Questions for the Maine Coon "Expert"!

So, you may be asking what are my qualification to be considered an “EXPERT”?  Well, take the term Expert with a “grain of salt”.  However, I have been breeding, showing, and placing great Maine Coon kittens as pets for almost 25 years.  I have seen many breeders come and go.  I have achieved the highest show award that CFA has… a National Win (NW), have raised many Grand Champions, and also some Distinguished Merit Cats.  I have been a member of CFA’s Maine Coon Breed Council for almost 20 Years. This is CFA’s governing body for Maine Coon Cats. We have also been awarded the “Cattery of Distinction – Superior” award. This is an award that is granted to less than 2% of the breeders in CFA.  More importantly to us, we have placed hundreds of high quality kittens in great pet homes in 47 different states.  Repeat buyers compromise about 50% of our kitten sales. We are very proud of that.  So, an “EXPERT”?… I dont know, but we have been at this hobby a long time and have learned a lot along the way!  Lets Go!!

Lisa C. in California asks: "What should we look for in a Breeder to get a kitten from?"

I would look for a breeder that has been doing it for quite some time. Long time Breeders are proud of it and mention it on their sites. No mention of how long usually means... Not Long! I would also look for one that has had show success. Showing demonstrates the commitment that the breeder has to their breed. It does cost a lot of money to show, but to these breeders it is not all about the money. Their reputation is more important. Not that you need a "show cat", but most people spending the kind of money Maine Coon Kittens cost, feel they deserve at least a high quality example of the breed.

Look for Cattery names on their "Kings & Queens". Most reputable breeders are PROUD of their lines, and will list the Breeders Cattery Name for each Cat on their Kings and Queens pages. For Example, our Boy "Viggo" is officially "McKittycreek Viggo of Stormytown". This means McKittycreek Cattery is the Breeder, and Stormytown is the Owner. Our Boy "Pierre" is officially "Stormytown Pierre". This means we Bred and Own him.

Most of all look for a breeder that is responsive. Quick answers to all your questions by email or by phone are not too much to ask for. If lots of questions seem to bother them, look elsewhere.

Freddie in Illinois asks: "What Is a European Maine Coon?"

There is a lot of hype now around “European Maine Coons.” First of all there no such breed as a “European Maine Coon”. There is just one breed… the “Maine Coon Cat.” The Maine Coon Cat is an AMERICAN Breed! Maine is not in Russia, Poland, or any other place in Europe… it’s right here is the United States! People that want the best Russian Blue Cats, go to Russia to get one. The people that want the best Scottish Fold Cats go to Scotland. Someone searching for a top Bombay will get one from India. You get the point.

In Europe the "Pet Market" for Maine Coons is almost non-existent. The only way most breeders over there can sell kittens is for breeding. So, almost ALL of their kittens are sold into Breeding Programs. Even from the high quality lines we breed from that only about 20% are quality enough for a Breeding Program. Yet, almost every Maine Coon born in Europe goes to a breeder somewhere. And guess where a lot of them end up? Are there exceptions? Sure there are. But in our opinion, most that come here are not of "Breeder Quality".

Now, having said that… after 20 years of breeding, we needed a few outcross kitties to mix into our lines. We were good friends with one of the top breeders in the Ukraine. When the war broke out, they needed help badly, and to make a long story short, we decided to bring a handful of their Cats here to use as our outcrosses. So, yes.. we have a few of these so called “European Maine Coons”. They bring a bit of diversity to our bloodline, but will be used very carefully in our program. We do not want the quality, personality, or health of our line in general to suffer. This is why we will never breed 2 “European” Cats together. Our girls from Europe will only be bred to our big boys, and the one Boy from Europe will only be bred to our American girls. The Maine Coon Cat has long been nicknamed the “Gentle Giant”. However, in a recent survey of Pet Groomers, it was shocking to most of us that they named the Maine Coon the most difficult to handle. What’s changed? Guess!

Claudia in Louisiana asks: "How do I know if a Breeder is on the CFA Maine Coon Breed Council?"

Not just any Breeder can get on the Council. This is CFA's governing body for Maine Coons. Changes in the Standard, ect go through the Breed Council. This list is the Names of the Breeder, NOT the Cattery. So, for example, look for "Steve Brock" not "Stormytown". Click below, and select MAINE COON from the Breed drop down Menu to see the members:

Steve in New York asks: "I have been scammed before on a kitten, how do I protect myself?"

The Scams right now are terrible! First red flag is if they have a lot of kittens for sale, and if they seem to be priced lower than most. Always pay any deposit by PayPal (not friends and family!). Pay the little fee if you have to to have some buyer protection. Never use Cash App, Venmo, Western Union, or any payment type that provides you no recourse. Try to talk to someone in person, and if it sounds like English may not be their first language... Beware. Keep your guard up, if anything seems off, avoid them. This is pertaining to the pure scams, where no kitten is ever going to be delivered.

Inferior Kitten scams are harder. Many inferior kittens are being sold, and many of them are sold for good money. This is more of a situation where I would refer to the above questions "What do I look for in a breeder", and the European Maine Coon Question above. Above all be very cautious, keep your guard up. Do not let your desire for a new kitten as soon as possible leave you vulnerable.

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