Aggressiveness and Maine Coons – those two things don’t seem to go together. I know it’s hard to believe that these gentle giants can be anything but friendly. But remember, there are always two sides to every story. So, what makes a Maine Coon aggressive?
I have to admit, I was shocked at first when I found out that my favorite cat breed can get extremely angry and change their purrsonality completely. But in their defense, they have pretty good reasons.
Even though we’ll talk today about Maine Coons being aggressive, don’t instantly think that they are like this all the time. In fact, they are complete opposites. You can look at this as a short anger outburst that rarely happens.
Maine Coon cats are the perfect breed for first-time pet owners, for families with kids and they love to have furry company, too. They are considered to be dogs in the cats’ world and you can easily train them. I promise, owning a Maine Coon is one of life’s true blessings.
Okay, now that we’ve cleared that up, let’s learn more about aggressive Maine Coon cats. Are you ready?
Are Maine Coons aggressive by nature?
As you probably know by now (and you conclude the same from the start), Maine Coons are the friendliest cat breed there is. Some people may argue that Siamese, Burmese, or Ragdoll are at the top of the list, but sadly, they’re wrong.
Maine Coons are a truly gentle, playful, and affectionate cat breed. They love to spend time with their favorite hooman, playing or simply snuggling. These beautiful creatures are loyal to their owners and recently, they became really popular.
Now, you know how it goes with famous people; the whole paparazzo thing? Well, it’s kind of the same with these furbabies – everybody wants to expose their dirty laundry. Because of that, some cat lovers started avoiding Maine Coons since they can attack people when aggressive.
That is, unfortunately, true, but those cases are extremely rare and these fluffers are not aggressive by nature. Indeed, every cat breed can be aggressive from time to time, but these furbabies shouldn’t have that tag. Maine coons are so much more than that and their personality is absolutely captivating.
The aggression levels completely depend on each Maine Coon cat, and nobody said that they can’t get mad. In the next part, you’ll be able to learn how to recognize when your feline is behaving inappropriately.
How can I know if my Maine Coon is being aggressive?
Honestly, you’ll know it because these gentle giants will change completely. They’ll start biting until you start bleeding, scratching, growling, hissing, and even fighting with you or other pets in the household. Your furniture will be ruined and you’ll see their teeth more than you’d like.
Besides the typical aggressive behavior that Maine Coons will show, you’ll notice their body language changing as well. It’s important to remember that they have two aggressive modes: offensive and defensive (if it’s easier, think of soccer or football games).
If she’s in her offensive mode, she’s getting ready to attack. Her pupils will be constricted and she’ll look directly at you. Her whole body will be very stiff and her fur will be pointed upwards. Your fluff will be hissing and her ears will be slightly rotated forward and completely up.
Her defensive mode looks pretty similar, but this time, she’ll only attack to protect herself. She’ll be showing most of the signs like in her offensive mode, but her eyes will be wide open this time, with dilated pupils. Also, her tail will be tucked in and her ears will be flattened to the sides or pointed backward.
When in this mode, her body won’t be facing you because she’s trying to ignore the “threat”. Her fur will as well be pointed upwards and she’ll be crouching.
If we’re talking about Maine Coons and their diets, they’ll blindly follow that unless they are under stress which can easily lead to aggression. They’ll also start excessively marking their territories in many ways, including spraying, pooping, and peeing as the worst choice.
What makes a Maine Coon aggressive?
After we concluded that Maine Coon cats can be aggressive, it’s time to find out why; don’t you think? I wrote down all the possible reasons for their aggression that I could think of. So, if you have Maine Coon as your pet, here’s why she can get aggressive. Ready?
1. She’s under a lot of stress
If you’re a proud cat parent for some years like I am, you learn that stress is the main culprit for most of the problems your cat is facing. It’s also the hidden reason behind half of the problems you’re experiencing together.
Speaking of stress, it’s also the first on the list of reasons why Maine Coon is aggressive. When your feline is under a lot of stress, she may show her aggressive side, even though she loves you unconditionally.
It would be extremely tiring to figure out what’s upsetting your fluff since even the smallest change can be uncomfortable for her. However, if you suspect that something may be triggering her, don’t wait a minute longer to remove that from her environment.
A new plant pot in a place that she doesn’t like, moving her litter box to the other side of the balcony, or using a vacuum cleaner can make her stressed, but all of them are pretty easy to solve. The problem is if you moved to another place, gave birth to your little human, or adopted a new pet.
All of those events may trigger stress and anxiety at your Maine Coon and she may become aggressive. So, I’m saying it one more time, if you can, try to remove stressors from her surroundings, or at least to soothe the problem somehow.
