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Also known as the “Gentle Giant“, Maine Coons are sweet, loyal and laid-back. They are huge in size for a cat, gaining them a lot of attention for videos and pictures. Owners love to show-off their hefty coons. All that being said, what about fetch? Cats are not known to like dog games, so do Maine Coon cats play fetch?
Yes! This breed catches on fast and loves an active game of fetch. Maine Coon cats are one of the most intelligent kitty cat breeds in the world. They love to learn new things, and are eager to be challenged to meet their full potential. Because of their unique disposition, they are also known as “dog cats” , making their love for the fetch game, almost expected.
Why Do Main Coons Act Like Dogs?
To understand why Main Coons are often taught to play games like fetch, learn new tricks that are usually associated with dogs, and frequently seen walking on a leash (another activity usually coined with canines) it is important to understand why Maine Coons are nicknamed “dog cats”.
Much like a friendly dog, Maine Coons will walk right up to a stranger to greet them. Maine Coons are super affectionate and kind. They are loyal to their owners, following them around wherever they go. Their disposition is pretty laid back while other cat breeds tend to be more uptight and easily startled. A Maine Coon is exceptionally friendly and outgoing while other cat breeds usually take a little more time to warm up to strangers.
How To Train A Maine Coon To Play Fetch
Training your Maine Coon cat will be relatively easy. She will be so excited you are giving her loads of attention. While spending time with her favorite person, your Maine Coon will also get to show you how smart she is. This time with your Maine Coon will be very special and healthy in several ways.
Just like any training program, the student should be awarded for their good behavior and small successes. There are lots of good snacks your Maine Coon will love to get. Here are just a few that should work great. Once you know her favorite treat, that is the one you want to use during your training sessions.
Treats for cat training:
- Instinct Raw Boost Mixers
- Orijen Freeze Dried Cat Treats
- Cat-Man-Doo Salmon
- Whole Life Salmon
- Sassy Cat Duck
There are several videos on YouTube that show cats playing fetch, and even ones that show you the process of teaching their cat. Some cats just pick it up naturally. They are so eager to play the game, they bring you the toy back as soon as you throw it.
Most Maine Coon cats will need some guidance when learning to play fetch. They can learn much like dogs.
Steps to teach your Maine Coon fetch:
- Pick at toy that slides or rolls
- Find a spacious area
- Slide or roll the toy across the floor
- When your cat chases it, praise her
- Lure your cat back to you, calling her and using a treat
- When your cat reaches you, praise and give her a treat
- Even if she did not bring the toy back, praise her from coming back
- Get the toy and bring it back to starting position
- Now throw the toy again
- Repeat #4 through #8
- Continuously do this and overtime (a few days or long usually) she will start to bring the toy to you
This technique can work with any kitty cat but since Maine Coons are so eager to please their humans, they tend to catch on fast. When your cat sees you get up to retrieve the toy over and over, you will show her you want the toy back. A Maine Coone will eventually bring the toy to you as her gift for being her favorite person and spending time with her. She will be so thrilled to show off her smarts too!
As your cat gets good at ‘fetch’ she will probably start to bug you to play. She will associate this time spend together as playtime and want to engage regularly. She might start bringing you her fetch toy and dropping right on your keyboard while you are working or on your bed while you are sleeping. It will be so cute, she will be hard to say “no not now” to.
Benefits Of Teaching A Maine Coon To Play Fetch
Obviously, playing fetch can be super healthy and beneficial for you and your cat. Playing fetch will strengthen the bond between you and your cat, provide her with much needed exercise, prevent indoor cat boredom and stimulate her brain activity.
Another good post to read is “How Much Exercise Do Cats Need?” In it we review the health benefits of exercising your cat through play activity. Fetch is the perfect game! Experts say playing with your cat just 30 minutes everyday can provide numerous health benefits and ward off boredom. This can be two 15 minute bookends of playtime at the beginning and end of the day or it can be all 30 minutes at once. If you can give your cat more than that, even better. 30 minutes is the absolute minimum.
Teaching your cat fetch will also increase your special bond. Having activity like fetch that includes positive re-enforcement will make great impact on your cat’s behavior, mood and overall contentment. Maine Coons are people pleasers so encouraging that obedience through playtime is ideal for continued good-behavior.
Fetch Toys For Maine Coon Cats
If your Maine Coon is an indoor only cat, hardwood floors are the best for sliding toys across it; and watching her run-slide after the toy. If your floors are carpeted, a toys that has some bounce or weight to it is ideal to get some distance in the throw. If your Main Coon also plays fetch outside, there are toys that work even better since you probably have a little more space. These toys work well and are all available at Amazon with Prime delivery:
- Crinkle balls – Perfect for sliding across hardwood floors. These are lightweight so they will not be easy to throw, but great to skim.
- Ethical sponge balls – These have some weight to them and they bounce. Good for indoor our outdoor. These work on carpeted floors too because you can roll or bounce them. Cats love to grip them in their teeth!”
” I am surprised at how much our cats love this toy. I bought these soccer balls because I saw a recommendation on a cat blog. My cats do not like other ball toys, so I didn’t have high hopes, but still thought it was a worth a shot.
We’ve only had these balls a few days now, and I’m sure the novelty will wear off, but for now I’m really enjoying watching my cats (both age 3) bat these balls around, then down the basement steps and bringing the balls back upstairs in their mouth. It’s so funny to watch and they look like they’re having a great time.” -Verified Buyer on Amazon
- SPOT Springs – Springs actually bounce! They are super fun to throw and have your cat chase. These are a top favorite at Kritter Kommunity and all our cat reviewers love them. These make great fetch toys indoor and outdoors. Cats love to chew them too.
Maine Coon cats are active, highly intelligent, natural people pleasers and very eager to learn. Your Maine Coon should love the attention and praise poured over her while you teach her new tricks. Time training her will provide much needed activity, bonding and brain strengthening. Her natural instincts will be stimulated and fulfilled.
Lisa is the owner of Kritter Kommunity and the inventor of the @KritterKondo cat enclosure. She is owned by her mischievous and adorable kitty cat, Finnegan. He has his own Facebook too.