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Maine Coon Mix??

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I saw this ad on the animal shelter website in Richmond, VA. Hopefully the link works.

http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/...?petid=7608667

It says the cat has six toes and in the picture it looks like the beautiful black smoke colors I have seen on some of the Maine coon sites. Unfortunately, I can't adopt a cat until July when I move, or I would go get this gorgeous little guy Today!
post #2 of 15
I've found that Petfinder usually labels cats that remotely look like a "purebred" as that purebred mix IMO its a domestic longhair that happens to be polydactal; I doubt it has maine coon in him from the picture - its looks like a longhair mixed - but pretty black smoke color

Try typing in ocicat or bengal one time - almost all the "spotted" cats are claimed to be ocicat/bengal mixes And most are no where near either breed.
post #3 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
I've found that Petfinder usually labels cats that remotely look like a "purebred" as that purebred mix IMO its a domestic longhair that happens to be polydactal; I doubt it has maine coon in him from the picture - its looks like a longhair mixed - but pretty black smoke color

Try typing in ocicat or bengal one time - almost all the "spotted" cats are claimed to be ocicat/bengal mixes And most are no where near either breed.
I, personally, think this is a good idea. A lot of people who are wanting a particular breed of cat want that kind of cat because of what it looks like. So to list a very large, long haired cat as a Maine Coon mix IMO isn't a bad thing. When we were looking to adopt our Maine Coon, we were looking at them because of their "looks" as well as their personality. We tried petfinder first and I was disapointed at the lack of coons (or cats who looked like coons) out there. But when I typed in "domestic long hair" it was a whole 'nother story. If you think from the shelters perspective you can understand why you'd want to make the cat more adoptable by listing him as a breed mix rather than a moggie. But, of course, from the breeders perspective I can understand why it would bother you, too. Most shelters are really honest and will tell you when you call "we have no idea what breed the cat is, this is just what he looked like." But all in all I, personally, think it's good to try to guess the breed if at all possible. It's just something shelters can do to help categorize the cat for people who are looking for certain characteristics.
post #4 of 15
One of the breeders on this site made a very good point about this a while back and it was this:

Many shelters (not all) will openly express their disdain, and sometimes all out disgust, at breeders and what they do. They feel, it is a slap in the face to what they do. Many feel that breeding 'kills cats that would otherwise be adopted'. Not only is that line of thinking rediculous, but it is terribly ironic, if not completely hypocritical, for that shelter to then go and bank on the efforts and work of a breeder by naming cats as a particular breed in order to help them get a home.

For the record, I'm not a breeder, and I actually think its a good thing to label the cats as a mix of a recognized breed if it will help them get a home. I've seen so many gray spotted mackeral tabbys listed as bengals on various sites that look absolutely NOTHING like an actual bengal... not even the 'low quality' ones!

A lot of people ask, is this cat part __fill in recognized breed here__ because they look a little like it and they have a lot of the characteristics of it? So maybe they are... maybe they aren't. It really doesn't matter. Its not like they are going to show them or breed them (at least not as anything other than a HHP and no shelter should let any cat go home unaltered). If it makes someone more happy or content or gives them a better understanding of their beloved feline companion, I'm all for it.

But breeders work very hard at what they do. If it weren't for their continued efforts, the vast majority of the cats out there would be grey mackeral tabby domestic shorthairs. And while I find GTDSHs to be beautiful cats as well, they would come close to completely wiping out all the meezers and meezer look-a-likes, all the maine coons, all the rexes, etc. They'd all have very similar temperaments too, so good luck finding a lap cat that flops in your arms or an active rambunctious cat that likes water because breeders work diligently on temperament as well.

Anyway, to end my rant, I support shelters calling cats mixed whatever, but I don't support the ones who then turn their noses up at breeders after riding their coattails to get their cats a home...

