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Um, the Maine Coon existed before cat shows, and you do not require papers to be a Maine Coon. I've ... a 'domestic longhair' or 'domestic shorthair' if it isn't descended from one of their artifical and hideously inbred lines. Laura

I suppose that would depend on the way you look at it. The ''look" existed, but not the name. Like the Scottish Fold. Somebody found a litter of folded eared cats in a barn, started breeding them, and viola, the Scottish Fold. There were undoubedly folded-eared cats that existed prior, but were they "Scottish Folds"? The name didn't exist. Same with Balinese. Longhairs have turned up in Siamese litters for centuries, but they didn't really have a name, until the 60's.
Somebody correct me if this is wrong, but it's my understanding. .

Sherry
All normal and this is not a Maine Coon, it ... mix breed with long hair, available all over the planet).

Um, the Maine Coon existed before cat shows,

You think?
and you do not require papers to be a Maine Coon.

No, but one can't prove breed without them. One can make an educated guess. Unless you have something really distinctive, like say, a Sphynx. It's like calling a lab mix a Labarador Retriever. It might look like one and act like one, but it really isn't one. It's a lab-type dog. Many, many cats look like Maine Coons. But they aren't.
I've come to dislike cat breeding and all things that go with it, but I find it especially irritating the ... just a 'domestic longhair' or 'domestic shorthair' if it isn't descended from one of their artifical and hideously inbred lines.

Um, the Maine Coon IS a descendent of domestic shorthairs and exotic longhairs. It's not like it's a disparaging statement. I find people who think domestic longhairs aren't as good as purebreds to be a bit snooty, myself.

http://www.fanciers.com/breed-faqs/maine-coon-faq.html (quote)One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, the Maine Coon is generally regarded as a native of the state of Maine (in fact, the Maine Coon is the official Maine State Cat). A number of attractive legends surround its origin. A wide-spread (though biologically impossible) belief is that it originated from matings between semi-wild, domestic cats and raccoons. This myth, bolstered by the bushy tail and the most common coloring (a raccoon-like brown tabby) led to the adoption of the name 'Maine Coon.' (Originally, only brown tabbies were called 'Maine Coon Cats;' cats of other colors were referred to as 'Maine Shags.') Another popular theory is that the Maine sprang from the six pet cats which Marie Antoinette sent to Wiscasset, Maine when she was planning to escape from France during the French Revolution.

Most breeders today believe that the breed originated in matings between pre-existing shorthaired domestic cats and overseas longhairs (perhaps Angora types introduced by New England seamen, or longhairs brought to America by the Vikings).
...
from the FAQ
"I think my cat is part Maine Coon. How do I tell?"

The Maine Coon is America's native longhair cat; it evolved naturally in response to the New England climate. Your cat's ancestors might be similar to the cats that founded the Maine Coon breed. However, it's impossible to tell from just looking at your cat if it is related to the Maine Coon or to any other breed. Because the Maine Coon is a natural breed and hasn't been bred to extremes, there are cats all over the world that resemble the Maine Coon. The only way to tell for sure if your cat is a Maine Coon is to look at the pedigree. (/quote)

~kaeli~
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Um, the Maine Coon existed before cat shows,

You think?

I don't. "Maine Coon" is nothing more than a name stuck on a cat whose original look has been refined to consistently suit the definition of the breed, as it was created for the registry. I wonder what the first Maine Coons admitted to the registry looked like. I bet breeders have altered the look already. I always heard the first cats that fit the original Maine Coon description were ship's cats that jumped off in the ports of New England. They were preferred as ship's cats because of their size to kill rats, and the long tail to balance on the riggings. Nice story but probably invented by some romanticist breeder.

Sherry
You think?

I don't. "Maine Coon" is nothing more than a name stuck on a cat whose original look has been refined ... as it was created for the registry. I wonder what the first Maine Coons admitted to the registry looked like.

You mean the Maine cats that were shown at some of the first U.S. cat shows, in the late 19th century? From descriptions, it sounds as though they were long-haired brown tabbies or long-haired whites.
I bet breeders have altered the look already. I
always heard the first cats that fit the original Maine Coon description were ship's cats that jumped off in the ... kill rats, and the long tail to balance on the riggings. Nice story but probably invented by some romanticist breeder.

There are lots of legends about the origins of the Maine Coon cat. According to the CFA, the original Maine Coon was declared extinct in the 1950s, and a group of breeders worked to resurrect this type of cat as a breed. I'm sure you're right, that the look of the breed was a product of what this small group of breeders decided it should be, but there are pictures of cats labeled Maine cats dating from the turn of the last century, so it wouldn't be too hard to get an idea of what they were supposed to look like.

My favorite legend of the origin of the Maine Coon is that they were brought over by Viking explorers. Maine Coons resemble Norwegian Forest Cats, so that's the core of that story. In reality, they probably started out as big long-haired, mixed breed cats, but as with any breed of cat, once people decide to purpose-breed, after a few generations you have a group of cats that share similar characteristics.
Some people call any big long-haired cat a Maine Coon, just as others call any long-haired cat an Angora, but usually when someone uses a breed name these days I think it's more often understood that it means a purebred cat of that specific breed.
Per the CFA - the average size range for their purebred Maine Coon females is 9-12 lbs. The girls are not as big as the boys.

And yeah, whether the Maine Coon is a actually a "breed" is very questionable. The 1895 CFA show records asked exhibitors to state that both parents were long-haired cats. Period. And all of the cats with papers are descended from those lines of
"not shorthaired" cats.
And all dogs started as wolves.

Joe
http://www.jwpitt.com/cats.htm
Cat Rescue http://www.animalrescuefoundation.com
God created the cat so man could have the pleasure of petting the tiger
And yeah, whether the Maine Coon is a actually a "breed" is very questionable. The 1895 CFA show records asked ... were long-haired cats. Period. And all of the cats with papers are descended from those lines of "not shorthaired" cats.

Wouldn't that have been the case with many breeds of cats in the 19th century? Cat shows at the time only distinguished between longhaired and shorthaired cats, and color. All of the longhaired cats would have been competing together, whether they were Persian or Angora or Maine Coon. And from pictures I've seen, the body type of all these cats at the time was pretty much the same.
Per the CFA - the average size range for their purebred Maine Coon females is 9-12 lbs. The girls are ... were long-haired cats. Period. And all of the cats with papers are descended from those lines of "not shorthaired" cats.

All breeds came from somewhere. People want a cat that looks a certain way. They breed for it, then standardize it. Then, the cat can be papered as that breed.
Same for dogs.
Breeds don't have to be hundreds of years old to be valid. New ones are still being developed.

~kaeli~
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thinks you'd make a nice sandwich.
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