In the first place I would like to tell you that food is the most important part of your cat’s good health. It is essential to give to your cat a “premium” kind of food during his/her all life. This means that the proteins contain in it are very good quality, with a high level of digestibility (which decreases the volume of dejections). This type of food is a bit more expensive but you will give less of it than another kind of food so you will save money on the quantity.

It is mostly when your cat will get old that you will notice the difference, indeed the kidneys are not able to regenerate themselves, so when they cannot normally filter your cat will develop urea and creatinine. If you succeed, like us, to have a fifteen year old cat with a young blood check-up, it will be thank to your food choice.
Depending on his/her age he/she will have to eat a growth food, then an adult food and finally a senior food.
We have been partners with Hill’s for 20 years and we only use this brand of croquettes for our dogs and cats. For the pleasure to give them fresh food we offer them now and again chicken breast or boiled white fish but this is not justify by any nutritional need.

                      Obviously our cats are first tested then vaccinated against infectious cats’ illness (coryza, typhus, and leukaemia); unfortunately there is no vaccine against the PIF and the FIV (at least in France). The MCF association (Maine Coon France) teaches you everything about the infectious illness:

                       Let’s talk about what is more worrying for our Maine Coons, genetic diseases:

*The hip dysplasia: a cat severely affected will have difficulties to jump and climb. Come and see our cats moving about and judge by yourselves.

*The PKD is a disease causing cysts within the kidneys and provoking kidney failures. The cat was born with this disease. It is detectable by scan in 95% of the cases on a one year old cat. Only 1% of the Maine Coons are affected by this disease which is passes on along a main autosomal mode (only one gene is required to pass on the disease); a kitten cannot be affected if one of its parents is not affected itself. The risk is very low with parents systematically scanned.

*The main concern of the race is the HCM: it is a heart disease which makes the heart gets thicker. The heart doesn’t suck up the blood efficiently and get tired more quickly. The signs can be: a shortness of breath after an effort, arrhythmias, abnormal fatigability or a heart failure. This disease is passes on along a main autosomal mode (only one gene is required to pass on the disease), so for the HCM 1 form, a kitten cannot be affected if one of its parent is not affected itself as well.
The year 2006 was a year of progress for the struggle against this disease; a genetic test allows detecting in 99% of the cases the HCM 1 form (the one that represents the main HCM form of the Maine Coons). Nevertheless the systematic scan has to be carried on to detect the non detectable mutations through DNA test. I’m happy to bring my cats breeding while this test is being brought to the trade market, because it is a huge march for the disease eradication.

Recent veterinary HCM publication : HCM Article from Uni Klinik Giessen 06.02.2008

To know everything about genetic diseases, click on the Pawpeds health programme


I hope this has helped you with the worries you could have about the purebred cats, they are not more ill than the other ones but their pathologies are much more studied.