OK, rant over... I'm gonna have to go slink into a corner for a while now!
post #5 of 15
This is what many cats would look like:



This is Lady. I rescued her this past summer and I think she's GORGEOUS!!! There is nothing plain about her, and she's a very sweet kitty. If my cousin had not decided to take her, she'd probably be at home with me. Just wanted to put that out there, that I DO think grey mackeral tabbies (with a little tortie thrown in for flavor ) are beautiful cats too... in case anyone got the wrong impression from my ranting above!
post #6 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for all your replies. It gives me a lot to think about and I can see both sides of the argument. This particular kitten was listed as "domestic long hair mix" and I am the one who put the question of maine coon into it, because of the long hair, color and six toes.

I have noticed lately that many of the shelters have offered reduced prices, a free month of vet care, etc. to try to get more adoptions so I think if they want to say a cat "looks like he could be part ____" that would be ok, as long as they don't claim that he really is, because there's no way to know really.

As for the breeders, I have a lot of respect for them too and I don't think breeding cats takes away from the shelter adoptions. I want a maine coon more than anything but when the time comes for my new apartment, I doubt I will be able to afford one so it will be a shelter kitty for me. I think a lot of people are like me and simply couldn't afford the purebred kitties so there will always be people adopting from the shelters. I don't see a reason that they can't all coexist. There is a need for both.
post #7 of 15
I'm not against shelters, calling some cats a breed mix, if it looks like it; the picture doesn't give me the impression of a maine coon (I've seen MC kittens).

I do agree that if the shelter wants to call it a siamese mix, a maine coon mix, or Russian blue mix - it should at least be close to looking like one

For fun, I typed in "russian blue" in Petfinders - NONE of the cats remotely looked like a russian blue - more like the british blues At least if the cat was blue and had GREEN eyes, you might have a RB in it, but not bright gold eye color.

Even if the cat was built like an oriental type, you could call it Oriental mix.
post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by GoldenKitty45 View Post
For fun, I typed in "russian blue" in Petfinders - NONE of the cats remotely looked like a russian blue - more like the british blues At least if the cat was blue and had GREEN eyes, you might have a RB in it, but not bright gold eye color.
Right, shouldn't it be a Chartreux-mix?
post #9 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
Many shelters (not all) will openly express their disdain, and sometimes all out disgust, at breeders and what they do. They feel, it is a slap in the face to what they do.
I think that 99% of the disdain toward breeders (reputable or otherwise) by shelters is due to lack of education. There is a lot of disdain toward BYB by shelters and rescues for very good reason and some people who work in shelters may not understand the difference between the two and group "breeders" all into one big category and assume that all breeders are BYBs. I know that I, personally, had no idea about the difference until someone explained it to me. If people are educated, I can't imagine that anyone would have anything but respect for those reputable breeders who work VERY HARD to improve the lines of their cats (or dogs.) I feel that the anger toward breeders in the shelter environment is, in most cases, a simple lack of education and I think we would do well to tolerate their anger as it's coming from a good, if uneducated, motive and if we could help those people to understand the difference it would go a long way toward amicable relations between breeders and shelters in general.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
Many feel that breeding 'kills cats that would otherwise be adopted'. Not only is that line of thinking rediculous, but it is terribly ironic, if not completely hypocritical, for that shelter to then go and bank on the efforts and work of a breeder by naming cats as a particular breed in order to help them get a home.
Again, I feel this is a lack of understanding. Breeding, in the BYB sense, CAN cause more cats to be euthanized. Rather than searching for their cats from a humane society or shelter, people go out and buy purebred kittens from BYBs at relatively cheap prices without having to be "approved" by an agency or sign a contract. When the cat becomes too much for them to handle, or is doing something they don't like, OR when they neglect to spay/neuter the cat because they were under no obligation to do so, the cat and possible kittens end up in a shelter and repeat the vicious cycle. But reputable breeders ALWAYS (as far as I know) require a spay/neuter contract on their cats or have them altered themselves. And they require that the cat be brought back to them if the owner can no longer keep him/her. There is a huge difference between BYBing and what reputable breeders do. I think that shelters are justified in being very very upset about BYBing. And if a reputable breeder suffers from the backlash of their misunderstanding, the best thing to do, IMO, is try to educate those people on the differences between what they consider "breeding" and what a reputable breeder does.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
A lot of people ask, is this cat part __fill in recognized breed here__ because they look a little like it and they have a lot of the characteristics of it? So maybe they are... maybe they aren't. It really doesn't matter.
I agree that it really doesn't matter in the long run, but a lot of people do like to be able to define their pets and for some it's just a desire to belong to something more than just having a stray cat who ended up in a shelter. Have you ever gone to someone’s house and said "wow, what a beautiful whachamaggiggy!" And they proudly say "that is a 20th century whachamaggiggy from whereamazo." Well, who really cares? It's a beautiful whachamagiggy wherever it came from. But people naturally like to define the things they're proud of, and people who love their cats are infinitely proud of them!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
Anyway, to end my rant, I support shelters calling cats mixed whatever, but I don't support the ones who then turn their noses up at breeders after riding their coattails to get their cats a home.
I'm not sure they're really "riding the coattails" so much as attempting to define what breed of cat it is who wound up in the shelter, or take a guess as to what breed it might be. For instance, if someone drops off a Sphynx cat at a shelter, should the shelter label it as a bald domestic short hair because they have a disdain for breeders? Of course not! The shelters call the cats what they think they are, and many are simply uneducated about the difference between a spotted tabby and a Bengal. I know I would be hard-pressed to tell the difference between some breeds, not knowing enough about them. If a shelter can list a cat as belonging to a particular breed because it has many of the same characteristics as cats of that breed, it can really help to ensure that people looking for those characteristics will find that particular cat more quickly. Likewise, if I'm looking for a spotted shorthaired cat with Bengal attributes, it's infinitely easier to have shelters label those types of cats as "Bengal’s" than it is to wade through the thousands of domestic short hairs out there. I'm not saying it's right to label a cat something you know it isn't in hopes of it being adopted, but if you think a cat of an unknown history looks a lot like a particular breed then I think it is very helpful to label it as such.

