Lucki Maine Coons

Lucki Maine Coons | Maine Coon Breeder | Polydactyl Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coons vs The Outdoors, Safety Tips

A few days ago we were informed that a prior kitten was bitten by a dog. The kitten, now a one year old cat had been going on walks and going outside on the patio. I had already pre “warned” that the kittens are not supposed to go outside and if they were I would recommend some type of restraint such as a harness with a short lead. One day they went outside as normal and the neighbor’s large dog made it into the yard. The dog proceeded to the patio where the cats would normally hangout and she was attacked. Now they have a secure catio only. This was a mistake made and a hard lesson learned. This has been a fear of mine since I learned that she was going outside and unfortunately our kitten faced the consequences. Luckily she survived the bite, it could’ve easily been the opposite. Please listen to us, we are only trying to keep them safe. I’d recommend a harness with a short lead if you have to take them outside. You may take a carrier with you incase a situation arises. Don’t let cats loose around unknown pets, don’t have cats on the ground in public places around unknown pets. Not everything can be avoided but, we can help to try and prevent it.

Based off of this story, I thought it would be good to share a blog post on safety tips to help keep your Maine Coons safe. Situations like this can happen in a blink of an eye. In the summer of 2023 another one of our prior kittens was accidently let outside while his family was moving. Unfortunately he was found deceased a few days after. This kitten so happens to be from the same litter as the kitten from the story listed above. It is so important to pay attention and keep your pet’s best interest in mind. No hate or disrespect to either of the owners, I know it wasn’t an easy experience for them either. It’s just a simple mistake or accident that can cost a life. 

Patriot & Glory from our Patriotic litter.

Things to keep in mind for your Maine Coons

  • Microchip: Make sure that your Maine Coon is microchipped. This is generally something preformed by the shelter, rescue, and/or breeder that your cat came from. All of our Lucki Maine Coon kittens are microchipped prior to going home and the microchip is registered online. If you are unsure if your cat is microchipped you can go to your veterinarian’s office for it to be scanned. Even though microchips only work if they are scanned, it is still extremely important for your cat to be microchipped. You also want to make sure that the microchip is registered. You can register the microchip for free at https://www.freepetchipregistry.com/
  • Collar: If you have a collar on your Maine Coon it is a good idea to have a tag with your name and contact information on it. You may also put their rabies vaccination tag on the collar.
  • Tracker: You may decide to utilize a satellite tracker on your Maine Coon’s collar.  Satellite trackers are said to be much more reliable than an Apple Airtag. Some may use a tracker for peace of mind. If your cat was to get out of the house, a tracker would help in locating them. 
  • Preventatives: Make sure your Maine Coon is on flea/tick/heartworm preventatives especially if you have other pets going in/out of your home. You can find a list of safe preventives online. A veterinarian should be able to help you pick out the best option. These products are not “one size fits all” so it’s important to choose the correct product for your cat. 
  • Vaccinations: It is always important to make sure your Maine Coon is up to date on all vaccinations. All of our Lucki Maine Coon kittens go home after they have received their three sets of core vaccines & rabies vaccine, so they are covered until their first birthday/one year from the date of their last vaccination at 16 weeks. If your cat is going outside, your veterinarian may recommend additional vaccinations to protect them.

Catio vs Free Roam

Undoubtably a catio is going to be the much safer option for your Maine Coon vs free roaming outside. A catio is an enclosure designed to keep your cat safe while spending time outdoors. They offer the benefit of allowing your cat to be outside while helping to protect them from dangers such as predators, unknown pets, cars, etc. Whereas your Maine Coon being free roam outside has no protection from said dangers. Another potential danger to keep in mind is unknown people. Unfortunately people can be just as bad when it comes to putting your cat in danger. I would highly recommend not leaving your Maine Coon unattended in a catio and I would also recommend having a lock on any doors that could be opened. This is a story that was recently shared in a group on Facebook:

“My neighbor’s dog got out of their fenced yard, into our fenced yard & tore through the wire of the catio. He killed 1 and injured the other 3 that were found clinging to trees, up in a wheelwell, and one hiding in a litter box.”

Please note that even though catios are said to be much safer than free roam, things can still happen. Make sure your catio is secure, inspect it prior to letting the cats into it, and pay attention to what is happening. Unfortunately situations like this can happen very quickly.

