Are you asking yourself, “Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality?” We know for sure the Maine Coon has many characteristics and traits that make it unique compared to other cats and yet more like dogs. And so the answer is yes, Maine Coons do have a dog-like personality.
- Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality?
- Maine Coons and dogs love to splash around with water
- Maine Coons and dogs know how to walk with a harness
- The Cat-Dog Relationship
- Cat breeds that are dog-like
- Can Maine Coons be trained to act like dogs?
- Considerations when training your Maine Coon to act like a dog
It is not uncommon for people to look at the behaviour of the Maine Coon and wonder why this beauty is behaving like a dog.
The Maine Coon cat is special in that it possesses a unique charm unlike other cat breeds, an intelligence that makes them capable of learning tricks you would teach your dog, a warm and kind heart, and undeniably loyal.
If you are interested in learning more about the Maine Coon, and its fascinating history, folklore and more, then you can read my guide which covers everything.
So let’s dig a little deeper into whether Maine Coon Cats have a dog-like personality.
Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality?
From my personal experience with two Maine Coon cats, I would say most definitely the Maine Coon has a dog-like personality.
Before I explore the similarities between Maine Coon cats and dogs, let me provide you with a deeper insight into the background and history of the Maine Coon cat.
The Maine Coon cat originated from Maine, in the United States. The breed evolved as a working domesticated cat in rural Maine, USA, which explains their rugged appearance; weatherproof coat, double-layer of fur and a tail the length of their body.
The Maine Coon cat is sweet and loyal, and very sociable. They often suffer from separation anxiety and therefore would rather spend all their time around their humans. They are very vocal with a range of dulcet tones and make excellent family pets.
Can you already start to see similarities between the Maine Coon and the dog? I think it’s plain to see that Maine Coon cats have a dog-like personality, but let’s explore and compare their traits in detail.
Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality? – Comparing Maine Coon vs Dog personality
Many often ask the question, “Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality?” therefore let’s find out.
If you already own a Maine Coon, then I am sure you can relate to many of these. If you do not have a Maine Coon, and are just interested, then I am sure you will be pleasantly surprised.
|Personality Trait of Dog||The personality trait of Maine Coon|
|Extroverted Personality||Just like dogs, Maine Coons know how to make themselves heard. They love human company, are very sociable with an extroverted personality.|
|Intelligent||Maine Coons possess above-average intelligence. This makes them easy to train just like dogs.|
|Copious amounts of energy||The Maine Coon breed is known for having a high activity level. They require stimulation on a daily basis like dogs.|
|Love to Interact with humans||The Maine Coon breed loves to interact with, and help its human and prefer not to be left alone for long periods of time.|
|Splash arounds with water||The Maine Coon is obsessed with water. Expect them to jump in the bath, sit at the sink, or make a mess of their water bowl.|
|They know how to walk with a harness||Just like dogs, the Maine Coon can walk with a harness, and can learn pretty quickly.|
|Loyal||The Maine Coon is loyal to their humans, just like a dog is.|
|Family Pet||A Maine Coon is a great option for families with children as they make an excellent family pet.|
I will explore the table in more detail below. If you are interested in learning more about whether Maine Coon cats are good with dogs, you can do so on my other blog, “Are Maine Coon Cats Good with Dogs?”
Maine Coons and dogs have a similar extroverted personality
If you have a Maine Coon cat, then you will know about this. I have two and they both know how to make themselves heard throughout the house!
The Maine Coon cat is known for making a variety of different noises. This includes chattering, yowling, chirping, meowing and purring.
Maine Coons love to talk back to their humans. Have you tried having a conversation with your Maine Coon? I swear my Maine Coon knows exactly what I am asking them now and likewise, I understand what they are trying to communicate to me.
Sound very similar to that of a dog? Maine Coon cats and dogs share this common personality trait so I am in agreement with the question, “Do Maine Coons have a dog-like personality?”
