Cats are charming and moody as pets, and certain cat breeds are loved for their looks and exotic nature as well. The owners of Maine Coon cats are proud of their fluffy tails and majestic fur. These cats tend to be quite large-sized. Each Maine coon cat is likely to have a district personality. They gel well with most other pets and have lively personalities, usually. Their heavy, long-haired coats help them cope with cold climates better. However, your Maine coon cat may also develop certain ailments and health conditions. It is better that you become aware of the prevalent health conditions these cats tend to develop.
The major health issues Maine coon cats are susceptible to
Hip Dysplasia- This is quite common in this cat breed. These cats have large body mass, and this, in a way, makes them susceptible to developing the condition called hip dysplasia. In it, the cats suffer from a misalignment of the socket joint and ball. Cats afflicted with hip dysplasia get a thigh bone that they cannot move freely. The symptoms include reduced range of motion and limping. Dysplasia is often genetic in cats, and they develop it with old age. If the cat with this condition is left untreated, he/she may develop arthritis.
The vet may give anti-inflammatory medications and, in severe cases, may recommend using a Cat wheelchair. While the ailment cannot be prevented, owners of Maine coon cats can cut down the risk by ensuring their cats get to exercise more and maintain a healthy weight.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy- It is caused by the gradual degeneration of motor neurons regulating the limbs in cats. This is also a genetically inherited disease. The affected cats exhibit symptoms like Irregular gait, Muscle weakness, and tremors. In Maine coon cats, this ailment is caused if the cat inherits a recessive gene from both parents. If the cat is not treated, hind leg movement becomes restricted. It is not a curable condition, but timely intervention by a vet can make the cat’s condition more stable.
Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy- This is a cardiac ailment in cats in which the heart’s muscular walls get thickened. This reduces the efficacy of the heart. In Maine coon cats, this ailment can be hard to detect as the symptoms cannot be understood well in the basic stages. However, the common symptoms of this ailment are Lethargy, Open mouth breathing, and hardship in breathing. An irregular heartbeat in the cat is something you should watch out for. In the advanced stage, the affected cat may suffer congestive heart failure. Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy may affect a Maine coon cat for around eight years, but it can set in earlier too.
As your Maine Coon cat gets older, check for the symptom and if you suspect so, take the animal for a vet inspection. The ailment has no cure, but the vet may offer medications to slow down its progression. A nutrient-rich diet is also helpful to let your cat live a better life.
Polycystic Kidney Disease- Some Maine Coon Cats develop polycystic kidney disease, and this is an inherited condition. In such cases, the cats are born with cysts present in their kidneys. As the cat grows, so does the size of such cysts and their numbers. Gradually, the kidneys start functioning irregularly. In the last stage, the affected cats cope with permanent kidney failure. The disease can be hard to detect in the early stage, sadly. In most cats, the symptoms become perceptible around eight years.
The major symptoms of the ailment are Lethargy, weight loss, vomiting, and Loss of appetite. While stopping a genetically inherited ailment is not possible, medical intervention can reduce this severity.
What the owners of Maine coon cats can do
While the owners of Maine coon cats can do little to prevent the onset of certain genetically inherited ailments, they can certainly try to keep their feline companions in good health. By giving the cats an apt diet and proper exercise, the risk of contracting some major ailments can be cut down significantly.
- Maine coon cats have large body mass, and without proper exercise, they tend to become fat faster than other cat breeds. Obesity can induce diabetes in cats, much like humans. So, ensure your cat gets enough space to move around. Obese acts suffer from degenerative joint diseases more.
- Maine Coons may develop some dental diseases, much like other breeds of cats. This is something the owners need to look out for. Many such ailments can be prevented by realty intervention.
Summing it up
While Maine Coons tend to be susceptible to certain ailments genetically, that does not mean every cat in the breed will cope with these ailments. With proper care and regular health check-ups, it is possible to ensure your cat lives a healthy, hassle-free life. Have a sharp eye and watch out for commonplace symptoms of such ailments in your cat and when you spot an anomaly, schedule a vet appointment today at Pawpurrfect.