Can Maine Coons be left alone?

No, but it depends on the length of time. Clearly people who are thinking about adopting a Maine Coon are working full-time and they are wondering whether their work arrangements are a barrier to an adoption. I would say that they are if a person is working five days a week, 8-10 hours a day and is therefore away from the home for perhaps about 10-12 hours a day for five straight days. It is too long to leave a cat, including a Maine Coon cat, alone in my view but this is a matter of personal opinion.

People ask the question in the title but I think it is a bit silly. The question is the same as asking if domestic cats can be left alone. Or you could ask the question whether dogs can be left alone. There is very little difference. The answer every time is No. But it depends on for how long they are left alone.

Photo: Robert Sijka - this is a dilute tortie.

I suppose the question in the title comes up in the minds of people because the domestic cat is sometimes believed to be a solitary animal. The idea is that they don't need to socialise. But it is no longer true. I would think that it is fair to say that the domestic cat has become a social animal. They do retain a a bit of a solitary character (from their wild cat ancestor) but in the human world they really have to be sociable because, after all, they live with people. This is an interspecies relationship. In the human home there is going to be, possibly several people and one or two cats. This is very much a social situation.

And over thousands of years domestic cats expect to be in a situation where it pays to be sociable. What I'm getting to is that domestic cats don't like to be alone all day. So can Maine Coons be left alone? The answer is no they can't.

Of course, it depends how long you're going to leave a domestic cat alone. An afternoon is okay and perhaps, at a pinch, a day might be okay but you can't leave a domestic cat alone every day for 12 hours a day. That just isn't fair. And Maine Coons are no different to any other domestic cat in that regard. Why should there be?

Perhaps people might think that Maine Coons are selectively bred to be able to cope better with being left alone. That isn't the case. There is a certain amount of selective breeding for character in any cat breed because the breeder will select foundation cats who have a nice character and which are going to be well socialised. This should be amenable to socialisation. They should be confident. That is the breeder's job, to select high quality foundation cats. But they are not selectively bred to be alone: the opposite really.

If you are breeding Maine Coons to be solitary, they wouldn't be very good domestic cat companions. You want a domestic cat that wants to interact with their human caregiver. You want your cat to come to you and ask to be cuddled or to go on your lap. These are the behaviours of a sociable animal not a solitary one who wants to be left alone.

So we know that Maine Coons don't like to be left alone for lengthy periods. The same applies to domestic dogs. There are far too many domestic dogs left alone all day while their own is at work example.

RELATED: Too many frightened abandoned dogs waiting for human love.

As to whether Maine Coons can get along with other cats and dogs, this is a question primarily of socialisation by the breeder concerned. If Maine Coons, raised underfoot, have the right experience during those early weeks of life they should be socialised to cats and dogs and people and they should get along with them all barring the usual incidental arguments.

The temperament of the Maine Coon is said to be relaxed and easy-going. And they are meant to get along well with children and dogs as well as cats. They are people orientated but don't demand constant attention. They prefer to hang out with their owners. While these are indications that Maine Coons can cope well being left alone for a while, it doesn't mean that they should be left alone other than for relatively short periods.

I don't believe you can leave a cat alone for long periods. You shouldn't really let your neighbour look after your cat while you go away for two weeks to Spain on holiday. People do that but I don't. And you would not do that with a Maine Coon which is a valuable purebred cat. Simply on the value of the cat alone, forgetting for the time being the emotional connection, you don't leave your cat alone in your house and expect your neighbour to feed your cat for a couple of weeks.

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