The Netherlands: Maine Coon more popular, Exotic Shorthair less popular

Although the information that I am reading, which is a study from 1999, is outdated I am sure that the trend reported 20 years ago is still in place today and therefore feel justified in referring to this study.

Dutch bred Maine Coon from the Numa Coon Cattery Amsterdam
Dutch bred Maine Coon from the Numa Coon Cattery Amsterdam. Photo: the cattery.

The scientists conducted a survey of the Dutch cat fancy. They assessed the number of registrations by the cat clubs participating in the foundation 'Overleg Platform van de Nederlandse Cat Fancy'.

The Dutch cat fancy accepts 34 different cat breeds which is actually less than the CFA and substantially less than TICA. They found that the number of "Longhair and Exotic Shorthair litters decreased by 9%'. Litters of Maine Coons, Birmans, British Shorthairs and Norwegian Forest Cats increased. The Abyssinian, Siamese and Oriental shorthair cats remained static in terms of popularity.

I am deducing that if more litters are registered, more cats are being created in order to feed the market (and increased demand), which indicates that an increase in registrations reflects an increase in popularity.

RELATED: Infographic: Ragdoll is the world’s most popular cat breed.

They also deduced that Maine Coons had litter sizes of 4.3 kittens compared to 2.7 kittens for the Exotic Shorthair.

They decided that pedigree cats represented about 10% of the total cat population in The Netherlands at around 240,000 cats.

Maine Coons are becoming more popular worldwide thanks to good publicity online on social media websites such as Instagram. And from people like myself who promote the breed. The Exotic Shorthair and Persian are less popular than in their heyday around 30 years ago because the public recognise that these breeds have an unacceptable number of inherited health problems due to extreme breeding.

RELATED: Cat breed popularity – top 3 at 2022: Bengal, Maine Coon and Persian.

Some Maine Coons are also bred to extreme and breeders much curb their desire to do this as it damages the breed. They also have some inherited health issues but by-and-large these are less serious than those of the flat-faced cats.

The study referred to is: Characteristics of pedigree cat breeding in the Netherlands: breeds, population increase and litter size.

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