Anyway, all that to say: I feel that most of the misunderstandings between shelters and breeders is due to a simple lack of education and is easily remedied if we'll take the time to understand where shelter workers may be coming from, and educate people on the practices and policies of those who are dedicated to improving the quality of the cats in the world today.
post #10 of 15
For the average pet buyer, I can understand that lack of education. I don't realistically expect every person to understand the difference between a back yard breeder and a REAL breeder.

IMO, shelters have no reason to not understand the difference. They should have at least a basic understanding of each breed of cat, just for their own sake. If they do happen to get a hairless domestic short hair in their shelter (and that is a naturally occuring phenomenon, so they may not necessarily be pedigreed), they should know what specific needs that cat may have. Same goes for the breed specific needs of any cat. I know that is a lot to ask, but its something that shelters should work towards for the betterment of ALL cats.

I really wish it were just a simple matter of a lack of education, but I just don't think that is the case. I think most people who work with cats at a shelter know the difference between a BYB and a REAL breeder, and its not that difficult to distinguish between the two either.

Again, I'm not a breeder. I have a TON of respect for what both breeders and shelter/rescuers are doing. I completely understand the frustration that BOTH sides have with back yard breeders.

Anyway, like I said, I think its a good thing that shelters attempt to label cats as a particular breed. If they are educated on turkish angoras, for example, they could tell a prospective owner - who wants a longhair, but not the grooming that comes with it - that a particular cat has a coat similar to a turkish angora. That is perfectly reasonable to me... BUT, without the people who breed pedigreed turkish angoras, shelters wouldn't have that breed to reference.
post #11 of 15
I typed in "Burmese" on petfinder out of curiousity the other day, and you wouldn't believe the kinds of cats that came back as Burmese. There were maybe a couple that were obviously Burmese... but they labeled black cats and even some pointed cats as Burmese... Burmese don't even come in black or pointed! Craziness. I'm sure they mean well, but they also show their ignorance in labeling so many cats as part this and that... but like tiffany said, if it helps them find a home, whatever. I think some of them do it on purpose, but I suspect that some just don't know any better. Very few people take the time to research cat breeds.

