Maine Coon Health Tests

There are a variety of Maine Coon health tests you can take that will give you a comprehensive look at your Maine Coon’s genetics.

Some tests can tell you about your cat’s breed or coat genetics, while other tests can warn you about genetic disorders like Spinal Muscular Atrophy or Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy.

You can purchase a testing kit from a variety of laboratories. Once you receive your test kit, you will need to provide a cheek swab sample or a serum (blood) sample, which you can send back to the laboratory for results. Many breeders get comprehensive DNA testing to ensure their breeding cats will not pass on any disorders to their kittens.

If you would like to learn more about your cat’s health, or you suspect your cat might be a Maine Coon, then you should consider getting a genetic test.

Read on to find out which tests you can get for your cat.

Maine Coon Health Tests

The Maine Coon is a famous cat breed known for being intelligent, loyal, and loving.

These cats are also much more hardy than most purebred cats, which makes them a great choice for a family pet as there are less Maine Coon health risks to be concerned about.

Many pedigree cat breeds result from a genetic mutation that caused unusual fur texture, color, or other attractive physical traits.

Since genetic mutations are rare, cat fanciers who want to preserve this oddity end up breeding cats with their relatives, which makes cats much more prone to diseases.

However, some genetic mutations are harmful to the cat, such as the restriction of the breathing chambers that results in the characteristic flat face of a Persian.

The Maine Coon, however, is a naturally occurring breed that developed in the state of Maine.

As a result, Maine Coons are typically much healthier than other purebred cats. However, they can still be prone to some health problems.

Thankfully, you can test for genetically inherited disorders in cats.

Here are some reasons why you might want to DNA test your Maine Coon:

1. Understanding Your Cat’s Health

Whether you purchased your Maine Coon from a trusted breeder, a rescue, or somewhere else, genetic tests can give you a more comprehensive idea of your cat’s health.

For example, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a fatal genetic disorder that cannot be cured.

It can be easier for owners to know about potential health issues early on, so they can either learn how to help their cat or prepare for their cat’s passing.

2. Ensuring Your Breeder Is Truthful

Most Maine Coon breeders include a guarantee that all of their breeding cats have been genetically tested.

If you want to make sure, though, you can always order genetic tests independently.

Purchasers that have signed an agreement guaranteeing their cat does not have any of those genetic disorders but then receive tests confirming otherwise, should be able to get their money back.

3. Deciding If Your Cat Is Healthy Enough To Breed

If you are a responsible Maine Coon breeder, then you will make sure to order DNA testing for all of your breeding cats.

Even though some disorders require two copies of the gene to be expressed, all of your breeding cats should test fully negative for any disorder.

This keeps the Maine Coon pedigree line healthy and ensures all of your kittens will live long happy lives.

4. Learning About Your Cat’s Ancestry

DNA tests do not just reveal the health of your cat.

You can also order DNA tests to determine what breed your cat is!

If you believe you might have a Maine Coon, but you are not sure, getting a DNA test to confirm this can be an exciting process.

What Cat Genetic Tests Can You Buy?

Cat genetic testing can tell you a lot about your pet, depending on what you are testing for.

If you have decided that you would like to get your Maine Coon DNA tested, here are the different tests you can order:

Erythrocyte Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK Deficiency)

The test for PK deficiency costs about $40 to $45. (Fact-checked May 2023).

This test requires a cheek swab, which you can send to Genomia or UC Davis for results.

Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD1)

Like PK deficiency, the PKD1 test requires a cheek swab sample, which you can send to Genomia or UC Davis.

This test costs between $32 and $40. (Fact-checked May 2023).

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

To test for HCM, you will need to send in a cheek swab sample to UC Davis or Genomia.

This test costs $40 to $45. (Fact-checked May 2023).

HCM testing in cats is important because this fatal disease can be tested for early on, but symptoms don’t appear until later in life.

Learn more about hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, in this article.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)

You can test for SMA by sending a cheek swab sample to UC Davis or Genomia.

It costs between $40 and $45. (Fact-checked May 2023).

Learn more about spinal muscular atrophy, in this guide.


It is also possible to get a DNA test to determine if your cat has allergies.

You can get a comprehensive DNA test that looks for allergies to:

  • Food
  • Pollen
  • Trees
  • Grasses
  • Mold
  • Mites
  • Parasites

You will need to send in a serum (blood) sample of 3ml.

This test will cost you approximately $184 from Genomia (fact-checked May 2023).


You can get a full test of:

  • Chlamydophila Felis
  • Feline Leukemia Virus
  • Feline Herpes Virus
  • Feline Coronavirus
  • Feline Immunodeficiency Virus

This will cost you a total of $176 from Genomia. (Fact-checked May 2023).

Coat Genetics

If you would like to learn more about the genetics behind your Maine Coon’s coat, you can get a comprehensive test from Genomia for $220, which tests for:

  • Agouti
  • Colorpoint
  • Dilute
  • Long Hair

At UC Davis, you can also test for the albino gene for $40 or white dominant and white spotting genes for $50. (Fact-checked May 2023).


To test for your cat’s breed, you can get a genetic profile DNA test from Genomia for $46.

You can test for your cat’s breed as well as for health problems for a total of $159 from Basepaws.

Once you order a cat breed DNA test kit, you simply have to swab your cat’s cheek and send the sample back to the laboratory (source 1,2,3).

Maine Coon Health Risks

Even though Maine Coons are considered healthy breeds, you might still be wondering do Maine Coon cats have any health issues?

Unfortunately, there are still some genetically inherited conditions that Maine Coons can have.

So, what diseases are Maine Coons prone to?

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

Spinal Muscular Atrophy, also known as SMA, is a degenerative disease that has no cure.