2. She’s territorial
This is another reason that makes your Maine Coon aggressive. Cats are generally known as territorial animals but imagine when your fluff is dog-like. Double the trouble, right? In most cases, being territorial is a virtue, but if it turns into aggression, it’s not good.
She’ll do all the regular things; mark walls with her scent by rubbing her scent glands everywhere in the household, spray around the house, and even patrol her territory. You have to remember that your Maine Coon will show this territorial aggression towards other intruders, but rarely towards people.
If she notices another cat trespassing, she’ll start hissing and you’ll notice that she took her offensive position. Male Maine Coons are protecting their territories more and they may even get into fights with other animals. Try to prevent this, because your fluff may get hurt and will need immediate medical attention.
3. She’s bored
This is one of the major problems when it comes to Maine Coons. They are intelligent creatures that need a lot of playtime. Fetching, feather toys, tower of tracks, scratchers – anything that stimulates her and makes her use her energy will be highly appreciated.
If you can’t afford to buy a lot of interactive toys for your fluff, think about adopting two of them from the same litter. That way, they’ll have each other to play with and you won’t have to worry if your furbaby is making a mess at home while you’re working.
If you want to prevent boredom and your Maine Coon being aggressive, you can always buy her some catnip toys. She’ll get that kitty high after one round of playing and probably lay around with a smile on her face.
4. She’s in pain
Another reason that makes your Maine Coon aggressive is definitely pain. Since she can’t talk with you about what’s hurting her, she’ll try other methods. Because of that, you’ll hear excessive meowing and well, your sofa may end up being the victim.
If you suspect that your fluff may be aggressive because she’s in pain, try to do a quick home check-up. Let her sit on your lap and gently touch her all over her body. Make sure you’re well aware of all her reactions and if she suddenly becomes aggressive, that specific place you’ve touched may be the problem.
Your aggressive Maine Coon may simply be dealing with pain or hiding an injury, she’s not rude. As soon as you start suspecting that she may have some health issues, don’t hesitate to take her to the vet immediately.
5. She’s lonely
Loneliness is another reason that will make your Maine Coon aggressive. As you already know, these felines are really sociable and they truly enjoy being in other pets’ company. I don’t have to mention how important it is for them to spend time with their hoomans.
This cat breed is surely not for someone out of the house most of the time. If your Maine Coon can’t spend enough time with you snuggling or playing, she may get aggressive. This will result in scratches on your hands and even some bite marks.
To be clear, this is her way of saying that she’s not happy with the current conditions and that she needs more of your attention. I’d advise you that you don’t choose Maine Coon, no matter how much you like them, if you won’t be able to dedicate a decent amount of your day to her.
6. She’s just being playful
Yes, you can easily confuse your Maine Coon’s playfulness with her being aggressive. Sometimes, she’ll gently nibble on your fingers or attack your ankles from an ambush. That’s not because she wants to hurt you but because she desperately wants to play with you.
In case she does hurt you unintentionally, that means that she just lacks training. If you don’t have enough time to spend with her and play, try to redirect her attention to all those interactive toys that you bought her or another member of the household.
7. She’s overstimulated
We all know that petting your cat greatly influences both you and your feline. In fact, it has therapeutic benefits and both of you are relieving stress this way. Can you pet your fluff too much, or that’s just a myth?
I’m sorry to disappoint you, but yes, you can put your cat way more than it feels comfortable for her. When you’re gently stroking her fur, the static electricity actually builds up and her senses can be overstimulated.
If you notice that she flatten her ears and they are pointing backward now, or if she starts lightly biting you or waving her paws while she’s trying to stop you from petting her, stop what you were doing. I mean, you better abort the mission before your Maine Coon becomes aggressive.
All of these simple signs are her way of warning you that she’s already overstimulated and that you shouldn’t continue with your affection. She knows you care about her, but too much love can push her off the edge and she may show you the side you’d rather not see.
8. She’s jealous
Believe it or not, jealousy may be one of the reasons why your Maine Coon is aggressive. Cats can feel most of the emotions we do, so if she thinks that you’re denying her your attention just to give it to someone else, she’ll let you know – big time!
So, if she starts thinking that you’re spending more time with a new fluff you just adopted or your boyfriend, for example, your Maine Coon may become aggressive towards the new object of your admiration.
9. She’s taking your side in family arguments
Another reason why she may be aggressive towards some of your family members (whether we’re talking about your partner, parents, or siblings), is because she’s trying to protect you. Basically, she’s taking your side in family arguments.
Maine Coons usually have that one owner, if it’s a family environment, that they are more connected with. These beauties are extremely empathetic creatures and they usually recognize when their owner is not feeling good. If you’re her favorite, she’ll definitely try to protect you – even from your loved ones.
