Generally considered healthy and hardy, Maine Coons are also prone to genetic diseases, which raises questions about the Maine Coon life expectancy.
In this regard, the ugly truth is that, despite being one of the most beloved domestic cat breeds, Maine Coon cats do not live as long as humans.
On average, a Maine Coons life expectancy is 12 – 15 years, though some Maine Coons have been known to live over 15 years. The lifespan of Maine Coons depends upon their genetics, lifestyle, diet, general health, and exercise levels. As such, proper care and regular medical check-ups may increase the life expectancy of your Maine Coon.
If you have just bought an adorable Maine Coon kitten and are already elated for having such a key family member, but wondering how long the feline will live, read on.
This post will discuss everything you need to know about Maine Coon life expectancy.
Maine Coon Life Expectancy
Maine Coon cats continue to be among the most well-loved domestic cats in the continental United States and many other parts of the world. These beloved family pets are nicknamed the gentle giants, primarily because of their large size contrasting with their gentle and sweet personalities.
If you are unacquainted, Maine Coons are fluffy, long-haired cats known for being:
- Remarkably Intelligent
- Dog-Like Dispositions
Many people love these large felines because of their loving personalities and luscious, shaggy coats. It should therefore not be a surprise that they are now very popular family pets to own.
As the largest domesticated cat breed, Maine Coons have very distinctive physical traits that make them easy to identify.
At first glance, Maine Coons have:
- Long, Rectangular-Shaped Bodies
- All other body parts in proportion
- Medium-Long, stocky legs
- Large, Well-Tufted Ears
- Wedge-Shaped Heads
- Large Square Muzzles
- Large, Oblique-Shaped Eyes
- Long, Fluffy Tails
To the surprise of many, despite Maine Coons being loved and kept by many homeowners, their origin remains steeped in mystery. While there are many legends surrounding their origin, it is widely believed that they come to Maine, US via Viking ships.
As the story goes, Maine Coons were used in ships to keep the population of mice and rats in check. They grew in popularity in the late nineteenth century and early 1900s, where they were displayed in many cats shows and exhibitions. Somewhere in the 1900s, they were thought to be extinct, only to start growing in popularity again from 1950.
As for the Maine Coon cat’s lifespan, there are some genetic diseases that Maine Coons are prone to. When this is paired with the fact that their origin is surrounded by mystery, it becomes pretty normal for owners and researchers to wonder what is the average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat, and do Maine Coons live long.
Generally, the average lifespan of Maine Coon cats is 12 – 15 years.
According to pet insurance data obtained from a study done between 2003 and 2006:
- 74% of Maine Coons lived to 10 years while 54% lived to at least 12.5 years
Even so, it is worth noting that this study didn’t highlight any differences between male Maine Coon life expectancy, and female Maine Coon life expectancy.
As such, it is safe to say that Maine Coons have the same life expectancy no matter their gender.
The lifespan of any Maine Coon cat will depend immensely on:
- Exercise Level
- Veterinary Care
If your Maine Coon cat gets a high-quality diet, regular exercise, and routine veterinary care, you can expect the feline to surpass the average lifespan.
Although Maine Coon life expectancy technically ends at 15 years, some owners have had their Maine Coon live up to 20 years, which is pretty impressive.
Do Maine Coons Live Longer Than Other Cats?
Maine Coons are a hardy breed and, in most cases, they will live between 12 and 15 years.
The trouble with using an average figure, though, is that it is simply the central number representing a larger list of numbers.
Using averages for consistency, it is safe to say that the lifespan of Maine Coon cats does not differ dramatically from the life span of other cat breeds.
Relative to other large cat breeds, it seems that Maine Coons have an average lifespan since many large breeds have an average life expectancy of 10 to 20 years.
For comparison purposes, the table below shows the life expectancies of some popular cat breeds:
|Cat Breed||Lifespan (Years)|
|Maine Coon Cats||12 – 15|
|Norwegian Forest Cats||14 – 16|
|Ragdoll||12 – 16|
|Bengal Cat||14 – 16|
|American Bobtail||13 – 15|
|Selkirk Rex||10 – 15|
|Turkish Van||10 – 17|
|Ragamuffin||12 – 18|
|Siberian Cat||10 – 18|
|British Shorthair||14 – 20|
|Pixie – Bob||13 – 15|
As you can see, if we look at the average lifespans by cat breed, it is clear that Maine Coons do not live longer than other cats.
Instead, the Ragamuffin and Siberian cat can live relatively longer than Maine Coons, reaching up to 18 years!
How To Extend Your Cats Life
Although Maine Coons cats are considered a healthy cat breed, the attention and care they get from their owners will play a big role in helping them live longer and happier lives.
