Maine Coon succumbs to kidney disease after four-year battle

This is a very sad post on the website. The family said goodbye to their beloved female Maine Coon. They said that they lost their fight with kidney disease and that they were fighting for four years. Her death really hurts. Their commitment to their cat to extend her life indicates a deep love. It prompts me to quickly delve into the question as to whether there is any prevalence for kidney disease in the Maine Coon cat breed.

Maine Coon succumbs to kidney disease after four-year battle
Maine Coon succumbs to kidney disease after four-year battle. Photo by u/dotitu

We have to be careful about researching information such as this on the Internet. You can be misled. One website, says that polycystic kidney disease is prevalent in Maine Coons and yet a study by scientists also published online tells me that cystic renal disease occurs with a low prevalence in Maine Coons and is unrelated to PKD in Persians. Incidentally, there is a 35% chance of a Persian getting PKD which is incredible and terrible.

Of course, PKD is only one type of kidney failure. The study found that 7/187 healthy Maine Coon cats had renal cysts.

The website Maine Coon Expert has an article headed "Unique Maine Coon Health Issues-Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD)"

They say that PKD occurs in Maine Coons more than normal compared to other purebred cats. Once again, this flies in the face of the study result.  I don't know whether the Maine Coon in the photograph suffered from PKD because they don't specify but it's possible.

There is no mention of a predisposition to kidney disease among Maine Coons in my book of inherited feline diseases.

Associated: Polycystic kidney disease; cat’s life expectancy

The underlying factor, however, is that feline kidney disease is common in all domestic cats whether they be purebred or non-purebred. It's one of those terrible killer diseases which insidiously gets worse and worse until you have to take your cat to a veterinarian for euthanasia. And the battle against it is emotionally trying.

There are some big question marks about why kidney disease is so prevalent in domestic cats. It may be to do with the food. Commercial pet food is cooked at very high temperatures which essentially destroys it, reduces it to a kind of cardboard. All the natural nutrients in naturally occurring foods are destroyed. They have to be added back but the big question is whether they are totally added back adequately. And dry cat food is unnatural for the simple reason that it is dry. Animals are made up of 70% water approximately. Dry cat food has a 10-12% water content. You can see the problem.

One of the cures for cystitis which is a urinary tract infection is to increase the water content of their food. This points to the fact that dry food is helping to cause the problem. In fact, it may be the major cause or sole cause of cystitis in some cats. Cystitis is not kidney disease but it is a problem within the urinary tract as is kidney disease.

Study mentioned: "Maine Coon renal screening: ultrasonographical characterisation and preliminary genetic analysis for common genes in cats with renal cysts".


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