I am Losing My Maine Coon Cat Max

by Rico DiPucci
(San Marcos, CA USA)

Max was born on October 5th, 2000. He is a purebred Maine Coon and was de-clawed and neutered prior to my adopting him. He was a big cat at maturity, weighing a little over 18 pounds. He has always been an indoor cat who gets to roam freely on my elevated deck.

Max started losing weight about three years ago. I took him to the vet and they ran every test imaginable. They told me he was hyperthyroid and needed to be on medication for the rest of his life. I got him on the medication but they said I didn’t need to change his diet. He was eating dry food but got a little tuna every couple weeks.

He continued to lose weight and I took him back several times over the next year. They changed his diet to a different kind of dry food. He continued to lose weight. They wanted to run more tests. They had run all the tests before. I wanted a second opinion.

I took him to a vet that specialized in cats. When I scheduled his appointment I left a copy of all of Max’s medical records for their review.

They reviewed the records and ran more tests. He is NOT hyperthyroid and does not need the medication. After all the tests they ran they couldn’t tell me why he’s losing weight.

He keeps throwing up and can’t keep food down. No hairballs. And the little bit he can process is not nourishing him. He has lost ten pounds. I have tried everything including Beech Nut Baby Food which he seems to like. It’s a paste and it seems to sooth him. He is not in any pain that I can see but is weak and frail. He rallies then gets sicker. I’m not taking him back to the vet as I think I had him to the best. They ran all the tests and they just don’t know.

I am losing my little buddy and it breaks my heart. There seems to be nothing I can do. I think he is just holding on to life because of the love he gets. Is there anything anyone can think of that I might try?

Through tears,

I am Losing My Maine Coon Cat Max to Maine Coon Cats

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I am Losing My Maine Coon Cat Max

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Dec 23, 2010 Apollo
by: Anonymous

Our sweet Apollo is a 6 year old male Maine Coon who randomly went blind in his left eye about 6 weeks ago, a few weeks later he started hemorrhaging, he’s been to the vet 8 times in 2 weeks and had 5 sets of blood and chem test done. He’s dropped from nearly 15 lbs to about 9lbs and our current course of treatment includes Vit-K therapy for potential rat poisoning, Clindamycin for generally trying to kills parasites that are now unknown, and dorzolamide for the detached retina and now blind left eye. Without exaggeration I can honestly tell you that we have no less than 7 vets (most are specialist from opthamologist , to hematologist, to internist, & neurologist.) No one can pin-point the issue. If anyone at all has had any similar situations on an indoor cat that should not be able to access any kinds of ingest able poisons please email me at DM***********@ao*.com with any known diagnosis.

David & Jennifer (Apollos loving guardians)

Jul 12, 2010 Maine Coon diagnosis
by: Victoria

I lost my beloved Maine Coon Cat, Winston, on June 7. His 9th birthday was May 18. My symptoms were much like yours. After doing exhaustive research and the help of my wonderful Vet, we discovered that he had IBD, Irritable Bowel Disease. This is the only thing none of your other bloggers mentioned. While Cardiomyopathy is more common as is the hip dysplasia, IBD is right up there with Maine Coon genetic diseases. I have known another owner who, in spite of the fact that she is a Vet herself, lost her Maine Coon to the very same thing.

I was able to extend Winston’s life an additional year by giving him 7 medications twice a day. It is a painful thing to watch your beloved cat-child rally each time the symptoms return. We would have several months that the medications would keep it under control and then the diahrrea and intermittant vomiting would re occur.

I think it is a distinct possibility that Max may have had this same thing. All the other symptoms are the same with the weight loss and appetite.

The Maine Coon is the most wonderful breed I have ever lived with but it is impossible to guarantee that you will get one without the risk.

There are breeders who will do DNA testing for Cardiomyopathy and hip dysplasia but the other two diseases are undetectable.

I would get another Maine Coon in a heart beat if they could test ahead for this. I just couldn’t go through the emotional pain of re-living what my beloved Winston had to go through over and over.

Please anyone who wishes to discuss this issue with me don’t hesitate to write.

Jan 28, 2010 I am sincerely sorry for your loss
by: Deborah-Ann Milette (Oaklahoma)


I had to once put an animal to sleep and it almost destroyed me emotionally, so I sincerely understand what you did go through. When I had to put my cat Job (biblical name and not the job name) DVM Best told me I gave him the greatest gift a human could give their animal. I wrote up the story and it was published in the town’s newspaper and Rainbow bridge as well as a few feline lists I belong to. You ever just want to talk please feel free to contact me at my email address “TellFelids[at]aol.com” (please substitute [at] for @ – this is to stop spammers taking over my email address) and we can go from there.

