Although the polydactyl trait is (at present) officially considered a
"mutation" or "abnormality" for the Maine Coon breed and means
the cats can not be shown in breed competition within CFA
or TICA (they can in HHP - House Hold Pet), we do not agree with the
"connotation" that comes to mind with the use of the
words - "mutation" or "abnormality". The incidence of
the polydactyl trait in the "wild" has been reported to
approach 40% and that alone says (to us) that this is
not an "abnormality". In our opinion, we consider it a
"natural adaptation" for cats who exist in harsh
environments, such as in the NE, where deep snow, etc.,
can be a major part of their life. As with the Lynx,
"abnormally" large paws, that allow it to walk on top of
the snow, the Maine Coon may have developed the
polydactyl trait (or the trait survived) for the same reasons -
it enhanced their
survivability in harsh environments. At worst, it
obviously did not contribute to their demise.
Note: At some level, to
accept the above idea(s), you have to believe in the
concepts presented by Darwin on genetics, survival, etc.
Though just a thought... it can make for some good
Regardless of the reasons
behind how the polydactyl cat came about, why they still
exist, etc., they are, in
our opinion, a version of the Maine Coon breed that
should be cherished and carefully preserved.
Though not currently recognized within CFA (The Cat
Fancier's Association) or TICA (The International Cat
Association) they are very much a part of the Maine Coon
breed and as such, deserve recognition. Both
organizations (and others) allow the registration of
polydactyl Maine Coon's, just not the showing in breed
competitions. Hopefully that will change in time,
but between now and then, we join with the other breeders of
the polydactyl Maine Coon in carefully preserving this
wonderful characteristic within the breed.
The use of the initial "P" in the
name of a Maine Coon is a common convention that denotes
that the named cat is a "Polydactyl".