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If you are a cat lover, you have probably heard of or seen a Maine Coon cat. These fluffy giants are one of the most popular cat breeds in the world, thanks to their stunning appearance, friendly personality, and loyal companionship. But how long do maine coons live, and what can you do to make sure these amazing cats live a long and happy life?
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In this article, we will answer these questions and more. We will tell you what the average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat is, and how it compares to other cat breeds. We will also tell you what are the main factors that affect a Maine Coon’s lifespan, such as genetics, diet, exercise, health care, etc. We will also give you some practical tips on how to extend your Maine Coon’s lifespan by providing them with the best care possible. Finally, we will also discuss some common health problems that can affect Maine Coons, such as hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), polycystic kidney disease (PKD), spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), etc., and how to deal with them.
By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of how long do Maine Coons live, and what you can do to make sure they live as long as possible. So let’s get started!
How Long Do Maine Coons Live?
The lovable Maine Coon cat is generally considered a healthy and hardy cat breed, which prompts many first-time owners to ask, how long do Maine Coon cats usually live? According to some estimates, the average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat is around 12.5 years, though some Maine Coons have been known to reach 15+ years. This means that if you adopt or buy a Maine Coon kitten, you can expect them to be with you for more than a decade.
However, this is just an average figure, which means that there are many factors that can influence how long your individual Maine Coon will live. Some of these factors are beyond your control, such as genetics or accidents, while others are within your control, such as diet, exercise, health care, etc. We will discuss these factors in more detail later in this article.
Another thing to consider when comparing the lifespan of a Maine Coon cat with other cat breeds is whether your cat is an indoor or outdoor cat. As you may know, outdoor cats face many dangers and risks that can shorten their lifespan significantly. On average, any outdoor cat, be it a Maine Coon or other breed, will only live approximately 2 to 5 years. Therefore, if you want your Maine Coon to live as long as possible, it is highly recommended that you keep them indoors most of the time.
So how does the lifespan of a Maine Coon compare to other cat breeds? Well, it depends on which breed you are comparing them with. Some breeds have similar lifespans as Maine Coons, such as Persian cats or Ragdoll cats. Other breeds have longer lifespans than Maine Coons, such as Siamese cats or Abyssinian cats. And some breeds have shorter lifespans than Maine Coons, such as Scottish Fold cats or Sphynx cats.
Of course, these are just generalizations based on averages. There are always exceptions and variations within each breed. The most important thing is not how long your cat lives compared to other cats, but how well they live with you.
How to Extend Your Maine Coon’s Lifespan
Now that you know what the average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat is, you may be wondering what you can do to make sure your furry friend lives as long as possible. Well, there are many things you can do to improve your cat’s health and happiness, which in turn will extend their lifespan. Here are some of the most important ones:
Provide a Healthy Diet
One of the most crucial factors that affect your cat’s lifespan is their diet. What you feed your cat can have a huge impact on their overall health and well-being. Therefore, you need to provide your Maine Coon with a healthy and balanced diet that meets their nutritional needs and preferences.
So what kind of food is best for Maine Coons? Well, there is no definitive answer to this question, as different cats may have different dietary requirements or preferences.
However, some general guidelines that you can follow are:
- Choose a high-quality cat food that is rich in protein, low in carbohydrates, and free of artificial ingredients or fillers. Protein is essential for your cat’s muscle development and maintenance, as well as their immune system and organ function. Carbohydrates, on the other hand, can cause obesity and diabetes in cats if consumed in excess. Artificial ingredients or fillers can also cause allergies or digestive problems in cats.
- You can also supplement your cat’s diet with wet food, raw food, or treats occasionally, but make sure to monitor their weight and avoid overfeeding them. Wet food can provide your cat with extra moisture and hydration, which is important for their urinary health. Raw food can provide your cat with natural enzymes and nutrients that may be lost in processed food. Treats can provide your cat with some variety and reward, but they should not make up more than 10% of your cat’s daily calorie intake.
