I know it’s a depressing subject but it is one that people naturally want to ask, but are sometimes too afraid to. This is a different type of article to those I usually write -one I found hard to write.
There’s nothing wrong with asking this question and wondering how long this beautiful breed of cat will live for. We wonder the same about ourselves so why not our feline friends? It’s a question often posed by children who are curious.
It’s important (I think) to be transparent and honest with children regarding life and death and owning and caring for pets is a good way to teach children about it.
It may be a difficult question to answer if your Maine Coon is getting on a bit but making something up won’t do you any favors in the long run. The fact is the Maine Coon (with a bit of luck) can be a very healthy breed and the chances are, if they’re healthy, they won’t be going anytime soon.
When will your Maine Coon die? Your Maine Coon will possibly die somewhere between the age of 10 and 13, on average. However, the Maine Coon is typically a very healthy cat breed so if yours exceeds 13 years you shouldn’t be surprised – some live into their 20’s!
How long do Maine Coons usually live?
The average lifespan of a Maine Coon is around 10 to 13 years of age. This is the age that they’re expected to live from birth though so if you have a Maine Coon that’s within this range, the chances are she will live longer than this. A study was performed in Sweden in the early part of the 21st Century which found the following:
- 90% of Maine Coons lived longer than 5 years old.
- 84% of Maine Coons lived longer than 7.5 years old.
- 74% of Maine Coons lived longer than 10 years old.
- 54% of Maine Coons lived longer than 12.5 years old.
The above data was sourced from this scientific paper. Interestingly, the life expectancy of the Maine Coon seems to have increased from a similar survey produced only a few years previous to this one.
I Can’t Stop Worrying About My Cat
Quite normal. Actually, let me re-phrase that – it’s quite normal for us animal-lovers. Why wouldn’t we? My son, who’s 12, has always had our two Maine Coons around the house, there has never been a time when they’ve not been there.
They are part of our happy family and the prospect of that not being the case is worrying. There’s no point in me saying just stop worrying as we know it’s not that easy.
All you can do is accept that nothing is forever and make the most of them whilst you have them and they have you, what else can you do?
The best way to deal with this is to not have any regrets. When you see your Maine Coon next, spend time with them.
It’s easy to become complacent and maybe they haven’t had the attention they used to have when they were kittens. You can change that.
The Maine Coon will want to play with you throughout their lives and not only will it help them keep stress levels down but it will also provide a form of therapy for you too!
What Health Problems Does the Maine Coon Have?
Maine Coons happen to be a particularly healthy breed but that doesn’t mean they’re free from the occasional trip to the vet. The below are some common problems associated with the Maine Coon cat:
- Hip Dysplasia – a condition found in many breeds of cat (and some dog breeds) that causes lameness in their hind legs which can make movement difficult.
- Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy – this condition relates to the amount of blood that is pumped around the body of the cat by the heart. It can become restricted and causes low blood pressure symptoms, such as fainting.
- Patellar Luxation – this is where the kneecap can dislodge itself and move away from its normal position. This can cause problems with movement and other issues.
- Kidney Problems – not sure if it is fair putting this here as kidney conditions are quite common with felines. These problems can be caused by infections or indeed, just bad luck.
There are, of course, lots of other issues that can disrupt the health of your cat but there’s no point in listing them all here.
Yes, there’s a chance that they may become ill but the Maine Coon is a particularly healthy breed.
Like all cats, luck plays a big part in whether they fall foul of some of these diseases.
How Can You Extend the Life of Your Maine Coon?
The very first thing you can do, if you’re buying them as a kitten, is to obtain as much information about their parents as you can.
Making sure their parents were/are healthy and didn’t suffer from any genetic diseases can all but rule out your kitten acquiring these diseases in its life.
Yes, you will probably need to pay more for your kitten if you want this information (as you’ll be buying through a breeder) but in my opinion, it’s worth it in the long run.
The next thing you can do is buy cat insurance. Having owned Maine Coons for over half my life I’ve been through quite a bit with them.
They have all required veterinary attention at some point in their lives and some of the visits were more serious than others. If we hadn’t obtained insurance then these vet bills would have cost us thousands.
It would be horrible to be in a position where you literally can’t afford an operation because you didn’t take it out. Expect insurance to cost around $25 per month (for a 1-year-old Maine Coon).
I’m not going to go into this in too much detail (as it’s really another topic) but keeping the anxiety levels down on your Maine Coons can keep them healthy.
Do this by feeding them at regular times with a good, healthy diet and play with them, daily. This has the rather nice side-effect of reducing stress levels in you as well, so win-win for everyone!
Should I Plan for the End?
No, I don’t believe you should. Unless they are very ill you really have no idea how long you have left with them. My two are now 14 years old and although one is getting a bit lazy these days they are both, arguably, in the best health of their lives.
Harry, our ginger Maine Coon will sit by his toys daily waiting for someone to play with him (which of course we do). He’s as active now as he was as a kitten and it’s lovely to see.
Charlie, our white one will have a mad half-hour where he’ll run around the house jumping on everything before he settles back down again on the sofa for another cheeky little 10-hour nap.
It’s different if you know that the end is coming. Perhaps they have an incurable disease and you know that your time with them is going to be limited.
During those days or weeks, make some memories with your cat, involving the whole family if possible. Spend time with her (to make things easier to read, I’m using ‘her’ instead of ‘him’), make her comfortable, and make her as happy as possible.
It’s easy to say but you’ve given her the best life she could have and there’s nothing any of us can do about what happens in the end. Make her as happy now as you did when you first got her, all that time ago.
In most cases, none of us know exactly how long we’ve got left with our cat. No one cares as much as the owner, despite what they say.
Spend as much time as you can with her and don’t have any regrets. Take photos of her and if you have kids, include them in the photos also.
They’ll thank you for it in years to come when you’re describing all the naughty things your cat used to get up to and the good times you had.
Finally, if you want to see a complete guide for the Maine Coon cat, then check out this great article here that will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about this breed (opens in a new window).