How to confirm that your Maine Coon cat is purebred without pedigree papers (and more)

How to confirm that your Maine Coon is purebred without pedigree papers (and more)
How to confirm that your Maine Coon is purebred without pedigree papers (and more). Note: this is not a Maine Coon but the picture is here from the Wisdom Panel video for illustrative purposes only. It shows a saliva swab being taken which is sent to the laboratory.

Wisdom Panel provide a DNA testing service by mail. The business certainly operates in the USA and the UK and possibly other countries. You apply for a testing kit online. In the UK it currently costs £58.49 p. At the moment they are giving out free WHISKAS samples with every order. 
They say they scan for 70+ breeds and populations, 45+ health tests and 25+ trait tests. So it is a comprehensive testing of your cat's DNA which they assess through a swab of their saliva. 

You send this swab to their laboratories and they will send you the report in the post and/or perhaps online in an email as well.

It's as straightforward as that. Click on this link to go to the UK website for the service. If you live in the USA I would search for "Wisdom Panel USA". They provide the same service for dogs and also for breeders.

There is an interesting post about this on the social media website The woman said that she bought her Maine Coon cat from a Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) registered breeder. That should have been enough to guarantee you that you were buying a 100% purebred Maine Coon cat with a pedigree (the breeder should provide pedigree papers in fact).

But she says that her Wisdom Panel test found that her male Maine Coon cat was only 76% Maine Coon. She asks whether this is normal. She had the same test carried out on another Maine Coon cat of hers which came back a hundred percent purebred.

The breakdown from the DNA test of her Maine Coon cat that was not, on the face of it, 100% purebred is as follows:
  • 36% Maine Coon
  • 12% Persian
  • 9% American domestic cat
  • 3% Norwegian Forest Cat
On the face of it, she bought a non-purebred Maine Coon cat. It seems that the CFA registered breeder's breeding line was not purebred pedigree. Under the CFA guidelines (their breed standard) breeders cannot outcross to any other breed or non-purebred cat. They have to breed from Maine Coons only which means Maine Coons mating with Maine Coons.

It would seem, on the face of it, that this lady has a genuine problem and that she should contact the breeder and discuss it. Also, on the face of it, it would seem that she can get her money back and return the cat if that's a viable option for her.

It seems to me there's no point spending US$1,500 on a very classy and beautiful Maine Coon cat if that individual cat is not hundred percent purebred. You can see that the third line in the bullet list above tells us that 9% of her Maine Coon cat is moggy. The phrase "American domestic cat" means random bread cat or American moggy.

But the point of this article is that you can check to DNA testing to check whether you've bought a purebred cat or not which brings to mind another thing you might do. You might take proactive action rather than reactive action.

Proactive action

It is very difficult to deal with matters after the fact; after things have happened. You are then playing catch up. Much better to be proactive. What you might do is discuss this Wisdom Panel DNA test with the breeder from whom you are buying your cat.

You might tell them that you are going to have a Wisdom Panel test done. You might ask whether they use the service themselves and if so, can you see the results. 


And thirdly, you might say that you want the contract between yourself and the breeder (there must be a proper written contract) to include a clause which states that:

"Should a Wisdom Panel DNA test subsequent to purchase provide evidence that the Maine Coon cat in question [name] is not 100% Maine Coon purebred, the purchaser has the right to a full reimbursement of the purchase price and the right to return the cat". 

The contract must be signed by both parties and ideally with a witness if you really want to pin it down as tightly as you possibly can!

Good luck.


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