Sexist Cat Fanciers’ Association bars boy calico cat from winning at cat show

With tongue in cheek, I’m alleging that the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) is being sexist when it bars male calico cats from winning at cat shows. You may know that male calico cats are very rare. It is said that they are 1 in 3,000 and when they are fertile they are even rarer. This describes a beautiful Maine Coon whose name is Dawntreader Texas Calboy. He lives about 30 miles outside of Dallas. His owner and breeder is Mistelle Stevenson. She has 12 adult cats and three kittens in her home at the moment.

Sexist Cat Fanciers' Association bars boy calico cat from winning at cat show
Beautiful, rare Calboy (calico boy)
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They say that Calboy should have been born a girl. They didn’t realize he was a boy until his second week of vaccinations at the veterinarian.

Calboy is a “Chimera“. They are born with two sets of DNA. The veterinarian in the video says that they are created when, in the womb, there are non-identical twins and the fertilized eggs merge.

Sexist Cat Fanciers' Association bars boy calico cat from winning at cat show
Diagram by Sarah Hartwell creator of Messybeast.com

Winning Cat

This beautiful cat meets the CFA breed standard and he is undoubtedly stupendous. The judges agreed. Then the judges said; well, if he was a girl he would have made the final and he could have been awarded best in show. The CFA consider a male calico cat to be the result of a ‘genetic defect’ which is detrimental to the breed.

As Stevenson so accurately states the CFA adjusted their rules to stop “all boys dressed in girls colors” to be shown at cat shows. They can never earn a championship and it applies to all breeds of domestic cat when there is a combination of male cat and calico colors. I presume too, by the way, that it applies to tortoiseshell cats.

Calboy can still compete at CFA cat shows in the household pet class or perhaps the agility categories.

Stevenson wistfully says that she wishes the CFA would just regard him as what he is, a beautiful boy cat with a beautiful coat. It is not his fault that he was born a boy.

Comment

Personally, I would disagree completely with the CFA (I would). Nature made him what he is. He is a rare cat. He is a beautiful cat. He complies with the breed standard. He’s special and I think it is incorrect to describe him as a ‘genetic defect’.

Sexist Cat Fanciers' Association bars boy calico cat from winning at cat show
Stevenson and Calboy. Photo: video screenshot

It is interesting that we have all evolved to where we are today through genetic defects. It is the mutation of genes, making false copies, which has resulted in the gradual evolution of humankind and all animals over hundreds of millions of years. This is nature. It is natural. Therefore Calboy represents a natural event and “genetic defects” are to be admired not denigrated. He should not be classified as a second-class cat citizen in the show cat world. The CFA have got it wrong.

And my final criticism is that the CFA are being sexist. Without justification they are barring a boy from winning at a cat show and stating quite clearly that if he was a girl he could win. If we were discussing humans this would unquestionably be a sexist remark and there would be uproar!

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7 thoughts on “Sexist Cat Fanciers’ Association bars boy calico cat from winning at cat show”

  1. I have very mixed feelings about this information. Or rather two competing views.

    It seems entirely stupid that the CFA barred this cat A gorgeous Maine coon. They say that he had a “genetic defect”. The events that occurred during his inception were very very rare. I very much doubt that, assuming he is able to be a sire to other Maine coons, that this is some kind of “genetic defect” that his offspring will inherit. And, this rare event happened in his mother’s womb. If the CFA wants to go this far, why not ask about the mother cat? I mean, if the CFA wants to be this stupid, maybe there is something “unsound” about his mother’s genetics. Or his father’s genetics.

    But this is such a chance event, that I very much doubt that it is genetically inheritable. If anyone knows otherwise, please let me know

    As for what is heritable, well, polydactylism is a genetic trait that can be passed along. Of course, CFA also bans polydactyl Maine coons.

    I think of the above, because of my beloved poly Maine coon Tootsie, now in cat heaven. I have posted photos of her on flickr, showing her picking up straws using her poly thumbs.

    And, now comes the part about my mixed feelings. This has more to do with cat breeders than genetic “defects”.

    I found Tootsie via petfinder. I adopted her when she was six years old. I had sworn that I could never get another cat, because of the heartbreak in losing them. But, I got fascinated by Maine coons. Never had a “purebred” cat before. Only moggies.

    I checked out some Maine coon breeders in the area. But, also kept looking on petfinder for Maine coons. It’s pretty rare that a purebred Maine coon appears on petfinder. I hadn’t been to the site in quite a while, and then, Tootsie appeared!

    The description of her was very uninviting. But, somehow, I knew that she was the cat for me. She had been up for adoption for over three months, and as it turned out, I was the first person ever to show any interest in adopting her.

    As it happened, when I want to adopt her, I asked for her papers. These revealed the breeder she had come from, and by later detective work, I figured out the original breeder she had come from.

    A lot of emails ensued, at my initiation. This comment is getting way too long. So, I’ll stop now. But, further events lead to me going to my first and only cat show. I went there to try to meet the person who had gotten Tootsie from another breeder.

    Despite the fact that I have to thank kismet for finding Tootsie, I have a very dim view of cat breeders, and cat shows.

    Reply
    • Thanks Valley Girl. Yes…agreed…! You make some nice points and all are common sense and well argued. The CFA are not very bright. I think purebred cats have shorter lives in general than random bred. It shouldn’t be like that. And some very popular breeds – Siamese and Persian – have terrible health records due to inherited diseases.

      Reply
  2. Doesn’t it come down to whether there’s a health-related issue? You can’t really breed for this. It’s not like the cat is being judged on it’s gender either, and there’s no unfair advantage, so I don’t get it. I also think this cat is splendidly handsome, just as the lady cats are beautiful.

    Reply
    • I agree as usual, Albert. There is no health issue. I don’t see the logic in the decision. And to call it a genetic defect seems wrong to me as well.

      Reply
      • I wonder if the only reason they called it a defect was because they didn’t feel the term “mutation” was appropriate – though, in my view, it’s a far more appropriate term than “defect” for such a gorgeous, healthy animal. Chimerism isn’t a defect per se – just a very rare chromosomal aberration. (And if they’re going to start disqualifying cats based on genetic defects, I would argue that extremely short faces, folded ears and complete taillessness – which often cause associated health issues – should be far above chimerism on the list of disqualifying defects.)

        And it was definitely a sexist decision. If this cat had been human and the judge had made that comment, the comment could have been grounds for a lawsuit.

        Reply
        • Sue them I say 🙂

          I totally agree with your comment. The word ‘defect’ is wrong and as you say the genetic and physical defects of the Shynx or the Manx (for example) are genuinely a problem whereas there are no health issues whatsoever with this cat.

          Reply

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