Maine Coon cats are the largest breed of domesticated cat in the world and their handsome looks and sweet personality make them a desirable pet. However, as with many purebred cats, Maine Coons are susceptible to certain health conditions. It’s important to be aware of these so you can look out for signs and seek medical treatment early.
3 common medical problems in Maine Coon cats
Here are the three most common health conditions that Maine Coon cats are susceptible to:
1. Hip dysplasia
Maine Coons are at a higher risk of hip dysplasia than smaller cat breeds. This is because their muscles and ligaments are put under more pressure due to their large size and weight. Males are at a higher risk because they’re even bigger than females. Hip dysplasia causes painful arthritis and in extreme cases can lead to paralysis if not treated. It’s important to keep an eye on your Maine Coon’s weight to minimise undue pressure on the joints and ligaments.
2. Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy occurs when the walls of the heart are too thick and can’t contract normally. It can lead to heart failure or even sudden death. It tends not to cause any symptoms until middle or old age, but unfortunately, it has a high mortality rate. The condition appears to be genetic but not every cat with the relevant gene develops the condition. It’s vital to get Maine Coon kittens tested for the gene as soon as possible. Those that have it should undergo regular heart ultrasounds so the condition can be identified and managed early.
3. Spinal muscular atrophy
Spinal muscular atrophy is where motor neurons are lost in the lower part of the spinal cord, which leads to weakness of muscles in the hind legs. Although the condition is not painful, it does lead to a shortened lifespan. Maine Coons with the condition have an unsteady gait and abnormal posture, and they gradually become more unstable over time. Cats can live happy lives with spinal muscular atrophy, but it’s important to keep them indoors to ensure they receive adequate care and stay safe.
Protect your Maine Coon cat against medical problems
We never know what’s around the corner for our pet’s health, but we can take steps to reduce the risk of serious medical conditions. First, if you’re considering adopting a Maine Coon kitten, be sure to ask the breeder about the health history of the parents and avoid those who don’t screen parents for genetic health problems before breeding them.
Second, be sure to invest in pet insurance from a reputable provider such as Petsure. This will give you peace of mind that even if your beloved Maine Coon cat falls ill, you’ll be able to provide them with the necessary veterinary care.