No part of a Maine Coon cat should be exaggerated

It is interesting to read that the premier cat association, the CFA (Cat Fanciers' Association) - the cat association which really dictates (with TICA) how Maine Coons should look - makes it clear that no part of the cat should be exaggerated, and the cat should be "well-proportioned and balanced". 

In other words, any form of extreme appearance such as a particularly heavy muzzle or particularly large ears with extra-long lynx tips are not going to be seen as advantageous in terms of winning cat shows or in terms of having an ideal appearance.

As soon as I read that no part of a Maine Coon should be exaggerated, I immediately thought of the extremely large, extreme-bred Maine Coon cats that often come from Russia. These cats have very heavy muzzles. 

Lion-faced Maine Coon with exaggerated features
Lion-faced Maine Coon with exaggerated features. Image in public domain now.

In fact, their heads look like the heads of lions. I get the impression that breeders have selectively bred their cats over years to look like male lions which sounds bizarre, but the end product supports what I say.

RELATED: Maine Coon breeders should not drift into extreme breeding.

These cats, which although very impressive to internet users who like to look at Maine Coon cats, are not going to do well in competition and therefore they are not classic Maine Coon cats under the breed standard.

There is another problem which is that when you breed cats or dogs to extreme you change the anatomy to the point where it affects their health. It is a case of prioritising appearance over health, one of my pet hates.

In this instance if a Maine Coon cat is bred to be too heavy (large) the inherited diseases of hip dysplasia and patella luxation are exacerbated and therefore the large Maine Coons are more likely to have hip dysplasia in both hip joints of the hind legs. Clearly you don't want that at the expense of an appearance which appeals to you. As I recall HCM is also more prevalent in large MCs.

Would you rather live with a healthy cat that meets the Maine Coon breed standard and is therefore nearly perfect in that regard or would you rather adopt i.e., purchase a Maine Coon cat that is less healthy but has an extreme appearance? 

I think you need to ask that question if you are taken in by the admittedly very impressive appearance of these large Maine Coons.


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