Is breeding the Maine Coon cat cruel as they have several serious inherited diseases?

The answer to the question in the title comes from Google's AI computer Bard. Here it is. It is flawed. There are errors which I mention below the answer. For those of you who I have never heard of Bard, it is Google's version of an artificial intelligence chat box. You can ask it questions and it provides a good answer, written in good English at the moment. 

Fictional depiction of Google's Bard. Image: DALLE E.

It is in a developmental stage but it can be used as you can see on this page. It is going to change the way Google presents its search results. It is an attempt by Google in fact to take more control of the Internet in my view and I have questioned whether this development is fair and right in another article which you can read by clicking on this link.

Bard's response to the title question

Whether or not breeding Maine Coon cats is cruel is a complex question with no easy answer. On the one hand, Maine Coons are a relatively healthy breed with a lifespan of 10-15 years. They are also known for their gentle and loving personalities, making them popular pets.

On the other hand, Maine Coons are susceptible to a number of inherited diseases, including hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), polycystic kidney disease (PKD), and feline dwarfism. These diseases can be debilitating and even fatal, and there is no cure.

Some people argue that breeding Maine Coons is cruel because it perpetuates the risk of these diseases. They believe that it is better to adopt a Maine Coon from a shelter or rescue organization, where you can be sure that the cat has been tested for these diseases and is not at risk of passing them on to its offspring.

Others argue that breeding Maine Coons is not cruel, as long as it is done responsibly. They believe that it is possible to breed Maine Coons without increasing the risk of inherited diseases. They point out that there are many responsible breeders who screen their cats for genetic diseases and only breed healthy animals.

Ultimately, the decision of whether or not to breed Maine Coons is a personal one. There is no right or wrong answer, and it is important to do your research and weigh the pros and cons before making a decision.

If you do decide to breed Maine Coons, it is important to work with a reputable breeder who screens their cats for genetic diseases. You should also make sure to provide your cats with a healthy diet and plenty of exercise. With proper care, Maine Coons can live long and healthy lives.

The errors as I see them - personal views. What are yours?

I have highlighted the errors as I see them in yellow. The first one concerns adopting a Maine Coon cat from animal shelter. And they say that animal shelters will test for Maine Coon cat diseases before adopting out the animal. 

This is wrong on both counts in my view. It is vanishingly rare to have the opportunity to adopt a purebred Maine Coon cat from an animal shelter anywhere in the world. That's the first problem. 

Secondly, if, by chance, there was a Maine Coon cat as a shelter to be adopted out, I do not think that the shelter would test the cats for inherited diseases. I don't think this is a tenable idea. They would just tell the adopter that this cat can have inherited diseases and it would be up to the adopter to do those checks.

The second highlighted problem suggest that Maine Coon cat breeders can breed out the inherited diseases through altering their selective breeding programs. This is true. But this is been known for decades and it is never happened. 

And the Maine Coon breed standard prevents it happening because Maine Coon breeders cannot outcross in their breeding programs which is the only way to eradicate these diseases from this cat breed. This is the second error by Google's artificial intelligence chat bot, which they call Bard.

The question in the title is valid

The question in the title is a valid one. This is because there are other cat breeds with inherited diseases which are no less or more serious than those suffered by the Maine Coon. These breeds have been criticised by many people and there are suggestions to ban some of these cat breeds such as the Scottish Fold and the flat-faced Persian. Both these breeds, as I understand it, are already banned in Germany because they constitute "torture breeding".

The diseases that the MC suffers from such as hip dysplasia and HCM are distressing and painful. The breeders are creating cats that are almost bound to experience chronic pain throughout a large part of their lives. Isn't that cruel?

The solution to the problem is this: the cat associations should allow outcrossing of the Maine Coon and accept that the appearance will be diluted and be less distinguishable from regular domestic cats. It is sacrificing appearance for the more important health. This breed is evidence that humans are very into the 'us and them' mentality: speciesism.

RELATED: Animals might feel more pain than the human-animal (Dawkins).


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