Are Maine Coons like dogs (in their behavior)?

Stunning flame coloured Maine Coon
Stunning flame coloured Maine Coon. Photo: Катерина Силантьева.
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In order to answer the question we have to firstly ask what acting like a dog means. I have looked up the dictionary definition of ‘doglike’.

Definition of “doglike”

The dictionary definition of doglike in terms of behaviour means to resemble a dog especially in devotion. In other words a doglike cat is one which is particularly devoted to their owner and loyal et cetera.

Some people think that a cat is doglike when they are eager to play fetch. I’ll take that onboard aswell.

Behaviour of the Maine Coon

Dr. Morris in his book Cat World A Feline Encyclopaedia recites all the adjectives used to describe this Marine some of which include doglike behaviour such as: loving, faithful, responsive and affectionate.

Gloria Stephens, a current or former cat show judge and the author of The Legacy of the Cat, describes the temperament of this cat breed as “people-orientated…In fact, some develop such a strong attachment to their female owners that they become recalcitrant when the female owner is away.”

Based on those two descriptions, I must come to the conclusion that Maine Coons can be doglike in their behaviour. As to playing fetch this will be an individual cat characteristic in my opinion. We can’t say that all Maine Coons like to play fetch. Indeed there will be a variation in Maine Coon temperament as well which is perfectly normal and so come Maine Coons will be more people-orientated and responsive than others.

Maine Coon bred in Russia with an interesting coat
Maine Coon bred in Russia with an interesting coat. Photo: Irina Goriunova (Russian breeder of this cat).

And, do they like dogs as well?

While I am on the subject of dogs it is probably suitable to ask whether the Maine Coon actually likes dogs as well as behaving like them. This largely depends on whether they are socialised to dogs. By far the biggest factor in dictating whether any cat likes dogs is whether they were raised around dogs in the first seven weeks of their life. I am sure that you are aware of this. Socialisation is the only reason why cats are domesticated. This is why they like humans and get on with humans. The same rules apply to dogs and whether they like them or not. It’s more about whether they are not fearful of dogs rather than liking them although through good socialisation when a young kittens they will naturally enter into friendships with dogs if the chemistry is right.


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