About Maine Coons
Maine Coons are what we like to call "puppy-cats". They are large, affectionate and very social cats. Our favourite features of a Maine Coon are: their wild look/expression, their gentle (and sometimes clumsy) nature, how adaptable they are and how they love being around other MC's, but also other species & animals. We've seen MC's alongside many types of friends - doggos, rabbits, birds, human kids, and of course other MC's!
They have long hair with a naturally shaggy coat (and an undercoat). It does need regular grooming to maintain. In their full winter coats, they are very luxurious. The silver colours can shed and tangle more. Their coat acts as protection from both cold and heat, and other than removing/shaving their hair for medical purposes, they can tolerate a huge range of temperatures.
Females are usually around 4-9kg, and males can reach 6-10kg ++. Although they are the largest domestic breed - please remember that it's NOT all about size, or having the biggest male.
The temperament and health should be the first and foremost consideration for anyone - pet owner or breeder. A big cat is great, but do remember that the bigger the cat, the higher the risk of hip problems and other joint issues.
Colours range from blacks and reds, tortoiseshell (mix of black / red), variations of white (often called bi-colour), and blues and creams (which are the dilute colours of the base colours, black and red). They can be solid or tabby patterned. The tabby patterns are "classic", "mackerel" or "ticked". Some have smoke (for solid patterns) or silver (for tabby patterns), if this occurs, it's additional to their base colour. Remember that colour should also come secondary to health and type.
They are very intelligent and some like to be trained. Some of ours play fetch! Many of our kittens go on to be "adventure cats" with their humans. They visit beaches, parks, shops (like Bunnings where they are allowed), travelling and so much more! Most of them have a fascination with water. If taking them outside on a harness and lead catches your fancy, they have no problems with adapting to this, and it can be very enriching for them!
Not all of them are lap-cats (about 50% depending on their individual personalities). I can guarantee that they will be your constant shadow, a supervisor to all your business, and a conversationalist! They are extremely chatty, and they'll meow and chirp along with you if you talk to them.
Mentorship and Special Thanks:
Gitte from DK Jungle Man in Denmark: Gitte has many years experience in breed & show. One of our first Danish imports was born with her in 2019, DK Jungle Man's Adelaide Maynetree aka 'Addie' a beautiful black smoke queen. Gitte is extremely knowledgeable about MC standard and genotype. She prides herself on being an ethical breeder. She performs DNA screening, heart scans and hip scores on all her breeding cats.
Kim & Chris from Coonmagic Maine Coons (also in South Australia). Kim has gifted us with our second stud male Coonmagic Yuki in 2022. An amazing show of trust to share Yuki's lines. She's one of the most ethical breeders I have the pleasure of knowing. She performs DNA, heart scans & hip scoring, along with BAER hearing tests on all solid white cats (including Yuki). Along with her generous nature, particularly with her time and knowledge, Kim helped us get into the show world. This helps us to remain true to the MC standard.
Zena from Shiningwater and Kittycourt Maine Coons in New Zealand. Zena and I were very fortunate to share our lines early 2022. We sent over Maynetree Chivas Regal PP aka Chevvy to become her next polydactyl stud male (health tests pending), and in return, we received Kittycourt Roisin P (Gaelic for 'little rose', her father is Irish). Roisin is one of our upcoming queens for 2022/2023 (health tests pending), and we're very excited to see her development.
We have connected with many other reputable breeders around Australia. As a result, we have a huge knowledge base to draw on. We're very grateful for this, and passionate about eradicating the old-school toxic mentality of 'being in competition'. We're all in it for the same goal: to enrich and preserve our wonderful breed.
Breed Health Testing
We are on the path to getting ALL of our parent cats health tested for all known Maine Coon diseases and disorders.
We are passionate about these standards.
Every breeder must be encouraged to engage in this MINIMUM BASELINE set of health tests.
Each of our breeding cats' health test results can be viewed on their page.
You can read more about everything health related > UMCFA Breed Health Program
UMCFA have also released a comparison chart which allows for conversion / interpretation of results between several FHD programs. You can view it at the link above, and I have added it below.
