Yes, Maine Coon cats can go outside, but it’s important to take certain precautions to ensure their safety. As natural-born hunters, Maine Coons have the instinct to explore and roam outside. Still, they can also be vulnerable to various dangers, such as traffic, other animals, and harsh weather conditions. So if you decide to let your Maine Coon go outside, ensure you provide them with a safe and secure environment.
Reasons Why Maine Coons Are Often Kept Indoor
Maine Coons are often kept indoors and considered house cats for several reasons:
Breeders usually keep Maine Coon cats indoors to protect them from the dangers of the outdoor world. Outdoor cats can be dangerous to themselves and the people who live nearby; they may injure themselves, become lost, get hit by a car, or be attacked by another animal. Keeping Maine Coon cats indoors is a great idea as they have difficulty cleaning themselves and constantly need attention from their owners.
Protection of Wildlife
Maine Coon cats are natural-born hunters and can pose a threat to local wildlife if they are allowed to roam outside. Keeping your Maine Coon indoors can prevent them from hunting and potentially harming local wildlife. To provide your Maine Coon with outdoor time, consider using a leash and harness to prevent them from wandering off and hunting.
Maine Coons are most active at dawn and dusk, also when wildlife is most active. Keeping your Maine Coon indoors during these times can help protect local wildlife. With proper training and positive reinforcement, you can teach your Maine Coon not to hunt and to leave wildlife alone.
No Chance of Going Missing
While keeping your Maine Coon indoors can significantly reduce its risk of going missing, there is still a chance that it may escape or become lost. A microchip is a tiny implant that can be inserted under your Maine Coon’s skin, and it contains your contact information. If your cat becomes lost, a veterinarian or animal shelter can scan the microchip to identify your cat and contact you.
It’s important to keep your contact information up to date with your cat’s microchip registry and to have visible identification on your cat’s collar, including your phone number and address. In addition, you can train your Maine Coon to come when called and to respond to certain commands, which can make it easier to find them if they become lost.
Maine Coons are often kept indoors for several reasons related to their health. For example, keeping your Maine Coon indoors can protect them from outdoor hazards such as traffic, predators, and diseases that can pose a threat to their health. For example, indoor Maine Coons are less likely to suffer injuries from fights with other animals or falls from trees or high places.
Maine Coons are well adapted to cold weather, but extreme weather conditions such as snowstorms and heat waves can risk their health. Keeping them indoors can help protect them from these extreme conditions. For example, indoor Maine Coons are less likely to eat things they shouldn’t, such as toxic plants or garbage, which can risk their health.
Less Chance of Picking Up Nasties
Keeping your Maine Coon indoors can significantly reduce their exposure to parasites and diseases that are commonly found outdoors. Here are some common parasites and diseases that outdoor cats may be exposed to:
- Fleas and ticks: Outdoor cats are more likely to come into contact with fleas and ticks, which can cause skin irritation and anemia and transmit diseases such as Lyme disease and Rocky Mountain spotted fever.
- Intestinal parasites: Outdoor cats can contract intestinal parasites such as roundworms, according to VCA Animals, tapeworms, and hookworms from contaminated soil, water, or prey animals.
- Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia virus (FeLV): These viruses are transmitted through contact with infected cats, and outdoor cats are more likely to contact infected cats.
- Rabies: Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted through the bite of an infected animal, and outdoor cats are at higher risk of exposure to rabid animals such as skunks, raccoons, and bats.
Ways to Entertain Maine Coon Indoor
Interactive toys are a great way to entertain and mentally stimulate your Maine Coon while they are indoors. Here are some popular types of interactive toys that can keep your cat engaged and entertained:
- Puzzle toys: Puzzle toys require your Maine Coon to solve a puzzle or complete a task to receive a reward, such as a treat. These toys can help stimulate your cat’s problem-solving skills and keep them mentally engaged.
- Feather wands: Feather wands are a classic toy that many cats love. They allow you to interact with your Maine Coon by moving the feather wand around, encouraging your cat to jump and chase the feather.
- Laser pointers: Laser pointers can provide endless entertainment for your Maine Coon as they chase the laser dot around the room. It’s important to avoid shining the laser directly in your cat’s eyes, as this can cause eye damage.
- Ball toys: Ball toys that roll, bounce, or contain treats can provide physical exercise and mental stimulation for your Maine Coon as they play and chase the ball.
- Cat tunnels: Cat tunnels are a fun way for your Maine Coon to explore and play. They provide a place to hide, run through, and play games like peek-a-boo.
- Treat-dispensing toys: Treat-dispensing toys require your Maine Coon to work for their food by rolling or batting the toy around to dispense treats. This can help stimulate their problem-solving skills and provide a fun challenge.
Cat Trees and Climbing Structures
Cat trees and climbing structures are great ways to provide your Maine Coon with an indoor space to climb, explore, and play. Tall cat trees with multiple levels, perches, and platforms can provide your Maine Coon with a high vantage point to observe their environment and feel safe and secure.
Cat trees with scratching posts can help satisfy your Maine Coon’s natural scratching behavior and keep their claws healthy. Cat trees with hammocks and beds provide a cozy and comfortable space for your Maine Coon to rest and relax.
Cat trees with hideouts and tunnels can provide your Maine Coon with a space to hide, play, and explore. It’s important to choose a cat tree that is sturdy and can support your Maine Coon’s weight and activity level. Look for a cat tree with a solid base and strong materials.
Playtime is an important part of your Maine Coon’s daily routine, as it provides both physical exercise and mental stimulation. Here are some tips for playtime with your Maine Coon:
- Set aside dedicated playtime: Try to set aside at least 15-20 minutes each day for playtime with your Maine Coon. This can help establish a routine and ensure they get enough physical and mental stimulation.
- Use interactive toys: Interactive toys like feather wands, laser pointers, and treat-dispensing toys can provide engaging playtime for your Maine Coon.
- Rotate their toys: It’s important to rotate your Maine Coon’s toys regularly to prevent boredom and ensure they stay engaged with their toys.
- Play to their instincts: Maine Coons are natural hunters and love to play games that involve stalking, chasing, and pouncing. Try incorporating these instincts into their playtime by using toys that mimic prey or encouraging them to chase after them.
- Use positive reinforcement: Positive reinforcement, such as treats or praise, can help encourage your Maine Coon to engage in playtime and make it a positive experience.
- Consider playmates: If your Maine Coon enjoys playing with other cats or dogs, consider introducing them to a playmate for even more fun and socialization.
Scratching is a natural behavior for cats, including Maine Coons. Providing them with appropriate scratching posts can help satisfy this behavior and prevent them from scratching furniture or other household items. A scratching post should be tall enough for your Maine Coon to fully stretch out and stable enough to withstand their weight and scratching activity. Look for a scratching post made from sturdy materials, such as wood or sisal rope.
Maine Coons may prefer different scratching surfaces, such as vertical or horizontal posts, cardboard scratchers, or carpeted surfaces. Providing multiple options can help ensure they find a surface that they enjoy.
Place scratching posts where your Maine Coon likes to spend time, such as near their favorite resting spots or in areas where they have previously scratched. You can also place scratching posts near furniture that they have scratched.
Encourage your Maine Coon to use the scratching post by praising them when they use it and providing treats or toys as rewards. Avoid punishing them for scratching furniture, which can cause stress and anxiety.