Maine Coons are some of the largest domestic cats. They’re very popular pets, known for their friendly temperaments, their large size, and for often sporting extra toes. Whether there’s already a Maine Coon in your family or you’re considering adding one, it’s helpful to have an idea of how long that feline might be around. In this article, we’re going to take a look at average and maximum life expectancies for Maine Coons, as well as key factors for extending your Maine Coon’s lifespan. Plus, we’re going to discuss some of the main health concerns that you’ll want to look out for if you want your Maine Coon to live as long as possible.
Typical Maine Coon Lifespans
Maine Coons are generally pretty healthy cats with a decent life expectancy. On average, they tend to live for 10-15 years, making 12.5 years the average lifespan of a Maine Coon. While some factors contributing to your cat’s lifespan are out of your control, such as genetic predispositions and certain health concerns, there are still many ways to help your cat live a longer life. With proper care and attention, your Maine Coon could vastly outlive the average lifespan for this breed. Some specimens have lived past 18 years of age, so it’s possible that your Maine Coon might be around for nearly two decades.
Key Factors for Extending Your Cat’s Lifespan
As a loving cat owner, naturally, you want your cat to live as long as possible. For that to happen, you’ll have to pay special attention to particular factors that will have a major effect on your cat’s health and overall lifespan. Granted, some things are out of your control, but if you offer your feline the best you can in each of these vital areas, you’ll be giving it the opportunity to live as long of a life as possible.
Diet and nutrition play an important role in your cat’s overall health. For example, an obese cat that’s overeating regularly is likely to die younger than a cat that’s eating a more nutritious diet and sitting at a healthier weight. Cats that weigh 20% or more over their ideal body weight are considered obese, and they’re at far more risk of disease than other felines, including diabetes mellitus, hypertension, cancer, osteoarthritis, and heart disease.
A Maine Coon’s diet should consist mainly of meat-based proteins. Cats are obligate carnivores, so they get all of the nutrients they need from eating other animals. It tends to be difficult to feed house cats purely animal-based meals, but the goal should be to offer your Maine Coon a high protein and low carbohydrate diet consisting of multiple animal-based protein sources. You can do this with a mix of wet and dry cat foods, taking care to match portion sizes and overall food intake to your cat’s size and weight.
Like most creatures, Maine Coons need adequate physical activity to remain healthy. These are pretty large cats, so they tend to need more exercise than most breeds. Interestingly, Maine Coons are one of the few feline breeds that seem to take to walking on a leash, so you might try exercising yours in such a manner. Play sessions are also a great way to keep your cat healthy, using a laser pointer or toy to make your cat chase and pounce.
Maine Coons are highly intelligent cats. As such, they require plenty of mental stimulation. Without adequate mental engagement, they’ll get bored, and their quality of life will decrease. Luckily, it’s easy to provide mental stimulation for your cat. You can use toys that make your cat work and think, such as puzzle toys that make your cat work for a treat.
Maine Coon Health Concerns
While providing adequate mental stimulation, physical activity, and proper nutrition can all help to extend your Maine Coon’s lifespan, certain genetic health factors need to be considered. You can’t prevent these health problems from arising, but you can be aware of their possibility and keep a vigilant eye out for any signs of them occurring. Often, catching such issues early means a better chance of treating and managing the condition, allowing your cat to live a longer life than if the condition had gone undiagnosed for an extended time.
On average, Maine Coons live to be 10-15 years old. With proper care, and barring any unfortunate genetic conditions, a Maine Coon can live to be 18 years or older. The most important factors to pay attention to if you wish to prolong your cat’s lifespan are diet, exercise, and mental stimulation.
But remember, even if you do everything right, sometimes, genetic health conditions such as spinal muscular atrophy or polycystic kidney disease can shorten your cat’s lifespan. These sorts of anomalies are outside of your control, so focus on the factors you can affect and keep an eye out for symptoms of genetic health conditions so you can catch them early if they do occur. Hopefully, doing so will allow your cat to live its best and longest life possible.
Did you know Maine Coons can have extra toes? Find out more in our article!
Featured Image Credit: Michelle Raponi, Pixabay