Are CFA and TICA registered Maine Coon breeders better than unregistered breeders?

The answer to the question in the title is that you won't know unless you have carried out due diligence checks yourself. However, the one advantage is that they shouldn't be a scam breeder. That's pretty basic but there are scammers out there.

You want to select a Maine Coon cat breeder as you have decided to adopt. How do you select a breeder? It is a big decision because it affects the quality of the cat bought. It is a decision which will impact the next 15+ years of your life.
"CFA and TICA don't protect buyers of Maine Coons from breeders listed on their websites" - MikeB
CFA and TICA don't protect buyers of Maine Coons from breeders listed on their websites
CFA and TICA don't protect buyers of Maine Coons from breeders listed on their websites. Image: MikeB

America's two biggest and best-known cat associations are the CFA and TICA. You probably know that. They are the Cat Fanciers' Association and The International Cat Association respectively.

Both have a very similar policy with respect to the Maine Coon breeder listings.

CFA

They list breeders out of a desire to provide a service but make it clear that:
"CFA makes no representations or warranties with respect to the breeding or business practices of any of the persons so identified. CFA strongly recommends that transactions with breeders be undertaken with the same caution and due diligence as one would devote to any important business matter."
In other words, they do not vouch for the quality of the 48 Maine Coon breeders listed on their website. It is up to the purchaser to apply the Latin phrase Caveat emptor, buyer beware.

TICA

They say at the beginning that the breeders listed are paying advertisers. They have many more Maine Coon breeders listed than on the CFA website to make more money.

They also issue a warning that they cannot guarantee the quality of the breeders listed:
"The breeders listed here are Paid Advertisements from TICA members who have signed the TICA Breeder Code of Ethics. TICA makes no representations or warranties with respect to the breeding or business practices of any of the persons listed."
However, they do confirm that the breeders have signed up to TICA's code of ethics. But I'd bet they do not police it.

Conclusion

By all means use the CFA and TICA lists as a convenient starting point but don't assume that they are good. You'll have to do you own checks.

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