Why are Maine Coons so vocal? Answer: not all Maine Coons are vocal.

In the title, I have asked the question that Google suggests that I ask and I've answered it as well. I will try and add some detail. Yes, Google suggests to me that people search for an answer as to why all Maine Coons are vocal, meaning that they are very talkative. This simply is not the case on my research and based upon my personal experience.

Dilute tortie cat photographed by Robert Sijka
Dilute tortie cat photographed by Robert Sijka.

And certainly, Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat, supports me. She should know. She became a specialty judge for the American Cat Fanciers' Association in 1971. At the time of publication of her book,  first published in the US in 2001, she was an all-breed judge for the American Cat Association. She may well have retired but her experience is undeniable.

She is also considered to be an acknowledged expert in cat genetics. She has worked as an instructor training judges and has conducted cat breeding seminars. And finally, she is or was a devoted and professional breeder of cats. She lives in Rogue River, Oregon. She lives or lived with Norwegian Forest Cats, Oriental Shorthairs and Maine Coons! A fantastic human pedigree if I may say so 😉.

'Fairly quiet'

Now to get to the point: she describes the Maine Coon cat as "fairly quiet". They have tiny voices which is incongruous because they are very big domestic cats. They have an imposing appearance but of course they are very sweet cats.

Maine Coon Central website

So what do other people say about the Maine Coon and whether they are "so vocal" or not? The Maine Coon Central website tells us that they are 'chatty'. They say that they are "extremely vocal". The author says that they never meow but chirp and trill as a sign of happiness and excitement. They are not 'loud' according to this person.

Well, this author's assessment is almost diametrically opposed to that of Gloria Stephens. Although she does say that they are not loud which implies that the Maine Coon has a quiet voice. What does that tell us? It tells me that both authors are relying upon their personal experience. The author, Katarina Stewardson, of the Maine Coon Central website has lived with one Maine Coon cat based upon her mini-autobiography on the website.

Gloria Stephens has more experience of Maine Coon cats. That is certain I would argue. I would tend to rely upon her assessment as being more accurate.

Maine Coon Expert

Another leading Maine Coon website, Maine Coon Expert, written by Ann, claims that this breed is 'talkative'. She lives with a Maine Coon cat. So, she has first-hand experience. But once again I would argue her experience is less than that of Gloria Stephens.

Conclusion?

Whether a Maine Coon cat is talkative or not depends upon that particular individual's preferences, their inheritance and their experiences. There must be variation amongst individual cats of this breed. This is entirely to be expected. So some individuals are going to be quite talkative while others are going to be quite quiet. On the whole I would expect them to be on the quiet-side based upon Gloria Stephens's experience.

My experience

I have lived with Maine Coon cats for about two weeks. I was staying in a home where there were two Maine Coon cats. I found them to be quiet. One of them Zak took a liking to me. He came on my bed and enjoyed my company. He was quiet, somewhat shy and reticent. That is to be expected because I was a stranger to him. But certainly was not "so vocal" as to be noticeable. If anything, as mentioned, he was on the quiet-side of normal. 

How chatty is the cat's caregiver?

A clear factor as to whether an individual cat of any breed is vocal or not must be the environment in which they live and how talkative their human caregiver is. If the human caregiver tends to go up to their cats and talks a lot to them they will learn to respond by meowing. Once again this tells us that you can't really say that all individual cats of one breed have a propensity to be vocal or quiet. You have to drill down and observe individuals in their homes.

That is my conclusion about the Maine Coon cats being ostensibly 'so vocal'.

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