Maine Coons and dogs share an intelligence
Maine Coon cats possess an intelligence that is above average which puts them in a league with dogs.
Have you ever tried playing fetch with a Maine Coon? Or asked them to give you their paw before giving them a treat? If they don’t, it doesn’t take long to train them, and you might even find it doesn’t require any at all.
For example, my two Maine Coons Ragnar and Lagertha quickly learned how to play fetch. After all, what do cats love nothing more? Yes, bringing back ‘presents’ for their owners, whether that’s in the form of a dead bird or mouse.
This behaviour is shared amongst dogs which makes them more common than you think.
Maine Coons and dogs have copious amounts of energy
You will probably find that your Maine Coon kitten has endless energy, especially during the night. This does normally calm down after around 6-7 months, but in general, Maine Coon cats are known for their high amounts of energy.
Maine Coons are nocturnal and you might hear them prowling during the night and wonder what on earth has been knocked over only to find everything is intact!
Maine Coons and dogs like to interact with humans
Do you ever notice that your Maine Coon follows you around the house from room to room? Just like some breeds of dogs, Maine Coon are prone to suffering from separation anxiety `and so prefer the constant company of their humans.
Maine Coon likes to interact in other ways including playing with their humans, and showing affection whether that’s rubbing against your legs, grooming you or sitting next to you on the sofa.
Their need to interact with humans is very much like a dog, and not at all lie the stereotype one would assume of cats.
Maine Coons and dogs love to splash around with water
So where do I start with this one?!
Maine Coons are obsessed with water. Whether this is merely drinking water out of a fountain, sitting in the bathtub or sticking the paw under the faucet fascinated by the fact their fur is waterproof, the Maine Coon has a love for water just like the dog.
Maine Coons and dogs know how to walk with a harness
Maine Coons are highly trainable and all you need are some treats and a target stick. One area you can train your Maine Coon is walking with a harness.
At first, they might feel uncomfortable wearing the harness, but after a couple of times wearing it around the house, they should get used to it.
Before you know it, they’ll be out walking in the street just like the regular neighbourhood dog.
Maine Coons and dogs are both loyal
Very early on in a Maine Coon kitten’s life, they’ll have a chosen human, maybe two if you’re lucky. The Maine Coon is known for being loyal and is one of the many personality traits that make them popular amongst many people.
Their loyalty might explain why they suffer from separation anxiety or follow you around the house. I think we can all agree, that both Maine Coon and dog share this delightful personality trait.
Maine Coons and dogs make excellent family pets
There is no denying that the Maine Coon makes an excellent family pet. With all the personality traits described above such as their intelligence, loyalty, extroversion, and cute quirks, the Maine Coon is the ideal family pet.
So, for the same reasons you choose to have a dog in your family home, you can expect the exact same behaviour from a Maine Coon.
The Cat-Dog Relationship
Naturally, you would think that cats cannot possibly behave like dogs. They are completely different creatures, with unique genetic make-up.
But what they do have in common includes navigating their way through this world with their noses, they can succumb to the same diseases and pests such as fleas, ticks and worms.
They also prefer the comfort of family life, settling into a home where they can be devoured with attention. They also communicate with their humans and like to socialise just as much.
So really is it wild to assume or believe that cats behave like dogs after all?
Cat breeds that are dog-like
Although it is common knowledge that the Maine Coon displays dog-like behaviour, there are in fact other cat breeds that also have dog-like personalities.