Free roaming is not safe for any cat and many people do not realize the potential danger until it is too late. If you are planning to go outside with your Maine Coon, I would recommend using a harness with a short lead. Cats are naturally very curious and can easily slip away. If you are planning to use a harness, you may harness train your Maine Coon indoors first. Allow them to get used to the harness before taking them outdoors with it. Always make sure that the harness is the perfect fit, you do not want your cat to slip out of it.

8 Catio-Building Mistakes to Avoid - Catio Spaces

Safeguarding Your Home

Even if your Maine Coon is “inside only and never goes outside” doesn’t mean that they cannot get outside. Our kittens are not supposed to go outside, our cats do not go outside however that does not mean they can’t accidentally get outside. This is especially important when you have guests over. Generally most families have extra guests in the summer time or around holidays, keep in mind that extra people in your home may mean extra stress for your Maine Coon. It is extremely easy for a cat to escape your home, especially a stressed cat. 

  • Gate: If you will be going in/out of your home or if you have small children, it may be a good idea to have gates for the main doors of your home. Doors can easily get left open on accident. A gate does not guarantee that your cat cannot or will not get outside though it may help to keep them in and/or deter them from the door.
  • Screens: During the summer you might open or crack windows, please make sure you have screens on the windows. Again, cats are naturally curious. Do not leave cats unattended around open windows especially those without screens. 

You may think that your Maine Coon does not mind however, cats are easily stressed by strangers, new noises, and new scents. What are a few events that might be stressful for cats? One event that might be stressful is a birthday party, generally birthday parties are held at your home with lots of people going in/out. Another may be fireworks whether that is the 4th of July or a different celebration, loud continuous popping noises are foreign to cats. The situation might be as simple as moving or a garage sale. No matter what it is, we want you to be prepared and keep your cat safe. Below are a few things we recommend doing to prepare for a potentially stressful event.

Outings

Keeping your Maine Coon safe does not end at your home, you should also be considering ways to keep them safe inpublic. Many cats only leave their home to go to the veterinarian though you should still be mindful there. You should have your cat in a carrier or stroller when in public places, especially places with unknown animals. When going to the vet our cats are always in carriers, if there are multiple we may use a stroller to safely take them inside. They always remain in the carrier and/or stroller until we are in an exam room with a veterinarian tech or veterinarian. If we are going out to a store and bring one along, they are in a harness that is clipped to the stroller. I keep the top of the stroller latched when outside then may open it when we are not around other people/pets.

Avoiding Stressful Situations

  • Safe Space: A safe space would be a room separate from the event for your cat with their food, water, litter, etc. This would be a room that would not be disturbed during the event. It might even be a good idea to lock the door to the room until the event is over. I would rather have a cat in a room away from guests than loose to potentially slip out of the door. 
  • Carrier: A carrier for your cat that is in a safe space and closed is extremely safe for your cat. This way, in the event that the door to the room is accidentally opened your cat will not/cannot be let out. You know exactly where they are and you will not be in a panic searching for them. 
  • Calming Aids: If your Maine Coon tends to get stressed easy, you may ask your veterinarian if they have any recommendations for a calming aid. This would be something you could give your cat prior to a stressful situation. 

Please note everything listed above is just our personal opinion & advice/tips. This is not veterinarian advice. You are the one to decide what is best for your Maine Coon. Just make sure to be safe while doing so. Many people do not realize the potential danger until it is too late.

If you are concerned about your Maine Coon not getting enough exercise, you may consider a cat wheel or more interactive toys. We use One Fast Cat wheels. I will add a picture of our One Fast Cat wheel below. 

This is the gen. 4 wheel from One Fast Cat. We have this one then two of their gen 5. I believe the gen. 4 is larger than the 5’s, so we use the 4 with our adult cats. Pictured above is Cocoa, she can fit on the 5’s though is better with the 4. We are not sponsored by One Fast Cat or affiliated with them, it is just the brand we have used. ZiggyDoo & Ferris are also cat wheel brands that are larger than One Fast Cat, they are more expensive also.

About

Lucki Maine Coons is a small, in home closed cattery located in the Midwest with a passion for the Maine Coon breed. We are a registered cattery with TICA – The International Cat Association and CFA – Cat Fanciers Association.

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