Maine Coon aggression can be caused by fear, health problems, genetic predisposition, changes in the usual environment, the need to protect their territory. Living together with an aggressive cat is extremely difficult. The cat expresses aggressive signals, which are accompanied by a certain posture and appropriate behavior. There are several types of aggression, including intraspecific, predatory, territorial and caused by fear, pain or punishment. These types of aggression are characterized by certain common signs of the appearance and behavior of the animal.
Maine Coon cats showing aggression have a gaze, sneaking, hissing and swinging their tail from side to side. An aggressive cat can suddenly jump and attack the victim, show teeth, arch its back, press its ears to the head. The fur on the cat’s back rises, it marks the territory by rubbing against objects or spraying urine, inflicts bites and scratches with claws. An aggressive cat, in order to hide its belly and neck, presses its paws and squats.
Predatory behavior is very pronounced in cats. Normal hunting behavior in Maine Coon kittens develops around the age of 5-7 weeks. Hunting behavior is transmitted from the mother cat to the kitten. By the age of 14 weeks, the cat becomes a very good hunter. Well-fed cats may not show predatory aggression at all, some may kill and only behead their prey. Sneaking and hunting is more common in cats that are forced to take care of themselves. When hunting aggression is manifested, cats do not make any sounds, they quietly creep, lowering their heads, twitching their tail, carefully peering and listening. Approaching the right distance, the cats suddenly make a swift jump, clinging to the victim with the claws of both paws and inflicting bites with their teeth. Often a cat can take people and objects that are not suitable for hunting, for example, legs or hands, as “prey”.
The reasons for unwanted aggression may be different. Some cats may be born with an aggressive personality type. In addition, if the Maine Coon did not have sufficient contact with a person under the age of three months, then she simply does not know how to behave properly with a person. Conversely, if a cat is adjacent to other cats or other animal species, then it can assert its place within a group of animals with the help of aggression and strives to rise higher in the hierarchy. This is relevant when a cat reaches the age of maturity – from two to four years. Playful aggression is an important stage in the development of a kitten. Natural predatory behavior in a kitten develops at about 10-12 weeks, and disappears by itself with proper upbringing of the kitten and adequate behavior of the owners.
Aggression can be caused by fear. A Maine Coon that has been traumatized by an unhealthy environment (such as zoo hotels, overcrowded kennels, cages) can sometimes aggressively attack the owners. This often happens if animals have been subjected to violence and aggression from other animals or people, and especially children, since young children are not always delicate when handling animals. If your cat has developed a fear of children, it can be aggressive with all children.
Justified acts of aggression can take place if the cat feels the need to defend itself. The female Maine Coon can be aggressive when protecting her kittens. Some cats consider a certain territory their property and will physically assert their dominance on it. Sometimes aggression can mean that the cat is suffering from severe pain and does not want to be touched, or she is sick.
There are some diseases that can cause changes in the behavior of a cat and can be mistaken for aggression. Such diseases include diseases of the brain, thyroid gland, adrenal glands, kidneys, lead poisoning, epilepsy, rabies. If the underlying disease responsible for the cat’s bad behavior is detected by a veterinarian, then it must be cured first. If there is no underlying disease, then the owner needs to re-teach the cat how to behave in a given situation. If the aggressive behavior of a cat is associated with its bad past lifestyle, then it is necessary to correct its behavior.
There are some general guidelines for changing unwanted cat behavior:
- It is necessary to avoid situations that frighten the cat.
- Learn to read and understand the signs that the cat sends to the owner (for example, beating the tail, pressing the ears, lowering the head, growling, etc.).
- When the cat is aggressive, it should be left alone, rewarded for good behavior.
- When a cat gives the owner signals of aggression, then you need to let her jump off her lap or give her the opportunity to leave without paying attention to her until the cat’s behavior changes.
- In case of aggression between cats, you need to separate them and keep the aggressive cat in a less pleasant place for her.
When working on correcting the behavior of a cat, it is necessary that the “sessions” be short. It is very important not to use physical punishments of any kind; this will only aggravate the problem. If the veterinarian and the owner of the cat have come to the conclusion that the aggressive behavior of the animal is based on the type of his personality, and it cannot be greatly changed by other methods, then it is possible to use special mood-enhancing drugs that are specially designed for pets.