In maintaining the Maine Coon standard, the palm belongs to the Americans. They strictly monitor the purity of the breed and do not make mistakes that can lead to a significant change in the phenotype of the most famous national cat.
Therefore, the expert assessment of local specialists always outweighs the opinion of any other organizations. A mix is allowed only with three native breeds: Siberians, Norwegian Forest Cat and Turkish Angora.
American Maine Coon
The standard for the American type Maine Coon was established over 50 years ago:
- large rectangular body with a wide chest;
- rounded muscular paws of medium length and small size;
- the tail is long, wide at the base, tapering towards the end;
- thick hair on the paws between the fingers;
- wide-set slanting eyes;
- eye color is in harmony with the color;
- a massive square head with a powerful skull and high cheekbones;
- chin, nose and upper jaw are on the same line;
- the ears are large, wide at the base and tapering towards the tips, and the distance between them should be equal to the width of one ear at the base;
- tassels on the ears and internal overgrowth of the shell are desirable;
- the coat is thick, dense, waterproof, close to the body;
- the cat’s head and shoulders are covered with shorter hair;
- a mane is desirable, but not required;
- long hair on the lower and back of the body.
Against the background of other associations, these are the most strict and conservative rules aimed at preserving the phenotype of the Maine Coon breed in its established form. They were confirmed by all felinological associations of the USA.
European Maine Coons
- long body;
- long, narrow paws;
- elongated muzzle;
- a long tail;
- low forehead;
- narrow slanting eyes, widely spaced;
- straight long ears;
- “lynx” tassels on the ears;
- powerful chin.
The standards for the European type Maine Coon differ from the requirements for the American breed:
- The type of cat is put above the color, despite the fact that overseas experts do not agree with this opinion.
- At exhibitions, judges do not pay attention to some shortcomings in European Maine Coon kittens (taking into account late maturation), because they believe that they will disappear with time.
Some coat defects in an adult cat are often attributed to seasonal factors, which is unacceptable under strict American rules.
- Obviously, such connivance could cause irreparable damage to the Maine Coon breed, but the active breeding of these cats in America saves the situation. The fashion for big cats also dictates its own rules – without a gigantic size, the demand for Maine Coons will immediately disappear.