When it comes to your Maine coon cat’s health, you generally needn’t worry about much, however, there are some common health concerns among these gentle giants that you would need to learn about in order to reduce the risk of health problems in your Maine Coon.
Maine Coon cats are special. Known for their empathy, loving nature, and curiosity, Maine coon cats are quite easy to fall in love with. Many people adopt Maine coon cats because of their gentle manner, large size, intelligence, and friendliness. Although Maine coon cats are great pets, they are not perfect. Note that there is not a single perfect cat breed on the planet, but, you can make any breed perfect by simply familiarising yourself with their unique needs.
One of the first things you would notice about your Maine coon cat is the sheer size. Although obesity is a general health concern for most cat breeds, Maine coon cats are especially susceptible due to their overall large size. Because they are naturally big, it is easy to dismiss obesity as normal. It is common knowledge that obesity will likely shorten your pet’s life expectancy because it is the groundwork on which many other health problems are established.
The best way to prevent obesity is to manage your Maine coon’s diet. Typically, Maine coon cats prefer to eat a few nibbles at a time, spreading their day’s intake across 15 to 20 meals. However, boredom may influence your cat to take more trips to the food bowl. You merely need to keep your cat engaged and active. Not only would you be potentially preventing several health issues, you and your cat would also have lots of fun.
If your cat continues to eat excessively, you will need to regulate the amount of food available to your cat. Also, ensure that your Maine coon cat’s diet is the recommended high-quality adult cat diet.
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (enlarged heart)
Maine coon cat are known for their loving nature, one could say they have big hearts. In reality, Maine coon cats are at risk of literally having big hearts. Although it is nearly impossible to detect warning signs in order to prevent hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(HCM), it can be done from the breeding stage. Before getting your Maine coon cat, ensure that both parents are healthy, hardy cats and you would not likely need to worry about HCM.
Hip dysplasia is a hereditary disorder that causes a deformity in the hip joint. It results in difficult movement, waddling, and bowed legs in affected cats. Unfortunately, Maine coon cats are susceptible to this condition. Proper evaluation of the parent cats as well as a thorough examination of your prospective Maine coon cat before adoption will ensure that you do not adopt a Maine coon cat affected by this condition.
Polycystic Kidney Disease
Maine coon cats are also at risk of experiencing polycystic kidney disease (PKD). while polycystic kidney disease is genetic, Maine coon cats are one of the affected breeds. It is quite easy to reduce your chances of getting a cat with this condition though. Simply examine the family tree for any health concerns.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy
This health condition causes muscle weakness which can develop by 12-16 weeks of age. Although spinal muscular atrophy is not fatal, it can severely impair movement. Spinal muscular atrophy is caused by a recessive gene, and so is hereditary. As with most hereditary conditions, you can control it by examining the family tree.
Gum disease is a health risk most cats face, and your Maine coon is no exception. In fact, the risk of gum disease increases with age and many older Maine coon cats are at risk. However, simple dental hygiene practices from an early age can help to prevent any dental diseases affecting the teeth and/or gums. Also, it is advisable to feed your Maine coon dental-friendly foods and provide regular maintenance at the vet’s.
Maine coon cats have a thick coat of fur. Although this characteristic of theirs adds to their appeal, it may also pose a threat if not properly cared for. Thick coats shed, and that is natural. Cats also instinctively groom themselves by licking themselves. Loose hair gets swallowed up and your cat has to deal with hairballs. To prevent this, you need to brush or comb your pet three times a week. This reduces the amount of loose hair and keeps your Maine coon’s coat in optimal shape.