Why are there no colourpoint Maine Coons?

Colourpoint cats are pointed cats. The classic colourpoint cat is the Siamese. So why aren't there any Maine Coons with the same sort of coat that the Siamese cat has? Well, there are, actually, some in existence but they crept into breeding lines by accident and they probably caused quite a lot of consternation because the purists don't want pointed Maine Coons in the cat fancy. That's my understanding of it. 

This is a pointed Perian aka Himalayan. Photo: Pixabay.

And the fact of the matter is that the breed standard both for the CFA and TICA does not allow colourpoint Maine coon cats. And the reason for this I think is obvious: the cat fancy has to ensure that each cat breed is clearly distinguishable from the other. If they overlapped too much, they would no longer be distinct, which would muddy or blur the list of cat breeds which they manage in their breed standards. Sarah Hartwell has a different reason but one which overlaps. She says that the reason why colourpoint Maine Coons are not desired and do not belong in the breeder is because it is believed that there were no Siamese cats in Maine at the time the breed originated.

The colourpoint gene is recessive and it crept into Maine Coon breeding lines in the 1960s and 1970s according to my research. DNA testing for recessive genes such as colourpoint is fairly new according to Sarah Hartwell.

She said that there has been a heated debate about them especially in Switzerland and Germany. The first colourpoint Maine Coons were born in Germany in 1976 or 1977. There are no photos of them and Sarah Hartwell tells us that they lived only for a few months. Why was that? Were they culled? Yes, appears to be the answer. Sarah Hartwell says that the breeders of colourpoint Maine Coons were threatened by phone and cats were destroyed "to prevent them from being revealed as colourpoint Maine Coons".

On May 18, 1997 a sealed tabby point Maine Coon was exhibited at a FiFe cat show. Apparently, the breed standard under this cat association did not forbid pointed Maine Coon cats and therefore the participants were surprised. Although it did prohibit chocolate and lilac Maine Coon cats. The cat's name was Don Carlos bred by Markus and Nicole H├Žseli. I suspect that the standard has been amended since then.

Sarah Hartwell tells us that colourpoint Maine Coons have been the subject of a lot of debate especially apparently in Germany and Switzerland. 

It is a recessive gene which pops up during breeding sometimes when the cats are inbred too much. Sarah Hartwell says that if the colourpoint variant was accepted by the cat associations pointed Maine Coons could be established quite quickly within the existing Maine Coon gene pool because the gene is there waiting to be used to create pointed cats.

Sarah Hartwell is a cat geneticist and she sets out in very thorough and comprehensive diagrams the origin of the pointed Maine Coons. If you click on this link you can read about them. My thanks to Sarah. I hope she is well.

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