The major reason why your Maine Coon cat is 'naughty'

The major reason why your Maine Coon cat is naughty is because you are being naughty! Don't take that badly but please read on.

Super-looking Maine Coon cat. A young ginger tabby.
Super-looking Maine Coon cat. A young ginger tabby. Image: Pinterest.


Before we discuss the major reason and some lesser reasons as to why you think your Maine Coon is naughty, we have to discuss the word "naughty"! What does naughty mean in terms of cat behaviour? This is a very valid question. We use the word "naughty" to describe human behaviour that we don't think is acceptable because it doesn't fit in with social norms and standards. It is poor behaviour.

When we use the word naughty to describe cat behaviour, we are describing cat behaviour which we, as humans, don't like. This does not mean that the behaviour is bad it just means that we do not like it. So naughty cat behaviour is behaviour that humans don't like. I think that's a very important observation. I will give you an example.

Example of naughty behavior which is not naughty behaviour

Your Maine Coon cat jumps onto the kitchen counter. You don't like it. Your cat might do it instinctively. They might do it because there is something on the counter what they want to investigate or there might be some fool on the counter with they want to eat. That will all be natural and instinctive behaviour. It could not be described as naughty behaviour. It can be described as normal, instinctive feline behaviour including Maine Coon cat behaviour.

Word 'naughty' can't describe feline behaviour

I hope I've made the point that we shouldn't really describe Maine Coon cat behaviour as naughty when we don't like it as I don't think the word "naughty" is really applicable to domestic cats including Maine Coon cats because it requires the cat to know about standards of behaviour and this can only apply in truth to humans.

Naughtiness is based upon a moral standard and we can't apply moral standards to domestic cats. So, let's describe naughty cat behaviour as behaviour we don't like.

Why do cats behave in a way that their owner does not like?

So why do cats behave in a way that we don't like sometimes? It's because they might be bored and they start doing the zoomies for instance or jumping up onto the mantelpiece and knocking something off the mantelpiece. They might chew on something which they shouldn't. They might even pee on some furniture because they are stressed.

Or if they aren't stressed, they might be bored. Under both these circumstances you would have to look to the human caregiver to find the answer as to why this "naughty" cat behaviour is occurring. That's because the human creates the environment in which the cat lives. And normally Maine Coon cats have to live indoors full-time for their safety to protect them from being stolen for instance.

And because Maine Coon cats are inside a lot more than other cats, they have to be entertained more than other cats which puts an added responsibility onto the shoulders of the cat caregiver.

Jackson Galaxy

You might have heard of Jackson Galaxy, the American cat behaviourist. He is asked to go into homes and fix cat behavioural problems. And if you asked him what he does he will tell you that he talks to the cat's owner and he digs around and finds out what the owner does because in order to fix a cat behaviour problem he has to fix a human behaviour problem first because the former follows the latter.

Naughty human behaviour!

So once again, you can see that Maine Coon cat behaviour which can be described as naughty really should be human behaviour which can be described as less than good cat caregiving behaviour. Pretty well all domestic cat behavioural problems can go back to human behaviour and how the human interact with their Maine Coon cat and the kind of world they create for their Maine Coon cat.

Cat health

There are obviously situations where a Maine Coon cat might behave badly in the eyes of the caregiver because the cat is suffering from health problems. This might typically be something like cystitis. And cystitis is often caused from separation anxiety i.e. being left alone too much because the owner has to go out to work for instance.

That's because cystitis is exacerbated very strongly by stress. Being left alone is stressful for a domestic cat. 


And stress may also compel a Maine Coon to defecate on, for instance, their owner's bed, which happens. This is because the cat wants to merge their smells with the spells of their owner as it makes them feel better. That will be described as very naughty Maine Coon cat behaviour but it truly isn't. It is a reaction to naughty human behaviour for leaving their Maine Coon cat alone too long!

I have gone on a bit here but I'm trying to get the message across that it is incorrect to think along the lines of naughty Maine Coon cats. It is far more accurate to think along the lines of naughty Maine Coon cat owners except when health issues are a cause of the perceived by behaviour.


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