The Maine Coon cat is among the most popular pet breed in the world. It is not surprising that so many people love these large cats since they are known for their friendly, loyal, and playful personalities. The large, long-haired cat is referred to as “the gentle giant” because of their affectionate and calm temperament.
Maine Coons are one of the oldest natural cat breeds in North America and one of the largest domesticated cats in existence today. The muscular, heavily boned cats originated in Maine. They were initially outdoor cats with incredible hunting prowess. Popular among farmers due to their ability to keep barns and other outbuildings free of rodents. They also possess above-average intelligence and a dog-like disposition.
How Long Do Maine Coons Live?
The average lifespan of a Maine Coon is 12-15 years. They are healthy and hardy cats, but, like all animals, life expectancy depends on general health, diet, and exercise. Many Maine Coons have lived to be 20 years old.
Rubble, the oldest Maine Coon in the world, was 31. He lived a long, happy life in Devon County, England, with Michelle Heritage, who adopted him as a kitten. He sadly passed away in 2020.
Maine Coon Life Stages
The kitten stage in a Maine Coon’s life starts at birth and ends around 12-15 months. Like most kitten breeds, they are playful and adorable. Typically, they stay with their mothers for the first few months of their life and are adopted around 12 weeks. During this stage, the kittens are unsteady on their feet but still plenty curious.
Maine Coons are in their adolescence, from 12 or 15 months to three or four years old. This is when they mature out their kitten features and start to look more like adult cats, but they still have plenty of growing to do. The cats will become more coordinated and independent. They also reach sexual maturity at this stage in their life.
Maine Coons are fully matured by the time they are four or five years old and remain in adulthood until they are about nine years old. They are much calmer as they mature but still have a playful personality. The Maine Coon will be in peak physical condition at this time as long as they have a healthy diet and regular exercise.
This is the last stage of a Maine Coon’s life. The cats will slow down at this time, and their fur will lose its glossy appearance. They will remain friendly and may want to cuddle even more than usual.
Factors That Threaten the Maine Coon Lifespan
Disease: Genetic diseases are common in many cat breeds. Unfortunately, Maine Coons are no exception. The two most common life-threatening genetic diseases of Maine Coons are hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
Weight: Physically fit cats are proven to live much longer than cats who are obese. When Maine Coons are overfed or underactive, their lives can be shortened by up to 10 years. The normal weight of a male Maine Coon is 15-25 pounds, and 11-20 pounds for females.
Predators: Outdoor cats are at risk of being killed by predators. Among the most common are coyotes, bobcats, and mountain lions. Although outdoor cats have a riskier lifestyle, a controlled outdoor environment is the key to a happier cat, according to a study by the University of Lincoln.
How to Extend the Life of Your Pet Maine Coon
Every loving pet owner wants to extend the life of their furry companion. Even though many factors affecting the lifespan of pets are uncontrollable, there are several ways to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Here are some of the ways to increase time spent with your beloved Maine Coon:
Diet: A healthy diet is essential for the long and happy life of any pet. Maine Coon cats should be fed a diet low in carbs and fat but high in protein.
Exercise: The inquisitive nature of Maine Coons keeps them active. Encouraging your cat to run, jump, and play often will help maintain their health.
Regular vet check-ups: Bringing your Maine Coon to a veterinarian once a year can greatly increase their life expectancy. Many of the diseases common in Maine Coons start to develop or become apparent during adulthood. This is a good time to start regular vet check-ups.
The photo featured at the top of this post is © kukurund/Shutterstock.com
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