What are lynx ear tufts?

Eurasian lynx (Balkans)
Eurasian lynx (Balkans) showing lynx tipped ears. Photo copyright Dime Melovski
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What are lynx ear tufts? Answer: they are tufts of hair (a bunch of hairs growing together) emerging out of the top of the ear flaps (pinnae) of the cat. The word ‘lynx’ in the description refers to the lynx wild cat (4 species1) which has classic tufts of hair growing out of the ears. The caracal is also another cat with impressive ear tufts.

Maine Coon showing ear tufts
Maine Coon showing ear tufts. Also referred to as ‘lynx tipped ears’. Photo: public domain.

Of the domestic cats breeds, the Maine Coon has to have ear tufts per the breed standard. In other words it is written down in an agreed standard that cat breeders must create Maine Coons with tufts of hair growing out of the tips of the ear. I think the intention is to make the ears look larger, more triangular and pointed. Here is the extract:

“EARS: Shape: large, well-tufted, wide at base, tapering to appear pointed. Set: approximately one ear’s width apart at the base; not flared.” – CFA breed standard.

1. Canada lynx, Eurasian lynx, Iberian lynx and Bobcat.

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