Here I explore them further in the table below before going into more detail.
|Cat Breed||Ancestry||Weight||Average Lifespan||Dog-like behaviour|
|Abyssinian Cat||Egyptian Origin||9-17 Ibs||9-15 years||Craves attentionPlays fetchLeash trained Loves water Sociable Intelligent|
|American Curl||United States||8-12 Ibs||9-13 years||AffectionateFriendlyLoves waterGreat family pet Sociable Easy-going|
|Birman Cat||Burma,||6-12 Ibs||12-16 years||Great family petLove to give and receive affectionPay attention to commands|
|Bombay Cat||Kentucky||8-15 Ibs||15-20 years||Love giving and receiving attentionLeash trainedTrained to play catchPlacid Love being petted|
|Burmese Cat||Burma||8-12 Ibs||16-18 years||Good with childrenSociableAffectionatePlayful Trained to retrieveSensitive|
|Manx Cat||Isle of Man||8-14 Ibs||10-14 years||LoyalFamily petPlayful RetrievesBuries items Responds to commands|
|Norwegian Forest Cat||Norway||12-16 Ibs||12-20 years||InquisitiveBoldSociable Loyal Answer to their name Family pet|
|Ragdoll Cat||California, America||15-20 Ibs||9-15 years||SociableAffectionatePlayful Answer to their name|
|Sphynx Cat||Canada||6-12 Ibs||8-14 years||LoyalAffectionate EnergeticSociable Extroverted Enjoys hunting games|
Abyssinian Dog-like behaviour
The Abyssinian cat is a domestic short-haired breed with ancestry that originates from Egypt. Quite possibly, it is considered the sacred cat of ancient Egypt and so carries a very special story.
The Abyssinians has slender legs, and their coat is short and fine in texture. They have a red nose, and eyes that come in shades of hazel, green or gold, they are stunning.
The Abyssinian cat is one of the several cat breeds that are known for its dog-like personality. They hold an extroverted personality and a strong attachment to their owners and just like the Maine Coon, are prone to separation anxiety.
The Abyssinian also has some dog-like quirky traits. They love to play with water, are great at retrieval games, and can walk on a leash.
American Curl Dog-like behaviour
The American Curl cat is one native to the United States and in fact, one of the newest cat breeds around.
An interesting fact about the American Curl was that it was born because of a genetic mutation that resulted in their curly ears. All American Curls descend from a famous cat named ‘Shulamith.’ Shulamith was a long-haired black stray cat with ears that curled. She had a litter of 4 to an unknown tom cat.
This friendly breed is especially known for its dog-like traits. The American Curl is a sociable kitty and loves to be around humans, both adults and children. This makes them an excellent choice for families.
Believe it or not, they are often referred to as the ‘Peter Pan’ of the cat world due to their high-energy flying around the house.
The American Curl is also great at playing fetch and loves to play with water just like the Maine Coon. One word of advice, this beautiful cat is very intelligent and therefore will figure out how to turn doorknobs. If you have an American Curl, is this something you have experienced? Please, leave a comment.
Birman Cat Dog-like behaviour
Also sometimes referred to as the ‘Sacred Cat of Burma’, the Birman cat is another breed with tendencies to behave dog-like.
The Birman has roots that go back to Burma, in Southeast Asia and was once a sacred companion of the Kittah priests of the ancient Khmer people.
The Birman cat has a semi-long coat, with fur that feels silky. They have comparably smaller ears than that of the Maine Coon and their coat comes in a range of colours including eggshell or golden with markings of chocolate, blue, red, lilac, cream, and seal. They possess cute white gloves on each paw and blue eyes.
The Birman is a great family pet and gets along with everyone. They are very sociable and know how to make friends. They are also excellent at obeying commands, which makes them easily trainable.
Bombay Cat Dog-like behaviour
The Bombay cat was developed by breeder Nikki Horner from Kentucky. She attempted to create a breed of cat that resembled the black panther, a mini one-off course.
They have a glossy jet-black coat, a rounded head, and piercing golden eyes. As much as they do absolutely resemble a mini black panther, the Bombay cat could not be sweeter.
They have a friendly personality which makes for an excellent lap cat for anyone interested. (You can find out more about cat breeds that make excellent lap cats in my other article). Other traits that make them dog-like include following their owners from room to room, playing with adults and children alike, being easily trainable, and learning how to play fetch and retrieve quickly.
