Feline Focus: The Maine Coon Cat

Large, affectionate and highly intelligent, many Maine Coon cat enthusiasts lovingly refer to them as having ‘dog-like’ dispositions; they even love to play in water! However, we’re not too sure how the Maine Coon would feel about this description.

Reaching weights of up to 8kg, this big-boned cat can grow to twice the size of the average feline. Their long, silky coat keeps them warm in the winter and comes in a range of colours including white, blue and black.

While many have solid coat colours, it is also possibly for the Maine Coon to be a tabby, tortoiseshell or another pattern.

Maine Coon cat in a cat den

Though highly social with people, this is not necessarily a lap cat. Maine Coons are friendly on their own terms and may feel more comfortable being in the same room as you than lying on your lap. As they’re tolerant of some cuddles, they are often a good choice for those with younger families.

Health Conditions in Maine Coons

‘Moggy’ cats or Domestic Short or Long Hairs tend to enjoy the best health. This is because they have a wider gene pool and are less likely than pedigrees to inherit disease. Even so, the Maine Coon is known for being hardy and enjoying relatively good health. When it comes to the majestic Maine Coon, there are a number of medical conditions owners need to be aware of.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy: When the heart walls thicken, it can no longer pump blood efficiently. While many cats will remain symptom free for years, others will be noticeably lethargic and may breathe rapidly. Medication is used to manage those affected. The prognosis is variable and, sadly, some cats will pass away suddenly.

Polycystic Kidney Disease: Multiple fluid-filled cysts in a cat’s kidneys result in chronic kidney failure. Signs tend to begin in middle age and will include excess thirst and urination as well as weight loss and nausea. The disease will progress more slowly in some than others. While there is no cure, affected Maine Coons can be managed with diet changes and medication such as appetite stimulants and anti-nausea tablets.

Stomatitis: Severe inflammation of the mouth and gums leads to bad breath and trouble eating. Owners may notice their cat is crying when trying to eat, running away from their bowl and losing weight. Maine Coons of both genders can become affected at any age. Treatment consists of routine dental cleans, good dental hygiene at home, pain relief and strong anti-inflammatories. Severely affected cats may need full mouth extractions. This is a complicated procedure and can cost up to £1,000.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy: This rare genetic disorder causes muscle weakness and abnormal walking in kittens as young as three months of age. It is thought that affected cats are pain free but their gait will be affected for the rest of their life. Genetic tests are available to assess if a breeding cat is a carrier of this disease.

Orthopaedic Disease: Both Hip Dysplasia and Patellar Luxation can cause problems for the Maine Coon. Their large skeletons are under greater stress than their smaller cousins. Signs of musculoskeletal pain can include a reluctance to jump, a stiff walk and atrophy of the muscles over the hips and legs. X-rays can typically provide a definitive diagnosis. For most, their joint inflammation is controlled with a combination of weight management, anti-inflammatories and pain relief. The cost of ongoing check-ups and blood tests will add up over the years.

Deafness: All-white Maine Coons are the ones at risk for congenital deafness. Kittens are born deaf and their inability to hear becomes obvious when they are a month or two old. These cats won’t twist their ears towards a sound or react to a loud noise. There is no treatment and affected Maine Coons will be affected for the duration of their life. This puts cats at risk when they’re outside. As they cannot hear threats such as oncoming vehicles, it is important they are kept inside unless on a harness.

Would a Maine Coon Cat be right for me?

These gentle giants love to spend time with people and remain playful well into their adulthood. They’re a vocal breed that does not like to be left alone for too long. Shower them with love and they’ll be your best buddy.

Looking for Maine Coon Cat Insurance?

Cats are full of surprises.

Sadly, life can surprise us with an unexpected financial burden of a veterinary bill if our purrfect pals develop an unexpected illness or have an accident.

Cover your Maine Coon throughout all of their adventures with our cat insurance.

Maine Coon kittens can benefit from four weeks free WallkawayCover kitten insurance. Find your nearest participating veterinary practice today. Kitten must be between eight weeks to one year of age and is subject to a CVS vet health check. WalkawayCover covers illness and accidents instantly.

For adult Maine Coons, you can get a lifetime cat insurance quote online in a whisker, or call our friendly UK call centre team on 0808 164 8000.

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