Are Maine coon cats good with dogs?

Maine Coon cats generally are not bred to be great with dogs if that is what you are looking for. However, if the Maine Coon (MC) breeder from whom you buy a cat has a dog or dogs and she makes sure that her MC kittens mix with the dogs and play with them and sleep with them etc. they will be good with dogs in their new homes. This is because they will be socialised to dogs. 

Ernest and Hemingway

I have a page on a Maine Coon called Earnest in a very close relationship with Pitbull Hemingway. Here is the picture and click this link for the video and story.

Maine Coon loves his dog companion and vice versa
Maine Coon loves his dog companion and vice versa. Screenshot.

Socialised to dogs and vice versa

And socialisation is the way to ensure that MCs get on with dogs. It all starts in the first precious weeks of live when kittens can learn that dogs are fine, and they will relate to them as other cats and as part of their family.

So perhaps if you are thinking of buying a MC and you have a dog, you should ask your selected breeder if they ensure that their kittens for sale are socialised to dogs. I would have thought that it is fairly common that they are as it makes the kittens more adaptable, more marketable.

Perhaps this is the best answer to the question in the title.

If a MC kitten is not socialised to dogs, they can still learn to get along with dogs later in life, but it will normally need a careful introduction under supervision over a period time. A dog that is socialised to cats will make the process much easier. It is a two-way process after all.

Inbuilt predisposition to liking the company of dogs?

The title is really asking is MCs have an inbuilt predisposition to get on with dogs. The answer to the that question is that they probably don't. They are no different to any other cat in this regard except if you read the websites on the MC, they paint a very optimistic picture of the MC character and one which is suited to getting along with dogs.

Perhaps they are correct, and I am being too negative. One user says that her four Maine Coons have always liked or loved dogs. Here is a picture from her posting on

MC and dog get along great
MC and dog get along great. Image: Faye Auger Beuby

Another user said: 

"I call Maine Coon cats the Rastafari of the cat world. They are so laid back and relaxed! Mine loved my dogs and my dogs loved him. He also loved baths and truck rides."
However, I think to be honest that many websites tend to exaggerate the friendly slightly nature of the MC. Yes, they are friendly and pleasant, but each individual cat has their own character, and each has had varying experiences in their early weeks which have an influence on their character.

Character is inherited and developed through experience. Some breeding catteries will have stud cats who are known for a character that makes them more likely to be good with dogs. Perhaps these stud cats are confident which would certainly help in getting on with the family dog.

Confident cats go forward while timid cats tend to retire and hide. To get on with a dog the cat has to approach and interact which is the domain of the confident cat.

Dogs socialised to cats

As mentioned, it would certainly help tremendously it your dog was equally well socialised to cats. The people searching Google for an answer to the question in the title should also ask themselves: "Is my dog socialised to cats?" or "Is the dog I am going to adopt well socialised to dogs?" Ask the breeder if you are adopting a purebred dog.

As I also mention this is a two-way street. Both cat and dog need to feel comfortable around other species of animal and the most likely animal that they will be required to live with are dogs and cats respectively.

Well, I can't find statistics which tell me the number of households with both cats and dogs (or cat and dog) but in the US, there will be many and a decent percentage of the whole. All the more reason why these pets need to be socialised to each other.


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