Again I wish vets would have at least listened to what some of us have been through and maybe a wishful thought your cat could have still been with you.

With heartfelt sympathies,

Deborah-Ann Milette,

“Motzie” & Peanut

Jan 28, 2010 To Rico
by: Ruth

I am so sorry to hear your news and sorry too you had hassle with vets to let Max go peacefully, as you are right, you do know when the time is right to set your own pet free.

You have done a very brave and very kind deed Rico,it’s the hardest thing ever we have to do for our pets and I am crying for you now for how you must be feeling.

Max is at peace but you are suffering.

Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself too.

R.I.P dear Max

Kattaddorra signature Ruth

Two useful tags. Click either to see the articles: Toxic to cats | Dangers to cats

Jan 27, 2010 I said goodbye to Max this morning, 01/27/10
by: Rico

I want to thank everyone who contributed with comments and concern, kind words and thoughts and helpfull suggestions.

It was a long battle but Max and I fought tirelessly to regain his health. I was able to control somewhat, his vomiting through his diet. Whatever was obstructing the passage of his food I was able to get around with baby food, cat tuna, brocoli and dry cat food. All of which was blended to a fine mush that he loved and digested. The problem was that he was not gaining any nurishment from his food and continued to loose weight.

We tried and he was a tough little guy who would rally then fail, over and over again. But as his gains lessened his failings would increase. He finally got so frail that it was hard for him to stand and I knew that his time to go had come.

The vet that had seen him in September at “All Cats Hospital” in Carlsbad, CA and then refused to prescribe a suggested medication in October without another exam, I called this morning to see about putting Max to sleep. I was told Max would need another exam before she would euthanize him. I couldn’t believe it. But called another vet, explained the situation and Max was put to rest at 9:30 this morning without an exam. The vet said that pet owners usually know better than anyone else when it’s time to let go of their beloved pet.

Max was very unique as I’m sure everyone feels about their pet. It will take me a while to get over his absence as he was always everywhere I was, always.

So, thanks again everyone.

God bless,


Jan 26, 2010 Maybe diabetes?
by: Anonymous

I have a siamese who was large, then suddenly started losing weight. She would eat and drink like normal. She would throw up sometimes. The vet said she was diabetic. She now receives insulin shots twice a day and special diabetic cat food. She rebounded immediately!

Jan 25, 2010 Suggestions
by: Anonymous

Check for Exocrine Pancreatic Insufficiency. If not already performed a Pancreatic Lipase Immunoreactivity testing for Pancreatitis, this is the most accurate and reliable testing for Pancreatitis. Hope this helps.

Nov 14, 2009 Thanks to all wo responded
by: Rico

My heart felt thanks to all who responded to my cry for help for Max. Tha baby food seems to be working. He is getting spoonsful 3-4 times a day and seems able to keep little portions of it down.

I especially want to thank Deborah Ann Millete, Oklahoma, who suggested that Max might have pancreatitis and that I try Lipram. I am persuing that aspect as a remedy. I hope to find something holistic that might work as well. The vet may refuse to write a scripp for the Lipram. They want another office exam and more tests although they just looked at him and ran tests less than 2 months ago. Nothing has changed except that he lost another pound and a half since that visit.

Again, Thanks everyone. I will keep you posted.

Best Regards,


Nov 12, 2009 I am Losing My Maine Coon Cat Max
by: Anonymous

Intestinal obstruction?

Nov 12, 2009 so sorry
by: kathy

I feel your pain and I am including you and Max in my prayers. I hope you find a solution and I hope things work out for you.

Nov 11, 2009 Max
by: Ruth aka Kattaddorra

Rico I am so sorry for you.I know what it’s like to feel so helpless as we lost a much loved cat at only 5 years of age due to a chest complaint 4 vets couldn’t diagnose, therefore didn’t treat properly, over 2 months.The last one we saw admitted she was beat and refered us to a cat specialist, but Popsy died on the way to see him.

I know your Max is an entirely different case but if I was you I’d get a third opinion,I don’t mean put him through tests again but get his records from both vets you’ve seen, you’ve nothing to lose except more money, which no doubt it’s cost you plenty already, but I’m sure Max’s life is worth it to you.

