Maine Coon Cat Lifespan:
How Long Do They Live?

What is the Maine Coon cat lifespan? We all want our Maine Coon cats to live as long as possible! We love our gentle giants, and this is important information.

The “textbook answer” is that the average Maine Coon lifespan is 12-15 years. Naturally, we all want our beloved Coonies to live as long as possible.

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It's not uncommon for a Maine Coon to be posted in our Photo Galleries who is 15, 18 or even 20+ years old!

So let's talk about three important factors for a long and healthy life:

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Your Maine Coon Cat's Health:

Before scouting adorable Maine Coon kittens, even though they are generally a healthy breed, it's a good idea to know about some genetic conditions that can affect a Maine Coon’s lifespan.

In general, this is a robust and hardy breed of cat – healthy cats!

They developed naturally, and have big, strong bodies. Male Maine Coons may weigh 13-18 pounds, and a full size female Maine Coon may weigh in at about 9-12 pounds.

Both can be substantially more on occasion! A gentle giant indeed.

beautiful purebred maine coon cat protraitTorri, from our Rainbow Bridge Album

They are not overweight, but normally proportioned. As a large cat, there are health issues to be aware of.

The first that comes to mind is hip dysplasia. This genetic disorder results in a poor-fitting ball and socket of the hip joint.

Dogs and large size cats will be more susceptible to the pain associated, since they bear more weight on the joint than a lightweight kitty. It certainly impacts their quality of life.

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is also a genetic disorder. It results in a loss of muscle tone in their hindquarters. Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is an inherited condition which causes cysts on the kidney, and can ultimately result in kidney failure.

HCM, or hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, is a bit more commonly known to pet owners. This genetic disease causes a thickening of the wall of the heart, gradually over time, tragically resulting in sudden heart failure.

(Visit our page on Maine Coon Cat Health Problems for a more comprehensive look at each of these genetically inherited conditions that can shorten the Maine Coon Cat Lifespan.)

stunning classic brown maine coon catLittle Bear, from our Rainbow Bridge Album

If these health issues have you feeling apprehensive, take heart! Reputable breeders are very conscious of them.

There are genetic (DNA) tests, and screenings that can be done regularly, and are part of the breeding process.

There is no way to completely guarantee a cat won't develop any of these health problems, but by going to ethical and experienced Maine Coon breeders who screen and DNA test for genetic conditions you can rest assured everything possible has been done to lower the chances.

A general health issue that affects many cats, especially older cats, is periodontal disease. Our page on cat oral health and caring for your cat's teeth talks all about what to look for, and what you can do. If left untreated, it can impact a Maine Coon cat's life expectancy.

two maine coon cats laying togetherMy Alice and Leo having a cuddle

Leo and Alice are the two Maine Coon cats who inspired this site. Leo lived to be 14, when he lost his battle with an aggressive cancer.

A few years later we had to say goodbye to Alice at the nice old age of 17, also due to cancer. No matter how long they live, it's never long enough.

Maine Coon Cat Lifespan -
Indoor Cats and Outdoor Cats:

stunning red ginger maine coon cat closeupZoran from our Rainbow Bridge Album

The biggest factor that Maine Coon owners have control over to extend their Maine Coon's lifespan is keeping them indoors!

Reasons To Keep Your Maine Coon Indoors:

1. So no harm comes to them, reducing the Maine Coon cat lifespan.

2. Because you (probably) agreed in writing with your breeder to do so.

It's really that simple! Our page on keeping cats indoors has more specific info, reasons, tips and more.

Occasionally someone thinks that this is a “working breed,” with a genetic predisposition to being “in the wild” or that it goes against their rough and tumble nature to keep them as house cats.

Nothing could be further from the truth!

You can expect a long lifespan with your indoor Maine Coon(s)! As a large breed of cat they may look tough, but they are sweet, docile and prone to long naps.

tabby maine coon in the grassBaby, from our Rainbow Bridge Album

"How can I take proper care of an indoor Maine Coon?"
Indoor kitties love a sturdy, big cat tree! Cat trees and toys are all these big cats need for enough exercise. Playing together is one of the best forms of quality time, too.

Also, they can be leash and harness trained for jaunts outside, which is fun!

Many Coonie owners are lucky enough to provide a catio or enclosed area for outdoor excursions as well.

Just bear in mind that this opens the door for tick and fleas, so treatments may be in order.

Fact: Regardless of breed, the average life expectancy of outdoor cats is just 4-5 years. When they are outside, the chances of one of the many things listed on this page about letting cats outside increases.

That's how statistics work – them more often a cat is exposed to a risk, the higher the chance it'll happen.

Most Maine Coon owners will say that their indoor Coonie has an amazing quality of life, plenty of mental stimulation, and of course their Maine Coon's lifespan will as long as it possibly can be.

Good Nutrition for a long Maine Coon Cat Lifespan:

Maine Coon owners ask about healthy diet and nutrition, especially for these large indoor cats. Dry food is more calorie dense, and sometimes cats end up on a weight loss plan!

gray silver maine coon looking upPepper, from our Rainbow Bridge Album

Feeding your indoor cat a high protein diet is especially good for the Maine Coon Cat Lifespan, as carbohydrates are harder to digest and cat's are obligate carnivores so they do need the protein.

High protein diet is especially beneficial for senior cats and will help keep them healthier, longer, extending their Maine Coon cat lifespan.

There are so many high quality cat foods on the market now. It's a good idea to ask your veterinarian for a recommendation. Special formulas like senior cat food for elderly cats may help extend a cat's life expectancy.

The Importance of Playing Together:
Regular exercise together with fun cat toys will help keep your indoor kitty fit and healthy for a long life.

But did you know that the mental stimulation it provides also helps avoid elderly cat health problems like senility or dementia? Super important for a long life!

To read stories and experiences from other Maine Coon lovers, check out this page in our Q & A section, where Joann asks about the Maine Coon cat lifespan and many folks have commented.

Tributes to some extra long-lived Coonies:

Lee in Michigan says:
Makita passed away after 20yrs. He was No ordinary cat. He would play and chase me like a dog, climb trees 80' tall and come down head first.

He would go in the swimming pool, shower and pond... So many stories and memories.

classic ginger maine coon

tabby and white longhaired cat

Terry in NY shares:
The other cats passed away at different times over the years, but Amber lived to be 21, and passed away October 19th of 2019.

My husband and I loved Amber very much. She used to sit on the couch in between us, and took turns being petted by me and my husband. She was beautiful, (and I think she knew it!)!

Yoshi passed over to Rainbow Bridge in December of 2016 when he was 18 1/2. I have had him since he was 12 weeks old from a breeder.

His vet and I got him though a couple of serious health issues, but he could not survive the brain tumor which he got at age 18. He was such a sweet and well behaved boy..

classic silver maine coon cat

Anita and Dennis share:

Kato Lunt:
This angel guarded our lives for 17.5 years! Always helpful and always happy! Always living in the moment and living to the max!

Fluffy brown kitty sitting down

Jan in Cape Cod shares:

Smokey: A dearest friend and companion for close to twenty years, who had an almost-human interactive style to his personality. His spirit continues to pervade our home and our lives.

Even though there are no guarantees in life, the Maine Coon cat lifespan can be really long! And it's a good thing, too. With their amazing personalities, it's impossible not to fall completely in love with them.


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Top of Maine Coon Cat Lifespan

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