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Analysis Information

Most people know that inbreeding could damage the health of animals of any species. And genetic diversity is important to keep any species or breed healthy. Pedigree research is an important tool to monitor this. This page informs you about some aspects of the genetic diversity of the Maine Coon breed, and it also gives an opportunity to analyse the pedigree of any cat in the database yourself.

To get more information about genetic diversity in Maine Coons, we recommend you to explore the Maine Coon Heritage Site.

Foundation Analysis

The Maine Coon breed is founded on more than hundred foundation cats. However if you look at the pedigrees of the Maine Coons we see in the show halls today, most of them are for a large part founded on the same very few foundation cats. We call the five foundations cats, which are most prevalent in today's Maine Coon pedigrees, top 5 cats. And the three most common foundation cats we call top 3. Finally at the very top we have two cats that have contributed the very most to the genpool of the Maine Coons, and those we call the top 2 cats.

It is estimated by the breeders who created this site, that the genetic make-up of the average pedigree of today, when traced back to foundation, contains approximately:

70% of the top 5 cats
55% of the top 3 cats
40% of the top 2 cats
35% clones

The top 5 of the Maine Coon foundation cats are:

  • Andy Katt of Heidi Ho - about 20%
  • Bridget Katt of Heidi Ho - about 20%
  • Dauphin de France of Tati-Tan - about 15%
  • Tatiana of Tati-Tan - about 8%
  • Whittemore Smokie Joe (or Smokie Joe of Whittemore) - about 7%

Please note that these figures are estimates of the average pedigree. These percentages will vary somewhat in different countries around the world. Most importantly, it is a "starting point", as a basis for comparing pedigrees.

Clone Analysis

In 1978 Heidi Ho Sonkey Bill was born, a grandson and double great-grandson of Andy and Bridget Katt of Heidi Ho. When bred to Tanstaafl Polly Adeline the amazing thing was that their offspring all looked alike, almost like clones... So when the Maine Coon breeders nowadays speak of "clones" they are talking about the sons and daughters of Sonkey and Polly. The significance of the clones is, that they were used over and over, because they threw nice show quality cats and really added size. So many breeders decided that if a little was good, a lot was better. So although the clones themselves did not have THAT high inbreeding coefficient (9.4%), there was done a lot of linebreeding with them and their offspring. Nowadays many Maine Coons have pedigrees with about 35% clones, sometimes even up to 50% clones or more!

The clones include:

  • Heidi Ho Annabel Lee of Tycoon
  • Heidi Ho Aurora of MtKittery
  • Heidi Ho Barnaby Katt
  • Heidi Ho Camille of Calicoon
  • Heidi Ho Canth of Tanstaafl
  • Heidi Ho Coon Victoria
  • Heidi Ho Just Plain Bill Katt
  • Heidi Ho Justin Morgan Katt
  • Heidi Ho Lady Arwen of Mary B
  • Heidi Ho Lovey Mero of Meunerie
  • Heidi Ho Molly Brown of Tanstaafl
  • Heidi Ho Percival of Meunerie
  • Heidi Ho Portius of Olde Farm
  • Heidi Ho Rachel Adeline
  • Heidi Ho Richard III of Charmalot
  • Heidi Ho Sasquatch of Ktaadn
  • Heidi Ho Wilyum of Ktaadn