How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live? A Vet Explains

how long do Maine Coon cats live - studio images of a brown and white tabby Maine Coon on a white background

Last updated on February 2nd, 2024 at 07:17 pm

by Dr. WL Wilkins, DVM, PhD

Every cat lover knows that Maine Coon cats are a breed apart – not just in size, but in personality and charm. They’re known for their playful nature, sociable personalities, and their luxurious fur.

However, many potential owners and enthusiasts often find themselves wondering “How long do Maine Coon cats live?” Surely a cat as big as these must have a different lifespan than other cats?

Maine Coon cats have similar lifespans as most other cat breeds, living on average between 12 – 15 years. However, they are also prone to certain health conditions that might cut their lives short.

Read on to discover exactly how long these big cats live, health problems that can reduce their lifespan, and tips on how to maintain their health so your gentle giant can lives its best and longest life.

How Long Do Maine Coon Cats Live?

The oldest known Maine Coon cat was a white and orange male cat named Rubble. Born in May 1988 and residing in the United Kingdom with owner Michele Foster, Rubble lived an impressive 31 years before passing in 2020.

Rubble’s exceptional lifespan showcases the potential for Maine Coon cats to surpass typical expectations. However, Rubble is far from being the oldest cat ever.

The record for the oldest known cat overall is held by Lucy, a gray tabby domestic shorthair cat that lived in South Wales (UK). Lucy’s remarkable longevity saw her reaching the age of 39 before crossing the rainbow bridge in 2011.

While some individual cats like Rubble can live for a very long time, the average lifespan of a Maine Coon cat can vary based on several factors, but they tend to live between 12 to 15 years – the same as most other cat breeds.

Genetics play a significant role in determining their lifespan. Reputable breeders often focus on breeding for health and longevity, which can contribute to a longer life expectancy.

Another key factor is the quality of care provided throughout the cat’s life. Regular veterinary check-ups, a balanced diet, exercise, and a safe environment all contribute to a Maine Coon’s health. With proper care and attention, some Maine Coon cats have routinely been known to surpass the 15-year mark and live into their late teens or even early twenties.

how long do maine coon cats live - studio image of a beautiful grey and white maine coon cat laying on a white shelf with a white background

About Maine Coon Cats

Maine Coon cats are one of the largest domestic cat breeds, weighing up to 25 pounds and measuring up to 40 inches in length. Their robust build, tufted ears, bushy tails, and luxurious fur make them stand out in the cat world.

In terms of personality, Maine Coon cats are often dubbed as “gentle giants.” They are friendly, affectionate, and sociable creatures that enjoy being around people and other pets. Their playful nature makes them ideal companions for families, as they interact well with children and are known to adapt to various living environments.

These cats don’t come cheap though. A purebred kitten can will cost you at least $1500, and often more.

Health Problems

Maine Coon cats can have the same health issues as any other cat. But they also have breed-specific health concerns that warrant attention.

These health issues can potentially affect their lifespan and overall quality of life. Owners of these cats need to be aware of these specific vulnerabilities in order to provide the appropriate care and preventive measures for their cats.

General Health

In terms of general health, Maine Coon cats are typically known for their robust and sturdy constitution.

They possess a strong, muscular build that helps keep them fit and healthy. Their well-developed immune system contributes to their overall resilience. Their thick, water-resistant fur provides protection against varying weather conditions.

While they tend to be hardy and adaptable, like any breed they benefit from proper care, attention, and early detection of any potential health concerns. A house cat, in general, will live longer and stay healthier than outdoor cats simply because they are in a safe and controlled environment. 

Inherited Health Problems: Genetic Predispositions

Maine Coon cats are known to be prone to certain genetic health problems that may influence their longevity. These health issues, often stemming from inherited genetic traits and breed tendencies, can potentially shorten their lifespans.

These include:

  • Hip Dysplasia
  • Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA)
  • Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)
  • Stomatitis
  • Feline Lymphoma
how long do maine coon cats live - studio image of two maine coo kittens playing slap, on a brown background

14 Tips For Keeping Your Maine Coon Cat Healthy

The best way to ensure the health and long life of your Maine Coon cat is by being proactive with their healthcare.

Here are some tips to help ensure that your cat lives its best and longest life:

  1. Regular Veterinary Care: Schedule regular check-ups to catch any potential health issues early and keep vaccinations up-to-date.
  2. Balanced Diet: Feed a well-balanced, high-quality cat food appropriate for their age and needs. Avoid overfeeding to prevent obesity. A healthy diet is the best medicine for preventing many different ailments in cats.
  3. Hydration: Make sure the cat has access to fresh water at all times to maintain proper hydration.
  4. Weight Management: Monitor their weight and body condition to prevent obesity, which can lead to and worsen various health problems.
  5. Exercise and Play: Engage your cat in regular play and provide opportunities for enough exercise to keep them physically fit and mentally stimulated.
  6. Dental Care: Brush their teeth regularly or provide dental treats to prevent dental issues.
  7. Grooming: Regularly grooming will keep their fur from matting and minimize hairballs.
  8. Litter Box Maintenance: Keep their litter box clean and provide a comfortable environment for proper bathroom habits.
  9. Safe Environment: Create a safe indoor environment to protect them from potential hazards and accidents.
  10. Social Interaction: Spend quality time with your cat to satisfy their sociable nature and build a strong bond.
  11. Mental Stimulation: Provide toys, puzzles, and scratching posts to keep them mentally engaged.
  12. Stress Management: Minimize stressors and sudden changes in their routine to promote a calm and happy atmosphere.
  13. Health Monitoring: Keep an eye out for any changes in behavior, appetite, or litter box habits, and seek veterinary care when needed.
  14. Genetic Health: Be aware of breed-specific health concerns and work with reputable breeders who prioritize responsible breeding practices.

By incorporating these tips into your Maine Coon cat’s daily care routine, you can help make sure they remain healthy cats.

how long do Maine coon cats live - a large orange Maine Coon cat laying on a white shag rug

Conclusion

Maine Coon cats are a breed of unique charm and captivating personality, full of life and vigor. While they are susceptible to certain genetic diseases, awareness and proactive, comprehensive care can significantly improve their quality of life and longevity.

Regular vet check-ups, a balanced diet, plenty of exercise, and a nurturing environment are key elements in maintaining their health. Moreover, working with reputable breeders who emphasize responsible breeding practices can reduce the risk of genetic diseases.

Owning a Maine Coon cat is a delightful experience, and with a commitment to their health and well-being, you can ensure your feline companion has a healthy life for many, many years to come.

Do you want to learn more about this fantastic Maine Coon cat breed? Check out our complete breed information and care guide here!

Sources:

Author

  • Dr. Wendy Wilkins DVM PhD.

    Dr. Wendy Wilkins is an experienced veterinarian and epidemiologist with over 20 years of expertise. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Throughout her career, Dr. Wilkins has excelled in clinical practice, academia, research, and regulatory veterinary medicine. She is a respected voice in knowledge dissemination, delivering factual information in a readable and understandable manner through articles, books, and public engagements.