- Avoid giving your cat milk or other dairy products, as they may cause digestive problems or allergies in cats. Cats are lactose intolerant, which means they cannot digest the sugar found in milk. This can lead to diarrhea, vomiting, or gas in cats. If you want to give your cat something to drink besides water, you can try lactose-free milk or cat milk that is specially formulated for cats.
- Provide your cat with fresh and clean water at all times and change it regularly. Water is vital for your cat’s health and hydration, as it helps to flush out toxins and waste from their body. It also helps to prevent urinary tract infections and kidney stones in cats. You can also invest in a water fountain or a bowl that encourages your cat to drink more water and stay hydrated.
Provide Adequate Exercise and Stimulation
Another important factor that affects your cat’s lifespan is their exercise and stimulation. Cats are naturally active and curious animals that need physical and mental stimulation to keep them healthy and happy. Without enough exercise and stimulation, cats can become bored, depressed, or obese, which can lead to various health and behavioral problems.
Therefore, you need to provide your Maine Coon with adequate exercise and stimulation that challenges their mind and body.
Here are some ways you can do that:
- Encourage your cat’s natural hunting instincts and curiosity by providing a variety of toys, such as balls, mice, feathers, and puzzles. Engage in regular play sessions using interactive toys like lasers, wands, or teasers to capture their attention and keep them entertained. You can also consider using positive reinforcement or clicker training to teach them tricks or commands.
- Ensure your cat has a comfortable and spacious living environment that suits their size and personality. Give them plenty of room to move around, play, and relax. Provide cozy beds, blankets, or pillows where they can snuggle up and nap. In colder weather, you can offer a heated pad or mat to keep them warm and cozy.
- Keep your cat mentally stimulated by providing enrichment that challenges their mind and engages their senses. Scratching posts, cat trees, shelves, or perches can offer opportunities for climbing, jumping, and exploration. Providing access to windows, bird feeders, or fish tanks allows them to observe the outside world and other animals. Additionally, introducing catnip, silvervine, or valerian can provide sensory stimulation and enhance their mood and behavior.
- Consider your cat’s individual preferences and needs when deciding on indoor and outdoor time. Some Maine Coons enjoy outdoor activities while others prefer the safety and comfort of indoor living. If you opt for outdoor access, ensure close supervision or use a secure enclosure or harness to protect them. If they stay indoors, provide ample mental and physical stimulation to prevent boredom or frustration.
- Ensure your cat’s diet is nutritious and well-balanced, tailored to their specific needs. Consult with your veterinarian to determine the appropriate type and amount of food based on their age, weight, and any dietary considerations. Fresh water should always be available, and regularly clean their food and water bowls.
- Regular veterinary check-ups and vaccinations are essential for your cat’s overall health. Schedule routine visits to address preventive care, receive vaccinations, and promptly address any health concerns. Follow your vet’s recommendations for deworming, flea and tick prevention, and other necessary treatments.
- Maintain a clean and easily accessible litter box for your cat. Scoop it daily to keep it tidy and odor-free. Find a litter that your cat prefers, and consider providing multiple litter boxes if you have more than one cat.
- Show your cat love, attention, and affection. Spend quality time together, engaging in petting, playing, and bonding activities. Incorporate interactive play that mimics hunting to keep them physically and mentally stimulated. Demonstrate affection through gentle strokes, cuddling, and comforting words.
- Create a calm and stress-free environment for your cat. Minimize loud noises, sudden changes, or situations that may cause anxiety. Set up designated resting areas where they can retreat and unwind. If needed, consider using pheromone diffusers or calming products to help ease stress and anxiety.
- Remember, each cat is unique, so it’s important to observe their behavior and adjust your care accordingly. Understanding their individual needs and preferences will contribute to their overall happiness and well-being.
Provide Regular Vet Visits and Preventive Care
The last but not least factor that affects your cat’s lifespan is their vet visits and preventive care. Cats are notorious for hiding their pain or illness, which can make it difficult to detect or treat their health problems. Therefore, you need to provide your Maine Coon with regular vet visits and preventive care that can help to monitor their health and prevent or treat any issues.
