Making these seven specific changes to your cat’s lifestyle will have a significant impact on how long they live.
But, how long do Maine Coon cats live usually and what is the average Maine Coon lifespan you can expect if an owner does nothing? Keep reading to find out!
The International Cat Association (TICA) states the official life expectancy of Maine Coon cats is 12+ years. Pet Insurance company research identified that the average Maine Coon lifespan is 10 – 15 years. 75% of Maine Coons are expected to reach 10 years old. A cat’s lifespan is dependent on their health, genetics, diet, and exercise levels.
With the proper care and attention owners can massively improve their Maine Coon’s lifespan, and in turn their quality of life, and much more. Read on to discover how!
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How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live?
The Maine Coon cat breed is considered relatively hardy and healthy, having developed naturally in the State of Maine, United States.
Like other purebred cat breeds though they are susceptible to a few genetic health problems such as polycystic kidney disease, heart disease, and periodontal disease.
The average life expectancy of Maine Coon cats is 12.5+ years, according to research conducted by a pet insurance company in Sweden between 2003 – 2006.
The official research papers concluded that “74% of Maine Coons lived to 10 years or more, and 54% lived to 12.5 years” plus (source 1).
How To Increase Cats Lifespan
If you are wondering how to keep your cat living longer then take note of the following six factors that play a huge role in increasing a Maine Coons lifespan:
Maine Coon cats are obligate carnivores that require a high level of protein in their daily diet.
Feeding a Maine Coon high-quality cat food only is one of the most important ways to increase the average lifespan of Maine Coon cats.
A healthy diet ensures your Maine Coon is getting the nutritionally balanced diet, with the correct nutrients, minerals, and protein.
The best diet for these gentle giants is:
- High Quality
- High Protein Levels
- Nutritionally Balanced
- Low Carbohydrates
High-quality dry food diets are beneficial for this large cat breed because they help limit the buildup of tartar on your cat’s teeth.
NEVER overfeed a Maine Coon cat.
Overfeeding will reduce your Maine Coon’s life expectancy because it often leads to cat obesity which can be fatal for this big cat breed.
Physical activity is important for healthy cats, whereas overweight cats tend not to exercise.
If you notice your cat is gaining weight, seek professional veterinary advice to determine if your Maine Coon needs a low-calorie diet plan.
As one of the largest domestic cat breeds in the world, not all pet parents know how much a healthy Maine Coon should weigh during their various life stages.
This is because a Maine Coon’s growth rate is surprisingly slow, reaching full size between 3 – 5 years compared to other cat breeds that reach full size by 2 years of age.
To give your Maine Coon a long life, make sure you swat up on this Maine Coon size chart, so you know how big a Maine Coon cat should be.
The table below shows the average weight range of male and female Maine Coon cats, according to The International Cat Association (TICA):
|18 – 22
|12 – 15
4. Genetic Diseases
Despite being known as a hardy, healthy cat breed, the Maine Coon cat has the following genetic predispositions:
- Hip Dysplasia
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy
- Polycystic Kidney Disease
To prevent these genetic disorders and increase a Maine Coon cat’s lifespan, only buy pedigree Maine Coons from reputable breeders that test their breeding cats for these genetic conditions:
Cat obesity is one of the common diseases that Maine Coon cats are prone to, and is usually the result of overfeeding and lack of physical exercise. Learn more about Maine Coon obesity.
If you look at a Maine Coon growth chart you will notice that these large cats do not reach full size until between 3-5 years of age.
Some Maine Coon owners do not realize this and consequently overfeed their cats because they are worried they have underfed their Maine Coon because the cat is smaller than they expected.
It is vital that owners do not overfeed their Maine Coon cats because obesity increases this cat breed’s risk of developing other diseases.
The Maine Coon cat’s large physical muscular frame makes them susceptible to developing hip dysplasia, causing arthritis and pain. These are the symptoms of hip dysplasia to look for.
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is not common in Maine Coon cats but it is serious. Never ignore these symptoms.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy is a hereditary genetic disease that affects Maine Coon kittens between 3-4 months old. Learn more about it here.
This disease is “characterized by progressive instability with unsteady gait and posture abnormalities due to loss of motor neurons in the lower spinal cord, and atrophy of muscles in the hind limbs” (source 1).
If you want to help your furry friend live a long and healthy life, encourage them to exercise for 20-30 minutes each day to keep their bodies fit and healthy.
Playtime is physically and socially beneficial for your cat and will help build a greater bond between owner and cat.
Maine Coons kept indoors are more prone to lack of exercise than cats permitted to explore the world outside.
If your situation does not permit your cat to venture outside, it is recommended that you purchase a cat tree, and suitable cat toys that enable your indoor cat to get regular exercise.
Another way to exercise an indoor Maine Coon is by taking them for a walk! Learn which are the best cat harnesses, in this article.
6. Registered Maine Coon Breeders
Maine Coon cats are genetically prone to developing certain health concerns that shorten the lifespan of a Maine Coon cat.
The best option to extend a Maine Coons life is to only buy from Maine Coon breeders that tested their breeding cats for diseases to prevent kittens being born with genetic defects.
Avoid backyard breeders offering to sell you a ‘cheap’ Maine Coon kitten. They keep their profit margins high by not testing their breeding kings and queens for genetic defects.
Unethical breeders are not interested in selling the best quality kittens they can like legitimate Maine Coon breeders are. They are also not Maine Coon fanatics!
7. Vet Health Checks
Maximize a Maine Coons lifespan by taking your cat for regular visits to an approved veterinary practice that will perform the necessary health checks on your cat’s health.
You should also keep up to date with your cat’s vaccinations and health requirements e.g. deworming.
As the largest domesticated cat breed, you might be wondering how to increase a cat’s lifespan so your tiny Maine Coon kitten has a chance of being the oldest Maine Coon cat to ever live!
But, how long do Maine Coon cats live on average? As you will have seen various studies purport that the average Maine Coon lifespan is 12.5+ years.
Whilst no Maine Coon cat lives forever, there are many ways a pet parent can increase their cat’s lifespan, including feeding these big cats the best diet, and ensuring they get daily exercise.
Regular veterinary checkups will also help you identify potential health issues sooner, rather than later.