Maine Coon kitten, Red, born with convergent strabismus. Serious or cute?

Red is one of a litter of seven Maine Coon kittens, all of which were born with convergent strabismus. This is an inherited condition. The cat is cross-eyed and the eyes point inwards (converge). The litter of seven was created by breeder Rebecca Hardy. The mother's name is Mahri. Rebecca lives in Hillsborough, UK.

Maine Coon kitten, Red, born with convergent strabismus. Serious or cute?
Maine Coon kitten, Red, born with convergent strabismus. Serious or cute? Photo: Rebecca Hardy.

Note: to my mind, there is also has a slight anatomical abnormality with his face. His mouth is very strongly downturned. I wonder whether the genetic mutation causing the crossed eyes has also impacted his facial skeleton? I don't know. I am speculating.

Six of the kittens self-rectified their strabismus as their extraocular muscles strengthened. This didn't happen for Red. And so, he's now got to live with crossed eyes. It looks a little disconcerting but my research indicates that cats adjust to it and their binocular vision is apparently unaltered. The experts believe that they can see normally. But can we be 100% sure? The cause is a defect in the wiring from the eyes to the brain.

Some years ago, I did a diagram regarding Siamese cats with strabismus because Siamese cats are known to have crossed eyes. It is caused by an inherited genetic mutation. Although strabismus in cats has other causes.

Image: MikeB

RELATED: Why Siamese cats are cross-eyed. The same reason applies to Maine Coons 😊.

There is no connection historically between Maine Coons and strabismus. What I mean is that there is no known link between this popular cat breed and this not uncommon condition. Although Maine Coons do inherent certain diseases or they have a predisposition to certain diseases such as hip dysplasia, patellar luxation and HCM.

The issue, for me, with this story is that Rebecca Hardy's foundation Maine Coon carries the mutated gene which causes convergent strabismus. Although it is described as cute, I think that she should remove this female breeding cat from her breeding line because it must affect the adoption rate of her kittens.

It is not really sensible, as far as I am concerned, to breed from a female which has a congenital problem even if six of the seven kittens self-rectify the problem.

It should be noted, too, that the CFA breed standard for the Maine Coon tells us that if a Maine Coon has crossed eyes that individual cat will be disqualified from cat show competitions. The point here is that crossed eyes are considered to be a serious defect in the appearance of a Maine Coon.

Other so-called defects (in terms of the high standards of show cats) are such things as an undershot chin, a kinked tail or a delicate bone structure. Quite serious issues for a breeder. This reinforces my belief that Rebecca should have a long hard look at her breeding programme.

Perhaps she is an informal cat breeder and not a professional.

Comments

  1. I'm looking forward to having you all as part of our Mainecoons Kittens group and to sharing our love for these amazing felines together. Feel free to invite any other friends or family members who might be interested as well!
    https://www.facebook.com/groups/683159246907193/?ref=share

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