Here are some things you need to do to provide your Maine Coon with regular vet visits and preventive care:
- Ensure your cat’s overall well-being by scheduling an annual visit to the vet for a routine check-up and wellness examination. During this visit, your veterinarian will thoroughly assess your cat’s physical condition, including vital signs, weight, teeth, eyes, ears, skin, coat, and more. Necessary tests and vaccinations will be administered, and your vet will address any specific health concerns or provide recommendations tailored to your cat’s needs.
- If you observe any signs or symptoms of illness or injury in your cat, it is crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly. Changes in appetite, behavior, activity level, litter box habits, breathing, as well as vomiting, diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, limping, bleeding, and other abnormalities should not be ignored. Swift action can lead to early diagnosis and treatment, improving your cat’s chances of recovery and overall prognosis.
- Consider spaying or neutering your cat unless you have plans for breeding. This procedure not only prevents unwanted pregnancies and litters but also reduces the risk of certain reproductive organ-related cancers and infections. Additionally, spaying or neutering can mitigate behavioral problems like spraying, roaming, and fighting.
- To enhance the safety and identification of your cat, have them microchipped and keep their identification tags up to date. Microchipping involves inserting a tiny chip under your cat’s skin that contains a unique code, enabling identification and reuniting in case they become lost or stolen. Register the microchip with a reputable database and promptly update your contact information if it changes. Alongside microchipping, ensure your cat wears identification tags displaying your name and current phone number to facilitate a swift return if they happen to wander away.
How to Deal with Common Health Problems in Maine Coons
Maine Coons are generally healthy cats that don’t have many health problems. But there’s no how long do maine coons live. However, as with any cat breed, there are some health problems that can affect Maine Coons more than others. Some of these health problems are genetic, meaning they are inherited from their parents or ancestors. Others are environmental, meaning they are caused by factors such as diet, lifestyle, stress, etc.
Here are some of the most common health problems that can affect Maine Coons, and how to deal with them:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is a heart disease that causes the walls of the heart to thicken and reduce the blood flow. This can lead to heart failure, blood clots, or sudden death in cats. HCM is one of the most common causes of death in Maine Coons.
HCM is a genetic disease that is inherited from one or both parents. There is a specific gene mutation that has been identified as the cause of HCM in Maine Coons. However, not all cats with this mutation will develop HCM, and not all cats with HCM will have this mutation. Therefore, genetic testing alone cannot guarantee or prevent HCM in Maine Coons.
The best way to diagnose HCM in Maine Coons is by performing an echocardiogram, which is an ultrasound of the heart. This can show the thickness and function of the heart walls and valves. Your vet may also perform other tests such as blood tests, chest x-rays, or electrocardiograms to check for other signs or complications of HCM.
The treatment for HCM in Maine Coons depends on the severity and symptoms of the disease. There is no cure for HCM, but there are medications that can help to manage the condition and improve the quality and quantity of life for your cat. Some of these medications include beta-blockers, calcium channel blockers, diuretics, anti-coagulants, etc. Your vet will prescribe the best medication and dosage for your cat based on their specific case.
The prevention of HCM in Maine Coons is not easy, but there are some things you can do to reduce the risk or delay the onset of the disease. These include:
- Avoid breeding or buying Maine Coons from unscrupulous or irresponsible breeders who do not test their cats for HCM or other genetic diseases. Always ask for proof of health certificates and pedigrees before buying a Maine Coon kitten.
- If you have a Maine Coon cat that has been diagnosed with HCM or has a family history of HCM, do not breed them or allow them to breed with other cats. This will prevent passing on the disease to future generations.
- If you have a Maine Coon cat that is at risk of developing HCM or has mild symptoms of HCM, monitor their health and behavior closely and take them to the vet regularly for check-ups and tests. This will help to detect any changes or complications early and provide timely treatment.
- If you have a Maine Coon cat that has moderate to severe symptoms of HCM, follow your vet’s advice and give them the prescribed medication and care. This will help to manage their condition and improve their comfort and well-being.
Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a kidney disease that causes fluid-filled cysts to form in the kidneys. These cysts can grow and damage the kidney tissue and function. This can lead to kidney failure, which is fatal in cats.
PKD is a genetic disease that is inherited from one or both parents. There is a specific gene mutation that has been identified as the cause of PKD in Maine Coons. However, not all cats with this mutation will develop PKD, and not all cats with PKD will have this mutation. Therefore, genetic testing alone cannot guarantee or prevent PKD in Maine Coons.
The best way to diagnose PKD in Maine Coons is by performing an ultrasound of the kidneys. This can show the presence and size of the cysts in the kidneys. Your vet may also perform other tests such as blood tests, urine tests, or kidney biopsy to check for other signs or complications of PKD.
The treatment for PKD in Maine Coons depends on the severity and symptoms of the disease. There is no cure for PKD, but there are treatments that can help to slow down the progression and reduce the symptoms of the disease. Some of these treatments include:
- Dietary management: Feeding your cat a low-protein, low-phosphorus, low-sodium diet that is specially formulated for cats with kidney disease. This can help to reduce the workload and stress on the kidneys and prevent further damage.
- Fluid therapy: Giving your cat subcutaneous fluids or intravenous fluids to help hydrate them and flush out toxins and waste from their body. This can help to prevent dehydration and electrolyte imbalance in cats with kidney disease.
- Medications: Giving your cat medications that can help to control blood pressure, reduce proteinuria, prevent infections, treat anemia, etc. Your vet will prescribe the best medication and dosage for your cat based on their specific case.
The prevention of PKD in Maine Coons is similar to that of HCM. You should avoid breeding or buying Maine Coons from unscrupulous or irresponsible breeders who do not test their cats for PKD or other genetic diseases. You should also avoid breeding or allowing your Maine Coon cat that has been diagnosed with PKD or has a family history of PKD to breed with other cats. You should also monitor your Maine Coon cat’s health and behavior closely and take them to the vet regularly for check-ups and tests.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disease that causes muscle weakness and atrophy in the hind limbs of cats. This can lead to difficulty walking, jumping, or climbing, as well as tremors or twitching in the legs. SMA does not affect the lifespan or intelligence of cats.
SMA is a genetic disease that is inherited from one or both parents. There is a specific gene mutation that has been identified as the cause of SMA in Maine Coons. However, not all cats with this mutation will develop SMA, and not all cats with SMA will have this mutation. Therefore, genetic testing alone cannot guarantee or prevent SMA in Maine Coons.
The best way to diagnose SMA in Maine Coons is by performing a DNA test that can detect the presence or absence of the mutation in the cat’s blood or saliva. This can be done by your vet or by a reputable laboratory. Your vet may also perform other tests such as physical examination, neurological examination, electromyography, or muscle biopsy to check for other signs or complications of SMA.
The treatment for SMA in Maine Coons is mainly supportive and symptomatic. There is no cure for SMA, but there are ways to manage the condition and improve the quality of life for your cat.
Some of these ways include:
- Physical therapy: Providing your cat with gentle massage, stretching, or passive range of motion exercises to help maintain their muscle tone and function. You can also provide them with a soft and comfortable bed or mat where they can rest and relax.
- Mobility aids: Providing your cat with a harness, sling, cart, or wheelchair that can help them move around and support their weight. You can also provide them with ramps, stairs, or platforms that can help them access their favorite places or activities.
- Pain management: Giving your cat painkillers or anti-inflammatory drugs that can help to reduce their pain or discomfort. Your vet will prescribe the best medication and dosage for your cat based on their specific case.
The prevention of SMA in Maine Coons is similar to that of HCM and PKD. You should avoid breeding or buying Maine Coons from unscrupulous or irresponsible breeders who do not test their cats for SMA or other genetic diseases. You should also avoid breeding or allowing your Maine Coon cat that has been diagnosed with SMA or has a family history of SMA to breed with other cats. You should also monitor your Maine Coon cat’s health and behavior closely and take them to the vet regularly for check-ups and tests.
