MainE Coon Health

Kitten Vaccine Schedule: This is schedule we keep at our home, and recommend you stick to once you receive your kitten. Take your kitten’s shot record, you will receive with your kitten, to your first vet visit. Your vet should tell you when to bring kitten back for next vaccine on schedule, but it is best to double check that all vaccines below are done on time. KEEP YOUR KITTEN AWAY FROM PUBLIC PLACES OR OTHER ANIMALS UNTIL DONE WITH COMPLETE VACCINE SERIES.

Here’s the general schedule for kitten vaccinations:

  • 6-8 weeks:
    • FVRCP required
    • FeLV highly recommended
  • 10-12 weeks:
    • FVRCP required (second in series)
    • FeLV highly recommended
  • 14-16 weeks:
    • FVRCP required (third in series)
    • Rabies required by law
    • FeLV highly recommended
  • 1-year booster:
    • FVRCP booster required
    • Rabies booster required by law

The FVRCP vaccine protects your cat against three highly contagious and possibly life-threatening feline diseases: Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis (the FVR part of the vaccine name), Feline Calicivirus (represented by the C), and Feline Panleukopenia (represented by the P) (the P at the end of the vaccine name). The FeLV (Feline leukemia virus) vaccine is highly recommended and so is also on our schedule.

All kittens are microchipped at our home, when they are big enough for that. Make sure to register chip with … right after you receive your kitten from us… The chip is blank of contact info until you do so.

Health Risks Within the Maine Coon Breed:

Hip Dysplasia

Although generally rare in the cat world, this disease is often found in large cat breeds such as the Maine Coon, particularly if the cat is purebred. Any cat that shows any signs should have an ex-ray done to rule out HD.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) occurs when there is a thickening of the muscular walls surrounding a cat’s heart, which negatively affects the heart’s efficiency levels. The prognosis for this particular disease varies significantly, though it is thought that certain treatments can improve the cat’s overall quality of life considerably. Heart should be listened to yearly and if any question as to a murmur than further testing should be done to rule out HCM.

Spinal Muscular Atrophy

The disease is not thought to be fatal or painful but is thought to cause weakened muscle development. It occurs when there is a loss of motor neurons in a cat’s lower spinal cord and muscle deterioration in its hindlimbs. SMA is characterized by a cat’s progressive instability, unsteady gait, and posture abnormalities. Adults should be tested for genetic markers that show them as carriers or not carriers for the disease, before they are bred.

Polycystic Kidney Disease

Polycystic kidney disease (PKD) is a hereditary condition whereby cats are born with cysts growing on their kidneys. Polycystic kidney disease is caused by an autosomal dominant gene abnormality. Cats only need one parent to be infected with the defective gene, to inherit PKD. Adults should be tested to make sure they are not a carrier before they are bred.


It can affect both male and female Maine Coon cats and is characterized by painful mouth ulcers and inflammation of the cat’s gums and mouth. It is not inherited. Feline Stomatitis is a condition seen in many cats where chronic inflammation affects the soft tissues of the mouth (gingiva and mucosa). It is also known as gingivostomatitis, lymphoplasmacytic stomatitis, or more accurately mucositis. Owners should keep watch for the following signs and symptoms of feline stomatitis since this condition takes some time to treat:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Bad breath
  • Pawing at face or mouth
  • Dropping food
  • Messy coat of fur
  • Yelping when they eat food
Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is an extremely common health condition, affecting the cat’s teeth and mouth. It is also known as ‘gum disease’ and is made up of three stages: Halitosis, Gingivitis, Periodontitis.. The condition is easily avoided, provided owners pay particular attention to their feline’s oral hygiene. Neglecting this could lead to kidney and liver disease.


Maine Coons are one of the largest domesticated cat breeds in the world, with the potential to reach a staggering 40 inches in length!
They are often referred to as ‘gentle giants’ due to their large physical frame and gentle nature, so don’t be surprised when your male Maine Coon kitten reaches up to 16 inches (40cm) in height and weighs an impressive 15-25 lbs (6.8-11.3 kg).

Sadly, one of the common downsides to their large physical frame is that owners do not understand that this cat breed has a slower growth rate than normal cats.

They are unaware that Maine Coon cats reach their full physical size between 3-4 years of age, rather than at 2 years old like other cat breeds.

Owners not aware of these facts will often start overfeeding their cat, wondering why their cat hasn’t reached the average Maine Coon sizes listed across the internet. If you over feed your cat they will get obese and that causes a lot of health issues.

