Why does my Maine Coon attack?

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I have a 1 1/2 year old neutered maine coon cat. He can be a loving cat when he wants to, but there are times when I will be playing with him, he will start biting, lay back his ears and his eyes get real big, and he goes for your head. He never draws blood, but it does hurt! He doesn't care who he does this to. Does anyone elses cat do this?

-- Anonymous, August 08, 1999


I have 2 mc cats. Mine are the most loving animals I have ever had! (when they want to be). One minute they will be setting on my lap loving the attention I am giving them and then the next I will have bite marks. I have found that this is all part of the charm of the breed. I hope this helps

-- Anonymous, August 09, 1999

Maine coons are not "known" to be nervous cats who bite without provocation or reason. This isn't a charming aspect of the Maine coon. Redirected aggression, confinement, stress, or simply the desire to be left alone may cause your cat to change from affectionate to aggressive. You may want to look into what may be causing your cat to suddenly bite you while you pet them.


-- Anonymous, August 09, 1999

I also have a male neutered MC the same age as yours and he loves to play rough! We call it "ready to rumble." I always have scratch/bite marks on me and even have a few close-up photos of him in action. Good to hear he's not the only pscho-kitty around.

-- Anonymous, August 10, 1999

I have a two year old Maine Coon Cat.....who behaves this way toward the kitchen sponge !! When you pick up the sponge to wipe a spot on the counter, he dives into the sink, pins his ears and growls - then he attacks it. He also plays rough with people - but never bites hard....thankfully, huge teeth....my suggestion is to teach him to play this game with a small stuffed toy. My cat likes the wool dust mit, this may redirect his focus away from your head.

-- Anonymous, August 10, 1999

I recently adopted a 4 year old neutered maine coon. I have the same problem with biting. He is very loving, funny, goofy etc. But when I play with him he starts to attack and bite, never my face but my arms and hands are always his target. He really hurts. When he wants to be fed and I'm late he attacks. I thought he was the only "psycho- kitty" - happy to hear there are others. I love him and am willing to overlook this personality flaw. So glad I found this website!!

-- Anonymous, September 03, 1999

I have a 2 1/2 year old maine coon and she is very loving to family members but is aggressive to strangers. She also "plays" with family and ends up bitting a little too hard. I was very refreshed to find out that I wasn't the only one with a psycho cat!!! I have never known any other cat to attack strangers that enter the house!!

-- Anonymous, September 29, 1999

Yes, they definitely do bite! But, it's only playing, I've been told. Consider it a sign of affection! You probably notice that your cat wags its tail too when it gets in a bitey mood. My Maine Coon has a whole array of moods. Sometimes, she'll be all sweet and cuddly, other times, she's jumping at my face or biting me when I try to pet her, brush her, pick her up, or clip her nails. If I look at her when she's behind my bed or couch, she's liable to jump up at me and her eyes get really big too!

-- Anonymous, September 30, 1999

My Maine Coon was three months old when we found him at a pet store. Now he is a year and one month old. I love him dearly and bought him because I had had a very fine experience with a coon who disappeared about six years ago. Since then I never let my cats outside. But Maxwell Elliott, my new coon is quite the handful. I have to keep him in a bedroom by himself all day while I'm at work or he will beat up my other two cats. When I get home he is so grateful to be let out of the bedroom. I hate keeping him confined all day and wish that he could be free to roam the house and have the camaraderie of the other animals, but he's too aggressive to allow that; it would be disastrous for my other cats, and for the house itself as he jumps on window treatments with drawn claws, jumps on paintings and clocks on walls, and flies up onto the TV. I have considered asking the vet to prescribe a sedative that doesn't have too many negative side effects, and wonder what this might cost. If there are any vets out there who can help I would greatly appreciate your input. Maxwell Elliott is quite the charmer: he can purrbox in your ears, and give kisses and hugs, but all evening long I am chasing him to stop him from chasing and pouncing, and biting my other cats who fear him. I put Maxwell Elliott in time out when he is too bad, but I don't want to keep him there more than ten or twenty minutes because he's in there all day while I'm at work, and then again at night while I sleep. Please help. I love this little guy and want to help him be a congenial member of the family. Thanks much, Lewglo

-- Anonymous, October 26, 1999

Hi I have a five month old MC I had gotten from our local SPCA. She is a very beautiful kitten. Once she was in the door our lives changed. She would let you pet her for exactly 30 seconds, then she would be hanging off your arm every claw she had. After days of evil looks and no contact. I decided this 4 pound kitten was not getting the best of me. I started to do some reasearch.I had found out she had been trapped, from a very wooded area and had been sick for acouple of weeks. Some of these problems are all they know. It takes a little bit longer with these babies.You also must show them persistance disaplince. Sandi (sandibaker@webtv.com)

-- Anonymous, December 21, 1999

The rescue Maine Coon I tried to give a home to got so suddenly vicious that when she finally leaped on my HEAD and hung there with her claws in my scalp, the Animal Rescue folks asked me to bring her back, because she showed an aggressive behavior towards humans that is considered dangerous, and needed to be put down. I called all around the area, to anyone who could otherwise advise me, and learned that the Rescue folks were right. It was very difficult to do this with such a beautiful creature that I only wished to lavish love upon, and after successfully raising umpteen animals in my 63 years. I now have two rescue cats, a Mom and Baby Boy, just shorthair Americans, very plain, and Mom is even built funny...short, round in the middle, and short-tailed...but they are LOVES and never have attacked or even been unpleasant in any way for five minutes in the year and a half that we have "been family." Know your breed, and decide if you can live with it...and safely. MC's are outdoor farm cats.

