Should you take your Maine Coon walking?

The answer is very much a YES! But it does depend upon where you live and whether your cat is trained to walk on a lead. You are not going to go walking with your Maine Coon cat unless they are on a lead. But the point is this: we see lots of domestic cats nowadays on leads. In fact, we see lots of Maine Coon cats trekking with their cat caregiver. And I think that taking your Maine Coon cat trekking is the best way to take him or her walking. The picture below highlights that.

Maine Coon 'Lotus' on a leash in the countryside
Maine Coon 'Lotus' on a leash in the countryside. Image in the public domain.

I guess that's obvious because when you are out trekking you are in the countryside. Nature. It is the perfect place for a Maine Coon cat to be. We all know that Maine Coons hail from barn cats. They were in general outdoor cats for hundreds of years. They have a coat which is made to be outside in cold weather. I know Maine Coons are expensive and precious but they should have the opportunity to enjoy the outdoor safely if at all possible.

Harness and training

You will need a good harness which a cat cannot wriggle out of because there will be moments when he might become a little anxious and want to hide. Depending upon the individual cat, he may try and wriggle free from the harness. And this is linked to training. Any expert will say that the best time to leash train your cat is when they are kittens. They are more malleable, more accepting and they will learn to treat a harness as perfectly normal. They won't fall over and become impossible to walk as many adult cats do when they are put in a harness and lead for the first time.

Natural and innate?

One prominent Maine Coon website says that walking your Maine Coon cat on a leash and harness is natural and innate. It is not! I don't think any cat is naturally or normally going to want to go for a walk on a lead. Cats are not dogs. They don't look up to their caregiver as the leader of the pack. They see their caregiver as a companion animal, almost certainly their mother, a surrogate mother. 

But like all domestic cats Maine Coons can be trained to walk on a lead and they will learn to enjoy it immensely when they are out trekking or anywhere else in the countryside. It's back to nature and that is good because it provides lots of mental stimulation which is so important.


It almost goes without saying that taking your Maine Coon for a walk will improve the bond between caregiver and cat. There's this constant connection in a natural environment. And I know from my cat that domestic cats like it very much when their owner spends time with them outside in nature. My cat is not a Maine Coon but I know he delights in me being outside in the backyard or when I go to buy the paper. He follows me down the pavement. I don't like the location in terms of safety but he loves it. P.S. and getting down to their level is a big plus.


Well, you can't allow a Maine Coon cat outside to run free like any other domestic cat because they are too valuable and too noticeable. There is the ever-present fear of your cat being stolen. And therefore, they most often are full-time indoor cats. Full-time indoor cats are more prone to obesity due to a lack of exercise and boredom leading to pleasure eating.

A natural spin-off from taking your cat for a walk on a lead is plenty of exercise.

RELATED: Walking your cat on a leash to explore and stimulate. A lifestyle to aspire to?


Domestic cats are not essentially nocturnal. They like to hunt at night or dawn and dusk but they also hunt and can be active during the daytime. I think if you take your Maine Coon cat for a walk on a lead which will obviously take place in the daytime it helps to train their circadian rhythm to match up with yours. 

It should help them to become more passive and sleepier at night in line with a human's circadian rhythm. One of the big complaints about domestic cat is that they are out of sync with their human caregiver being active at dawn and dusk and sometimes during the night and sleeping during the day. Walking your Maine Coon cat on a lead may help to reduce this out of sync relationship.


It should not be stressful for a Maine Coon to walk on a lead with their owner. It depends upon the environment obviously and upon the cat's character. All domestic cats are individuals and this applies to Maine Coon cats like any other cat. Some are more timid than others and they may be fearful of loud noises but if you are in the countryside, you're not going to get traffic noises or unnatural noises. 

I don't see walking your Maine Coon as being stressful for your cat but pleasurable and even calming. It is likely to be calming because they are able to express the natural desires and motivations. It is when they are unable to express his desires because their environment and lifestyle is unnatural that they become stressed. You will see stress manifest itself in behavioural abnormalities such as over-grooming. Grooming is a calming process and that is why cats overgrown when they are stressed.


Once again, it goes without saying that taking your Maine Coon for a walk on a lead will be beneficial to their health. This is because exercise is good for their health combined with mental stimulation.

Practicalities and actualities

Bearing in mind the quite large number of Maine Coon cats in America, for instance, only a tiny percentage have the opportunity to go outside on a lead. Clearly, in practice, Maine Coon cat owners do not agree with taking their Maine Coon cat trekking or on any other walk. Why is this? Perhaps the biggest drawback is that it takes patience to train your cat to accept a lead and to go for a walk. Domestic cats don't naturally follow their human caregiver and go for a walk but mine does so it does happen and it can happen. I think once again it's about habits. If you have a close connection with your cat and they want to be with you they will follow you.

However, you might not live anywhere near a place where you can go trekking and it is hard to recommend taking your Maine Coon cat for a walk down the sidewalk in suburbia or in a city centre. Perhaps suburbia is okay. Yes, it is - see video! This might even be good because you're going to get into conversations with the neighbours and even strangers which is a good thing for both cat and owner.

Cat stroller

An alternative is to take your Maine Coon cat walking is to take them in a cat stroller. This certainly catches the eye. I have a cat stroller and I've taken my cat down the Thames River on a walk. Quite a lot of people stopped to chat with me because first they see a baby in a pram and then they realise that it's a cat in a cat stroller! But this gets your cat outside to smell the air and hear the sounds. It is about mental stimulation but the exercise element of this method of going outside is missing.

RELATED: Cat Strollers: Embarrassing or a good idea?


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