How big was the oldest Maine Coon cat?
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- The Maine Coon is the second most popular and second largest cat breed.
- Maine Coons and Norwegian Forest cats are both hardy, but they have key differences.
- The average lifespan is 12.5 to 15 years.
The Maine Coon is a beloved Native American feline that has won over the world for its easy-going and loving nature. They are the second most popular cat breed and the second largest. But if you ask those who have spent a lifetime with this beautiful giant, they will tell you that this breed is second to none in their hearts!
The Maine Coon is known for living a long life in the company of a human caretaker, but there seems to be some variance in how long it actually lives! How long do Maine Coon cats live? How big was the oldest recorded Maine Coon cat? What can loving owners do to keep their adorable "raccoons" healthy and happy for many years to come?
All-American Cats: About the Maine Coon Breed
The Maine Coon is the second most popular cat breed in the world, after the Persian. They are also the second most popular domesticated cat, only the Savannah cat stands taller, and are known to live a long life if cared for well.
But how long do Maine Coons live, and what unique traits and traits have influenced the breed's popularity?
All About the Major Raccoon Breeds
The Maine Coon is a medium to giant cat with a strong, muscular build. Male Maine Coon cats average between 15-25 pounds and females 8-12 pounds. The average length of an adult cat is between 10-16 inches, or up to 36 inches including the tail.
The breed has medium to long shaggy fur with tufts on the ears and toes. The coat comes in colors ranging from solid to two-tone to tabby, with over eighty-four types and seventy-eight officially sanctioned performance standard variations! The coat is long around the neck, tail and underbelly, but of medium length on the rest of the body.
Loyal and steadfast, but not lacking
Often referred to as "the dog of the cat world," the Maine Coon has a docile and loyal nature. The breed shows a deep love for its human family and is patient, intelligent and easy to train. They are a playful and affectionate breed that want to be close to people, but are not "cap cats" or overly needy.
Although Maine Coons are reserved and shy at first, they easily develop affections for new people and animals. They're great for young children, but as with all pets, supervising the safety of kids and cats while they get to know each other is key!
Meows and trills!
Not an overly vocal breed, the Maine Coon communicates with the breed's famous trills and chirps, rather than meowing to attract attention. This often results in the hilarious viral videos we all love that appear to be "talking" to birds making fun of them from the other side of the window!
Maine Coon History
There are many myths about Maine Coon cats. One of them is that they are descended from bobcats, which are also considered half raccoons due to their size and unique characteristics of the breed! Of course, we now know this gorgeous breed as all cats, but they have an interesting, essentially American background.
While the exact origins of the Maine Coon breed are unknown, it has been the subject of many legendary origin stories. Some well-known legends claim that the breed is descended from Norwegian Skogkatts and Norwegian Forest cats. There are also wild stories claiming that the Maine Coon is the royal descendant of Marie Antionette's beloved feline!
Of course, the more logical hypothesis is that the Maine Coon originated from the short-haired cats brought to North America by early settlers. When travelers came and went by boat, they brought long-haired cats with them, which were mated with short-haired cats and developed into Maine Coons.
Maine Coons are often confused with Norwegian Forest cats, and many experts believe they may have a common ancestor. Although they look similar, the two breeds differ in a number of key areas. For example, the Norwegian Forest cat has a silkier, more even coat. In contrast, the Maine Coon has a furry coat with a scarf around its neck.
Like the Norwegian cat, the Maine Coon is a hardy cat. Thanks to their muscular build and thick fur, these cats are survivors. Maine Coon cats seem to be built to thrive in New England weather. In fact, it's the state's official feline breed, after which it's named and thrives as far north as Alaska.
It should come as no surprise that this tough kitten was the first native cat breed in North America!
The cat loves the outdoors
Maine Coons are avid lovers of the outdoors. Many owners attribute their Maine Coon's long life to daily outdoor time, stimulating a cat's small-prey instinct and the thrill of outdoor exploration. Unlike many cats, Maine Coons love water too! Thankfully, this includes bathing, which is an inevitable part of owning a medium or long-haired cat who spends time outdoors.
Owners should remember that there are significant threats to outdoor cats, such as other animals and cars, and be careful when allowing their pets to roam freely. A fenced backyard or cat-friendly neighborhood is often enough to satisfy a Maine Coon's love of nature, and they fit well into most living spaces.
Maine Coon Lifespan (Average)
How long do Maine Coon cats live? According to most cat experts, the average lifespan of a Maine Coon is 12.5 years, and can be up to 15 years with proper care. However, many long-term owners of the breed find this statistic puzzling, reporting that Maine Coons who share their lives typically live past the age of 20!
Owners of Maine Coon cats have several theories about proper care, which they believe is a key reason for the breed's longevity. Maine Coons are hardy and have a lower risk of health problems than other breeds of felines.
Longevity Tips From Maine Coon Owners
Like most animals, Maine Coons need proper diet and exercise to stay healthy. The recommended diet for this breed is high in protein, low in carbohydrates, and contains moderate amounts of omega 3 and 6 fats. Most Maine Coon breeders and owners recommend a good quality dry cat food.
Like many large pet breeds, Maine Coons are prone to obesity and require regular exercise. Daily play with sturdy toys that appeal to the breed's high IQ will significantly extend lifespan, especially if your cat is only indoors.
Regular veterinary check-ups are an essential part of keeping your Maine Coon cat healthy. The breed is at risk for hip dysplasia, obesity, spinal muscular atrophy, hypertrophic cardiomyopathy, and periodontal disease. Regular grooming, bathing, daily brushing, hair removal and daily dental cleaning are all important to keep your cat healthy.
Now that we know the average life expectancy of a Maine Coon, what is the oldest age on record? It's time to find out!
Rubble, the oldest surviving cat in Devon
At only 31 years old, Rubble is believed to be the oldest living Maine Coon cat, but he may also be the oldest living cat in the world! Rubble, a resident of Exeter, Devon, UK, was adopted as a kitten by Michele Heritage on her 20th birthday. He lived with her her whole life, from her bachelor days as a young woman living alone to sharing her with her husband and furry companion, Meg, who died at 25. When asked about the possibility of Rubble being included in the Guinness Book of World Records as the oldest living cat, Michele declared that Rubble was an old man who occasionally lost his temper and that she wished him a peaceful old age.
Sadly, Rubble passed away in July 2020. Michele released the following statement on the loss of her life partner:
"He's been an amazing mate and I've had the pleasure of living with him for such a long time. By the end he's aging so fast. I've always treated him like a child. I go to work as usual and when I get home, My husband says Rubble has died like a cat. He has his favorite place to sleep and loves his food, so when he stops eating, we know."
Corduroy, Guinness World Record Holder
The world record for the oldest living cat is held by Corduroy, a 26-year-old Maine Coon from Sister, Oregon, USA. Corduroy was named the oldest living cat by Guinness World Records in 2015, and was adopted by Ashley Okura as a kitten with his brother Batman in 1989. Batman lived to a respectable 19 years, and Corduroy lived another seven years.
Unfortunately, on October 9, 2016, Corduroy stormed out of the house and disappeared. After seven weeks of searching, he was presumed dead by his owners and has not been seen since. Ashley posted the following statement on Corduroy's Instagram page as more than 18,000 avid followers learned of his passing:
"It is with a heavy heart that I publish this article to announce that Corduroy may well have crossed the rainbow bridge. We miss him terribly and I hope he returns. It stands to reason that Corduroy is not coming home. I thank Corduroy All the support and love received – he was an outstanding gentleman. I am grateful for the incredible and special 27 years we have spent together."
Oldest Maine Coon alive today?
Due to the recent deaths of both Rubble and Corduroy, the status of the oldest surviving Maine Coon has yet to be determined. If you think your feline friend might be the next or oldest cat, you will need to provide documentation to verify their age. These documents may include your cat's birth records, obtained from a registered breeder or veterinary clinic, or verified by your veterinarian with specific tests.
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