Infographic on hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats

This is a cross-post with another website which happens to be dedicated to Maine Coon cats. As far as I’m concerned, it is a crying shame that this magnificent domestic cat – probably the largest domestic cat breed – is so blighted by a genetic inheritance which in 25% of adults cripples them. It is just not right. The size of this breed is a partial reason for this inherited condition. But the bottom line is that irresponsible selective breeding (artificial selection as opposed to natural selection) which has been allowed for many years by the cat associations is the cause. The great sadness – and I don’t want to be too downbeat – is that about 30% of Maine Coon cats suffer from another genetic mutation which severely affects health and which makes it likely that they will develop hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM). I shake my head in despair really. And the major health issues affecting this cat breed don’t stop there (spinal atrophy is another)! Imagine. The breeders and cat fancy organisers should be hauled in front of a panel of regulators superior to the cat associations and grilled on why years of sloppy management has been allowed to persist.

I am not saying that inbreeding through selective breeding (artificial selection) is the only reason for the presence of this inherited disease because it is present in the general domestic cat population but to a much lesser extent. Therefore, this high prevalence at about a quarter of Maine Coon cats suffering from the disease is, I would argue, due to very poor management by the cat associations in failing to ensure that their member breeders do a lot more to ensure that their cats are healthy.

In an ideal world I would further argue that in terms of inherited diseases, the Maine Coon cat should be no worse than the general cat population. That must be the goal but it seems that the cat fancy disagree to me on that. They argue that Maine Coon cats have got to have some inherited diseases because they have to inbreed their cats to create this fantastic appearance. Appearance trumps health.

Infographic on hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats

Infographic on hip dysplasia in Maine Coon cats by MikeB at PoC. This is free to use under a Creative Commons: ATTRIBUTION-NODERIVS CC BY-ND license. You can see it larger on a desktop or laptop by clicking on it. You can download it from there by right clicking and selecting ‘save as..’

Below are a couple of links to articles on related topic. There are many more. Please search.

Useful links
Anxiety - reduce it
FULL Maine Coon guide - lots of pages
Children and cats - important
Useful tag. Click to see the articles: Cat behavior

Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

You may also like...

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *