog is often a lot easier than with some breeds.
Maine coons are also not aggressive in any way so they will not tend to bully or intimidate a shy dog, they may be one of the largest domestic cat breeds but please don’t be fooled by their size they are big softies with huge hearts. They are known for being very patient and tolerable of children and other pets including dogs.
If this is your first time reading about the Maine coon or you are in your early days of understanding them then please navigate my site. I have tonnes of articles on the Maine coon but the one I would advise you to read is ”The Personality of a Maine coon (The Ultimate guide)”
You will then understand exactly why the Maine coon is the perfect companion for a dog, they are basically a dog in a cat’s clothing. They are universally known as the dogs of the cat world for many reasons so why would they not get along with a biologically born canine?
Here are some ways that the Maine coon is exactly like a dog
- Maine coons are easily trained
- They can learn tricks
- They adore human company
- They have a very muscular and large build
- You can walk the Maine coon on a leash at the same time you take your dog for a walk
- They are very sociable
Take a look at the youtube video below to see how laid back the Maine coon is around this little dog!
What Dog Breeds Get Along With Maine Coons?
Once you have made the decision to get a dog as a companion for your Maine coon then the one thing that is often important is a careful decision about what breed of dog to get.
The Maine coon is laid back and will get along with most dog breeds but not all dogs get along with Maine coons.
The good thing about the Maine coon is that they often remain playful well past kittenhood which is great because they won’t be phased by an active dog that wants to spend the day playing but there are certain breeds that may irritate your Maine coon so before we get into that let’s have a look at the dog breeds that will get along well with your cat.
|Golden Retriever||I mention this breed first because they get along so well with cats and are one of the friendliest dog breeds you can get. They have a low prey drive so they shouldn’t spend all day chasing your Maine coon|
|Beagle||Often described as being very friendly and will often see the cat as part of their pack. They have a pleasant temperament and are very laid back, just like the Maine coon.|
|Bichon Frise||One of my personal favourite dog breeds. They are known for their personality and their stunningly cute looks. These dogs are very laid back and patient, just like the Maine coon. A Match made in heaven if you ask me!|
|Pug||Pugs are gentle and do not want to spend their day chasing your cat around the home. They are also playful so will happily spend the day playing with your Maine coon. Pugs are that gentle they are even safe to have around small pets like Guinea pigs.|
|Basset Hound||These dogs are loyal and patient and they move slowly so will not chase your Maine coon. They are very friendly and amicable.|
|Labrador Retriever||These dogs are described as big friendly giants just like the Maine coon. They are happy to welcome a cat into their circle of friends and your Maine coon could easily form a lifelong friendship with a Lab!|
There are so many different breeds that are known to get along fine with cats especially breeds that are gentle like the Maine coon.
Some breeds of cats may intimidate and bully a docile dog breed but this shouldn’t be an issue with your Maine coon.
Whoever said that dogs and cats can’t get along clearly didn’t know what they were talking about!
What Dog Breeds Don’t Get Along With Maine Coons?
There are some dog breeds that are known for not getting along so well with cats.
This isn’t to say that these breeds cannot learn to live with each other but with some breeds, you may run into problems that can lead to your Maine coon becoming stressed and anxious in their domain.
The thing is some dogs are made for the hunt and love to chase and they could see your Maine coon as prey and spend their entire day chasing them around the home which could see your Maine coon confined to safe areas that the dog cannot reach.
However, I believe that if a cat and dog are brought up together as puppy and kitten then this often eliminates the need to worry about which breeds will go together well.
|Greyhound||The greyhound has a history of being trained to chase small animals. So introducing a cat to an adult greyhound can mean a constant chase. Which can be hard work around the home.|
|Whippet||The Whippet is a gentle breed and a big softie but like the greyhound, if they have something to chase then you can guarantee they will!|
|Jack Russel terrier||Any dog in the terrier class may find it hard to get along with cats. These feisty little dogs were bred to chase small animals and if your Maine coon is a kitten then you may run into problems.|
|Afghan hound||This hound is a hunter and they love to spend their day pursuing prey because of their high prey drive they may not be a good match for a cat.|
|Weimaraner||These dogs are big and beautiful and are known to be friendly however they are still hunting dogs and are known to enjoy the chase.|
The list above is far from complete, I recommend that before you introduce a dog to your Maine coon you do your own independent research before making a decision.
If you do have your heart set on one of the above breeds then it doesn’t mean to say that they cannot get along but I am just trying to eliminate the hard work that may be ahead for you. If you find that you are having a lot of trouble between your cat and dog please see a trained behavioural specialist because with hard work you may be able to overcome any issues.