Here are some tips that will help keep your beloved Maine Coon cat healthy, potentially extending the feline’s lifespan:
1. Improving Your Maine Coon’s Diet
The number one thing you can do to help your cat live longer is by feeding him/her high-quality foods.
The best diet for your Maine Coon cat should meet the feline’s unique nutritional requirements without causing obesity.
Precisely, a Maine Coon diet should have:
- A High Protein Concentration
- Low Levels Of Carbohydrates
- Moderate Amount Of Fats
Importantly, Maine Coons are prone to obesity, so make sure not to overfeed your pet.
These are my favorite Maine Coon dry foods. I particularly the first product listed, as it has been produced with the Maine Coon cat breed specifically in mind.
If you would prefer your Maine Coon kitten follows a raw food diet, make sure you read my article first.
2. Encourage Play And Exercise
Maine Coon cats are prone to obesity. Owners should therefore encourage their cat to play and exercise often.
Generally, Maine Coons need to get about 30 minutes of exercise every day to help keep their weight in check.
It is important these cats get exercise and mental stimulation on a regular basis, to ensure they live a healthier happier life. Did you know that this breed cat be leashed and walked?
One easy way to get your cat exercising is by purchasing Maine Coon cat-friendly toys that naturally stimulate their curiosity, and love of hunting.
Maine Coons are also excellent climbers, so make sure you give them the best extra-large cat trees, to encourage safe jumping and climbing within your home.
3. Regular Veterinary Check-Ups
Another sure-fire way to boost your cat’s health and potentially his/her lifespan is by ensuring the feline gets all the necessary vaccines and regular check-ups by a qualified vet.
As the pet owner, it is your responsibility to arrange regular veterinary check-ups for your cat. This will help keep your cat’s health level at optimum levels.
Failure to groom a Maine Coon cat on a regular basis i.e. a minimum of 2-3 times a week, may lead to your cat experiencing health issues, and stress. This ultimately keeps a feline’s life expectancy at the lower end.
Maine Coons benefit from good grooming practices.
The key grooming requirements for a Maine Coon cat are:
- Regular Brushing
- De-Shedding Cat’s Fur
- Brushing A Cat’s Teeth
- Bathing Your Cat
5. Care And Attention
While cats are well known for being independent creatures, they appreciate the care and love they get from their human companions.
The attention and affection your give to your cat plays an indispensable role in ensuring great quality of life, which may extend the felines life expectancy.
In a nutshell, giving your Maine Coon cat quality care may extend their life and give you a longer-term loyal companion.
What Is The Oldest Maine Coon Cat
As mentioned earlier, the biggest issue with using average figures is that they are a central number representing a larger list of numbers.
Averages, in this case, refer to a Maine Coon cats’ average life expectancy, which can potentially mislead owners into assuming that their beloved Maine Coon cats will not live past 15 years.
In the real world, Maine Coon cats can live for a very long time, potentially longer than other cat breeds. In fact, the oldest feline to exist was a Maine Coon cat.
The oldest Maine Coon cat was called Rubble, a fluffy Maine Coon that died at the age of 31 years!
While many texts claim that Rubble is the oldest cat ever, it is worth noting that the World’s oldest cat ever was called Creme Puff and died at the age of 38 years and three days. Creme Puff was born on 3rd August 1967 (source 1,2).
Maine Coon Mix Life Expectancy
Whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned animal lover, it is worth noting that Maine Coon Mix cats are not significantly different from pedigree Maine Coons.
In fact, many half Maine Coon cats tend to have many traits of pedigree Maine Coons, including physical characteristics and personality.
That said, it is safe and, of course, should be no surprise that half Maine Coon life expectancy is similar to that of Maine Coons. As such, the average lifespan of half Maine Coon is anywhere from 10 to 12.5 years.
Like in the case of purebred Maine Coons, quality care can help extend the life of your Maine Coon Mix cat.
How Long Do Indoor Maine Coon Cats Live?
Indoor Maine Coons live between 12 to 15 years on average.
In this regard, the only two prime factors are known to preserve or better a Maine Coon’s health, consequently extending the feline’s life expectancy are:
- Better Nutrition
- Advances In Medical Care
That said, although living indoors can be a way of providing great quality of life to your Maine Coon, it may not have any significant effects on the cat’s lifespan.
After all, staying indoors without the most-needed veterinary check-ups and proper diet cannot increase life expectancy.
That’s why it is safe to say that indoor Maine Coons have a life expectancy of about 12 to 15 years.
Maine Coons are commonly kept as indoor cats. The studies that estimated the average lifespan of Maine Coons might therefore have used data of indoor felines.
Do Outdoor Cats Live Longer?
Outdoor cats tend to have shorter lifespans than their indoor counterparts. According to one vet, cats that exclusively live outdoors have an average lifespan of just 2 – 5 years! Please keep in mind, however, that this is a highly controversial viewpoint (source 1).