We hope this article has answered your question of how long do Maine Coons live, and what you can do to make sure they live as long as possible. As you can see, Maine Coons are generally healthy and hardy cats that have an average lifespan of 12.5 years, though some can live longer than 15 years. Their lifespan is influenced by many factors, such as genetics, diet, exercise, health care, etc., which you can control to some extent.
By providing your Maine Coon with a healthy diet, adequate exercise and stimulation, regular vet visits and preventive care, and proper management of common health problems such as HCM, PKD, and SMA, you can improve their health and happiness, and extend their lifespan. Of course, you should also provide your Maine Coon with lots of love and affection, as they are loyal and friendly companions that will enrich your life.
We hope you enjoyed this article and found it helpful. If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. And if you have a Maine Coon cat or are planning to get one, we wish you and your furry friend a long and happy life together!
How can I tell how old my Maine Coon is?
There is no definitive way to tell how old your Maine Coon is unless you know their exact date of birth. However, there are some clues that can help you estimate their age, such as their teeth, eyes, coat, behavior, etc. For example, kittens have baby teeth that fall out and are replaced by adult teeth by 6 months of age. Adult cats have yellow or brown teeth that may show signs of wear or tartar by 3 years of age. Senior cats may have missing or broken teeth by 10 years of age. You can also check your cat’s eyes for clarity or cloudiness, their coat for thickness or thinning, their behavior for activity or lethargy, etc., to get an idea of their age.
How can I tell if my Maine Coon is overweight or underweight?
The best way to tell if your Maine Coon is overweight or underweight is by using the body condition score (BCS) system:
This is a scale from 1 to 9 that assesses your cat’s body shape and fat distribution.
A BCS of 4 or 5 is ideal for most cats, meaning they have a visible waist and a slight tummy tuck when viewed from above and the side.
A BCS of 1 or 2 is too thin for most cats, meaning they have prominent bones and no fat deposits.
A BCS of 8 or 9 is too fat for most cats, meaning they have no waist and a sagging belly when viewed from above and the side.
You can also weigh your cat regularly and compare their weight with the average weight range for Maine Coons, which is 10 to 20 lbs for males and 8 to 16 lbs for females.
How can I make my Maine Coon more comfortable in their old age?
As your Maine Coon ages, and you don’t know how long does Your maine coon live, they may face some challenges or difficulties that can affect their comfort and well-being. Some of these include arthritis, dental problems, vision loss, hearing loss, cognitive decline, etc. To make your Maine Coon more comfortable in their old age, you can do some of the following things:
Ensure your furry friend has a cozy and inviting bed or mat, offering a soft and warm spot for them to relax and sleep. For chilly weather, consider providing a heated pad or mat to keep them comfortably warm.
Make their essentials easily accessible by placing food, water, litter box, and toys on the floor or low platforms. Consider adding ramps, stairs, or steps to help them navigate and reach their favorite spots or engage in activities.
Support their physical well-being by incorporating gentle massage, stretching, or passive range of motion exercises to maintain muscle tone and function. Additionally, explore supplements or medications that can alleviate pain and reduce inflammation.
Prioritize dental care and regular check-ups to address any dental issues that may affect their eating or overall comfort. Consider incorporating soft or wet food into their diet, making it easier for them to chew and swallow.
Enhance their living space with adequate lighting and contrast to improve their visual clarity. Engage their senses with toys or objects that stimulate through sound or scent.
Offer extra love and attention to help them navigate any cognitive decline or confusion. Establish familiar routines and create an environment that promotes their sense of security and comfort.
How can I cope with the loss of my Maine Coon?
Losing your Maine Coon can be a devastating and heartbreaking experience. Your Maine Coon was not just a pet, but a family member and a friend. You may feel a range of emotions, such as sadness, anger, guilt, denial, etc., that can affect your mental and physical health. To cope with the loss of your Maine Coon, you can do some of the following things:
Allow yourself the space to grieve and express your emotions openly. It’s important not to suppress your feelings or put on a brave face. Remember, it’s natural and healthy to cry, talk, write, or engage in activities that aid in processing your grief.