Upper Respiratory Viruses

Calici Virus:
Calici virus makes up about 50 % of all clinical cases of cats presenting with cold type symptoms at vet offices. It is one of the most contagious, but not really life-threatening viruses. It is so contagious that we have added it to our kitten vaccine schedule. Even so, a vaccinated cat CAN get one of the other strains that are not in the vaccine, it should be short and milder case if vaccinated early. The virus spreads through direct contact with the saliva, nasal mucus and eye discharge of infected cats and through aerosol droplets that spread when cats sneeze. Lab tests have also detected the virus in urine, feces and blood. Cats typically shed the virus for about two or three weeks after infection, but some cats become long-term carriers, and continue to shed the virus on and off for months. Even though they do not show any signs of sickness, which causes many cats to get sick from other cats that seem to be healthy. A kitten can come into contact with infected aerosol droplets at any time. Outside or at a vet visit, even a cat or other infected animal that is just outside your house lurking around. It can also be on your clothing as you walk into your home from outside, not knowing you ever near an infected animal. It is a hardy virus that can stay on items and environments for up to a month. Extremely contagious but it is good to know it is not a virus that causes death in your pet. Most just get symptoms like a human head cold that goes away in weeks. You would want to keep an eye on your pet that he/she is eating well, since a head cold can cause them not to be able to smell or taste their food. So in extreme cases syringe force feeding maybe needed. Very rare though and is usually because of a secondary infection that has caused it to be worse. As most cold like sicknesses, Calici is not harmful, but newborn or elderly cats may need supportive care if they stop eating or have a secondary infection come up from the lower immune system during virus that will need antibiotics such as Pneumonia in the lungs. All cat viruses are not contagious to humans in any way. Here is a more indebt info on the virus, keep in mind you will be leaving our site, so bookmark us first.

Viral Rhinotracheitis:
FVR is a highly contagious infectious disease affecting cats, and a major cause of upper respiratory infections (URI). FVR is caused by infection from feline herpes virus type-1 (FHV-1) and does not affect other species. Cats who contract FVR will have a lifelong FHV-1 infection that will likely remain inactive unless the cat is exposed to a stressful event, when the virus may reactivate. Additionally, cats with FVR are at risk for respiratory problems, long-term eye problems, and secondary bacterial infections, which may cause pneumonia in severe cases. The FHV-1 virus spreads to other cats through direct contact with saliva, eye discharge, or nasal discharge of infected cats. The symtoms and infection sources are the same as the Calici Virus described above. It is best to get your animal tested if they come down with a head cold more than once, to rule out this herpes virus which is one that can be ongoing, every time your pet gets stressed, just like a cold sore in humans that rae infected with human herpes virus. All cat viruses are not contagious to humans in any way. We vaccinate against this in our kittens but kittens can still get the disease from a strain that is not in the vaccine. Please keep your kitten away from new unknown cats and the outside.

Feline leukemia virus:
(FeLV) is one of the most common infectious diseases in cats, affecting between 2 and 3% of all cats in the United States. Infection rates are significantly higher (up to 30%) in cats that are ill or otherwise at high risk (see below). Fortunately, the prevalence of FeLV in cats has decreased significantly in the past 25 years since the development of an effective vaccine and accurate testing procedures.

Cats persistently infected with FeLV serve as sources of infection for other cats. The virus is shed in saliva, nasal secretions, urine, feces, and milk of infected cats. Cat-to-cat transfer of the virus may occur from a bite wound, during mutual grooming, and (rarely) through the shared use of litter boxes and feeding dishes. Transmission can also take place from an infected mother cat to her kittens, either before they are born or while they are nursing. FeLV does not survive long outside a cat’s body – probably less than a few hours under normal household conditions.

Cats at greatest risk of FeLV infection are those that may be exposed to infected cats, either via prolonged close contact or through bite wounds. Such cats include cats living with infected cats or with cats of unknown infection status, cats allowed outdoors unsupervised where they may be bitten by an infected cat, and kittens born to infected mothers.

Kittens are much more susceptible to FeLV infection than are adult cats, and therefore are at the greatest risk of infection if exposed. However, even healthy adult cats can become infected if sufficiently exposed. We vaccinate against this in our kittens but kittens can still get the disease from a strain that is not in the vaccine. Please keep your kitten away from new unknown cats and the outside.

Bacterial Infections

Mycoplasma or other bacteria type infections. can be secondary to a virus or can be in your pet because of a lower immune system due to age, health issues such as teeth decay, or other factors which lower immune system for a time: If your pet has a bacterial infection like this it is best to be proactive and put him/her on an antibiotic. Although some can get over it just fine with no medication, using an antibiotic can nip the bacteria in the bud quicker.

Possible Ailments from not getting your cat de-sexed

cats which are not spayed are more likely to suffer from pyometra (infection of the womb), and with mammary tumors. Queens with infectious diseases may pass these on to their kittens. Pregnancy and birth are also not without risk. So even if it’s a breeding cat there can be issues. But in general, getting your cat fixed early allows them to live longer happier lives. Males and females are prone to catch diseases and parasites and infections if left intact because they are more likely to fight, and copulate with unknown cats, which can spread diseases. Not to mention an intact cat can have dozens of unwanted kittens a year which adds to the numerous felines on the street spreading disease and depleting the area of its small animals such as birds. Desexing also helps the pet bond with it’s owner better since its not preoccupied with the natural instinct to reproduce. Read our DESEXING YOUR KITTEN article on our BLOG page for more info.