We have chosen to use the Pawpeds FHD program because it has been in place for over 20 years. The results are publicly accessible on the PP's database on each cat's pedigree, and it's globally recognised. Because we have several international imports/exports, it makes for easy communication and understanding.
As the Australian program develops and becomes more established, it may be viable to use their program.
How to screen for Backyard Breeders
- Ask who they are registered with, and verify with their governing body - but ethical breeding is SO much more than a number, they also need to engage in the points below
- Ask for health testing results - if they become cagey or secretive, or they can't provide results for EVERYTHING we described above, it's okay to move on. Health testing does take time, and is a continually evolving process, so if they don't have all the results yet, at least see if they have a plan for their upcoming cats. They should be happy and proud to share results!
- Ask for real time pictures / videos / updates. Many breeders have a closed cattery (meaning no physical visitors to prevent disease spread). So an alternative to a visit is video calling in real time. If they are open for a visit though - take it.
- There are SO many scammers about lately. They are feeding off the demand for people wanting kittens "now". Trying to sell kittens that don't exist. Taking "deposits" and then disappearing. Reputable breeders doing the right thing often don't have kittens on the ground all the time when they are waiting for health tests. There is often a long wait. We know this. We advise you to follow a reputable breeder (or three) and eventually a kitten will follow. Don't transfer any money unless you're absolutely sure. Ask around, the Maine Coon world is fairly small, and we can advise whether they are legit.
You don't have to get a cat from us, but we do encourage you to seek this information from any breeder you choose to go with. The breeders we work alongside have the same view as us, and we are more than happy to recommend each other. We aren't in competition and we enjoy working together towards common goals.
Polydactyly means "many digits". Simply put, polydactyly cats have extra toes. Anything above the standard number of toes is considered poly. (Standard: front 5 toes / back 4 toes).
Poly paws are a controversial mutation in the Maine Coon / feline world. Poly is a dominant, naturally occurring breed trait. Humans did not interfere to create it (it was already there). However, they did interfere to try and breed it out. This was largely driven by the show-world as it was seen as 'undesirable'.
Research has shown it does not cause any structural or behavioural problems if bred correctly. The gene for polydactyly is dominant. Generally if one of the parents is polydactyly, then 50% or more of their kittens will also possess this trait.
We are taking steps with our local cat fancy to begin the slow process of allowing poly cats to be on the show bench. It would be very similar to the concept of a Scottish Straight vs a Scottish Fold. Poly Maine Coons (MCP) would be in the same group as standard Maine Coons (MCO), however they would have their own class.
There two other conditions that some people can mistake for polydactylism:
Radial hypoplasia (commonly known as a "twisty cat") is a different condition to polydactylism. It has an extremely low incidence of occurring as a result of heavily inbreeding homozygous polydactyl cats. In simple terms, the bones of the limbs are undeveloped, and/or develop with deformities. However, it is largely believed that poly is coded for by a different gene than RA. We have never seen any deformities with our poly cats.
Double-paw is a completely different condition to polydactylism. It is a structural mutation where the paw or limb has branched into two separate paws, or even separated further up, starting at the elbow/knee/shoulder/hip creating another limb entirely. Both of these conditions occur during embryo development. Double-paw can create a lot of structural problems depending on the formation of the limb. We have never seen any incidences of double-paw with our cats.
I absolutely love poly-pawed cats and think it is an endearing and interesting feature that goes way back into the early history of the Maine Coon! It's slowly being re-accepted. Indeed, poly's are able to be registered and shown in New Zealand, in the USA and in some European countries. Perhaps Australia will not be far behind.
Henley is registered legitimately as a polydactyly with GCCFSA. He cannot be shown (yet), but they do recognise this trait.
We would like to reiterate here that we'll never sacrifice a certain trait for an animal's health.
A bit about us...
We are Rosie & Paul. Located in South Australia, and our kittens are raised within our family home.
I have written quite a long introduction. It is important for me to say these words. Feel free to scroll down until you see a heading that is relevant for you :)
We strive to be ethical breeders. All documentation can be found on each cat's page.
Health & type are the MOST important factors in our breeding program.
