These Maine Coons with human faces keep resurfacing on the internet. I reported on them quite a while ago and here they are again being publicised by the Daily Mail.
They are the creation of Tatyana Rastorgueva, 44, from Moscow who has been breeding Maine Coons for 15 years. They are the result of painstaking work:
“This is just a long painstaking work of the breeder. I love animals, especially cats. Maine Coons capture my heart completely.”
Yes, great but it seems to me that all your focus and efforts have been directed at appearance: getting these cats to look like old men. It is amazing but when breeders focus so intently on appearance, health can be forgotten. We have no information about the health of these cats.
We don’t have information about their lifespans. Poor selective breeding and breeding to extreme shortens lives. The extreme version of the Siamese cat (rat face) and the family of Siamese cats have a shortened lifespan. Flat-faced Persians have health issues (polycystic kidney disease and other issues) which shortens lifespans.
We need to know more about health and character as both are more important than appearance. The press never discuss these issues as they are too serious and boring. For the cat they are central to contentment and a decent life. Breeding for appearance is all about people and what they want. There is a complete disregard for what is good for the cat.
I am as interested as anyone with the appearance of these cats because I am human. They are fascinating but we have to curb this obsession with how things look and dig a bit deeper and appreciate the more important things in life.
Breeders have always focused on appearance which has undermined the credibility of the whole concept of breeding purebred cats. Their reputation has been damaged by disregarding health or putting it on the back burner.
Russians have a different interpretation of breed standards. The Russian Maine Coons are more extreme than those of America and the UK. The same goes for British Shorthairs. They are governed by a different cat association too which may help explain the difference.