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If you own a Maine Coon cat, be assured that this particular breed is a hardy and healthy one. However, this cat breed is vulnerable to a few diseases. One of them is hip dysplasia. This disease is generally common in dogs but not so much in cats. Since the Maine Coon is a large cat, it suffers from hip dysplasia. The males are more susceptible compared to females as they are bigger in size. The ligaments suffer from increased stress, and so do the muscles. This disease may result in arthritis, and in some extreme cases, paralysis may also happen.
HCM and SMA
Although hip dysplasia could be painful to your kitty, it is not considered a threat to life like the feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM. This is a typical kind of heart disease in felines. It is frequently observed in Maine Coons, and typical senior cats or middle-aged felines. The good news is that the gene which triggers this condition is isolated and it was discovered that not almost every cat which carries this gene would be affected. As the name hints, the HCM disease is a fatal one. This is a complex heart disease where fluid builds up around the animal’s heart and its lungs. A blood flow constricts the blood flow to the affected cat’s hind legs, resukting in paralysis. Another notable disease is the Spinal Muscular Atrophy or SMA. This is also observed in many Maine Coon cats. The SMA if present in the animal is observed early in life. You will know it when the kitten reaches three to four months of age. The SMA is not a fatal one but results in weakened muscle development.
Maine Coon cats can also suffer from many other diseases like PKD. These are found not only in Maine Coons but also among the Persian cat breed. A minority of the Maine Coon cats are found to suffer from PKD. It does not matter whether your Maine Coon is a full bred or enjoys a mixed heritage. The animals could either show the disease or be carriers of those particular genes which cause the disease. Many tests are available to find the problematic genetic code. Remember the presence of the gene does not automatically imply the condition will befall your cat. It is always an excellent idea to know so that the necessary preventive steps could be taken. One good aspect of owning a Maine Coon breed of cat is that it belongs to one of the healthier breeds in the feline family. If you ensure that you get your kitty from a healthy breeder, then the genetic anomaly risk is much reduced.