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Pet Health

Maine Coon - breed information and advice

Affectionate and sweet-natured, the Maine Coon is much more gentle than its massive size and shaggy appearance suggest. As a breed, this cat is bright, extrovert and adaptable - it also cannot resist clowning around. Unusually, the Maine Coon loves to sleep in odd places and it is fascinated by water, which makes it an endlessly entertaining family pet. It also has a strikingly long and fluffy tapering tail, which is at least the length of the cat's back.

To ensure your Maine Coon is protected in the case of an emergency, take a look at our cat insurance policies.

Click on the hotspots below for illnesses seen in a
Maine Coon

Maine Coon

Essentials

Colour: An almost limitless variety of colour combinations means that most Maine Coons are unique. Typically, the breed will also have large round eyes in green, gold or copper.

Coat: Semi long-haired, with thick fur on the legs and belly to cope with harsh climates. The Maine Coon's coat is waterproof and keeps itself in good condition, although occasional brushing will prevent matting.

Life span: 13 or 14 is considered to be typical for this hardy breed.

Feline asthma

Maine Coons, like other cats, can suffer from problems in the lower respiratory tract (the trachea and the lungs). Feline asthma, for example, occurs when allergies and irritants cause the lower airways (bronchi) and lungs to become inflamed and sensitive. Symptoms include coughing and wheezing. While asthma is not curable, it is manageable with various longterm medications including tablets, injections and even inhalers.

Fact

We paid £1,795 to treat Jools the Maine Coon for respiratory problems in 2016

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Heart disease

Heart disease in cats refers to when the heart’s structures aren’t working as they should be. There are two categories of heart disease: congenital (meaning the cat is born with it) and acquired (meaning the disease develops later in life). Congenital heart diseases include defects in the wall of the heart, abnormal valves and blood vessels. Maine Coons are prone to a disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, which can lead to heart failure. Whilst this condition is not curable, it can be treated with lifelong medication.

Fact

Heart problems are the fifth most common illnesses we see in Maine Coons

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Skin problems

Maine Coons, like many cats, may suffer from skin disease caused by parasites (fleas or mites), allergies (to food, dust mites, pollens and fleas), fungal infections (such as ringworm), wounds (cuts, bites or burns), bacterial or viral infections and tumours. If a cat cannot groom itself properly for any reason, its fur may also become matted. Sometimes an internal disease can affect the skin. Treatment, either long or short term, can usually be given to ensure the cat lives a long, comfortable life.

Fact

We paid £2,084 to treat Leo the cat for skin problems in 2016

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Cystitis

Conditions that affect a cat’s bladder and urethra are collectively known as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), which is more commonly referred to as cystitis. Maine Coons can suffer from these conditions, which can be caused by stress, not urinating enough, infections and bladder stones or crystals. Cats suffering from cystitis make frequent, painful attempts to urinate, and blood is often found in the urine. Treatment depends on the cause, but cats diagnosed with cystitis will usually require pain relief, access to plenty of water, special diets and perhaps some help to reduce stress.

Fact

We paid £3,678 to treat Ziggy the cat for cystitis in 2016

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Orthopaedic problems

Cats can suffer from various joint, bone and ligament diseases, which are known as orthopaedic problems. One that Maine Coons may suffer from is hip dysplasia, where the ball and socket of the hip joint do not develop properly. Hip dysplasia may not show until it has progressed to secondary arthritis (inflammation and bone changes in the affected joint that cause pain and lameness). Anti-inflammatory painkillers, joint supplements and sometimes surgery may be required to control arthritic pain in cats. These can be used from time to time or on an ongoing basis to make sure the cat is happy and comfortable.

Fact

We paid £2,986 to treat Max the Maine Coon for spondylitis in 2016

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