TICA accepts but CFA rejects polydactyl Maine Coon cats

I had noticed a headline, a partly misleading headline it seems to me, in which it stated that cat associations accepted polydactyl Maine Coon cats. If you check the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) Maine Coon Cat breed standard you can see right away that they don't accept Maine Coon cats with the incorrect number of toes. The CFA is the leading cat association with TICA and GCCF (in the UK). However, TICA accept polydactyl Maine Coons:

Large, well-tufted. Additional toes allowed on either fore or hind paws or both - TICA breed standard for the Maine Coon 

Cute Maine Coon with standard feet
Cute Maine Coon with standard feet. Photo: Pinterest.

The CFA breed standard is quite clear. Maine Coon cats with the incorrect number of toes will be disqualified in cat shows. This is reinforced by the fact that the breed standard states that the feet of a Maine Coon should have 'five toes in front; four in back'. That couldn't be clearer.

I've got to conclude that some cat associations (or is it just the CFA?) do not accept and don't want to see Maine Coon cats with more than the usual number of toes, which is what polydactylism describes.

Good to see TICA accepting them.

As an aside and a brief comment, someone might argue that it is unfair to disqualify a polydactyl Maine Coon because there is a myth or legend that ships' cats that came across with the settlers in the early part of the 1600s were deliberately chosen to have more than the usual number of toes because they can maintain their balance on deck better than regular cats!

These polydactyl cats which at the time were not Maine Coons but standard medium-longhaired and long-haired random bred cats, became the distinguished Maine Coon in the late 1800s. Therefore historically it could be argued that Maine Coons should have more than the usual number of toes! It sounds a bit far-fetched but polydactylism seems to go with the Maine Coon and historically that link should be maintained and therefore the cat associations should accept it.


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