10. She’s protecting her kittens
I guess this is the thing that you’ve been waiting for from the start. Female Maine Coons are going to be extremely aggressive in order to protect their babies. This is going to be visible at the beginning, right after she gives birth.
Even though she trusts you endlessly, she’ll do anything to protect her kittens because her maternal instincts are telling her to keep her babies safe. So, your otherwise gentle giant may be full of aggressiveness during the first couple of weeks of being a new mum.
11. She feels threatened
Another pretty obvious reason why your fluff is aggressive out of a sudden is that she feels threatened. There’s no other way for her to defend herself or tell you that something’s wrong but to change her behavior.
So, if she’s in the same room with someone she doesn’t trust, a foreigner to your household, or a pet that hurt her before, your Maine Coon may get aggressive at one point. She’s not doing this from anger but rather from worry that someone could harm her (again).
One of the most important things for a cat, as she’s growing up, is to spend some time socializing with other (preferably older) felines or hoomans. That way, she’ll be able to learn some basic catiquette. She’ll know that biting and scratching may hurt others, for example.
If she didn’t spend some time with other furbabies or people, your Maine Coon may be aggressive. This is purely out of fear because she doesn’t trust you enough that you won’t hurt her. Luckily, you can easily solve this – just invest some time in training her.
13. She redirected her aggression
Redirected aggression actually means that you’re not her primary source of anger but rather something that she can’t affect. Let’s say that there’s this dog that constantly transpasses your porch and your fluff can’t go out to defend her territory.
Of course, your Maine Coon will become aggressive and instead of physically hurting and attacking the intruder, she’s going to redirect her aggression toward your furniture or family members.
14. Her hormones are raging
Raging hormones are not just a “human thing”. Your cat also goes through puberty, which can be a crazy period. But, worry not, aggression mostly happens in felines that haven’t been neutered or spayed on time.
15. Her parents were aggressive
Blame the genetics this time – if her parents were showing any signs of aggression, your Maine Coon can be aggressive too. Of course, the main reason why felines adopt this destructive behavior is because of their environment.
However, nature has some say in that too. So, if her parents were aggressive, she either adopted that as a normal behavior, or she simply has it in her DNA.
16. You crossed her boundaries
Nobody wants to be disrespected and neither does your feline. There are certain moments when your cat doesn’t want to be bothered, and she’ll try to let you and your family members know that using her body language.
If you fail to understand that, your Maine Coon will become aggressive. For example, if you try to pick up your fluff for some extra cuddles, even though she clearly wants to be alone, she’ll surely start hissing at you.
17. She doesn’t get along with other pets in the household
This could also be one of the problems why your Maine Coon is being aggressive. If she doesn’t get along with other pets in the household, she may feel threatened, anxious, and under a lot of stress. All of these, as you could previously see, will cause aggressive behavior.
Is Maine Coon’s aggression a sign that she has underlying health issues?
Unfortunately, yes, it can be. Besides these above-mentioned reasons, underlying health issues can cause aggression in Maine Coon cats. I know that this is not something a cat parent wants to hear, but it’s better to be cautious.
If your fluff reacts when you touch her back limbs or somewhere near, she may have hip dysplasia which is a common issue these gentle giants face. Hissing or growling after you’ve touched her tummy area, or tried to pick her up, may also indicate problems with her internal organs.
These can be polycystic kidney disease or urinary tract diseases. If you don’t brush your fluff’s teeth regularly (yes, you have to do that), she may get periodontal disease, or her teeth may decay. She may also suffer from Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (heart problems).
Feline pectus excavatum (deformity of her chest bone which causes different problems), Spinal muscular atrophy ( neurodegenerative disorder), different allergies, parasites, paw problems like ingrown nails, or digestive issues may cause aggression as well.
How can you calm your aggressive Maine Coon down?
In the end, I want to share some tips with you on how to calm your aggressive Maie Coon down. Are you ready? Let’s start.
First of all, give her some space. You don’t want to be bothered when you’re not feeling well, right? It’s the same with your feline. She’ll need some time to cool down, and it’s better if you leave her alone and in her safe space.
In case you notice that your Maine Coon is aggressive because she’s stressed or anxious, and you’re sure that she needs your help and support, approach her carefully. Try to pet her and if she accepts, then gently continue stroking her fur until you can pick her up in your lap. Then, suffocate her with love! Just kidding, don’t overdo it.
You can also get her cat nail caps that will prevent her from damaging her surroundings in these cases, and you can always ask a professional for his or her help. That may be your vet or cat behaviorist and they’ll surely give you some valuable advice.
If your Maine Coon is aggressive, keep in mind that she’s not doing that to spite you or because she holds grudges. Something’s off and you have to figure out what. Good luck and enjoy with your gentle giant!