If you own the world’s biggest cat, or if you just happen to be a fan, you may be wondering, “what is the Maine Coon lifespan?”

Maine Coons are generally a hardy breed with reasonably few health issues.

Nevertheless, the average life expectancy of this long-haired breed is moderate, but not quite as long as we might think.

Luckily, we can do much to extend the Maine Coon life expectancy and set them up for a long, happy life with proper care. 

What is The Life Lifespan Of Maine Coon Cats?

a handsome Maine coon cat looking at the camera, what's the maine coon lifespan?

How long do Maine Coons live? Short answer, roughly 12-16 years. Now, the longer answer, because it’s not really that straightforward.

Unlike the Siamese lifespan of between 12 and 20 years, the average lifespan of the Maine Coon cat is usually a bit shorter.

There is no exact data, but a Swedish pet insurance company study estimates that the Maine Coon life expectancy is at least 12.5 years.

The study found that 74% of Maine Coons lived over 10 years, while 54% lived over 12.5. The study didn’t involve cats over 13 years old, so an exact average could not be established.  

Although they are a healthy breed, like all purebreds, they do tend to suffer more genetic diseases than a mixed breed of cat.

This is partly due to what is known as “hybrid vigor,” since purebred domesticated breeds tend to have a smaller gene pool. So they often have more genetic predispositions to health issues.  

For this reason, it is essential to seek out reputable breeders when it comes to looking for a Maine Coon.

Never go to a backyard breeder. Hereditary issues can severely affect how long your Maine Coon cats live, as well as their quality of life. 

Genetic predisposition a Maine Coon Breeders should screen for:

Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)

When it comes to the official state cat of Maine, no reputable breeder will allow a cat that carries the mutated gene for HCM to breed. 

This is a common heart disease that involves the thickening of the heart muscle. There is no such as completely HCM-free lines, but a good breeder will screen her breeding cats for HCM before allowing them to breed.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SPM)

A DNA test exists for this disease. SPM involves the death of the neurons along the spinal cord, which are needed for the cat’s limb and trunk to work. Early signs of this degenerative disease include an unsteady gait with a swaying rear end and trouble jumping.

Hip Dysplasia

Hip dysplasia is inflammation in the hip joint that often plagues large breeds of cats and dogs.

It happens when the joint ligaments are lax enough to allow the head of the femur to edge out of the socket or if the bones themselves aren’t quite the right shape.

This causes the femur head to create friction with the corners of the socket. Over time this causes inflammation and eventually osteoarthritis.

Cats and kittens with dysplasia may be only mildly affected, although this condition often worsens as they age. 

How Long Do Female Maine Coon Cats Live?

orange maine coon cat

The female Maine Coon Life expectancy is considered to be well over 12.5 years.

Most female cats should live to be around fifteen or sixteen, barring any accidents or genetic diseases.

Many cats will live longer than this and may go on into their twenties. On the other hand, some Maine Coon experts put their life expectancy lower and suggest they only live between 9 and 13 years.

Nevertheless, plenty of anecdotal evidence exists of female Maine Coons aged 17, 18, and even 20 years old. Keep in mind that spayed females live 39% longer than non-payed females.

How Long Do Male Maine Coon Cats Live?

a huge Maine coon cat with white feet

There is no statistical evidence that male Maine Coons live longer or shorter lives than females. So, in theory, they should live well into their teens, just like females.

In fact, the oldest Maine Coon, Rubble, was male and lived to be 31 years old! Nevertheless, other factors might mean that male Maine Coons might live shorter lives. 

Statistical evidence suggests that male Maine Coons are more prone to hip dysplasia, which can affect the quality of their life and even their longevity.

Another problem is that male cats generally tend to be more inclined to urinary tract problems and digestive disorders.

Renal or kidney failure is one of the leading causes of death in older Maine Coons, so this may impact their lifespan.

Another issue is if your male Maine Coon is not an indoor cat. While being a cat with access to the outdoors can circumvent the problem of a lack of exercise, it can also be a huge risk. 

While female cats love to roam as well, they usually do not travel as far away from home.

Maine Coons are natural hunters and can easily get themselves into trouble in the great outdoors, patrolling their territories. Unneutered male cats may also go looking for feral females and tend to wander even further. 

This could lead to accidents or exposure to toxins and other dangers. In fact, neutered male cats live an average of 62% longer than unneutered ones. 

How To Help Maine Coon Cats Live Longer?

Do’s

  • Do make sure your Maine Coon gets plenty of regular exercise. Whether it’s chasing a laser or pouncing on a teaser wand lure, cats need to move. After all, they are apex predators.
  • Movement improves lean muscle mass, leads to happier cats, and controls weight. One of the Maine Coon personality traits is being a gentle giant and one of the most intelligent cat breeds. So getting a harness and teaching your cat to walk on a lead can help them lead a healthy life. 
  • Do provide your cat with plenty of mental stimulation. Keeping the brain active through games and activities reduces cognitive decline later in life. 
  • Do provide your Maine Coon with a quality, nutritionally balanced diet. Remember, cats are obligate carnivores, so the bulk of their food should come from quality, named meat and organs.
  • Avoid additives, fillers, artificial preservatives, artificial flavors, or colors in your cat’s food. Dry food is difficult for cats to digest and can cause kidney and liver problems over time, so look for fresh raw, frozen raw, or healthy wet foods.
  • Omega-3s and vitamin E can reduce inflammation in their body, but make sure their food is nutritionally balanced to avoid deficiencies of vital nutrients such as taurine. 
  • Reduce stress in your Main Coons life. Chronic stress because of boredom, a loud household, barking dogs, or other stressors can mean your cat is constantly receiving doses of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline. Over time, this can lead to inflammation, a compromised immune system, and other health problems. 
three Maine coon kittens with different coat colors