Reach out to those who understand the depth of your loss, such as family, friends, your veterinarian, counselors, support groups, or online communities. Seeking their support can provide comfort, empathy, valuable advice, and access to resources. Remember, you are not alone, and there are people who genuinely care and want to help you through this difficult time.
Pay tribute to your Maine Coon’s memory and the impact they had on your life. Consider creating a meaningful memorial, such as a photo album, a scrapbook, a video montage, a painting, or a sculpture. Alternatively, you can honor their legacy by making a donation to a cat-related charity or organization, adopting or fostering another cat in need, volunteering for a cat-related cause, or simply cherishing the joyful moments you shared with your beloved Maine Coon.
Prioritize self-care and your overall well-being during this grieving process. It’s understandable to feel overwhelmed and fatigued, but remember to take care of yourself. This includes maintaining a balanced diet, getting enough restful sleep, engaging in regular exercise, and finding moments of relaxation and meditation. Explore activities and hobbies that bring you happiness and fulfillment, such as reading, writing, gardening, or cooking. Should you find yourself struggling with depression, anxiety, or suicidal thoughts, don’t hesitate to seek professional assistance to ensure your mental health is addressed and supported.
How can I prepare for my Maine Coon’s death?
Preparing for your Maine Coon’s death can be a difficult and painful process. You may feel conflicted or uncertain about what to do or how to say goodbye. However, preparing for your Maine Coon’s death can also help you to cope with your loss and honor your cat’s wishes. Here are some things you can do to prepare for your Maine Coon’s death:
Consult with your veterinarian to gain a clear understanding of your options and what to expect. Your vet will be able to assess your Maine Coon’s condition and prognosis, guiding you towards the best choices for their comfort and dignity. They can provide advice on whether euthanasia or a natural death is the most appropriate course of action, explaining the process and associated costs. Additionally, your vet can assist in arranging aftercare services, such as cremation or burial, and provide necessary documentation like a certificate of death or a paw print keepsake.
Take the time to communicate with your Maine Coon and bid them a heartfelt farewell. Although it may feel unusual, your cat can perceive your emotions and value your presence. Express your love and gratitude, conveying how much they meant to you and thanking them for their companionship. Offer forgiveness for any mistakes or regrets you may have and let go of any grievances they may have caused. Reassure them that they are not alone and that they will forever hold a special place in your heart.
Create a serene and comfortable environment for your Maine Coon. Provide them with a warm and cozy bed or mat where they can rest peacefully. Offer their favorite food, water, and toys, providing them with familiar sources of joy and comfort. Engage in gentle massage, cuddles, or kisses to convey your love and help them relax. Consider playing calming music or sounds that can alleviate their pain and promote a soothing atmosphere.
How can I help my other pets cope with the loss of my Maine Coon?
If you have other pets in your household, they may also feel the loss of your Maine Coon. They may have been friends or companions with your Maine Coon, and they may miss their presence and interaction. They may also sense your grief and sadness, and feel confused or anxious. To help your other pets cope with the loss of your Maine Coon, you can do some of the following things:
Allow other pets in your household to have a moment of closure by letting them see and smell your departed Maine Coon’s body before its final disposition. This can help them comprehend the loss and facilitate their own grieving process. If you choose, you can also involve them in a burial or cremation ceremony.
Maintaining a sense of normalcy in their routine and environment is crucial for your other pets. This consistency provides them with a feeling of security and stability during this challenging time. Offering them extra attention and affection can reassure them of your love and support.
Keep a watchful eye on their health and behavior, and promptly seek veterinary assistance if necessary. It is common for pets to exhibit signs of grief or stress, such as changes in appetite, activity level, or litter box habits. Additionally, they may manifest physical symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, or hair loss. Your veterinarian can evaluate their condition, offer proper diagnosis, treatment, and provide guidance or additional resources to support their well-being.