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Maine Coons are fantastic domestic cats. They’re often known as gentle giants due to their large size. Some would say that they are the ultimate feline friend.
Maine Coons are very similar to their large feline cousin: the Norwegian Forest breed.
They are also highly intelligent and very friendly, which makes them great feline friends!
How long do Maine Coon cats live? Read below on how long Maine Coon cats can live!
How Long do Maine Coon Cats Live?
On average, Maine Coons live between 10-13 years. The average lifespan of cats overall is 15.1 years. This means that Maine Coons fall a little short compared to other cats.
Even though their average lifespan is between 10 to 13 years, they have been known to live longer than this! The world record for the oldest Maine Coon cat is held by Rubble, who lived until they were 31!
How long a Maine Coon lives depends on factors such as diet, genes, diseases, living environment, and more.
If you would like to know how to prolong your Maine Coon’s life, carry on reading, and find out how!
What Affects Your Maine Coon’s Lifespan?
Many factors can affect your gentle giant’s life and how long they can potentially live up to.
Things such as their diet, exercise, genetics, and even their breeders impact their lifespan. Giving your Maine Coon too much or the wrong type of food can cause complications later in life.
Why not read about which is the best cat food for your Maine Coon?
If your Maine Coon is an indoor cat, ensuring that there is enough space in your home is essential; you’ll want them running around a lot! You should make sure that you have plenty of toys to keep them occupied. Having a cat tree is also recommended so that they can climb and scratch their claws!
When you purchase your Maine Coon from a breeder, you will most likely visit their home or place where the breeding happens. You should look out for warning signs, such as the mother only being used to produce kittens. As the mother ages and produces more litters, the less hospitable its womb becomes.
A breeder’s home environment for their Maine Coon’s will also be a big telltale sign. An enthusiastic breeder’s home will probably stink of cats; this is probably not a red flag. You should look out for how clean the cat’s environment is that they are kept in. Another is to see how the breeders interact with their animals; do they show genuine love and affection, or do they seem cold and mean to them?
Ethically, you shouldn’t purchase a Maine Coon kitten from a breeder looking to push out as many litters as possible at the detriment of the cats producing them.
Maine Coons can also suffer from genetic illnesses. Sadly, all cats do develop issues as they age. You should always ask the breeder if the litter’s mother and father have any history of genetic illnesses.
Genetic Illnesses Maine Coon’s can get
Producing and breeding thoroughbred Maine Coons has unfortunately led to inbreeding. This means that it has led to genetically transmitted diseases for a lot of Maine Coons. The only way to stop these genetic illnesses is to stop breeding affected Maine Coons.
Luckily, many breeders only breed Maine Coons that have been screened and checked for genetic problems. Sadly, there are still some who don’t adhere to this ethical standard and prefer to profit.
Below are the 4 main genetic illnesses to look out for.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a genetic disease that is specific to Maine Coon cats.
Fortunately, if your Maine Coon does have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, they can still live relatively normal lives, as long as they are kept indoors.
The symptoms of Spinal Muscular Atrophy are general instability, struggling to walk, unsteady gait, and an abnormal posture due to the loss of nerves in the lower spinal cord. They will also have weakened muscles in their back legs.
You can have your Maine Coon’s DNA tested to determine if your Maine Coon is affected or is a carrier of the genetic disease.
A breeder should not breed affected Maine Coons. When you visit, you must ask to see certificates for Spinal Muscular Atrophy testing results of both parents of the kitten you wish to buy.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Polycystic Kidney Disease is a genetic disease that a Maine Coon will have from birth. Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure for Polycystic Kidney Disease, and the Maine Coon will suffer from it for their whole life.
If a Maine Coon is born with Polycystic Kidney Disease, their kidneys will have fluid-filled cysts form in their kidneys. These cysts will continue to grow and expand in the kidneys until they affect the kidney tissue. Once the kidney tissue begins to be affected, kidney failure will occur.
Like Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Maine Coons can be DNA tested to see if they are affected or carriers of this terrible genetic illness.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is an illness that not only Maine Coons can get, but humans too!
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy will cause your Maine Coons heart and the surrounding walls to grow larger and larger. It is typical for Maine Coons that have Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy to pass away before they turn 4 years old.
