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Most cat breeds have an average lifespan of 13-17 years. Actually, indoor cats often live into their 20’s. When they get enough exercise, and when they’re away from the outside world dangers, they maintain their health for a lot longer.
Compared to other pets like hamsters, guinea pigs, or hedgehogs, cats are long-lived animals. They’re nowhere near tortoise-tier when it comes to lifespan, but they aren’t too shabby.
Pet life expectancy is an important deciding factor for many pet owners. Most people get attached to their furry companions very quickly and wouldn’t want to imagine life without them. Once you adopt a pet, it becomes part of the family.
But pet owners also have other requirements besides just a long lifespan. The species or breed of pet you adopt will also depend on your own personality and lifestyle.
If you want a highly interactive pet, a tortoise might not be the best choice. People who live to cuddle with their pets would obviously not consider buying a pet fish. And I can’t even imagine what kind of a sick freak you’d have to be to buy a tarantula. But hey, we’re talking about cats here. Specifically, about Maine Coons. So, if you want to learn more about this breed’s lifespan and health, look no further!
Maine Coon Cats Breed Information
So, you might be wondering “Is this cat breed right for me?”. Well, let’s see. Do you want a giant, fluffy, dog-sized cat? A cat that loves swimming and playing in the water? A super friendly and affectionate one? Well, the Maine Coon is all of that, and more.
They’re playful, good with children, and they get along just fine with other pets. This breed loves human company and they’re not the type of cat to shy away from pats and cuddles. They appreciate any sort of attention they get, and boy, do they give back!
This cat doesn’t like being alone. Wherever you go around your house, this feline Hulk will follow. They’re fond of water, so don’t be surprised if they hop into the shower with you. Besides being friendly, affectionate, and playful, they’re also extremely intelligent.
I’m not saying that other cat breeds are dumb, but the Maine Coon has a remarkable level of intelligence. This makes them easy to train, which adds to my suspicion that this cat is actually just a dog in disguise. Many people even teach them to walk on a leash! Now, that’s a topic for a whole other day.
Appearance-wise, this cat just like any other cat, if you were to put that cat on steroids. This is actually the largest cat breed in the world, with males reaching one meter in length. Adult cats weigh between 9-11kg and have muscular, sturdy-looking bodies.
They have long, thick legs, and wide chests. The thick, long, silky fur makes for a royal-looking mane and a wide puffy tail. They have medium to large-looking ears with pointy-looking tufts. Basically, they look like the perfect combo of awesome and adorable.
How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live?
This big-hearted giant is mostly healthy and robust. These cats are naturally made to endure harsh conditions like frost, harsh wind, and low temperatures, after all. Depending on where you look, you might find that main coon cats have an average lifespan of 9-13 years, and even up to 15 years! These are just approximates based on general observations. There are also outliers, of course!
In fact, did you know that the oldest cat in the world, a Maine Coon, was 31 years old at the time of its death? The cat’s name was Rubble, and he had no specific documented health problems. He died of old age in 2020, after having reached the human equivalent age of 150 years old. This goes to show that as long as your cat stays healthy, you can expect it to live for a lot longer!
Lifespan and health span are closely correlated for us humans, but this applies to animals as well. While it’s no guarantee, a healthy lifestyle can prevent life-threatening medical conditions from developing.
In turn, this will make your cat more likely to surpass life expectancy estimates. Just like you, your cat also needs regular exercise, a stress-free environment, and an appropriate diet to fend off disease and premature death.
This is a generally healthy breed. However, Maine Coons are predisposed to certain conditions that can negatively impact their lifespan and quality of life. Health problems that might affect Maine Coon Cats include:
- Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, a hereditary heart condition. It manifests itself through the thickening of the heart muscle, which makes it difficult for the cat’s body to pump blood efficiently. This leads to blood pressure issues, heart arrhythmia, and eventually heart failure. Blood pressure problems can also affect other organs such as the kidneys and lungs.
- Hip dysplasia; this condition affects the hip joints and cartilage and causes pain and mobility issues. It usually affects males and heavier cats, especially if overweight. Hip dysplasia can affect either one or both sides of the body in various degrees. This condition can be treated with pain medication, nutritional supplements, surgery, and hip replacement procedures.
- Polycystic kidney disease. As the name suggests, this condition has to do with cysts and the kidneys. When a cat has cysts (small, fluid-filled sacks) on the kidneys, the kidney functionality takes a hit. In the worst-case scenario, this condition leads to kidney failure. Fluid therapy, special diet plans, and medication can help to manage the symptoms of this condition.
Remember that just because Maine Coon Cats have a higher incidence for these health problems, that doesn’t mean every Maine Coon Cat will get them. There is no guarantee that your cat will get ill, despite its genetic predisposition towards these illnesses. If you adopt a Maine Coon via a professional breeder, ask them about the parent cats’ health. Healthy parent cats are more likely to pass off good genes to their offspring.
Maine Coon Cat Lifestyle & Diet
To keep your cat healthy, diet, exercise, and mental wellbeing are the most important factors to keep in mind. Starting with diet, what should you feed this giant, you may ask? Well, like any other cat, Maine Coons are obligate carnivores. They need a high protein diet with 26-40% of their calories coming from protein. Cats also need a constant supply of healthy fats, especially omega-3 fatty acids and arachidonic acid, as well as vitamins A, D, and B vitamins.
Essential amino acids include taurine, arginine, histidine, isoleucine, leucine, lysine, methionine, phenylalanine, threonine, tryptophan, and valine. Most of these can be found in any type of meat and cat food, but also supplemental form. Apart from macronutrients, vitamins, and minerals, your Maine Coon will need a good amount of calories to maintain a healthy body weight. Female Maine Coons require 250-450 calories per day, while males should have 350-550 calories a day.
The source of calories is also important. Unlike dogs, cats are fully carnivorous animals. You should never feed your cat grain or legume-containing food! Besides allergies and digestive upset, such foods can also lead to unhealthy weight gain and nutrient malabsorption. Feed your Maine Coon a combination of dry and wet food. Variety is also important, so try to feed your cat poultry, beef, and fish-based foods on a rotation. Avoid large, mercury-rich fish like tuna. I suggest focusing on fish like salmon and sardines.
A Maine Coon’s exercise routine doesn’t need anything special. Unless your cat is overweight, you don’t need to walk them on the treadmill or anything. Try playing with your cat a few times a day, in spurts of 10-15 minutes. A Maine Coon needs plenty of space and the right environment to run around, jump, and climb. That’s how they keep themselves fit! They’re rather active and naturally inclined to exercise when the right conditions are met.
Maine Coon Mental Health
Last but not least, mental wellbeing. This cat feels stressed when left alone for long periods, or when its owner neglects them. Shower them with love and affection, pet them, talk to them, and always make sure there’s someone at home when you’re away!
If you have kids, keep an eye on them and teach them how to pet a cat. Little kids are very curious and will pull on the cat’s tail, ears, and whiskers. If you intend to buy another cat companion, make sure to socialize them when they’re little kittens, to avoid rivalry and animosity between the pets.Cats, Maine Coon