You’ve arrived back home, elated with your purchase of an adorable Maine Coon kitten. This little bundle of fluff quickly wins your heart, becoming a key family member that you cannot live without. The sad truth of the matter though, is that our pets often don’t live as long as us, so you’re now wondering how long do Maine Coon cats live? The following tips will help you keep your beloved Maine Coon in great health, potentially extending their life for even just a few more years.
The average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat is >12.5 years, though some Coons have been known to reach 15+ years! Their lifespan is dependent upon their specific lifestyle, general health, genetics, diet, and exercise levels.
Average Maine Coon Lifespan
Maine Coons are generally a healthy cat breed, with only a few genetically predisposed health issues to watch out for.
Research between 2003 – 2006 determined that the median lifespan of the Maine Coon cat is >12.5 years. This study was carried out by a pet insurance company in Sweden, who discovered that “74% of Maine Coons lived to 10 years or more, and 54% lived to 12.5 years” plus (source).
The following factors will however have an impact upon how long your Maine Coon cat is likely to live:
If you are keen to increase the lifespan of your Maine Coon cat, it is important that you make sure you always feed your Maine Coon with a healthy well balanced diet plan. This should ideally be fat free, of high quality, and contain high levels of protein and nutrients.
High quality dry food diets are more suitable for the Maine Coon breed, because they help limit the buildup of tartar on your Coon’s teeth (source).
Do not overfeed your Maine Coon though, since overfeeding poses one of your cats biggest health risks, since it often leads to cat obesity, and may reduce your Coons overall lifespan. If your cat is not getting enough exercise, and appears to be gaining weight, please seek professional veterinary advice to determine if your Maine Coon needs to be placed on a low calorie diet plan.
What Is A Healthy Weight For A Maine Coon Cat?
The Maine Coon might be one of the largest domesticated breeds of cat in the world, however it’s growth rate is surprisingly slow, when compared to other cat breeds. That’s not to say that you will end up with a small Maine Coon, quite the contrary in fact! Maine Coons actually grow faster than other cat breeds, in terms of weight and size.
The table below shows the expected healthy weights of both male and female Maine Coon cats (source). If your cat falls outside these weight ranges, please seek professional veterinary advice, as it is possible your Maine Coons diet will need adapting.
|Sex||Adult Weight (kg)||Adult Weight (lb)|
|Male||6.8 – 11.3||15 – 25|
|Female||3.6 – 5.4||8 – 12|
3. Common Diseases
What Diseases Are Maine Coon Cats Prone To?
The Maine Coon is a generally healthy breed of cat, but that’s not to say that they never get ill. As with many animals, genetic defects are the most likely reason that will result in your Maine Coons lifespan being reduced.
These are the common diseases that Maine Coon cats are prone to:
Whilst most cat breeds reach full physical maturity by 2 years, the Maine Coon does not fully mature until 4 – 5 years! This can often lead to considerable confusion amongst new Maine Coon owners, who worry that their treasured Coon is underweight. The best course of action in this case, is to seek professional veterinary advice, rather than feed your Maine Coon more food, to fatten them up! Overfeeding must be avoided, as it will likely result in obesity which makes your Maine Coon more prone to developing certain diseases.
Obesity can be avoided by owner intervention, so act now to increase your Maine Coons lifespan!
b) Hip Dysplasia
Maine Coons are known for their large physical presence. It is their large physical frame however, that makes them more susceptible to developing hip dysplasia. This particular disease can cause arthritis, though this condition is generally not regarded as a huge issue for the majority of cats. Keep an eye out for its symptoms though, because if left untreated, it may cause paralysis.
c) Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
This condition is not common in Maine Coon cats, but is serious. Symptoms must not be ignored.
d) Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Your Maine Coon kittens lifespan may be shortened by a hereditary genetic disease, known as spinal muscular atrophy. 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”.
Symptoms usually appear when your kitten is 3-4 months old. The condition is not considered painful or fatal, and Maine Coons with this condition are able to live life indoors, comfortably (source).
Maine Coons require daily exercise to keep their bodies fit and healthy, and maximise their Maine Coons lifespan potential. Owners should engage in daily play with their Coons, to help encourage mental stimulation, whilst also increasing the cats level of movement. An added bonus of this playtime, is that it will help build a greater bond between owner and cat.
The Maine Coon kitten is known for being particularly playful, whereas the adult Coon may require more encouragement to exercise, especially if kept as an indoor cat.
Play Time Example
If you are not too sure what to play with your Coon, why not grab a piece of string and drag it slowly along the floor in front of your cat. You will quickly find your Maine Coon is eager to play, displaying hunting skills that it would use if trying to catch a live prey.
Indoor Maine Coons
Maine Coons kept indoors are more prone to lack of exercise than Coons permitted to explore the world outside. If your situation does not permit your cat to venture outside, be aware that your house cat will be getting less exercise. This isn’t a problem, as long as you’re are committed to offering alternative exercise options i.e. a large cat tree for them to jump up and down on, extra playtime, or a leash!
Which Cat Tree Should You Buy?
Due to your cats larger than average size, standard sized cat trees will not be suited to your cats exercise needs. Extra large cat trees are a great way to ensure your pet is getting the regular exercise it needs, to keep it fit and healthy. We personally bought this large cat tree from Amazon. It was easy to install in our home, high quality, and has lasted us many years.
Buy A Leash!
Another way for your indoor Maine Coon to get exercise, is by taking them for a walk!
This breed is known for its intelligence, so many owners train their Coon to wear a comfortable cat leash, such as this great value cat leash on Amazon, then take their cat for a walk!
Genetics are one of the most likely reasons that will result in your Maine Coons lifespan being shortened. Unfortunately, this is not an area that the owner can influence.
Reputable breeders test their cats for a range of different diseases, prior to breeding. This helps to ensure that kittens are not born with genetic defects.
Increase your chance of owning a Maine Coon cat without any genetic defects, by only purchasing Maine Coon kittens sold by reputable breeders. This may cost more money upfront, however, this is the best way to increase the lifespan of your Maine Coon pet.
The high price of Maine Coon kittens unfortunately attracts many backyard breeders to the marketplace.
Backyard breeders keep their profit margins high by not testing their breeding Maine Coon cats for genetic defects in advance. This increases the chance that the kittens produced may have genetic defects.
These unethical breeders are not interested in selling the best quality kittens that they can. They are not Maine Coon fanatics, like many reputable breeders are. Instead, they are merely focused on high profit margins.
6. Vet Health Checks
Maximise your Maine Coons lifespan by taking your cat for regular health checks, at a registered veterinary practise. Such checks ensure that health issues are picked up sooner, which can then be treated accordingly.
You should also make keep up to date with your cats vaccinations, and general health requirements e.g. deworming.
As you can see, there are many factors to consider when asking how long do Maine Coon cats live. Most items listed are within the owners control, such as ensuring your Maine Coon is fed with the correct diet, and exercised regularly. Sadly however, you will not be able to impact the genetics that your cat was born with. Though, regular veterinary check ups may help you identify potential health issues sooner, and then you can treat the identified issue accordingly.