As you bring your Maine Coon kitten home, you’re likely full of excitement and happiness. But at the same time feeling panic since you are unsure how to bond with your Maine Coon kitten.
If this sounds familiar, or if you haven’t successfully grown a bond with your older Maine Coon cat yet, read on to learn how you can form a healthy human-kitten bond with your new family member.
Whether it is kisses, purrs, or headbutts, Maine Coons are affectionate and sociable cats that love human companionship. To successfully bond with your Maine Coon kitten, start by forming a good relationship with them. It’s important to go slow, touch and groom them, play together, stick to a consistent schedule, and talk in a kind voice.
It is not hard to fall in love with these beautiful large cats, which probably helps explain why they are one of the most popular cat breeds in the United States!
Of course, we all want a kitten who will grow up to be our feline best friend. So, keep reading to learn about bonding with your new kitten, right from day one.
How To Bond With Your Maine Coon Kitten
Maine Coon kittens are a popular choice when it comes to adding a cat to the family.
In fact, Maine Coons were the second most popular cat breed in the US, in 2021.
Much of this is thanks to their family-friendly personality, fun-loving nature, gentle temperament, and a strong sense of loyalty.
Their dog-like disposition has also won the hearts of many Maine Coon owners, since these dogs of the cat world are highly trainable, can be taught to play fetch, and love greeting their owners at the door.
When first thinking about how to bond with your cat, start by trying the following. Always make sure you move slowly, and carefully and go at your Maine Coon kitten’s pace:
- Take Things Slowly
- Gently touch and groom your kitten
- Play together with cat toys (see best Maine Coon cat toys)
- Feed your kitten meals on a regular schedule
If you’ve not already done so, select one of these awesome Maine Coon cat names!
Below, we take a closer look at these bonding with a kitten tips:
1. Take Things Slowly
As indicated above, the best way to bond with a Maine Coon kitten, in the beginning, is by taking things slowly.
It is important to give your tiny Maine Coon kitten time to warm up to you.
If the kitten shies away from you, do not force them to be petted or groomed. Instead, wait for them to approach you on their terms, as this allows them to build confidence in you.
The first bond a newborn cat will have is with its mother.
If you are lucky enough to be a Maine Coon breeder, you have the most adorable role of socializing a Maine Coon kitten, which involves gently handling the kitten litter in the initial few weeks of the kitten’s life.
For the majority of people, however, kitten adoption begins after they are weaned. Bonding, therefore, begins the moment the kitten first meets you!
2. Getting A Kitten To Imprint On You
If you’ve been wondering how to get a kitten to imprint on you, follow these steps:
- Remember To Go Slow: Up until now, your new fury baby has had limited social interaction with human beings.
- Never ‘Grab’ The Kitten: Instead of grabbing the kitten, be patient. Allow them to walk towards you.
- Let Them Smell You: Hold out your hand, and let them sniff you.
- Chin Scratch: If your Maine Coon kitten allows you, give them a chin scratch. This is an excellent way to teach a kitten you are safe, trustworthy, and a source of physical pleasure.
3. Gently Touch And Groom Your Kitten
The next step involves gently touching, petting, and grooming your Maine Coon kitten.
Whilst cats self-groom using their tongues and paws, kittens naturally seek out attention from their family members, to help them.
Stroking your kittens thick furry coat is therefore a great way to jumpstart the bond-building process between yourself, and your Maine Coon kitten!
Another bonus of physical contact with your kitten (such as petting), is that this social interaction not only builds trust with your mini-lion but also mimics feline-to-feline affection.
Stroking and petting help your kitten to feel secure and relaxed in your presence.
Do not be surprised if you hear purring whilst you stroke, groom or pet your Maine Coon kitten. Purring is a great sound and shows your kitten is happy and trusts you.
It is important to note, however, that cat owners should be careful to avoid stroking body parts that the kitten does not like being touched, such as their toes and feet.
Grooming a Maine Coon kitten is a vital Maine Coon bonding technique, and should be done from the start, to acclimatize your kitten to being brushed and groomed.
Failure to do this from the beginning will make it harder to keep your cats thick, dense long fur in great healthy condition as they grow older (source 1).
4. Play Together With Cat Toys
Next, embrace the playful temperament of Maine Coons.
All kittens are inquisitive. It is in a cat’s nature to want to do the following:
- Bat At Objects
Tapping into your kitten’s innate desire is both fun, and a great way for you to bond with a Maine Coon kitten.
Since your kitten is no longer surrounded by siblings, it will also look to you as a source of entertainment!
Therefore, you should try to play with your kitten for short 5-10 minute intervals throughout the day.
