(Revised 5/2006)


This Code of Ethics provides guidelines for all Breeder Members and Provisional Breeder Members of the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association (MCBFA).


I.             PROTECTION OF THE BREED     The continued existence of a healthy breed depends upon Breeders adhering to high ethical considerations.  Maine Coons must be bred only to registered Maine Coons.  Maine Coons must not be used as an outcross for any other breed.


II.            AIMS     Breeders must emphasize good health and stable temperament, as well as appearance.  Consistent with this policy is the obligation to breed discriminately and only with a reasonable certainty of finding satisfactory homes for all kittens.  Quality is more important than quantity.


III.           RECORDS     Breeders must keep accurate records of all pedigrees and matings.  These records must be made available, for legitimate reasons, to other breeders.  Breeders must register their cats with at least one recognized cat association.


IV.           BREEDING          Breeders should plan and implement a breeding program with the preservation and protection of the breed kept foremost in mind.  Stud service should be offered only to breeders with an established cattery registered in at least one recognized cat association.

                Breeding stock should be free from disease or hereditary deformity and shall exhibit no radical departure from the Maine Coon standard.  A Breeder who suspects or incurs a currently known genetic defect in breeding stock or placed kittens shall consult a veterinarian concerning current acceptable tests.  MCBFA recommends that all breeding stock be tested for known genetic diseases (such as HCM, SMA, HD, PKD) where testing is available.  To the extent feasible, all purchasers of breeding kittens from this breeding stock, and the owner/breeder of the sire and/or dam, should be notified of test results.  Informing pet buyers must be evaluated individually based on information given at the time of sale.  Breeders should work toward removing from their breeding program cats who test positive, with the goal of breeding cats that test negative for known genetic defects, following the recommendations of geneticists and other experts in the field.

                A female should not be bred until she is at least one year old unless she has been in heat twice.  A female should not be bred intentionally more than twice in twelve months.  If a dam has severe birthing difficulties, she should be spayed after consultation with a veterinarian.

                MCBFA strongly recommends that a written agreement should be drawn up concerning shipping and/or boarding charges for a female sent to a male, registration of the litter, payment methods for stud service, and options to cover a female's failure to conceive or her resorption of kittens.  A copy of any agreement should be signed by both parties before the date of breeding.

                Breeders have an obligation to take precautions against accidental breedings.  Kittens of a litter whose sire is unknown or offspring of accidental matings to another breed should be altered and responsibly placed.

                Proper facilities and care shall be provided for the safe and healthy delivery of kittens, with the Breeder or other responsible person available to assist the queen if necessary, without interfering with normal parturition.  A veterinarian should be consulted at the first sign of life-threatening difficulty.

                A kitten born with a deformity that a veterinarian deems incompatible with a healthy or  comfortable life should be euthanized.  If a genetic defect is suspected, a veterinarian/geneticist should be consulted.  Positive results must be reported to purchasers from the same breeding stock.


V             HEALTH       Breeders should maintain a high standard of health and care, including adequate room for exercise, regular handling and grooming, clean and comfortable quarters, adequate ventilation and natural light, a climate-controlled temperature, a balanced diet and clean water, regular vaccinations according to current veterinary protocol, veterinary consultations for health issues, and love and affection.


VI            SALES       Sales shall be conducted in a manner designed to promote maintnance of the cat's health and to provide reasonable protection for the buyer.

                Breeders should conduct themselves in a professional manner.  They should not buy from or sell to or recommend breeders who do not conform to this Code of Ethics.  They must not deal with wholesalers or retailers, provide a Maine Coon for raffle purposes, or buy/sell in litter lots.

                No kitten shall leave the cattery before it is twelve weeks old, though a sales agreement may be finalized prior to that date, and no kitten shall be shipped before it is twelve weeks old (domestic) or sixteen weeks old (overseas).

                Before selling any kitten, Breeders must honestly evaluate the quality and potential of the kitten and inform the buyer of the differences between pet, breeder, and show quality.

                Breeders shall encourage buyers to join MCBFA and must be available to buyers for advice on the proper care of the kitten or cat.

                MCBFA strongly recommends that all sales transactions be in writing, with buyer and seller each retaining a signed copy of the agreement.  A written sales contract should contain:

                                a) complete description of the kitten/cat sold, including color, quality, sex;

                                b) complete Health Record Sheet including all immunizations received as well as methods used for control of internal and external parasites;

                                c) written instructions for the care, feeding, and accommodations of the kitten/cat;

                                d) clear and specific enumeration of the buyer's responsibility to the Breeder, including the procedure and time period for notification concerning defects and other limitations of guarantee;

                                e) specific timing for provision of registration papers and pedigree:  at time of sale (show and breeder quality), or within thirty days after receipt of proof of alteration (pet quality);

                                f) for breeder and show quality kittens, a five-generation pedigree complete with registration numbers and colors;

                                g) the course of action to be taken should the kitten/cat prove to be sterile (breeder and show quality), in poor health or suspected of a genetic defect, or incompatible with the buyer's family.


VII           ADVERTISING      Advertising, written or oral, shall be factual and not misleading, and shall be in conformity with federal, state, or local consumer protection laws.


VIII.        SPONSORSHIP      Breeder Members must maintain close contact with any Provisional Breeder Members they are sponsoring.  Sponsors must provide guidance during the probationary period.


IX            SPORTSMANSHIP      Members of the Breeder Division are expected to behave in a manner that reflects credit upon themselves, the Maine Coon, and MCBFA.  Whether as exhibitors or spectators, they shall agree to abide by the rules that govern each show.  Success in the show hall is secondary to the health and well being of the cat and to cordial relationships with others among the cat fancy and MCBFA.


X.            AGREEMENTS     MCBFA strongly recommends that receipts be issued for all financial transactions, whether by check, cash, or credit card, or any combination thereof.  MCBFA strongly recommends written documentation of all agreements and contracts (stud service, sales of kittens/cats, agency agreements, leasing arrangements, and the like).             


XI            ENFORCEMENT      Upon sufficient proof of violation of the spirit or the letter of this Code of Ethics, disciplinary action shall proceed (against a breeder division member), according to Article 7 of the MCBFA By-Laws.


XII.          AMENDMENTS      The MCBFA Code of Ethics may be amended by a majority vote of the Executive Council upon recommendations from the Ethics Committee or from a Committee appointed for that purpose.




Signature(s)        ________________________________________________________________________


Cattery Name     ___________________________________    Date:    ____________________________