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Thread: Advice for Maine Coon newbies

  1. #1
    Nappa is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    Advice for Maine Coon newbies

    Hello, our family have recently (10 days ago) adopted a female Maine Coon; she is 2 and a half years old. We've had cats before, usually strays that have adopted us! We'd not consider ourselves amateurs with cats at all, but haven't ever owned a Maine Coon. Now with young children, we'd researched and came across the Maine Coon as the 'perfect' choice as there was a consensus regarding their character as friendly, enthusiastic, intelligent, patient and good with kids.
    After an expected quiet few days, our newest family member began to assimilate brilliantly - chatty, following us all over, finding new and interesting ways to squeeze into small gaps etc
    We've been experiencing some quiet different behaviour the last few days. Scratching and biting mostly - perhaps the best way to describe these is as 'play' as whilst some blood has been drawn through scratches, the bites are not hard; something of a hold almost, but not hard enough to break the skin.
    We've considered a few things... It's early days and whilst we're being petitioned with body rubs (followed by a swipe) we're thinking maybe it's a bit to arousing? We've read that Maine Coons remain kitten-like for longer and are slow to mature and maybe this is immaturity?
    The previous owners described a cat that was cuddly and enjoyed daily grooming and would greet them at the door expecting to be picked up. There was a mention of her 'play' biting but when asked, there were no other issues. Of course, it's very early days! Maybe we're being very impatient... We'd really like to have things work, for us all to be happy and not to start worrying about contact with our beautiful cat! We'd be very grateful for any thoughts and advice as to how to respond?
    Many thanks

  2. #2
    LoveMyMaineCoon is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    We have two 5 year old Maine Coons and they are sweet as can be. That said, they do get excited and will occasionally play bite like you describe. I find that they need a lot of toys and stimulation, more than other cats I've had in the past. When they get to exercise their prey instincts on their toys (or each other lol), I find the play biting is a lot less common.

    I also find it helps if you actually show that it hurts when they do it (say "OW!", etc) and immediately stop playing with them when they do it. Sounds funny but they genuinely don't want to hurt you, they're just playing. I noticed that when they play with each other and get rough, as soon as one squeals, it's over. So we started trying that when they'd play bite us and it seems to work!

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    Nappa (5th February 2016)

  4. #3
    Nappa is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    Quote Originally Posted by LoveMyMaineCoon View Post
    We have two 5 year old Maine Coons and they are sweet as can be. That said, they do get excited and will occasionally play bite like you describe. I find that they need a lot of toys and stimulation, more than other cats I've had in the past. When they get to exercise their prey instincts on their toys (or each other lol), I find the play biting is a lot less common.

    I also find it helps if you actually show that it hurts when they do it (say "OW!", etc) and immediately stop playing with them when they do it. Sounds funny but they genuinely don't want to hurt you, they're just playing. I noticed that when they play with each other and get rough, as soon as one squeals, it's over. So we started trying that when they'd play bite us and it seems to work!
    Thank you so much for your reply. It's somewhat reassuring to hear that other Maine Coons are up to similar stuff! We'd been told by various folks (some breeders and long time owners of Maine Coons) that our cat would be placid, to the point of vulnerability but that's not quite what our girl is like!

    It does make sense that our cat isn't trying to hurt us, she is very sweet indeed and can't bear being away from us; she follows us around and has even tried to join me in the shower at one point! Perhaps we just need to play more and I like the idea of showing her the immediate effect of stopping all play as she's so very keen to play! (She fetches her favourite wands and drops them on our lap).

    The swiping and biting usually occurs during bouts of play and I'd wondered if it was an overly excited response. She seems very bright so hopefully it won't take too long for her to make the connection.

    Thank you again :-) We'll practice patience.

  5. #4
    videocat is offline The Quiet Kitten
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    I have a one year old female. I have had her for about 10 months. She play bites quite a bit.. They are different personality wise I believe.. I knew I would have my hand full the second day I got her. My dad placed her on the table so my 1 1/2 niece could safely interact with her. Needless to say.. she picked up my niece's toddler fork with her front paws, held it up and down while sitting on back legs..
    Here is some things I learned:
    Toys lots of toys.. However the cheap ones are great.. She out smarted the motorized laser my other cat loved.
    she will keep trying play even if you don't want to so. You might as well just play.
    Look into fetch, sound odd but she loves bringing back a fake mouse and it kills some of her energy.
    They are very loyal. She waits outside bathroom door when I shower everytime without fail.
    Since she play bits watch to see if she chews on cords. Vinegar does wonders they hate smell of that..
    I heard infant teeters are good along with a unflawed puppy chew toys for chewing. i offer a cheap stuffed mouse..
    As for little kids, I found the more she around them the more she tolerates.
    I am not gonna lie it don't take it way but it helps.. I do have a couple scratching on my hands. But I trimed her nails last night and is still getting use to nail trimming and a full brush out..

    Hope that helps..

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