Maine Coon Health Problems

Maine Coon. Photo: by Robert Sijka

Fabulous Maine Coon cat. Superb photo by Robert Sijka

Although fairly rare in Maine Coon cats, pectus excavatum is a condition which is apparently present in some lines of this cat breed although this may not be the case at present because the information comes from a book published in 1992 called “Medical, Genetic and Behavioural Aspects of Purebred Cats” edited by Ross D Clark DVM.

Dr Clark also refers to patellar luxation as a condition that can sometimes be found in Maine Coon cats. It can occur concurrently with hip dysplasia. In this condition the kneecap of the affected cat tends to slide to the inside of the leg rather than remaining in its “trochlear groove”.

It can cause mild and intermittent lameness, a reluctance to jump and intermittent locking of the stifle (the joint between the femur and the tibia, corresponding anatomically to the human knee) “followed by extension of the limb to try to pop the knee back in place”.

The Maine Coon can also suffer from hip dysplasia. I am told that it is found “occasionally in Maine Coon cats”. The clinical signs are: gait abnormalities, intermittent lameness and reluctance to jump.

Some cats can develop severe degenerative joint disease because of a chronic laxity in the hips. Most cats have only a mild subluxation. Cats may not show signs of the disease until they are older. Radiographs confirm its existence. Surgery may be required to remove “the head and neck of the femur on the affected side”.

I am thankful to Dr Ross D Clark for this information.

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Maine Coon Health Problems — 3 Comments

  1. What is pectus excavatum? I understand the other two mentioned. Thankfully, my Abby (Maine Coon) is very healthy and behaves like she’s still a kitten. I think Shadow (Chartreux) keeps her on her toes; they chase each other all over the place, especially hide-and-seek. Thanks for the information.


    • It is a chest narrowing. I’d actually love to look after a purebred cat. I have never be the caretaker of a purebred. I love Maine Coons.


      • I love them too. Abby is not purebred, she’s a mix but one would never know it. At a guess, I’d say she’s probably 80% Maine Coon and boy oh boy, does she have all of the attributes! She’s a love bug but a true Diva. Initially, I thought Shadow was a British Shorthair, but something about his look and demeanor didn’t fit. Then I thought he may have been a Russian Blue, but again, something didn’t fit. Then one day, I was watching Animal Planet and a show called Cats 101 came on. It was about Russian Blue, British Shorthair and Chartreux cats. OMG! It was an epiphany. After the show, I looked up the breed and voila! Shadow is a Chartreux (mix, I would assume). As soon as I’ve saved up some $$$, I’m going to have a DNA test for both cats to ascertain the percentages of their breed. Should be fascinating.



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