-- Anonymous, January 05, 2000

"Know your breed, and decide if you can live with it...and safely. MC's are outdoor farm cats."

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2000

"Know your breed, and decide if you can live with it...and safely. MC's are outdoor farm cats."

This is utterly FALSE. Maine coons in general, are extremely sweet cats and are perfectly happy indoors. this attack cat you described is an exception to the rule. mabe he was raised in a poor environment, mabe he was feral to begin with.

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2000

Here we go again! There is another series of e-mails on this subject from the same person regarding MCs being outdoor cats. Thank you, Edwin.....Maine Coons are NOT outdoor farm cats! If you get a cat from an unknown background (like from a humane society or SPCA) you have no idea what has happened to that cat or what its ancestors are like. In fact, you cannot even say it is a Maine Coon because unless it is purebred (that is, it has a pedigree that can be traced back several generations), then it is NOT a Maine Coon! If you get a cat from a reputable breeder you will have had the chances to at least meet the cat's dam - and preferably the sire - and be able to see what their characters are like. This has a significant impact on how your cat will behave (unless your cat experiences traumas later on which will, of course, affect its personality). MCs are raised by reputable breeders to be indoors only cats. In fact, I know no reputable breeder who will agree to sell to someone who will let their cat outdoors. And NO, I am NOT a breeder so have nothing to gain from suggesting you know your cat's background and ancestors before you buy. (By the way, regarding the original question regarding the cat playing roughly, this often happens when a kitten has been involved in a lot of "rough" games with its owners. Sometimes we think it is cute to wrestle and play bite games with our kittens....only problem is when they grow up and their teeth get big, they don't understand why a wrestle game can sometimes turn a bit painful! The same advice applies to dogs as to cats....try to avoid letting your kitten playfully bite you when it is little and they will not be interested in that "game" when they grow.)

-- Anonymous, January 07, 2000

I am a little late, but I agree totally with Edwin and Lady B. NO WAY are these "farm cats"!! Farm cats are mixed-up-who-knows-whats! They are most likely feral. I saw someone else write and say it's their nature, NO WAY again. These cats are noted for their congenial behavior. They are the most popular type of pure bred cat to have as a family pet along with the Persian! If he starts to play rough, STOP! Let him cool down. These are big cats and yes they're playing can be painful if they get all wound up. One more thing, if you want to have a healthy pure bred MC, for Heaven's sake save up and buy one from a REPUTABLE BREEDER!!! You never know what you get from the animal shelters or pet shops. Rescue missions are great ideas, but again the cats background is questionable. (Breeders will usually try to relocate your cat if you do not want it anymore rather than have you take it to a rescue mission, so chances are they may not be PURE). Please don't try to save a few bucks and buy from the newspapers either, remember you only get what you pay for. Alot of people are only out to make buck, not a quality cat.

-- Anonymous, July 03, 2000

I have what I think could be a Maine Coon lookalike. He is about 3 years old and what a laugh he is, he too gets the big eyes and flattened ears then lets rip with a spectatcular fighting bout! I have a pair of big furry gloves and he just goes wild for them doing the whole hunter-killer theme ending up with him carrying off his prey at the end of it all (the furry glove). He too never claws and draws blood but he cannot tell the difference between biting hard and soft! don,t worry too much if he starts to play too rough just stop playing and he will settle down and keep your head out of the way. For what it is worth a cat is a cat and hunting and fighting are a big part of there instinctive behaviour and no amount of training will totally eliminate this from him so enjoy him the way he is you never know one day you might even beat him in a fight!

-- Anonymous, July 30, 2000

I am not sure if my Dusty is a MC but I have been told that he is from a few people including his vet.When I purchased him at the pet shelter he was the only kitten alone in his cage. The attendant there told me that he was a little crazy and had to be kept alone, I took him home regardless and not once have I regretted my decision. I have two sons who have always played with Dusty , but when he has had enough he makes what I call his warning cry, before his ears go back and his eyes enlarge,if the boys do not release him he will attack their heads and on occassion draw blood. Like I always say to the boys,he warned you. The Duster also loves it outside and since I have owned him he has always used his leash, he will even respond to the words " Do you want to go outside." The winters here in the North are cold and yet Dusty loves playing in the snow. He is extremely intelligent, if this is a character trait of the MC. I babysat my friend's 1 year old who had dicovered crawling and stairs. When he proceeded for the stairs I retreived him from climing them as dusty sat watching, the next time Kyle went for the stairs Dusty went with him and laided down on the second stair, Kyle didn't like the feel of Dusty's hair nor could he figure out how to get by him. At fisrt I thought this was a coincidence but I brought Kyle back and Dusty would walk way and when I let Kyle go he would crawl for the stairs Dusty would repeat laying on the second step. If my cat is in fact a MC then I am a very Proud owner.

--Terry McDonagh(jade1z4@yahoo.com)

-- Anonymous, September 11, 2000

My 2 year old MC, Newman is well known for being very protective of his mama and daddy. He has bitten strangers and even growled at them. He likes other animals to an extent. Along as they play by his terms. He has more than once backed our 90lb German Shepherd into a corner and made him submit to him. But with us he is VERY LOVING. But when he means business, its 16lbs of very large teeth and claws! However, he is a jealous cat... Anyone have a Maine Coon that gets jealous? Then you know how that is!

-- Anonymous, February 27, 2001

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