The huge Maine Coons that you see are more likely to have HCM

A study found that heavier Maine Coons were more likely to have HCM. That is the conclusion that I want to take from the study. There are other links between HCM and aspects of the Maine Coon cats such as older cats were more likely to have HCM and cats with longer humeri (forelimbs) were also more likely to suffer from this heart disease.

Huge Maine Coon but will he develop HCM early?
Huge Maine Coon but will he develop HCM early? I have a page on this god-like cat - Kefit. Please click this link to read it. I am not saying that Kefir has HCM. I am simply flagging up the link between size and the disease and Kefir is the biggest Maine Coon I have seen. Pic: his caregiver in the photo.

I've discussed the study in some detail on a different page which you can access by clicking on this link. The prevalence of HCM in Maine Coons is quite high. It is, as you might know, an inherited health condition for this popular breed. HCM describes the thickening of the muscle walls of the heart which makes it malfunction. You can't prevent the disease developing.

The early symptoms are loss of appetite, lack of energy, weakness, uneven heartbeat, paralysis of the hind limbs and sudden collapses with cold extremities. It seems that a cat diagnosed with HCM should be on a sodium-restricted diet to stabilise blood pressure. The environment should be quiet, stress-free and comfortable.

It is said that sometimes Maine Coon owners give up their cat to a shelter because of the expense of treating HCM. It is a reason to abandon their cat. This must present a problem to shelters because they have to disclose this to potential adopters which is surely going to put them off. On the face of it, this would lead to euthanasia. Although, a quick search for 'abandoned Maine Coons' using Google does not produce any results.

RELATED: Are there any genuine Maine Coons at "Maine Coon Rescue" organisations?

I don't think this is a real problem. I would be surprised if it was because it would be an abdication of the duty of a Maine Coon cat caregiver to do so. And I'm sure that all Maine Coon cat caregivers love their cat as members of the family.

The point that I want to make, though, is that people love the very big Maine Coon cats. These are the ones that catch the eye and become superstars on social media websites such as Instagram. Their public image is wonderful but there may be a downside which will not be discussed or disclosed by the owners of these cats; they may develop HCM earlier than normal or develop it when they might otherwise avoid it.

Two quotes from the study:

"Maine Coon cats with echocardiographic evidence of HCM (HCM+) were older, more likely to be neutered, heavier and more obese, and had longer humeri compared with cats without HCM"

And

"These results support the hypothesis that early growth and nutrition, larger body size and obesity may be environmental modifiers of genetic predisposition to HCM"

The study: Body size and metabolic differences in Maine Coon cats with and without hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

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