Purchasing a Maine Coon? Ask the breeder about HCM.

If you are about to purchase a Maine Coon cat and if you are concerned about the longevity of said Maine Coon cat, you would be wise to question your chosen breeder on the issue of HCM in purebred cats. HCM, as you probably know, stands for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy which is a pretty commonplace and serious heart disease causing a thickening of the left ventricle which reduces the functionality of the heart to the point where the cat can become lethargic and breathless and cause more serious ailments.

Purchasing a Maine Coon? Ask the breeder about HCM.
AI created illustration of HCM affecting domestic cats. This is not a Maine Coon.

In fact HCM eventually kills cats by shortening their lifespan sometime substantially because this disease can start at around four months of age in Maine Coon cats. It's a very serious potential and actual illness which people need to know about particular those people who are researching the adoption through purchasing from a breeder of a beautiful Maine Coon kitten.

HCM is the biggest factor in reduction of lifespan of Maine Coon cats and other cat breeds. Ask questions about it politely but firmly. Breeders can minimise the impact of HCM in their cats through better selection of bloodlines. Through better selection of foundation cats. It is not a given that purebred cats need to suffer from HCM which almost appears to be the case as it is so prevalent in some breeds. For example, it is said that about 34% of the sphynx cat population suffers from HCM. This can't be right.

And obesity also plays a role in lifespan. That said, I don't see very many obese Maine Coon cats but they will be around particularly as they are often full-time indoor cats which dictates that the indoor environment is as enriched as possible to allow the indoor cat to exercise to a certain extent. Of course, diet plays a critical role in maintaining an ideal weight in a domestic cat companion.

And adjustments to diet are based upon an observant cat caregiver deciding that their cat is no longer an ideal weight. Maine Coon cats should be quite rangy in their appearance and frankly quite skinny below all that beautiful shaggy fur. The point is you can normally tell when a Maine Coon cat is carrying excess weight and adjustments should be made to diet promptly under these circumstances.

Weight adjustments should be gradual particularly decreased weight because it can lead to hepatic lipidosis if weight loss is too rapid. This is a serious illness in itself. The input of a good veterinarian may assist here. It's an important topic.

This article really is about that dreaded disease HCM. It can only be tackled effectively through the guidance of a cat fancy focusing much more on cat health rather than appearance and through cat breeders making adjustments to their selective breeding programs to cull (remove) from bloodlines those breeding cats which carry the genetic mutation which results in individual cats developing HCM.

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Please excuse the occasional typo due to preparing these articles at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I don't have a proof reader.

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