Why does my Maine Coon cat bite me?

Maine Coons are independent cats and are definitely not attention seekers. However, attention could still one of the many reasons why they might scratch or bite you.

Lovingly referred to as gentle giants, despite their huge size, Maine Coons are naturally calm and gentle. They love to be around humans and may actually crave human company. 

So, if a Maine Coon decides to attack or bite you, there’s probably a valid reason. 

It’s important that you get to know your individual cat, so you can recognize when it is angry or distressed or could be about to bite.

Possible reasons why your Maine Coon bites you

  • Maine Coon’s genetics can be a reason. Though not everyone would agree with this theory, studies have shown that cats whose parents are friendly and sociable, are often friendly and sociable themselves. At the same time, if the cat’s parents are aloof or aggressive, the kitten could pick up some of the same characteristics.
  • Maine Coons have grumpy days, too. Regardless of its age, a Maine Coon can experience grumpy days just like humans. When your cat is feeling grumpy he might bite or scratch you if you bother him or get in his face. It’s best to give your cat some space when he’s in a grumpy mood.
  • A Maine Coon can be over-excited while playing. Even if a Maine Coon is old in age, it will often display kitten-like behavior when playing with their human family. Sometimes they might get overwhelmed with excitement and scratch or bite. If your cat is prone to biting, it’s best to use toys when playing with her, rather than your hands.
  • There might be changes at home. Maine Coons easily adapt to different lifestyles. However, they may also get stressed out by big changes at home, which could cause them to become aggressive. For example if you have a new baby at home who cries loudly or moves suddenly, your cat may get surprised and lash out.
  • Your Maine Coon is getting old. Just like humans, a Maine Coon can become surly with age. Sometimes your cat just wants to be left alone, so you should pay attention to his signs and not bother him when he looks like he doesn’t want attention.
  • Your Maine Coon was provoked. Just like humans, cats don’t usually like to be teased or bothered. Sometimes children, or childlike adults, will provoke a cat with poking, teasing or tail pulling. This can, of course, cause even the most patient of cats to lash out by biting, scratching or hissing.
  • Your cat may be sick or in pain. Always check if your Maine Coon is sick or in pain when she has sudden, inexpiable behavior changes. If your usually-sweet cat suddenly starts being aggressive, and seems to be in pain, it’s a good idea to call your vet.
  • The owner’s behavior can affect the pet’s behavior. Cats are very sensitive animals and if you shout or are rough with your cat, it will probably respond to you in the same way. Cats do not respond well to sudden, loud movements, so don’t be surprised if your cat bites you when you act aggressively.
  • Your Maine Coon is craving your attention. If you haven’t been paying attention to your cat, she might scratch or bite you to get you to notice her. Luckily these attention-seeking bites are usually pretty gentle.
  • Your Maine Coon is hungry. Sometimes Maine Coons gently bite their owners to let them know they’re hungry.

What should you do when your Maine Coon keeps biting you?

The most important thing to do when your cat bites you is to remove yourself from the situation and then try to figure out why he’s biting.


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Don’t encourage the behavior by continuing to do what you’re doing. If necessary, turn your back on your cat and stop interacting with them immediately. Unless, of course, she’s just nipping you to try to get a little attention. Then you should just spend more time with her and make sure she’s getting enough exercise.

Common questions about why your Maine Coon cat bites you

Why is my Maine Coon aggressive?

Although most Maine Coons are known to be gentle, they can also get aggressive for numerous reasons. Perhaps your feline has a medical issue that is causing pain. Or did your cat just move into a new house or in with a new family? Maine Coons can also become irritable and restless, just like people. When feeling irritable, your cat is more likely to become provoked and lash out.

Do Maine coons like to cuddle? 

Yes. Maine Coons are often call “gentle giants.” These loyal felines are naturally affectionate and love to cuddle up in the laps of their favorite people. Maine Coons are happiest when they feel safe and secure. 

How smart are Maine Coons?

Maine Coons are often described as “dog-like” because they are very easy to train and intelligent.  Like humans, Maine Coons have fluctuating moods. Some days they are more social than others and some days they feel crabby and just want to be left alone. These cats are very smart overall, and have good survival skills and hunting instincts.

If you Maine Coon seems aggressive, give it the space it needs while you figure out how to best help your cat.