We have three main goals:
1. To enrich & preserve this magnificent Maine Coon breed
2. To adopt out healthy, well socialised cats / kittens for pets remaining true to breed standard
3. To eradicate the old-school toxic mindset of breeding being 'in competition'. We are all in this for the same goals, there aren't many of us who are striving to be completely ethical, so we MUST encourage and lift each other up..
This is our hobby. Not a business in the true sense of the word. We're passionate about keeping it that way.
We run on a loss, due to several factors:
1. Importation costs
2. Rigorous Health testing & vet regime that we follow for all of my cats (DNA / echo / x-ray etc)
3. Adoption price of our kittens/cats
Head over to our Kitten Page for more info.
Our beloved companion neuter is Kuro, a rescue MC x ragdoll who came from unethical breeding. You can see him in the pics on the left there! Long-story-short, we fell in love with the breed, and he's the one that started it all.
Some general rambling from me (Rosie)
We haven't done this on a whim, however. This journey has been quite an emotional roller-coaster. We've had to earn our place (and still have a way to go). We respect those breeders who have been breeding and showing for years, decades even. I hope to learn as much as I can from those who are generous enough to share their time and knowledge.
We have several cats now who have budding show careers. I have a few people on my side helping me along. We're not in it for the ribbons, we'd just like some experience and instruction on breed standard & type. Additionally, we hope it helps to build some trust and respect from others to know that we are putting health and type first.
Kuro, our companion boy, was the first to be shown around the end of 2019, and this was for experience only. Companions are judged on temperament, grooming, coat colour. It's a bit of fun and really helped us 'ease' into the process.
Transparency and honesty is the BIGGEST thing for us. We are strong believers that we've all made mistakes, but our true character is shown with how we pick ourselves back up and learn from those mistakes. Actions are always louder than words.
Let me tell you about some of our past experiences which have shaped our mindset about remaining ethical breeders:
Several years ago, during a chaotic and toxic relationship, my ex-partner told me we couldn't keep my 2 beloved pet cats (which were there long before him). I was devastated and unwell (to the point of needing multiple hospitalisations over a long period of time). They did eventually get rehomed (which is certainly much better than surrendering them to a shelter/euthanised). But I will never get rid of that empty place in my heart from losing them.
Another memory... when I was a child, we had this gorgeous red long hair domestic cat. I named Tim-Tam (after the biscuits of course!) and he was a free-roaming cat, as many were back in the 1990's. Sometimes, we wouldn't see him for days, and then finally he disappeared altogether. I was absolutely heartbroken.
After those experiences, and a few others (including another beloved pet being baited, and yet another hit by a car), I promised myself that I would never have free-roaming cats again. This protects them from danger, but also protects wildlife too.
A few years later I fostered some other cats through a rescue organisation. Some had kittens in my care. I loved this so much. It was truly rewarding! Once they grew and found their furrrever homes, I was so happy for them.
Breeding and rescuing are two concepts that many believe cannot co-exist. Many rescue organisations do not tolerate breeders. A lot of hate and resentment is thrown around unfortunately. The see us as the 'enemy'. They hold the view that breeders are contributing to the increasing numbers in shelters, and for every cat that is bought, this leaves one behind in a shelter.
I disagree, the adopt-don't-shop movement is dangerously misplaced. It paints all breeders under the same brush, when this is not true.
Instead, we need to move toward the concept of #adoptORshopResponsibly.
Reputable breeders do not contribute to the shelter problem. Backyard breeders do. It's as simple as that.
Reputable breeders provide lifetime support and never let any of their offspring be rehomed without their help, and they never go through a shelter.
So we've gone through an extremely steep learning curve in terms of breeding. At the start of this journey, we didn't have much success locally (within Australia), so we decided to look overseas to import our first cats. This involved a lot of risk (and panic attacks!), and unfortunately, like most breeders, we've lost a lot emotionally and financially.
This heartache does not come without joy though! As a result we've also gained some truly valuable experiences and friends. We're grateful for our mistakes. We have grown, in leaps and bounds. Most importantly, we're happy.
