What type of Maine Coon cat would be disqualified at a cat show?

Tabby Maine Coon at a cat show. The judge is typical of cat show judges. As well turned out as the cats. I believe that the photo is in the public domain.

I can tell you what type of Maine Coon cat would be disqualified from a cat show that took place under the auspices of The International Cat Association (TICA). The breed standard for this cat breed under this cat association's rules state that the following aspects of a Maine Coon cat's appearance would disqualify them from a cat show:

  • Non-permissible colors.
  • Blue or odd-eyes in any colored cat other than solid white or with white.
  • Fine boning.
  • Cobby body.
  • Tail fault.
  • Tail length significantly out of balance with body.
  • Significantly too small for age or gender.

"Non-permissible colours" appears to refer primarily to modified colours such as chocolate, lilac, cinnamon, fawn and caramel. These are non-dominant black-based colours which are not allowed under the breed standard. What is allowed in general is "all colours and divisions of the traditional category".

The odd-eye colour often goes with the presence of the white-spotting gene otherwise known as the piebald gene. And the piebald gene is going to be present in Maine Coon Cats which are bicolour i.e. white with blotches of colour or predominantly a dark colour with blotches of white. So, it is normal for a bicolor or all-white cat (caused by the dominant white gene) to have odd-eye colour in a percentage of the cats which is why they are allowed but not for other coat types such as solid colours. But the thing is you won't see odd-eye colour in Maine Coons other than white or bicolor!

It doesn't surprise me that "fine boning" is going to attract a disqualification because the Maine Coon cat is meant to be a 'substantial' cat under all that fur. The word 'substantial' is cat fancy terminology. They cannot be small and fine but they should be quite substantial, strong and rugged reflecting their long heritage in the chilly American state of Maine.

The reference to "cobby" is to the chunky, stocky body conformation of some domestic cat breeds. An example might be the Manx. The Maine Coon cat cannot be short and chunky. They are quite elongated as we know because this cat breed is invariably awarded the Guinness World Records longest cat breed.

The Maine Coon cat's tail is very important to the breed. It should be plumed and elegant. It can't have a fault in it which I presume would be a kink of some sort or the fur is thin and it can't be short. I presume that it must be in fine balance with the rest of the body in the classic image that we have of a Maine Coon cat. A kink in the tail might be due to the presence of Siamese genes perhaps.

And finally, a Maine Coon cat will be disqualified from a cat show competition if they are too small. That perhaps goes without saying because this is the largest domestic cat breed and in line with that accolade, they must be a large cat. That does not mean that they can't be smaller than the enormous examples that we see on the Internet. The Maine Coon cat show cats are bigger than normal but they aren't enormous. But they can't be small under the breed standard.


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