Are Maine Coons shy?

Well, there is nothing in the literature about this ever popular at breed which states that they are endemically shy. So, the answer is NO. There wouldn't be anything in books on this breed about shyness because the Maine Coon is selectively bred, and breeders want to sell their kittens. 

They want to create kittens with great characters and confident cats sell better than shy cats because they are more likely to interact with people and instigate interactions with their owner. People like that and when a cat starts an interaction they last longer. It is all good for the relationship.

Sweet looking slightly shy female Maine Coon
Sweet looking slightly shy female Maine Coon. Image in the public domain.

That does not mean that some Maine Coon cats might be shy as this in an individual cat trait. There are going to be some shy Maine Coons in the general population. The reason will be the same as for humans: an inherited trait and/or how they were raised and socialised.

You can normally tease out a cat with shy character over time with a lot of tender loving care and plenty of play and an environmentally enriched home from the cat's perspective. They should gain in confidence over time.

It might be fair to say that female Maine Coons are more likely to be shy, but I am not sure that is true to be honest. 

In fact, female Maine Coons can be quite matriarchal (the head girl 😊👌😎). Gloria Stephens in her book Legacy of the Cat states that some Maine Coons 'develop such a strong attachment to their female owners that they become recalcitrant when the female owner is away'. 

And she says about her own Maine Coon that she can be a calm and collected companion 'controlling the household with a mere glance of the eye. The people, the furniture, even the other cats in the house are under her authority'.

I guess size is a help in having authority over other cats. But clearly Stephens has not experienced living with shy Maine Coons.

It is obvious that around strangers most Maine Coons will be shy or timid of cautious. This is normal domestic cat behaviour. It does not mean that the cat is inherently shy. It just means they are inherently cautious about strangers until they've got to know them. It makes sense.

I have lived with Maine Coons for shortish periods, and I can't say that they were shy. They were entirely normal domestic cats.

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