We have handpicked our imports, and they were absolutely the best cats that were available to us at the time. In hindsight, many of our choices would have gone differently, particularly with exposure to some very unethical breeders. We learnt things on the fly, particularly about the Maine Coon breed standard. So now the plan is to move forward and to continually improve.
We will eventually work with new breeders. However over time, we've developed high standards (as a result of our own mistakes). We will expect any new breeders approaching us for mentorship or advice to respect our choices and standards, and to uphold this level alongside us.
Mental Health Awareness
Something I'd personally like to touch on... I think it is something a lot of people can relate to. I've suffered for many years with mental health issues. I'm a big advocate for talking about it and being open, because at one point I almost died when I felt like couldn't speak out or ask for help. I don't want anyone else to have to feel alone or isolated.
I have major depressive disorder, social and generalised anxiety disorder, complex-post traumatic stress disorder, and at times of high stress I also get auditory hallucinations. All of these issues were complicated by severe post-natal depression when my son was born (requiring months of hospitalisation, medications, and electroconvulsive therapy). Things got so bad that I attempted to take my own life in 2012 and I was in a coma for 40 hours in ICU on life-support. The one consistent in my life has been my animals. I grew up with both dogs and cats, I've fostered newborn kittens, and cats old and young, and in my lowest moments my animals have given me unconditional love and loyalty.
Five years ago, I would have never thought we could achieve this dream. I have a long and complicated history filled with heartache, trauma, and things I'd rather not remember. All of our animals are so important to my recovery.
My inbox is always open if you'd like to reach out. I never want anyone else to feel as dark and lonely as I did.
I'm (Rosie) an ex-industrial paramedic. Previously I used to work FIFO onshore oil and gas rigs in remote South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Recently, I made the huge decision to return to full time study at The Uni of Adelaide to begin a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Roseworthy Campus. I have a whole new set of patients now and I am so excited to start this new chapter in my life! I'm currently in year 3 / of 3, however I've recently gone part time due to some major life events. I'm due to graduate in 2023. I've been fortunate to gain a part time position at my local vet clinic while I finish my studies, with the view to continuing on afterwards. It's only 10 minutes from home, so I'm very grateful for this opportunity. I love mixed practice (large and small animals).
Paul is my partner, and whilst he doesn't appear so much publicly on this page or social media, he is just as invested! Paul is my rock. He works steadfastly in the background to make sure our home runs like clockwork. He used to work FIFO in similar circles to where I worked. However, after a major medical event, he's now working locally. He gives 150% to our crazy human & animal family.
Spencer is my son (Paul's step son). He is almost 12 years old and loves animals, reading, Pokemon, playing pool, and riding his bike. He lives with us some of the time, and the rest of the time, he lives with his dad. Spence is really valuable to our breeding program. He is the one that helps with handling and socialising the babies. He is there from day-one and making sure that they're comfortable around little humans. You'll often find Spence with his pet Stimson Python "Anna" around his shoulders, and a cat in his arms. The babies grow up around a reptile as well! Whilst Spencer is usually a typical rough & tumble boy, he has the biggest heart.
We have a dog, Ziggy. He's a German Shepherd x Australian blue cattle dog. He's been brought up around our cats (and snake) since he was 9 weeks old. Ziggy is also a bit extra-special, as he is training to become my PTSD Assistance Dog. Ziggy had a sister called Asher, she was his littermate. Unfortunately we lost her in late 2020. She's now running free up on the rainbow bridge.
The kitty that started all of this is Kuro. He is our rescue Maine Coon x Ragdoll (as a result of unethical breeding). I think he carries the best of both breeds. He is extremely affectionate and laid back. Nothing phases him, whether it's dogs, other cats, car rides, vet visits, or even walking down on the beach on his harness. In the past, I've fostered pregnant mama cats, and their babies have been born in our home. Kuro is the perfect foster daddy. He adores the babies, cleaning and playing with them... and even allowing them to "suckle" him sometimes.
We live in South Australia. Our home looks out onto a reserve with kangaroos and wild rabbits, and is only 1km from the best beach in SA.
Please feel free to contact us anytime here, or on social media using the icon on the menu.
Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.
Rosie, Paul & Spencer ♡