Dont’s

  • Don’t allow your Maine Coon to become overweight or inactive. Obesity in cats can lead to many severe health problems such as inflammation, arthritis, and diabetes. A healthy weight is crucial to their wellbeing.
  • Do not skip vet visits. A kitten should visit a vet regularly in the first six months for checkups and vaccinations. They should also start a regular deworming routine and be treated for disease-carrying ticks, fleas, and mites.
  • Healthy adults should see the vet every year, and after your cat turns 10, make sure to see the vet every 6 months to catch any potential health problems early. 
  • Don’t neglect to groom. Matted hair can cause infections and inflammation. Also, removing the excess hair and dirt can help prevent hairballs.
  • If you struggle with grooming, see your vet about a remedy for hairballs. Older cats also need to have their claws trimmed more regularly to prevent them from becoming overgrown.
  • Also, remember to keep an eye on the ear, eye, mouth, and anal hygiene. 
  • Do cat-proof your house. Make sure no dangerous chemicals or power cords are lying around. 
  • Don’t neglect their teeth. Bad teeth cause inflammation in the jaw and gums and send bacteria into the bloodstream, causing bodily inflammation, heart problems, and possibly even diabetes.
  • Don’t ignore any changes in behavior. If your cat is suddenly more lethargic, uninterested in food, or doing anything a bit unusual, it’s best to take a trip to the vet.

 

FAQs

HOW LONG DO MAINE COONS LIVE INDOORS?

Depending on the health and genetics of the cat, the lifespan of indoor Maine Coon cats should be longer than outdoor Maine Coons. By staying indoors, they are less likely to have an accident such as being hit by a car or mauled by a dog. 
They are also less exposed to chemicals and toxins. So, in theory, an indoor Maine Coon should live well past 15 years. However, suppose the indoor cat is overweight or has health problems such as urinary tract issues. In that case, their lifespan could be significantly shortened. 

DO MAINE COON CATS HAVE A LONG LIFESPAN?

woman hugging a Maine coon. one of the Maine coon cats personality is being affectionate

Maine Coons are usually healthy and robust, but they are generally not the longest living cats. Nevertheless, they usually live well into their teens, with some reaching their early twenties. Therefore, owners should always be prepared to have a pet with them for many years to come.

HOW OLD IS THE OLDEST MAINE COON CAT?

The oldest Maine Coon in the World was Rubble, who also happened to be one of the oldest cats in the world. Rubble lived to be 31 years old and passed away in England in May 2019. Rubble was a gift to his owner for her 20th birthday and lived with her till she was 52.

Conclusion

The exact median lifespan of the Maine Coon cat is unknown, but healthy cats without any genetic conditions tend to live well past 12.5 years.

15 or 16 is a comfortable guess for a healthy Maine Coon, but some do live as far as their late teens and early twenties.

With proper attention to good breeding, genetics, diet, exercise, and routine care, you can usually prolong your Maine Coon’s life.

References

  • Egenvall, A., A. Nødtvedt, J. Häggström, B. Ström Holst, L. Möller, and B.N. Bonnett. 2009. “Mortality of Life-Insured Swedish Cats during 1999–2006: Age, Breed, Sex, and Diagnosis.” Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine 23 (6): 1175–83. https://doi.org/10.1111/j.1939-1676.2009.0396.x.
  • Isomura, R., M. Yamazaki, M. Inoue, N. C. L. Kwan, M. Matsuda, and K. Sugiura. 2017. “The Age, Breed and Sex Pattern of Diagnosis for Veterinary Care in Insured Cats in Japan.” Journal of Small Animal Practice 58 (2): 89–95. https://doi.org/10.1111/jsap.12617.
  • Keijser, S.F.A., L.E. Meijndert, H. Fieten, B.J. Carrière, F.G. van Steenbeek, P.A.J. Leegwater, J. Rothuizen, and M. Nielen. 2017. “Disease Burden in Four Populations of Dog and Cat Breeds Compared to Mixed-Breed Dogs and European Shorthair Cats.” Preventive Veterinary Medicine 140 (May): 38–44. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.prevetmed.2017.02.016.
  • Loder, Randall T, and Rory J Todhunter. 2017. “Demographics of Hip Dysplasia in the Maine Coon Cat.” Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20 (4): 302–7. https://doi.org/10.1177/1098612×17705554.
  • MailOnline. 2020. “World’s Oldest Cat Dies AGED 31 as Heartbroken Owner, 52, Pays Tribute to Her Beloved Rubble.” Mail Online. Daily Mail. July 3, 2020. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8487019/The-devasted-owner-reveals-Rubble-worlds-oldest-cat-died-age-31.html#:~:text=Rubble%2C%20a%20fluffy%20Maine%20Coon,years%20%2D%20in%20May%20last%20year..
  • Maine Coon Cat Breed Information. 2021. “Maine Coon Cat Breed Information.” Vetstreet. 2021. http://www.vetstreet.com/cats/maine-coon#1_ugw20zmq.
  • “Science of Roaming Cats | Figo Pet Insurance.” 2019. Figo Pet Insurance. Figo. June 20, 2019. https://figopetinsurance.com/blog/science-roaming-cats.
handsome Maine coon sitting on a couch

Did you have a Maine coon? How old is she/he now? Please let us know in the comments below!

Tamsin
Tamsin

Hi, I’m Tamsin. I’m a serious animal lover and dog behaviorist and trainer. In fact, I live on a farm with nine rescues! So, I love writing about and creating awareness around the health and wellness of all animals.