Short playful sessions are ideal since they help:
- Keep your kitten busy
- Tire them out, in turn limiting kitten mischief!
- Help develop their motor skills
- Strengthen the bond with their owner
Keep reading, to see our top Maine Coon specific playtime suggestions.
5. Feeding Schedule
Help build a bond with your Maine Coon kitten, by introducing a feeding schedule.
Make sure you always stick to the feeding schedule.
Some people might wonder, what do meals have to do with how to bond with your cat?
The truth is cats are creatures of habit, and too much change is upsetting for them.
Since Maine Coon kittens are in the process of learning about the world, setting up routines e.g what time breakfast is each morning, helps make the kitten feel safe and confident in their brand-new home.
Without realizing it, you are teaching your kitten that there will always be someone to provide for them.
Keep in mind that Maine Coons possess above-average feline intelligence. Thus, Maine Coon cats will bond with whoever they recognize is giving them food and water!
As a result, feeding on a schedule can be a fantastic Maine Coon bonding technique.
Pay attention to the tone of voice you are using, whilst speaking to your Maine Coon kitten/s.
Make sure you are always speaking in a pleasant voice to them. You should also ensure you talk to your kitten in soft, low, and friendly tones.
Next, listen to your Maine Coons wants and needs.
You can do this since Maine Coons are vocal cats that use chirps and trills to explain to their owners what they want, or need.
They tend to use different Maine Coon sounds, depending upon what they want your attention e.g. thirsty, hungry, want to play, or desiring a treat.
However, just because these cats make noise, this does not mean they communicate in the same way as humans.
Instead, Maine Coons are highly emotionally aware. Therefore, you should never yell at a Maine Coon kitten as this will only make them fear or distrust you.
So, to deeply bond with your kitten, be mindful of your verbal communication.
For example, why not try the following:
- Call them by their name
- Greet them when they come to you
- Use a singsong voice
- “Talkback” when they chirp, trill or chatter as if you are having a conversation!
Signs A Kitten Is Settling In
There are some easy ways to work out if your Maine Coon kitten is settling in, or not.
Here are some obvious signs your Maine Coon kitten is feeling comfortable in your home:
- Drinking and eating normally
- They are not hiding
- They engage in play
- They come to you for attention and affection
Let’s take a closer look at each of these factors:
1. They Are Drinking And Eating Normally
Did you know, that too much anxiety from an overly stressful environment can prevent a kitten from eating?
However, if your Maine Coon kitten wobbles over to their water bowl and happily gobbles down their Maine Coon food, rest easy; this is a great sign that they are settling in just fine (source 1).
2. They Are Not Hiding
If you notice your kitten exploring the house independently, this is another sign that your kitten is comfortable in their new digs.
Whilst it is completely normal for animals to hide in small spaces when feeling afraid, overwhelmed, or tired, a kitten that goes off to investigate different rooms is surely feeling confident and settling in.
3. They Engage In-Play
Third, watch for playful Maine Coon behavior.
Sadly, some people mistakenly think that cats are cold and aloof. When it comes to the Maine Coon breed though, this could not be further from the truth.
If given toys to play with, both kittens and adult cats who feel secure in their surroundings will release their “inner hunter” during play.
4. They Come To You For Attention And Affection
Of all the ways to tell your cat loves you, this is number one!
A kitten who displays the following Maine Coon behaviors is expressing their happiness to you: (source 1)
- Rubs against your leg
- Rolls over to show its belly
- Jumps onto your lap
- Sleeps on the bed
- Gazes into your eyes
- Follows you around
- Brings you items in its mouth
- Licks and softly nips your fingers
5. They Purr
Listen for the sound of purring, as this is a tell-tale sign your Maine Coon fur baby is settling in.
Cats purr to express their pleasure.
The low rumble is also a reaction to encourage more of whatever is bringing them joy, such as your hand when petting.
6. How To Play With A New Kitten
Maine Coons are the perfect combination of laid-back and playful.
During the early stage, it is important to play with Maine Coon kittens.
Playing provides exercise, mental stimulation, and socialization, and as we have learned is a fabulous way to bond.
Believe it or not, this breed is famous for its impressive hunting skills and odd love of water, so use this to your advantage!
Putting out a dish of water or letting them paw at the water in the sink will provide hours of free entertainment for your kitten.
Maine Coon kittens will love chasing after feather wands, electronic motion toys, and balls.
Check out our list of 5 Best Toys For Maine Coon Cats.
There you have it, everything you need to know about how to bond with your Maine Coon kitten!
As far as cat breeds go, there is none quite like the large Maine Coon.
These special cats form a unique bond with their families. Loyal, friendly, emotionally intelligent, and oh so playful, Maine Coon kittens promise to be a feline friend for life.