Are Maine Coons outdoor cats?

Maine Coon cats can be outdoor cats provided that they are on a leash attached to a good harness for security. Rarely, a Maine Coon cat might be an indoor/outdoor cat with permission to roam freely around their home at their will, unsupervised, but if that situation occurs it will be exceptional and only after their owner has decided that it is safe to do so.

Taking your Maine Coon outdoors on a leash is the best way for them to enjoy the outdoors
Taking your Maine Coon outdoors on a leash is the best way for them to enjoy the outdoors.

There are very few circumstances under which a Maine Coon cat should be allowed to roam freely outside without supervision. That's my personal opinion because this cat is just too glamorous but it does depend upon the owner.

To some owners, perhaps, the Maine Coon cat isn't that glamorous. They might not be fearful that their cat might be stolen. There may be no roads and therefore very little chance of a road traffic accident. The owner can't see a problem. There may be no predators of cats where she lives. And also, some owners might not see any difference between an expensive Maine Coon cat which might cost upwards of $5000 in America and a regular standard domestic cat adopted from a shelter.

And in essence, there is no difference. They are both beautiful creatures providing great companionship to their caregivers. It's just that the Maine Coon cat is expensive and their appearance has been refined over countless years of artificial selection by breeders following the breed standard.

And there are cat and dog thieves out there. This of course depends upon where you live and the prevalence of animal theft in the area but they are around and one day you might just be unfortunate enough to suffer the theft of your cat.

The general consensus among most people particularly the so-called experts is that Maine Coon cats should be kept indoors full-time in a fully enriched environment where they can express their natural desires and motivations with the occasional trip outside on a leash attached to a good harness provided they are leash trained. That is the scenario which you should buy into when you adopt a Maine Coon cat. But it is not cast in concrete.

There are people who let their Maine Coons go outdoors unsupervised through the cat flap. All well and good because the animal is theirs and they take charge of their cat's welfare. They will suffer the loss if their cat is injured outdoors or killed.

But this is not just about the owner of course. This is about the general welfare of domestic cats and for all good cat caregivers the first priority is the health and welfare of their cats. 

It's about their security. This is the first box to be ticked and often times the only way you can tick that box is to keep your Maine Coon cat indoors full-time but it must be under the right conditions.

You simply can't just close the door on your cat and leave them isolated inside the home all day while you go out all day. That isn't good enough for any domestic cat. They become stressed and unhappy. Creating the environment in which your cat is happy is the next priority after security.


Here are some basic tips about leash training:

Leash training can be a great way to experience the outdoors with your Maine Coon. Here's a breakdown of the process to keep in mind:
  • Introduce the Harness: Make sure you get a proper harness, designed for cats, that fits comfortably. Let your cat sniff it, play with it, and get used to having it around. Reward them with treats and praise for positive interaction with the harness.
  • Wearing the Harness: Once your cat is comfortable with the harness, put it on for short periods at first, gradually increasing the wear time. Reward them with treats and praise while they have it on.
  • Attach the Leash: After your cat tolerates the harness well, attach the leash and let them drag it around indoors. This helps them get used to the sensation of the leash. Keep the sessions short and positive.
  • Practice Walking: Once your cat is comfortable with the leash dragging, gently guide them with the leash, following their lead at first. Reward them for walking with the leash. Remember, patience is key!
  • Outdoor Adventure: When your cat walks confidently with the leash indoors, venture outside for short walks in a quiet, enclosed area like a fenced yard. This allows them to experience new sights, sounds, and smells in a controlled environment.
Here are some additional tips for success:Keep it positive: Use treats, praise, and encouragement throughout the training process.

Short and sweet: Keep training sessions short and positive, especially at the beginning.
  • Be patient: Leash training can take weeks or even months. Be patient and consistent with your training.
  • Respect their boundaries: If your cat seems stressed or overwhelmed, take a break and come back to training later.
You can also find helpful videos online that demonstrate leash training techniques for cats [YouTube].

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Please excuse the occasional typo due to preparing these articles at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I don't have a proof reader.

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