We don’t like to think about it when we bring our kitten or young cat home for the first time, but the reality is that cats don’t live nearly as long as humans.
It’s no different for Maine Coon cats – they are generally quite healthy, but they certainly won’t outlive most of their owners, barring a tragic accident.
So how long do Maine Coon cats live?
On average, Maine Coon Cats live to be between ten and fifteen years of age, with an average of about twelve years for indoor and five for outdoor. But this lifespan is highly dependent on a number of things including diet, health, exercise, genetics, and environment.
Do I Have to Worry About a Lot of Health Problems for Maine Coon Cats?
Maine Coon cats do have a few health problems, mostly related to their size. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, hip dysplasia, and spinal muscular atrophy are common health issues with heart disease being the most common.
These things can be managed if they are caught early enough with medication and support. Otherwise, this is a pretty sturdy breed of cat.
The Importance of Diet and Exercise
The best thing to do to ensure that your Maine Coon cat lives as long as possible, aside from keeping them indoors or only outside under careful supervision, is to monitor their diet. Maine Coon cats do best with a high protein diet that comes from a high-quality source.
Dry or wet food is fine (or a combination), but it should not be full of fillers as cats don’t get much, nutritionally speaking, from things like grains or other filler ingredients. It’s also important not to overfeed your cat – Maine Coons like to eat!
Also make sure to provide them with fresh water every day and don’t let them have too many treats or any food meant for humans!
Maine Coons are generally pretty active – they have a high hunting drive, and they enjoy playing with toys. But any cat can get rather lazy and Maine Coon cats are no different.
Exercise is important to keep them healthy though. It prevents obesity, helps with their mental health, and keeps their muscles and bones healthy which can help to prevent issues like hip dysplasia.
There are all kinds of ways to ensure that your cat gets enough exercise:
- Throwing balls or other toys for them to chase
- An extra-large cat tree for them to climb and jump on (the standard cat tree isn’t usually big enough for these cats!)
- Laser pointer lights
- Taking them for walks on a leash (Maine Coon cats can successfully be trained to walk on a leash)
A healthy weight for Maine Coon cats is around twelve to twenty-five pounds (depending on overall height and gender), but you should aim for a couple of pounds below that.
An obese cat has a much shorter life expectancy due to issues like diabetes and other health concerns that greatly shorten their lives. Talk to your vet for ideas on proper diet and exercise!
Regular Vet Visits
Maine Coon cats that go to the vet regularly will live longer than cats that don’t go. This includes regular vaccinations as needed, general health checkups, teeth cleaning, and getting spayed or neutered. All of these things go a long way towards ensuring that your cat lives as long and healthfully as possible.
A Maine Coon Cat-Friendly Environment.
It’s important to keep your cat’s environment safe and with an eye toward promoting longevity. This means doing things like making sure your home is cat safe (keep balcony doors locked if you live a few floors up), keep poisonous plants out of the house, and make sure there’s nothing dangerous for your cat to get into like wires or gaping holes for them to crawl in.
Our new home has a hole in the ceiling of our closet from work that was done, and you can bet we aren’t letting the cats anywhere near there since we don’t need cats in the walls!
Indoor cats also live, on average, twice as long as outdoor cats. Maine Coon cats may be large, but they can still run afoul of other cats, dogs, and cars, and be victims of theft.
The best way to keep your Maine Coon cat safe is to either keep it indoors at all times or take it outside on a leash.
If you want your cat to get fresh air, consider the benefits of a “catio”, which is usually a wire-enclosed patio that a cat cannot escape, but can still enjoy fresh air from.
Who is the Oldest Maine Coon Cat on Record?
Feeling like Maine Coon cats don’t live long enough? While the average life expectancy of ten to twelve years is on the low end compared to breeds like British Shorthair cats at fourteen to twenty, there’s no reason to think that you’ll only have ten years with your cat!
The oldest Maine Coon cat on record was twenty-six years old when it ran away from home and is presumed to have passed away there. His brother lied to be nineteen!
And another cat named Meg was twenty-five when she passed away. Her brother Rubble was the unofficial oldest Maine Coon cat on record at thirty-one years of age (unofficial because there’s no official way to tell how old he actually was).
So, plenty of Maine Coon cats have lived to be beyond a ripe old age! This can tell us that in many cases, genetics can be trumped by environment: good food, plenty of exercise, a positive environment, and lots of attention.
The average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is about twelve years, with outdoor-only cats living only on average to about five years of age. But plenty of Maine Coon cats have blown beyond that life expectancy to live well into their teens or twenties.
If you want to improve the odds that your Maine Coon cat will join these old cats, make sure to feed it high-quality protein-based foods, plenty of exercise and attention, regular vet check-ups, and make sure to stay up to date on vaccinations and have your cat spayed or neutered.
Not only will your cat be overall healthier doing these things, but it will live longer too!
What was the oldest cat you’ve had? The cats I had as a child lived to be about seventeen or eighteen, and my two recent rainbow bridge cats were sixteen and eighteen when they passed away.
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.