One of the main values that our breeding program is focused on, is genetic variation of the Maine Coon breed. We need a wide genetic pool to keep the population of the breed healthy at long term. By mating unrelated cats within the breed the risk of hereditary diseases is smaller.
Our breeding program is therefor focused at low inbreeding, clones and foundation top 5 cats. Although we started out cattery with low inbreeding traditional lines, we want to continue our program towards outcross. With outcross it might take a bit longer to keep or improve a good typed cat, because the looks of the offspring is much less predictable with low inbreeding unrelated cats. We expect to see lots of variety in our litters. A sign for us, that they have a wide genetic pool and we are on the good path. This is a more difficult path though, since there are not many breeders who share this philosophy, and we need to work together with other breeders to help each other reaching this goal and to keep the breed healthy.
To make sure our breeding cats are of value to not only us but also the breed, we try to exclude hereditary diseases as much as we can. We follow Pawpeds guidelines and their health program. All testresults are published on our website, and all results that are related to the healthprogram are published in the international database of Pawpeds. Transparency is very important, especially about the bad results.
Within a litter we look at the standards of the breed to select the cat which has the best type.
We don't participate in fashion trends, breeding cats with very big ears, or overall size (mostly seen at Russia or Eastern Europe). To breed this extreme looks a breeder needs to mate related cats (family). This narrows the gene pool and creates higher risks of healthproblems sneaking into the breed very quickly. Besides, the body can't adjust that fast on the extreme selected traits that has been amplified in just a few generations. For example think of the commercial XXL coons that are selected for biggest size cats. Logically this will give jointproblems for those cats who hasn't been able to adjust to their new size so quickly.
For this reason we only do matings with unrelated cats within the same breed. Also our cats are normal sized cats without extreme traits. Health of the breed is of much greater value then the looks.
Besides this long term purpose we do have a personal preference in terms of character. A great pedigreed, healthy cat who is anti-social is still not a good cat. Character is very important to us. We do our best to give our kittens the best socialization as possible, to create more social, lovely and nutty mini-Macadamia's.
Color/pattern comes last, when everything else (written above) is alright. Our preference goes out to solids, smokes, torties and silver (shaded) tabby (without white).