Maine Coons can have their DNA tested to see if they are affected or carriers of this disease. Unfortunately, any Maine Coon can get this disease, even if their parents were not affected or carriers.
As those without the faulty gene can get this awful illness, we recommend getting your Maine Coon screened regularly to check.
Sadly, there is no cure for Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Fortunately, there is treatment available to relieve Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy symptoms to give your Maine Coon a much better life.
Symptoms include things such as rapid breathing, open-mouth breathing, and lethargy.
Hip Dysplasia (HD)
Sadly, Hip Dysplasia is particularly prevalent in Maine Coons. To prevent the spread of this genetic illness, those affected or have been affected by Hip Dysplasia should not breed.
When purchasing from a breeder, you should check their parents and other adult cats to see if they exhibit Hip Dysplasia symptoms. This is important to see if the breeder is negligent and trying to hide this from you.
Symptoms of Hip Dysplasia are signs of lameness, limping, or even an unwillingness to move. Their hips will also be incredibly sensitive to touch and may result in your Maine Coon displaying great distress signs.
Hip Dysplasia can be treated by medication and, even in some cases, can be fixed by surgery. Your vet will prescribe anti-inflammatory drugs for the rest of their life to relieve the symptoms of Hip Dysplasia.
Feline Arterial Thromboembolism (FATE)
Feline Arterial Thromboembolism is one of the most devastating diseases a Maine Coon can have.
If affected, your Maine Coon will have an enlarged left atrium in their heart. This will result in reduced blood flow and blood clots. Blood clots will form in the left atrium, and if they break free from the atrium, they will enter the bloodstream. Once they have entered the bloodstream, the blood clots will cause blood flow to slow down and stop coming to the limbs, organs, and even the brain.
The most common cause of Feline Arterial Thromboembolism will affect your Maine Coon’s rear legs.
Symptoms include a sudden onset of weakness and an inability to use the rear legs accompanied by pain, vocalization, and breathing difficulties.
If your Maine Coon is affected, your vet can prescribe medication to help their left atrium prevent blood clots’ chance of occurring.
Other Health Issues to Look out for with Maine Coons
Now that you know some of the most severe genetic illnesses to look out for, we have also listed a few more diseases known to affect Maine Coons.
Patellar Luxation affects the knee or knees of your Maine Coon. Cats are excellent at hiding illness, so you will need to monitor your Maine Coon if you think they may be suffering.
If your Maine Coon suffers from Patellar Luxation in just one of their knees, this can usually be remedied by giving them arthritis medication. If your Maine Coon has Patellar Luxation in more than one knee, corrective surgery will most likely be the best course of action.
Most cases of Patellar Luxation are identified until later on in their life as the signs do not appear until later in their life. The best way to determine if your Maine Coon has this issue is to get an x-ray when they are spayed or neutered when they are a kitten.
Everything from ticks to fleas can infest your Maine Coon and cause discomfort. Ensuring your Maine Coon has all their vaccinations is incredibly essential.
Other parasites that can affect your Maine Coon are hookworms, roundworms, heartworms, and whipworms. These can get into your Maine Coon in various ways, such as drinking unclean water, being bitten by an infected mosquito, or walking on contaminated land.
Preventative measures can be taken, such as using flea treatment and taking your Maine Coon to the vet for check-ups. If your Maine Coon is suffering, they will be able to spot it, identify the problem, and rectify it.
Renal Failure is related to the kidneys. Renal Failure is where the kidneys are unable to perform their functions properly. Functions such as cleansing waste from the blood are affected and can significantly affect your Maine Coon’s lifespan.
Renal Failure is usually attributed to old age, which means not much can be done to prevent this. It is also caused if your Maine Coon has a genetic illness such as Polycystic Kidney Disease.
Deafness can be inherited genetically and is something you need to look out for when getting your own Maine Coon.
Luckily, this can be easily spotted when visiting a breeder, as the parents will not be responsive to you, even if you make a loud noise.
Sometimes, deafness may be because of an ear infection. If you suspect this, you should take your Maine Coon to your vet, and they will be able to help you fix this.
11 Things You NEED to do to Prolong Your Maine Coon’s Life
You’ve learned about how long a Maine Coon can live, what affects their lifespan, common genetic illnesses, and other health issues you should look out for.