However, as a general rule of thumb, hounds, terriers and herding dogs are known for their prey drives and aren’t likely to make good companions for cats.
How Do You Introduce A Maine Coon To A Dog?
So the part you have all been waiting for!
When introducing your Maine coon to a dog it’s important to always remember with cats that first impressions count. The worst thing you can do is just bring home a new pet and just put them together from day one.
This is most certainly asking for trouble because all cats are notoriously territorial. The Maine coon may not be as territorial as other breeds but it is very much still in their nature and a sudden shock of a new animal will make them feel stressed and that they need to fight to protect what is theirs.
Introductions take patience and time and they will need to be executed correctly if you want success.
The golden rule of cat introductions: Introduce by smell first and then sight before allowing them to interact
Step 1: The Need For Separate Rooms
The very first thing I would do is make sure you have a number of Feliway diffusers fitted in the home, these diffusers release synthetic cat hormones that signal for your cat to calm down and relax. This can make the whole process a lot less stressful for your Maine coon.
Check out Feliway diffusers on Amazon by clicking on the image below!
The first thing you want to do before you even bring home the new addition to the family is to make sure you separate the home. You want to have a door that separates both animals but allows them to be able to sniff under the door so they can get used to each other’s scent.
This first step is crucial and it is important to spend equal amounts of time with both pets so they do not feel left out.
You will find that they may spend a lot of time sniffing under the door at each other and it’s important to allow this to happen.
To encourage them to get used to each other’s scent you may also wish to swap their toys or even better, swap their beds after they have been laid in them for a few days. A little trick that I like to do when I have swapped the beds is to place tasty treats on them. This helps to build up positive associations with the new scent.
Take as long as you need with this step but I recommend you keep them from seeing each other for at least 3 whole days.
Remember what I told you – Patience is key!
Step 2: Allow dog and cat to see each other!
After both dog and cat have settled down and got used to each other’s scent now it’s time to introduce them through sight.
It’s a good idea to be prepared at this stage by making sure your Maine coon has safe areas that they can retreat to if needed and the best way to do this is by fitting pet safety gates around the home that your cat can easily fit through and escape if the dog begins to chase your cat.
Chasing can be a problem and it’s a good idea to train your dog when they are young not to constantly chase your cat.
Check out the pet gate below on Amazon by clicking the image – this one is perfect because it has a little door where your cat can escape if needed!
Now it’s time to let them see each other. It is a good idea to get your dog on a lead for these initial interactions.
Allow your cat to investigate in their own time, at first they will probably stand at a distance and just observe the dog. Please make sure to never force your cat to approach the dog otherwise this could cause a fight.
At first, the dog may be extremely excited or they may even bark and if they do it is a good idea to distract them with food. Keep these first interactions very short and brief before allowing the pets to go back to their individual safe areas.
Make sure also that if your dog behaves you reward them with cuddles and treats. If you regularly keep these interactions short you will notice over time that the dog behaves less excited and that the cat will eventually approach the dog to carry out a scent investigation.
Be warned that this can take time so expect to not introduce them properly for at least a week of regular interactions.
Step 3: Slowly allow them to interact
Once your dog has calmed down when they see your cat and the cat has approached the dog it’s now time to give them a little more freedom.
Allow the cat free roam of the home but make sure that they have lots of places they can escape to such as elevated places they can jump up onto if needed.
At first, you will want to keep your dog on an extendable lead so you can keep control at all times until you are confident that your dog will not be constantly chasing your cat.
Make sure at this stage that they are not left on their own together throughout this process until you know that both pets are interacting and not fighting with each other. Then eventually you can remove the lead from the dog.
Throughout this process don’t be afraid to backtrack when needed. When you are introducing the two pets it can sometimes feel like one step forward and two steps back and this is perfectly normal. The more slowly you take this the more likely the two pets will learn to trust each other and develop a lifelong friendship.
Key Takeaways: Do Maine Coon Cats Get Along With Dogs?
- Maine coons are pleasant and friendly and make a perfect companion for a dog
- Be careful of the dog breed you choose to live with your Maine coon and do your research
- Remember: introduce through scent first and then sight!
- Never trust anyone who tells you cats and dogs can’t get along 🙂
Check out these other cool posts within this series
Click the links to take a look
Do Maine Coons Need a Companion? (Are they okay alone?)
As always take care of yourself and your little fur babies!
Mark (The Crazy Cat Man)