SMA in Maine Coon cats cannot be reversed, but it is not fatal and it can be managed.

SMA appears during kittenhood. An otherwise healthy kitten may start walking with a swaying or limping gait.

Over time, their back legs will become weaker and weaker as the disease progresses.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy causes the neurons in a cat’s back and hind legs to degenerate until the cat is barely able to use them.

Cats with SMA cannot jump, run, or climb the same way that most cats can.

While SMA is not painful, cats with this condition require extra care so they can still have mobility despite their disability.

Learn more about Spinal Muscular Atrophy, in this article.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy is a genetically inherited disorder that generally does not present symptoms until later in life.

However, if a cat tests positive for HCM, there is no way to stop it.

This disorder causes the walls of the cat’s heart to slowly thicken over time until blood can no longer flow freely through it.

Sadly, this disorder ultimately results in death.

These are the main signs and symptoms of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Also known as PKD, Polycystic Kidney Disease causes small cysts to form on a cat’s kidneys.

The severity of this disorder can vary.

Some cats’ cysts grow slowly, while others grow quickly, which can lead to renal failure at a young age.

Cats with PKD can be treated with fluids as well as medications to ease symptoms of nausea or vomiting.

Unfortunately, treatment can only alleviate symptoms and cannot get rid of PKD.

These are the key signs and symptoms of polycystic kidney disease.

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency

Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency is a genetically inherited disorder that results in a lack of the enzyme Pyruvate Kinase.

This enzyme allows red blood cells to metabolize energy, and without it, the red blood cells die prematurely.

This can lead to weakness, lethargy, jaundice, pale gums, and a host of other symptoms.

While there is no way to cure PKdef, symptoms can be managed with blood transfusions or, in more severe cases, a splenectomy.

Cats with mild to moderate PKdef can live relatively long lives, but cats with severe PKdef often die at a young age.

Watch out for these early signs of pyruvate kinase, in your Maine Coon cat.

Hip Dysplasia

One of the most common Maine Coon health problems is hip dysplasia.

Unlike the other conditions listed above, hip dysplasia cannot be genetically tested for.

While it does tend to run in families and is sometimes genetically inherited, it is a complex disorder that cannot be revealed in a simple test.

When a cat has hip dysplasia, one or both of their femoral joints is malformed.

This joint is supposed to rotate smoothly in the pelvis, but when it is malformed it begins to grind against the pelvis.

This is painful and only gets worse as the joint wears away the bone, becoming loose.

While hip dysplasia is a chronic condition, it can be managed and even slowed if you catch it early enough.

Since Maine Coons are incredibly active cats, it is important to introduce them to low-impact physiotherapy or gentle exercise like swimming, so you do not add strain to their joints.

As hip dysplasia advances, you may need to provide pain medication.

You may also need to provide steps throughout the house so your cat can get to its favorite resting places without needing to jump.

Learn how to identify hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats, by reading this article (source 1,2).

Best Cat DNA Test

There is no one true DNA test that is better than the rest.

Instead, it depends on what you already know about your cat and what you would like to know more about!

If you would like to get a genetic health test as well as learn your cat’s breed, you might prefer the Breed + Health DNA test kit from Basepaws, which costs $159.

However, if you would like to learn about your cat’s full genome sequence, you can purchase the comprehensive kit from Basepaws for $599.

If you simply want to know the breed of your cat, you can get a genetic profile DNA test from Genomia for $46.

Finally, if you are interested in individual tests for things like Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy or Polycystic Kidney Disease, then you can order individual tests from UC Davis or Genomia.

(The pricing information was fact-checked in May 2023).

What Is The Life Expectancy Of A Maine Coon Cat?

The average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is between 12 – 15 years.

This is a hardy breed because they developed naturally in the cold American state of Maine.

It is believed some cats brought by ship began mating with feral cats in this region, and over time, they adapted to the cold climate with thick fur and wide paws.

Many popular cat breeds, however, are not nearly as healthy as Maine Coons.

For example, the characteristic flat face of a Persian or Himalayan cat is caused by brachycephaly. This flattens the head as well as the breathing chambers, leading to respiratory problems.

The Munchkin cat breed is the result of dwarfism, and these cats are much more likely to suffer from joint problems as well as general pain.

Since Maine Coons were not selectively bred for “desirable” traits that are harmful to the cat, you can get a Maine Coon in good conscience, knowing they’ will likely live longer, healthier lives than other purebred cats.

Free Cat DNA Test

Some laboratories offer free DNA testing if you are willing to send in samples of your cat’s DNA and your cat has been diagnosed with certain conditions.

These offers are not always available, but laboratories will sometimes provide free testing in exchange for using your cat’s DNA to help learn more about the conditions they suffer from.

In 2017, Basepaws launched one such promotion, but it is uncertain whether they still offer free DNA testing in exchange for a sample of your cat’s fur (source 1).


You can order Maine Coon health tests to determine if your cat has or carries certain genetic conditions.

Possible genetic conditions include hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, spinal muscular atrophy, and polycystic kidney disease.

If you are simply curious about your cat’s fur, or your cat’s ancestry, you can order DNA tests to learn more about your cat’s breed or coat genetics, as well.

Maine Coon Central

Hello! My name is Katrina Stewardson, and I’m a CRAZY CAT LADY! I've been in love with the Maine Coon cat breed ever since we welcomed an adorable male Maine Coon kitten into our home 10 years ago. We called him 'Pippin', but he also goes by the name ‘Pipsteroo’! Our enormous, kind-hearted cat genuinely thinks he's a dog and has convinced me that cats are Man's True Best Friend! UPDATE: We recently adopted two 4-year-old male Maine Coon cats. They are named Mika and Bali.

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