Below, we have researched and identified 11 things you need to do to prolong your Maine Coon’s life!
Make Sure Your Maine Coon Has a Healthy Diet
If we want to live a long life, we have to maintain a healthy living and a healthy diet; animals and Maine Coons are no different!
Maine Coon’s need daily feeding to stay healthy.
You should make sure to give your Maine Coon a healthy balanced diet. A mixture of fresh meat, dry and wet food and treats should be given to your Maine Coon.
Avoid putting out too much food for your Maine Coon so you can manage their weight.
As a rule of thumb, you should put out small portions of food; you will know when they’re full as they’ll leave the food alone when they’re full. By giving small portions, you’re allowing the food to settle in their stomach. This can help stop your cat from being sick if they are prone to devouring their meal in seconds, only to throw it all back up minutes later.
Feeding your Maine Coon will naturally result in them having an increased thirst. This is especially true if you feed them mostly dry cat food. Make sure that there is at least one bowl with water and is also easy for your Maine Coon to access.
If you have overfed your Maine Coon, there is no need to worry. A special diet will need to be implemented to lose their extra weight that was gained.
As the owner, you must monitor your Main Coon and their weight management.
Ensure Your Maine Coon is and Maintains a Healthy Weight
Having an overweight cat may look cute, and you may even want to post them on Reddit to get some karma. The short term benefit of sharing your cute cat may be exciting, but the potential long term problems are not worth it.
Obesity is a significant disease that contributes to a large number of deaths for cats each year. Extra weight is one of the most significant factors in developing arthritis, diabetes, and other life-threatening diseases for cats.
Some research suggests that a cat being overweight may shorten its life by as much as two years. Being overweight can also cause the onset of arthritis two years sooner.
On average, a male Maine Coon weighs between 13-18lbs, whereas a female weighs between 8-12 lbs. You should try and maintain a weight within these ranges depending on the gender.
Now that you know how much your Maine Coon should weigh, their weight management should be easy! Maine Coon’s do not really require a special diet, but their diet still needs to be managed to stay healthy.
Plenty of Exercise is Good for Your Maine Coon
When you combine a healthy diet with exercise, you feel happy and healthy; this is the same for Maine Coons!
We’re not saying you need to take your Maine Coon to the gym or out for a run with you!
If your Maine Coon is an indoor cat, you should make sure that there’s plenty of free room for them to run around. Lots of toys, especially ones that they can chase, are beneficial and will give them the necessary exercise.
Every Maine Coon owner should have a cat tree in their home. A cat tree allows your Maine Coon to climb high, scratch their paws and give them some much-needed exercise from climbing.
Investing in an outdoor cat run is recommended if you have space in your garden. All animals love being outside. Giving your Maine Coon some space outside to run around, sunbathe and do whatever they like will help with their happiness and provide them with some exercise.
If you allow your Maine Coon cat outside, they should be getting plenty of exercise outdoors. But, if you’re still worried, following the tips above will do wonders!
Vaccinate Your Maine Coon
Maine Coons can get sick and cut their life short in little to no time at all. Your Maine Coon can get bacterial or viral infections such as panleukopenia, calicivirus, rhinotracheitis, and rabies.
The risk of contracting these issues is extremely high, and we recommend that you keep your Maine Coon vaccinations up to date.
If you’re unsure which vaccines your Maine Coon needs, contact your vet to find out more.
Look for Signs of Illness
It may not be evident that your Maine Coon is ill. You should look out for subtle changes in their behavior. Cats will look to hide any signs of illness, which can make it hard to identify symptoms of an illness or disease.
The most common signs of your Maine Coon being ill are a lack of appetite and being lethargic.
Other changes in their behavior, such as being less active, less friendly, or more hostile, are signs to look out for.
Look after Your Maine Coon’s Teeth
Just like us, Maine Coons can have problems with their teeth.
The most common issue Maine Coons can get is periodontal disease.
Periodontal disease is caused by gingivitis. Gingivitis is inflammation in the gums. It causes pain and redness in the gums and is linked to other serious diseases such as periodontal disease and stomatitis.