Burmese Cat Dog-like behaviour
Another breed that originated from Burma, the Burmese cat is a stocky yet compact cat. Everything about the Burmese cat is round including their body, their head, the tips of their ears, their chin, and even their little feet.
Most Burmese cats are a traditional deep brown colour, with yellow or blue eyes.
Just like dogs, the Burmese cat is very active, and curious at the same time. They are very agile and make great climbers. They crave attention, and love being around their owners which helps them develop strong loyalty bonds. The Burmese are also easily trainable, and before you know it, it will be fetching toys.
They make an excellent addition to the family, especially for those seeking a dog-like cat.
Manx Cat Dog-like behaviour
This breed is a particular favourite of mine, as they come from the Isle of Man, where Manx Gaelic was once spoken often; very similar to Scottish Gaelic. The Manx Gaelic for the Manx Cat is ‘ Cat Manannach.’
The Manx Cat has a naturally occurring mutation which gives it the stub of a tail. They have long legs, and a rounded head.
They come in a range of colours and patterns including tabby, tortoiseshell, calico and solid. They commonly have blue eyes, but it is not uncommon for them to have eye colours of amber, copper, green, gold and hazel.
The Manx cat is intelligent and loves interacting with humans. They have a loyalty to their humans unlike anything else, and a gait that makes them look like a bowling ball. They are very playful and can respond to commands.
This makes them very dog-like and more importantly, an excellent family pets.
Norwegian Forest Cat dog-like behaviour
The Norwegian Forest cat is one of my favourite breeds, next to that Maine Coon of course. They originated from Norway and did not require any human assistance for hundreds of years. They are often referred to as the ‘Skogkatt’ in Norwegian.
The Norwegian Forest cat closely resembles the Maine Coon more so than other cat breeds, and some experts even believe they are related somehow. They possess a long-haired scraggly coat to keep them protected during long harsh winters.
They also have a substantial bone structure like that of the Maine Coon, and possess a broad chest, long hind legs and a rump that is slightly higher than their shoulders.
With a semi-long coat, the Norwegian Forest cat’s fur comes in a variety of colours including solid, tabby, bi-colour, tortoise, calico, smoke, and cameo. Again, like that the Maine Coon, the Norwegian Forest cat has large ears and tufts of hair growing at the tips.
The eye colour of the Norwegian Forest cat comes in a range of beautiful shades including green, gold or copper or somewhere in between all three.
So, with many physical traits so similar to that of the Maine Coon, it is no surprise that the Norwegian Forest cat also behaved dog-like, just like that of the Maine Coon. They are extremely loyal, friendly, and gentle giants.
They are curious and inquisitive just like the Maine Coon, and dogs of course. They make excellent family pets, and can also walk on a leash, and fetch and retrieve toys.
Ragdoll Cat dog-like behaviour
The Ragdoll cat was bred by Ann Baker during the 1960s in California. The Ragdoll cat is a result of free-roaming cats; specifically, a domestic longhaired white female and other cats that were found or bred.
The Ragdoll cat displays a soft and silky fur coat with a texture not too dissimilar to that of a rabbit. Their fur coat comes semi-long-haired which does not require as regular grooming as some others such as the Maine Coon.
Ragdolls are born a beautiful white colour, unless they are minks, and develop an even more beautiful deep slate grey which is mottled with shades of cream. The Ragdoll eyes are perhaps one of the most striking eye colours amongst cat breeds. They come in intense shades of green, copper and more commonly dark blue.
The Ragdoll cat is gentle and calm, but at the same time, very sociable and extroverted. They have a loyalty that puts them in the same bracket as dogs and requires attention, love, and affection back. The Ragdoll cat can also learn to play fetch and walk on a leash.
Sphynx Cat dog-like behaviour
The sphynx cat is native to Canada, despite being like the hairless cats bred by the ancient Aztecs. The Sphynx’s hairless coat is a result of a genetic mutation.
