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Dr. Olivia
Dr. Olivia, Feline-Exclusive Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 145
Experience:  10 yrs experience in animal care/vet fields. Special interests in behavior and geriatrics.
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what is the average life expectancy on the maine ...

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what is the average life expectancy on the maine coon cat. My Baby just dropped over dead on December the 9th! He had not been sick was very healthy and happy! He was 9 years old. Our vet. told us, she believed he either had a massive heart attack or an annurism.
Oh no! I am so sorry for your loss. General life expectancy is 13-15 years, what a shame that your baby was taken from you.

I think your vet is correct - sudden death in most cats is due to a heart problem. Usually they have a blood clot that lodges in their lungs.

Maine Coon cats are prone to a condition called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. The signs can often be silent, and unfortunately, sudden death is one of the tragic outcomes of this disease.

I will forward a few links for you regarding HCM and the Maine Coon cat.

I hope this brings some comfort - I am so sorry for your loss,

Dr. Olivia
Dr. Olivia and other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Here are the links:

http://www.winnfelinehealth.org/reports/cardiomyopathy.html
http://www.fabcats.org/hcm.html
http://members.aol.com/jchinitz/hcm/
http://www.news.ucdavis.edu/search/news_detail.lasso?id=7533

My thoughts will be with you,

Dr. Olivia

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
Reply to Dr. Olivia's Post: thank you sooooo much Dr. Olivia! Since my babies passing, my life is in no way shape or form ok. He was Amazing! He had the best personality of any cat I have ever owned! He insisted on being rocked every evening and every morning for a minimum or 1 to 2 hours while being wrapped up in his own lil quilt! Yes, my boy was very spoiled, but isn't that what we have them for! My husband and My Son and I have been discussing getting another maine coon, when I am ready, which I am not! But were concerned about their life expectancy. We had been told it was only around 6 to 8! The only health issues he ever experienced was when he was around 2 he developed a bladder infection, and after a trip to the vet and a round of antibiotics and the start up of Purina UR, Coleman did beautifully! He never had another bladder infection, in fact was never sick! That is why his death just totally flipped me out! Not but 20 to 30 seconds before he passed away he had been sitting on the floor by me, waiting for my GodDaughter to leave so he could be rocked. In fact, she commented on that particular fact. She told me she was going to run, she could tell by the look in Colemans eye's he wanted her to leave so he could be rocked. She said; "My Goodness Cindy, He is Rotten!" I agreed and said I wouldn't have him any other way! He was such a LOVE! His nickname was: Loveboy! I'm probably making you want to throw up, that's what I always heard from people! That I treated my cat better than most people treat their children! Well I have a Son that is 21, and we also have an Australian Shepard, that has been devasted since Coleman Kitty's Death! Is there anything we can do to help her with the grieving process! I am very concerned with her! She just walks around now with her head hanging down and crying. She goes to were she thinks Coleman would be and lays her head there and cries! Our Baby Coleman passed away on December the 9th, and Our Aussie is not getting any better, if anything she is getting worse! Any ideas of what we can do for her?
Hi there,

It sounds like your kitty had a wonderful home and was very loved - how lucky he was! If only all kitties were so lucky.

Definitely read the last article I sent you - it is all about the genetic mutation that causes this problem in Maine Coons (discovered by my Cardiology professor at UC Davis!). If you do get another Maine Coon (which I highly recommend - I have a Maine Coon mix, and he is a DOLL), then I recommend having an echocardiogram done at an early age to detect any early signs of HCM. Any responsible breeder will likely agree to the adoption being "contingent" on the results of this test. Many breeder now actually pre-screen their kitties, because this is such a devestating disease. The responsible breeders are doing their best to identify carriers and breed the problem out of the population - this is a tough task - as it is very prevalent.

As for your dog - there is nothing specific you can do, other than giving him lots of love and attention (which I am sure you do). If he is truly distressed, you can purchase a product called Rescue Remedy to rub on his gums. This has an anti-anxiety/anti-dperessant effect and it is all natural.

Here is some info about the product:
http://www.bachflower.com/rescue_remedy.htm

Here also is a good website about grieving the loss of a pet for everyone in the family (including the dog!):
http://www.pet-loss.net/
Again - my thoughts are with you during this difficult time - please let me know if there is anything else I can do...

Dr. Olivia