Periodontal disease affects the tissue that surrounds the teeth in the gums. If left unchecked, it will cause your Maine Coons teeth to deteriorate and can cause permanent damage to their teeth if not caught early enough.
Your Maine Coon will do its best to hide the signs it has periodontal disease, but there are a few things you can look out for:
- Yellow marks on the teeth
- Gums that bleed easily
- Red or swollen gums
- Bad breath
- Pus around the tooth
- Sensitivity around the mouth
- Pawing at the face
- Loose or missing teeth
- Loss of appetite
- Struggling with chewing or eating
- Irritability or depression
- Teeth that are loose or missing
If you notice any of these, you should immediately take your Maine Coon to the vet to get them checked.
Dental issues can be avoided by using a safe cat toothbrush or cat food specifically for dental problems. Preferably you will combine both to get the best results.
Groom Your Maine Coon Regularly
Grooming your Maine Coon regularly will certainly keep them happy.
While grooming is not directly linked to prolonging their lifespan, having less excess fur will make your Maine Coon feel happier, even if they didn’t like being groomed!
Getting rid of the excess hair that they shed will stop them from getting as many hairballs from cleaning themselves. In the warmer months, they may appear distressed or unhappy if they cannot get rid of the excess hair from shedding.
If your Maine Coon is happy, it means they aren’t stressed. If they’re stressed, they’ll be more withdrawn, less friendly, and maybe even hostile. Just like in humans, prolonged amounts of stress isn’t good for the body.
Use Cat Safe Shampoo
Stereotypically, cats hate getting wet. This is what you think of when you think of mixing cats with water.
It’s true, your cat won’t take too nicely to being dunked in the bath. They can take to being bathed and cleaned if done correctly.
If you let your Maine Coon out, chances are they’re getting dirty on their trips out. If they’re an indoor cat, they can still get dirty! Another worry is that their fur may start matting if you neglect washing and grooming them.
If your Maine Coon’s coat starts to get sticky or greasy, they probably need a bath. Their fur isn’t like ours and requires cat-specific shampoo. Using the wrong shampoo could cause them to have issues with their fur or even irritate their skin!
Keep Dangerous Household Chemicals Out of Reach
All pets should be treated as young children. You must always keep dangerous chemicals out of reach. Preferably these would be kept away in a secure box or cupboard that cannot be opened easily.
The last thing you want is your Maine Coon taking a swig of something not good for them!
Cat-Proof Your Home
What does cat proofing your home mean?
You should make sure there are plenty of places for your cat to hide, climb, and generally feel comfortable.
All sides, countertops, and tables should be clear of anything that your Maine Coon could slip on and hurt themselves. Things such as letters or paper are the worst thing for your Maine Coon slipping and will most certainly send you and your Maine Coon on the way to the vet.
Get Rid of Poisonous Plants
Unfortunately, there are quite a few plants/flowers that are considered poisonous. The last thing you want is to unintentionally poison your Maine Coon and lose them.
Below is a list of plants and flowers and the potential symptoms that your Maine Coon could have if exposed. If your Maine Coon does come into contact with any plants/flowers listed below, take them to your vet immediately.
Lillies are considered to be highly toxic to cats. Even consuming tiny amounts of the plant can cause severe kidney damage.
The bulbs of Tulips/Narcissus contain toxins that can cause gastrointestinal irritation, drooling, loss of appetite, depression of the central nervous system, convulsions, and cardiac abnormalities.
Consuming marijuana can result in depression of the central nervous system and coordination problems. Other symptoms include vomiting, diarrhea, drooling, increased heart rate, and even seizures and coma.
All parts of Cycas Revoluta are poisonous, but the seeds or “nuts” contain the most significant toxin amount. One or two seeds can result in severe effects, including vomiting, diarrhea, depression, seizures, and liver failure.
Azaleas and Rhododendrons contain substances known as grayanotoxins. These can cause vomiting, drooling, diarrhea, weakness, and depression of the central nervous system. Severe azalea poisoning could ultimately lead to coma and death from cardiovascular collapse.
All parts of Nerium oleander are considered toxic, as they contain cardiac glycosides that can cause serious effects. The side effects include gastrointestinal tract irritation, abnormal heart function, hypothermia, and even death.
