Maine Coons with a "delicate bone structure" are disqualified in competition but what does it mean?

You might be expecting me to tell you what a "delicate bone structure" means in relation to a Maine Coon show cat in competition at a cat show, but I don't think I can tell you. The phrase "delicate bone structure" is very elastic in its meaning. But the CFA breed standard makes it clear that if your Maine Coon has a delicate bone structure, he or she will be disqualified in competition at a cat show.

Not a Maine Coon with a delicate bone structure
Not a Maine Coon with a delicate bone structure. Photo: Instagram.

Personally, I think that this criterion for qualification is too elastic and too vague. The interpretation of it is going to lead to injustices being perpetrated. Perhaps it never happens. Perhaps no judges have ever disqualified a Maine Coon for having a delicate bone structure. Perhaps this criterion is more academic than practical.

What it is saying is the opposite: that Maine Coons should be substantial and quite big and solid. I have a feeling that the phrase is pushing Maine Coon breeders to breed bigger cats just to play safe. It is one reason, probably, why Maine Coons have become bigger over the years.

In respect of humans, a delicate bone structure would probably describe a petite woman i.e. a small woman who is slender and lightweight at about eight stone. However, I don't think that really helps us when trying to evaluate a Maine Coon 🤔.

What about a female Maine Coon who is on the small side? She should be perfectly acceptable but would the cat be disqualified for having a delicate bone structure?

Clearly, in the extreme, if a Maine Coon looked like a modern Siamese cat i.e. incredibly slender, that cat would have to be disqualified but you never see Maine Coons like that for obvious reasons.

I think this aspect of the CFA breed standard needs to be updated and changed. Actually, I think I'd remove that section of the breed standard and simply state in another part of the breed standard that Maine Coons should be "big boned" relative to non-purebred cats. It won't happen obviously. I'm just playing a game but the breed standard is a guideline.

It is important that guidelines can be interpreted uniformly by different people. In order to achieve this, they must be clear and they should be inelastic and precise.

I'm just expressing a personal opinion. If you have experience in showing a Maine Coon or are breeder then I would love to hear from you on this topic.

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