In the end, it doesn't really bother me at all. The shelter people sometimes get on my nerves with their all-or-nothing views, but they do great work and I have no choice but to support them.

I love that kitten you found, Paula. Very unusual! I am wondering if the smokey element to the coat is a "fever coat" or perhaps just the kitten fluff.
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
Godiva -

Forgive my ignorance but what is a "fever coat"??? I can see I have a lot to learn about cats! Hopefully though, it will make me a better cat owner when the time comes for me to get another one.

I just love the kitty in the picture and wish I could get him, whatever he is! My goal though is to someday be owned by a Maine coon as I think they are the most beautiful I've ever seen!

Ok here is a picture of the kitten's mother http://search.petfinder.com/petnote/...?petid=7583562

He has one sister, all black short haired, and one brother, short haired grey or brown tabby. The tabby is the only other one with six toes. The mother does not. The mother looks to be solid grey with green eyes, so who knows what this kitty will eventually look like!
post #13 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by PaulaS View Post
...so who knows what this kitty will eventually look like!
How bout GORGEOUS!?!
post #14 of 15
With the mother being blue (and the green eye color hints of a possible Russian blue background), and the other kittens being black - most likely the little "smoke" kitten will be black - not smoke as its probably fever coat (something many black persians kittens go thru). When stressed or ill the black gets a greyish look that will be gone when the new coat comes in.
post #15 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
IMO, shelters have no reason to not understand the difference. They should have at least a basic understanding of each breed of cat, just for their own sake. If they do happen to get a hairless domestic short hair in their shelter (and that is a naturally occuring phenomenon, so they may not necessarily be pedigreed), they should know what specific needs that cat may have. Same goes for the breed specific needs of any cat. I know that is a lot to ask, but its something that shelters should work towards for the betterment of ALL cats.
I totally agree with you that people who work in shelters should know the difference, I just haven’t always found that to be the case… there are so many things wrong in the shelter system. Where we live, shelters are under no obligation to either find the animals a home, or publicize the animals. They are required to have a phone number listed with the phone company and that’s it. A stray is kept alive for three days and if it’s not claimed, it’s put to sleep. An owner surrender is put to sleep as soon as the owner leaves the building, no matter how adoptable the cat or dog might be. Obviously, this isn’t the case with every shelter but it’s the case with way too many of them out here. Some of the shelters have volunteers who come out and take pictures to post them on the internet, but in many cases the shelter workers themselves could care less. I knew of one woman, in particular, who ran a shelter and had to actually go behind her boss’ back and have another organization list the animals on petfinder because she was NOT ALLOWED to publicize the cats and dogs!!! Forget about further education, these people aren’t even allowed to attempt to find the animals a home! It’s horrible.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tiffanyjbt View Post
I really wish it were just a simple matter of a lack of education, but I just don't think that is the case. I think most people who work with cats at a shelter know the difference between a BYB and a REAL breeder, and its not that difficult to distinguish between the two either.
Maybe you’re right… Maybe those who work in some of the better shelters and care about the animals really DO know the difference between BYBs and real breeders. I just can’t imagine anyone - even shelter workers - having a problem with good breeding programs. Maybe I’m trying to make excuses for them.

[quote=tiffanyjbt;1510251] Anyway, like I said, I think its a good thing that shelters attempt to label cats as a particular breed. If they are educated on turkish angoras, for example, they could tell a prospective owner - who wants a longhair, but not the grooming that comes with it - that a particular cat has a coat similar to a turkish angora.[quote]

I totally agree. So many more animals would be adopted if shelters knew more about the animals they were trying to place!!!
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