Are declawed Maine Coon cats disqualified from cat show competitions?

Show MC cat. Image in public domain.

Are declawed Maine Coon cats disqualified from cat show competitions? A fair question seeing as declawing is so prevalent in the United States despite the cruelty of the multiple amputations. I am faced with an imprecise answer from the two premier cat associations based in America. But Dr Morris, a British zoologist clears up the issue.

CFA and TICA - Cat Fanciers' Association and The International Cat Association

These are a couple of top cat associations. The top with the GCCF in the UK. Both as expected list the reasons why a cat might be disqualified from competition. In both examples they do not state that they disqualify declawed Maine Coon cats (MCs) or any other breed of cat.

They should as it would send a clear message that they are against the operation. Perhaps they are afraid of alienating a large segment of American society.

The CFA makes an INDIRECT reference to disqualifying declawed Maine Coons. Here it is:

DISQUALIFY: Incorrect number of toes.

This implies that show cats have toes and therefore have not been declawed. The clause (excuse the pun) exists to ban polydactyl MCs from cat shows. Not declawed cats.

TICA has breed standards for non-polydactyl MCs and polydactyl MCs which I think is neat. The only reference that they make regarding disqualification in reference to MC feet in the non-poly MC is the following:

Feet: Toes (excluding dewclaws) not touching the table.

That's it.

Draft clause - what should be in the breed standards

Both the CFA and TICA should have the following clause in their breed standard:

DISQUALIFY: declawed cats.

Dr Morris

Dr Desmond Morris confidently states in his book Catlore the following:

"Despite many a scratched hand, the official ruling is that any pedigree cat found to have its claws removed is automatically and unconditionally disqualified from competing."

He does not tell us where he obtained that information as it is not stated in the breed standard.


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