It is pretty established that the average cat is not as intelligent as smart dog folks like the Border Collie and the Poodle. But what about a dog-like breed like the Maine Coon cat? Are Maine Coons smart?
Yes, compared to the regular domestic cat, Maine Coons are incredibly smart. Maine Coons are renowned for their unique capacity to learn new tricks, accurately interpret clues from their owners, and even understand human emotions. These cats excel at communicating with humans and are generally smart cats to have around.
The Maine Coon is a furry smart guy, but you might be curious. How smart is it? How easy is it to train this cat breed? Is it possible to leash train the Maine Coon? These are some of the questions we answer in this guide.
Why are Maine Coons Smart?
Of course, we are not expecting your Maine Coon to be Einstein-smart to invent the flying car.
But on standardized metrics of evaluating animal intelligence, a pet is said to be smart if it doesn’t struggle badly to learn instructions.
An animal is also termed brilliant if it can display human intelligence as demonstrated in communicating with humans and learning tricks.
The Maine Coon impressively ticks these boxes.
The Maine Coon excels more than an average cat when learning a diverse array of tricks. The Maine Coon’s natural curiosity, strong memory, and inclination towards pleasing its owner enhance its capacity to integrate systematic instructions.
The Maine Coon’s sociability also contributes to its intelligence. While the regular cat cherishes its privacy, the Maine Coon is willing to associate with humans and other house pets.
The Maine Coone can memorize routines. This is especially if the Maine Coon is confident of being rewarded for performing a set of commands.
How Smart is a Maine Coon Cat?
Your everyday cat is not the fellow open to learning tricks. But your Maine Cat, if diligently trained, can learn how to perform feats like giving you high-fives, rolling over, or even jumping through hoops.
An adequately trained Maine Coon can pick up cues from its owners and interpret them as triggers to perform a packet of instructions.
A Maine Coon can comfortably solve problems. It is smart enough to navigate through complicated openings that need it to position its body intelligently.
Most impressively, the Maine Coon is emotionally intelligent. It can read your demeanor and respond to it.
A Maine Coon can pick a feeling of anxiety or tension from its owner. It is not rare to see a Maine Coon cuddling up to comfort a crying family member.
What is more, the Maine Coon is a master of persuasion. The Maine Coon can emotionally stimulate to fulfill its desires without appearing naggy.
Are Maine Coons the Smartest Cats?
While we have sufficiently established the intelligence of the Maine Coon, it is worth adding here that the Maine Coon is not the smartest cat breed around.
The crown of the smartest cat best fits the Abyssinian. The latter remarkably excels at solving problems and playing with relatively complex puzzle toys.
Are Maine Coons Easy to Train?
Naturally, cats are stubborn and strong-headed. An average house cat is minimally interested in pleasing its owner, preferring to retain sovereignty over its own space and doing its bidding.
This makes it hard to train cats compared to dogs.
But it is quite different for Maine Coons. This cat shares a slice of the emotional profile of dogs, as seen in its keenness to please its owner and openness to check out new adventures.
While it is abundantly possible to train the Maine Coon, we must add that it is not a magical process. Your Maine Coon – despite how smart it is – will not pick your instructions just at once.
You will need patience and consistency when training your Maine Coon. Your Maine Coon will last faster when the trainer is garnished with positive reinforcement.
Try to reward it when it gets a routine, instruction, or command correctly. This helps faster to consolidate that routine in the cat’s memory.
Maine Coons love every opportunity to be trained and learn new things. This cat breed requires significant stimulation, and a training exercise is physically (and mentally) nourishing for it.
Can You Leash Train a Maine Coon Cat?
Yes, you can leash train your Maine Coon cat. But it would be best if you were subtle when doing this.
Don’t be shocked if you get some resistance the first time you put a leash on your Maine Coon. Some cats go limp or fall and refuse to get up.
Cats are not as excited about accessories as dogs. You will need to consistently motivate it to get on a leash and desensitize it from being alarmed with a leash.
Never forget that while the Maine Coon is a loyal darling, it is yet essentially a cat, an independent guy.
Unlike a dog, a leash-trained cat will have its own interests and will not religiously follow you around. So be ready to (once in a while) allow your Maine Coon to do its thing.
We recommend never using a collar to leash train your Maine Coon. This is enormously discomforting for your cat.
Bear in mind that a regular Maine Coon is a fast and agile cat. Some of them weigh north of 26lbs. So this is not the pet you want in the collar when leash trained.
Also, it is forbidden to pull on the Maine Coon’s leash.
Can You Potty Train a Maine Coon Cat?
Yes, you can potty train your Maine Coon. It may take some time, but your Maine Cat will eventually integrate it into its schedule.
Accessibility significantly influences your Maine Cat’s willingness to use a potty. Make sure it doesn’t have to work too hard to access else it will be demotivated.
Also, the age of your Maine Cat is important. A senior Maine Cat will need its potty within reach to use it as it lacks the athleticism to jump into it or run about to access it.
Can You Train a Maine Coon to Go Outside?
Fundamentally, Maine Cats are indoor cats. But being curious and open to exploration, a Maine Coon will not mind going out.
Be careful during the first phases of introducing your cat outdoors. Sometimes, your Maine Coon could get nervous. In other scenarios, it can get too excited chasing just anything outside about.
What Can You Train a Maine Coon to Do?
A Maine Coon can be trained to perform various tricks like shaking hands and jumping in hoops. It can be trained to respond to commands to come, stay, and run away.
Clickers are great when combined with rewards to train Maine Coons. For example, when your Maine Coon correctly executes a command, the click and the following reward help the cat understand why it is being rewarded. This way, they memorize that instruction faster.
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