The Sphynx cat is medium to large, with a muscular body that makes it very agile, and an excellent climber. They have unusually large ears that sit upright and look very much like the ears of a bat.
The Sphynx also has wide-set eyes which slant ever so slightly at the corners. Their eyes come in a range of attractive colours including blue, copper, yellow, green, gold and red. Despite their unusual appearance, they are very attractive cats.
So, what makes the Sphynx cat dog-like? Just like many dogs, the Sphynx cat is energetic, highly intelligent, and very curious. They are also friendly, affectionate to both family and strangers, and enjoy hunting games.
Can Maine Coons be trained to act like dogs?
If your Maine Coon isn’t trained, or you have recently brought home a kitten, it is entirely possible that they can be trained like a dog. As we know, the Maine Coon is a very intelligent cat which makes training entirely possible.
The key is to develop some short sessions and with that have patience. It might be worth investing in a target stick and a clicker, and make sure to have some treats at the ready to reward your Maine Coon.
Before you know it, your Maine Coon will respond to commands such as ‘sit’, ‘no’, and ‘paw.’ They can also learn to fetch and retrieve items, perform tricks such jump, lying down and even walking with a harness.
The key to the successful training of your Maine Coon is positive reinforcement. Don’t punish them if they don’t do what you are asking. Be patient and before you know it, you’ll be on your way to a highly trained Maine Coon.
Considerations when training your Maine Coon to act like a dog
Despite Maine Coons is a cat breed that is comparatively easier to train than others, it is important to be aware of some considerations. Just because they are known for acting like dogs, does not mean they will. Every Maine Coon is different, and they should be loved for their unique differences.
With that said, below are some top considerations when you are thinking about, or training your Maine Coon cat.
Invest in Maine Coon training tools
Some training tools go a long way when it comes to training your Maine Coon. For example, I have a target stick that comes with a red ball on the end, a clicker, and some treats on hand.
You don’t need to invest in a lot, just a couple of training tools and you are good to go. And it doesn’t cost much which is a bonus. The clicker is used every time your Maine Coon obeys the command or carries out a trick correctly. Again, this is going back to reinforcement. They will soon associate the click with positive behaviour.
Quiet, safe spot for Maine Coon training to take place
Maine Coons are easily distracted especially by loud noises, or even other family members or pets.
If you wish to have a successful training session with your Maine Coon, it is best to find a safe and quiet spot in the house free from distractions.
Positive Reinforcement when training your Maine Coon
Remember that all Maine Coons are unique in their own way, some might be quicker to train than others.
The key here is to be very patient with your Maine Coon and ensure that the experience is 100% positive. Don’t have a go or punish them if they don’t obey your command.
The more positive reinforcement, the quicker and more likely they will learn the command. Providing some treats is an excellent way to show positive reinforcement, in addition, to gently speaking to them and petting them. You could throw in a ‘well done’ or ‘good boy/girl.’
Do not punish your Maine Coon
This goes hand in hand with positive reinforcement. Please never punish your Maine Coon cat. This is the worst thing you can do, and not only will it hinder the training sessions, but it will upset and stress them out.
They are gentle, sensitive creatures, and positive reinforcement is always the way to go.
Keep Maine Coon training sessions short
You will have a better chance of training your Maine Coon over several short training sessions than one long training session.
They will more likely become tired and frustrated with long sessions. Five to ten minutes is ideal.
We can’t deny that the Maine Coon cat is renowned for its dog-like behaviour. In fact, it is one of the many traits that stand out to potential and existing owners.
Having a cat that displays dog-like behaviour is certainly not something you would automatically think of, but it is delightful to watch them with their dog-like quirks.
If your Maine Coon doesn’t display a dog-like personality, fear not, as a little training goes a long way. And if they show no sign of wanting to be trained, they have many distinguishable traits that make up for it.
Either way, the Maine Coon is the perfect cat breed to have dog-like or not.