Maine Coon cats are a fairly sturdy breed of cat. Although prone to a few diseases, mostly due to their large size and genetics, overall, this is a breed that is healthy and relatively long-lived.
Still, Maine Coons are cats at the bottom and that means you probably won’t have a cat that sees much past twenty years, at absolute best.
What is the life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat?
Short answer: all things being equal, and assuming you have a mostly indoor, fixed cat, about twelve to fifteen years. It’s pretty much the same life expectancy as most other breeds of cat, to be honest.
What Factors Into the Life Expectancy of a Maine Coon Cat?
If you’re looking at trying to have your Maine Coon cat live as long (and healthily) as possible, then what can you do to achieve that end? There are a few things that play into the life expectancy of any cat, Maine Coons included:
- Regular vet visits
Some of these things you can definitely have an impact on, while others are going to be down to a bit of luck.
Diet: Diet is one of the easiest things you can control for your cat (whether they like it or not). In order to be healthy, Maine Coons (and really all cats) need high-quality cat food that is high in quality protein.
It should be very low in other ‘filler’ ingredients and have a good stock of nutrients like taurine. And make sure they get the correct serving size – obesity in cats leads to problems exercising, joint problems later in life, arthritis, and feline diabetes.
Maine Coons will eat what’s put in front of them and like most cats, they don’t really have a grasp of ‘portion control’, so you have to do it for them.
Exercise: Maine Coon cats are highly active animals, so make sure they have the space, toys, and equipment to do it! A good climbing tree, scratching post, and plenty of toys will help your cat stay active and healthy.
And don’t forget to play with your cat – Maine Coons like to play with people (and other cats), not just by themselves.
Maine Coons do best with about 30 minutes of exercise per day (usually several minutes per session in high-energy bursts). Maine Coon cats can also learn to walk on a leash!
Overall Health and Lifestyle: There are a few things you can do to ensure your cat stays healthy for as long as possible.
Make sure you book annual vet visits to check up on your cat’s health and make sure your cat is spayed or neutered unless you intend to breed it.
Spaying or neutering your cat cuts down on wandering behaviors and can cut the risks of certain cancers.
Also, try to keep your cat indoors as much as possible and only let them outside under controlled circumstances (such as on a leash or in a well-fenced yard with careful supervision).
Cats can get injured by other animals, vehicles, and chemicals in their environment if they go out unsupervised.
Genetics: Unfortunately, you can’t do much to prevent any genetic problems save for only buying purebred Maine Coon cats from reputable breeders.
But if you are rescuing from a shelter or getting a part breed, there’s really only so much you can do beyond being aware of what Maine Coon cats are genetically predisposed towards.
Disease-wise, Maine Coons are prone to hip dysplasia (mostly due to their size) which causes arthritis and if untreated, can result in paralysis.
They are also prone to Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy which is a heart disease that is fortunately rare in Maine Coon cats, and spinal muscular atrophy which causes muscle weakness and can cut the lifespan of a Maine Coon cat in half.
Can Maine Coon Cats Live a Long Time?
While the average life expectancy of a Maine Coon cat is twelve to fifteen years, there’s nothing to say that they won’t live longer.
The longest living Maine Coon cat lived to be thirty-one years of age! This is definitely an outlier, but with proper care, exercise, and a good diet, it’s not unreasonable for a Maine Coon to live past fifteen years of age. Many owners have had their Maine Coons see their eighteenth birthday or even past twenty!
The best way to ensure this is to make sure your cat goes in for their annual check-up (more as they get older), eats properly, and exercises, as well as getting plenty of affection and social time with their owners.
Maine Coon cats are pretty well in the middle of the pack when it comes to life expectancy. They don’t tend to live as long as British Shorthairs (which have an expectancy of between fifteen and twenty years, and I can attest to their sturdiness: my part British Shorthair lived to be almost 17 and she had very little contact with vets and was fat most of her life! Sturdy cats indeed).
Assuming your Maine Coon gets a quality diet, has no health problems, and plenty of exercise, you can expect that you will have your pet for a long time.
Have you had a long-lived Maine Coon cat? How long did it live?
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.