If you are considering bringing a fluffy Maine Coon into your home, take the time to learn health-related details about the purebred felines, which are known for their laid-back demeanor, long fur and hardy nature. Maine Coons are some of the biggest domestic cats around, along with Ragdolls and Savannahs.
Maine Coon cats are susceptible to hip dysplasia, which is an orthopedic condition that causes a lot of pain and discomfort. The serious genetic disease may lead to the eventual inability to walk in felines. Some telling indications of hip dysplasia in cats are a reluctant attitude toward physical exercise, problems walking and obsessive chewing and licking around the hips.
Feline Spinal Muscular Atrophy
Feline spinal muscular atrophy is a hereditary ailment that, in the feline world, only appears in Maine Coon cats. The progressive condition results from spinal cord neuron demise, and although isn't life-threatening, can lead to prominent weakening of the muscles, particularly for the back legs.
Maine Coon cats also have a gene mutation that results in a predisposition to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. This condition involves the heart muscles becoming denser, along with eventual limited blood flow. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may manifest itself in a variety of different symptoms, such as exhaustion, difficulty breathing and abrupt feelings of weakness. Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy may even be fatal to some cats. Although some breeds -- such as Maine Coons -- are especially vulnerable to hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, adult male cats are also particularly susceptible, so take note.
From an overall perspective, Maine Coon cats are sturdy and healthy fluff balls, though their potential health problems are certainly not restricted to hip dysplasia, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and feline spinal muscular atrophy. As with all pets, balanced and proper diet plans combined with frequent and regular veterinary visits are integral for increasing chances of lasting health and longevity. With frequent veterinary care, nutritious diet, sufficient physical fitness and lots of love, Maine Coons can enjoy long and fulfilling lives. The breed's typical lifespan ranges from between 12 and 15 years, although it's very important to remember that all cats are individuals. Some Maine Coon cats may not make it to even 12 years, while others may make it past the 20 year mark.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your pet’s diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vet’s opinion.
- Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association: MCBFA Health Issues
- The Cat Source: Maine Coon
- Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine: Hip Dysplasia
- UC Davis Veterinary Medicine: Spinal Muscular Atrophy in Maine Coon Cats
- Fanciers: The Maine Coon
- Washington State University College of Veterinary Medicine: Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
- National Institutes of Health: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in young Maine Coon cats caused by the p.A31P cMyBP-C mutation