The poisonous principle in Castor beans is ricin. Ricin is a highly toxic protein that can produce severe abdominal pain, drooling, vomiting, diarrhea, excessive thirst, weakness, and appetite loss. Severe poisoning cases can result in dehydration, muscle twitching, tremors, seizures, coma, and death.
Cyclamen species contain cyclamine, but the highest concentration of this toxin is located in the plant’s root portion. If consumed by your Maine Coon, Cyclamen can produce significant gastrointestinal irritation, including intense vomiting. Chances of your Maine Coon dying is high if consumed.
Kalanchoe contains components that can produce gastrointestinal irritation. Some parts are also toxic to the heart, and can seriously affect cardiac rhythm and rate of your Maine Coon.
Yew contains a toxic component known as taxine. Taxine causes central nervous system effects such as trembling, coordination problems, and difficulty breathing. It can also cause significant gastrointestinal irritation and cardiac failure, resulting in the death of your Maine Coon.
Amaryllis is a common garden plant and is particularly popular around Easter. Amaryllis species contain toxins that can cause vomiting, depression, diarrhea, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, anorexia, and tremors.
Autumn crocus can cause oral irritation, bloody vomiting, diarrhea, shock, multi-organ damage, and bone marrow suppression.
Chrysanthemum contains pyrethrins. If pyrethrins are consumed, they may produce gastrointestinal upset, including drooling, vomiting, and diarrhea. In some instances, depression and loss of coordination may also happen if enough has been eaten.
English ivy is also called branching ivy, glacier ivy, needlepoint ivy, sweetheart ivy, and California ivy. They all contain triterpenoid saponins that, if ingested, can result in vomiting, abdominal pain, hypersalivation, and diarrhea.
Peace Lily (aka Mauna Loa Peace Lily)
Peace lily contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty swallowing, and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue.
If Pothos is chewed or ingested, this popular household plant can cause irritation and swelling of the oral tissues and other parts of the gastrointestinal tract.
Schefflera contains calcium oxalate crystals that can cause oral irritation, excessive drooling, vomiting, difficulty in swallowing and intense burning and irritation of the mouth, lips, and tongue.
Thank you for reading! We hope that you found this article useful.
To summarise, we have gone over how long your Maine Coon should live for, the average weight of both genders, genetic illnesses, other health issues to look out for, and 11 things you need to do to prolong their life!
Below we’ve answered some of the most asked questions regarding Maine Coons. Please have a read and see if they answer questions you’ve been curious about.
If you enjoyed this article, please let us know! Please leave a comment at the bottom!
What is the average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat?
The average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is 12-15 years. They can live longer, but there are many variables for this!
What health problems do Maine Coon cats have?
Maine Coons can experience many health problems. The most common health problems are Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Polycystic Kidney Disease, Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy, Feline Arterial Thromboembolism, Hip Dysplasia, Patellar Luxation, Parasites, Renal Failure, and even deafness.
What is the oldest Maine Coon cat?
The oldest Maine Coon cat ever was called Corduroy. They lived until they were 27 years old!
Are Maine Coon cats good pets?
Maine Coons are fantastic pets. They are often referred to as gentle giants and have a tremendous personality. Even though they are the largest domestic cat, you shouldn’t be intimidated by them. Show them a little love, and they will reciprocate with a constant stream of love, cuddles, play, and meows!
Do Maine Coon cats shed a lot?
Maine Coons can shed quite a lot, depending on how much fur they have. In general, a Maine Coon will shed a lot of their undercoat in the warmer Spring and Summer months. To stop so much excess hair from being left around your home, you should try to brush and groom them regularly. You may also want to trim your Maine Coon’s coat. This can be done with clippers. Please have a read of our ultimate guide on which is the best brush for your Maine Coon or best clippers for Maine Coons.
Do Maine Coons need baths?
Your Maine Coon may need a bath if their fur starts to appear shiny or feel greasy or sticky. If you do decide to bathe them, they may not be pleased when you bathe them! To make it easier, you should make sure that you use a safe cat shampoo to ensure their fur isn’t affected, or their skin gets irritated.
Do Maine Coons like to cuddle?
Yes, Maine Coons do love to cuddle. They are incredibly affectionate and will show you love every day!