Average lifespan of Maine Coon cat

How long do Maine Coon cats live for? What's the average lifespan? Do they live shorter lives than the average random-bred family cat? These are difficult questions to answer accurately. In fact, I don't think we can answer them accurately because nobody has been counting. Nobody has a database or carried out a full-blown survey and therefore you will read anecdotal evidence i.e. statements by breeders or people who think they know the answer and these answers get repeated on the Internet. I am not sure that they are accurate.

Picture of a Maine Coon who looks like a middle-aged man
Picture of a Maine Coon who looks like a middle-aged man. Photo: Pinterest.

My research indicates that people believe that Maine Coon cats live between about 10 and 15 years old. Some may live longer than that and some may live shorter lives. One well-known Maine Coon, Rubble, lived for 31 years and was at one time the oldest domestic cat in the world. But there will always be exceptions and this article is about the mean or the average although these are not exactly the same.

My distinct impression is that people believe that Maine Coons live to a normal maximum of around 15 years-of-age whereas the typical moggy or random-bred cat not infrequently lives to 18 or more years. I have to be rather vague because, as stated, precision is tricky.

However, it is impossible to avoid the conclusion that Maine Coons have shorter lifespans than the average non-purebred cat. Why should this be?

There are probably two reasons. Firstly, all purebred cats have shorter lifespans than the typical non-purebred cat because they are selectively bred and selective breeding effectively means inbreeding. Inbreeding can weaken the immune system and cause inbreeding depression which is another way of saying that their immune systems are poor and they have inherited general weaknesses in terms of health.

The second possibility is that one of the Maine Coon's inherited diseases is hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM. I'm not sure how prevalent this disease is with Maine Coons but as it is listed as an inherited disease a certain percentage of cats of this breed must suffer from it and therefore this would naturally reduce the average lifespan.

Of course, some random-bred cats also suffer from HCM but it is not a known inherited disease in the general cat population and therefore the Maine Coon has this disadvantage over the average cat.


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