The theory behind this vets prediction is that outdoor cats are more prone to hazards, such as:
- Infectious Diseases
- Environmental Hazards
While cats naturally love outdoors, fresh air, and sunshine, as a concerned pet parent, you should think carefully regards whether to allow your Maine Coon to spend outdoors for a prolonged period of time, or not.
Allowing Maine Coon cats to roam outside is an extremely emotive subject matter. Make sure you read my article ‘Can Maine Coon Cats Go Outside?‘, to fully appreciate both sides of the debate.
Maine Coon Health Problems
Despite being well-known as a healthy and hardy breed of cat, Maine Coon cats are still susceptible to a number of health problems that any owner should be aware of.
Here are the most common Maine Coon health problems that you need to be aware of:
1. Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
This is a common heart disease that occurs when the muscular walls surrounding a cat’s heart start thickening.
It is a serious issue that can negatively affect the heart’s efficiency levels, ultimately sending your Maine Coon to an early grave.
Click here to read more about this Maine Coon health problem.
2. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary health complication that occurs when the hip joints of a Maine Coon fail to develop normally, resulting in a ball and socket dislocation.
It leads to loss of hip joints, ultimately leaving your cat severely lameness.
These are the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
3. Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
This is a hereditary disease characterized by progressive instability with unsteady gait and posture abnormalities.
Although it is not thought to be painful, it may shorten the lifespan of a Maine Coon cat.
4. Peridontal Disease
Maine Coons are also vulnerable to periodontal disease, a gum disease characterized by buildup and tartar over a cat’s teeth.
If it goes untreated, it can graduate to a more serious, potentially lethal, issue.
Take a look at my complete guide to Maine Coon teeth facts to discover the warning signs and the actions an owner must take to prevent this health condition from getting worse.
This is another common Maine Coon health problem that your beloved feline is prone to.
Stomatitis causes inflammation of the cat’s gums and mouth plus painful mouth ulcers, which can seriously hurt your Maine Coons health, by keeping it from eating.
Here’s what you need to do to prevent it.
6. Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
This is another hereditary condition that can cut down the life expectancy of Maine Coon cats.
Polycystic kidney disease is caused by an autosomal dominant gene abnormality.
These are the signs and symptoms to watch out for.
As the largest domesticated cat breed, Maine Coons are prone to obesity, which can catalyze the effect of other health problems.
For this reason, owners should avoid overfeeding their Maine Coons.
Here’s how much to feed a Maine Coon cat.
Signs Your Cat Will Live A Long Time
While we wish all cats could live as long as Creme Puff, it is common knowledge that this is not possible with most Maine Coon living between 12 and 15 years.
Again, no one has a crystal ball that could tell when their Maine Coon may go. That’s why we rely on physical signs to tell us whether our cat is likely to live longer, especially when it approaches the geriatric stage of its life.
That said, even though there is no sure-fire way to tell whether or not a cat will live longer, keeping a watchful eye on the cat’s activity and behaviors can help know the likelihood of living for a long time (source 1).
Here are some important signs that may hint that your cat will live longer:
1. Plenty Of Play
Although your aging cat can be less playful, cats that live longer continue to play and jump, even when old.
Owners can even encourage more play to keep the feline strong and physically fit.
2. Reasonable Napping And Sleeping
Although old Maine Coons have an altered sleep cycle, as long they still get enough sleep time and naps, they may live longer.
3. Strong Sensibilities
Generally, Maine Coons are skilled hunters with strong hunting instincts.
Watch your cat, see if they accurately sense anything approaching up to them, even when they are old.
4. A Sleek Body Physique
If a cat is given a high quality, balanced diet, and physical exercise, it will maintain ideal body weight and size, which further increases its life expectancy.
5. How The Cat Is Jumping
Maine Coons are an energetic cat breed with impressive leaping ability.
If your cat can still leap significant distances and heights as it grows older, this may be a sign that your Maine will live longer.
Cats that are likely to live past the average life expectancies tend to bond well with their owners, even in old age.
Top 10 Cat Breeds That Live The Longest
If you have been wondering what cat breeds live the longest, take a look at the list below.
These cat breeds are known to have longer life expectancies:
- Russian Blue
- Oriental Shorthair
- Savannah Cat
When it comes to a Maine Coons life expectancy, quality nutrition, adequate exercise, and regular wellness checks are the best known easy to maximize the lifespan of any feline.
Are you a first-time owner wondering how old do Maine Coons live?
The good news is that, although Maine Coon cats do not live the longest, the Maine Coon life expectancy of 12 to 15 years makes for an excellent, loyal companion for quite a long period of time.
Hopefully, after reading this article, you have a better understanding of just how long a Maine Coon cat may live.
1. Black Maine Coon Life Expectancy
The lovable black Maine Coons life expectancy ranges from 12 – 15 years.