For all I worked for vets and used to have blind faith in them,if we ever have another cat with an illness vets couldn’t diagnose, I’ll keep trying until I find one who can help.

I hope and pray someone helps you and Max soon.I’m sending you strength and all the positive thoughts I can !

X for Max’s furry head

Nov 11, 2009 Moved by Your story
by: Michael (PoC Admin)

Hi, just a quick note to say that I have moved your story to the Cat Health page.

Nov 10, 2009 Try this
by: Deborah-Ann

I had a caracal that it turned out that she was suffering from pancreatitis and she was placed on antibiotiocs BUT she was put on Lipram (a human med in capsule form that you can take apart and spread over the food.) She stopped her vomiting, began eating at first several small meals daily and at bed time and then she ate 3 times a day, BUT the lipram was for the rest of her life. They gave her 6 months she lived for 3 more years, gained weight and looked like the picture of health. I would suggest you try this because the only way the vet discovered this was $10,000 later a surgery where thet took 18 punch biopsies and if they didn’t do the exploratory surgery she would have died anyway because the vet said her problem was undiagnosable. That is my suggesstion and you may have nothing to loose.

Deborah-Ann Milette


Nov 10, 2009 Animal Communicator
by: Anonymous

It may be a food or grain allergy. Please consider contacting a reputable animal communicator. My pets have had many ailments over the years that vets have not been able to diagnose, yet an animal communicator has been able to. Search through the Revival Animal Health website and find a calorie supplement for ailing cats to keep Max going in addition to the baby food. Make sure he also stays hydrated.

How awful that this animal was de-clawed. Massage his paws to see if there are any bone fragments (or get x-rays)left inside the paw which may be causing him pain. Cats have a miraculous way of hiding pain & it sometimes manifests itself into intestinal, kidney, stress, skin, or eating issues. Best wishes.

Nov 10, 2009 Hi Rico
by: Michael

Hi Rico, I feel bad having read your story. I can feel the pain that you are feeling seeing Max fade.

{by the way I hope you don’t mind me changing the title for search engine optimisation reasons}

It is very hard for us laypeople (although we are informed and caring) to help at a distance when two vets can’t diagnose the problem.

But one thing stands out: vomiting and it is related to food intake it seems. In other words he is not sick when he is not eating. Is that the case? If he is sick at any time it could be a wide range of infectious diseases, kidney disease or liver disease. Or a central nervous system disorder.

Max is not getting his nourishment because he sicks up his food. All I can do is refer to some reference books I have and hope that a visitor can help through their own experiences.

It might be useful to tackle the problem from a different angle and ask what are the most common diseases in Maine Coon cats. I know the answer to that: Maine Coon Health Problems.In this page I mention: Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) and Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) as two common MC diseases (the other is Hip Dysplasia). The symptoms of the PKD are: weight loss, depression, occasional (sporadic) vomiting and increased thirst and urination. Other symptoms are poor apetite and listlessness. These seem to apply to Max.

The indications from my standpoint are that it is PKD. HCM also causes weight loss and loss of appetite.

Another thing that comes to mind is an intestinal foreign body.

I wish you and Max the very best. Please tell us what happened if you can find the time.

4 thoughts on “I am Losing My Maine Coon Cat Max”

  1. Penny Ann Quintana

    I understand how you feel Rico, I had to put my Rag Doll, and Main Coon Mix to sleep, I just could not watch Whiskers suffer anymore. He had a great appetite but gained no weight. He would no longer use the litter box. The vet took an Ex-Ray and my boo boo kitty had a tumor. We did not expect that, he was having trouble breathing they gave him two weeks. The vet suggested putting him to sleep, it was the hardest thing I had to do. I am still hurting from letting him go, but I did not want to watch him waste away. I miss him a lot! I cannot go through that again! It is too painful!

  2. I lost my sweet boy, Rocky, in April. It was the worst possible scenario to lose your best friend and there was nothing the vet could do. He was 37 in. long from the tip of his nose to the end of his tail. At his best, he weighed 30 lbs. When he died, he weighted 18 lbs. because he quit eating two days before I had to put him down. Now my heart is empty and I still cry when I think of losing my best friend.

    1. I know exactly how you feel, Bruce. I really do. When I lost my female cat in 1994 due to an accident on the road, I did not get over it for 20 years. I wish you the very best of luck. Thank you so much for sharing your feelings so honestly on this website. You must have had a very close relationship and the loss will be hard to bear and it will go on but it will fade. Take care.

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