The plan was to include the polydactyl trait in the Maine Coon standard (MCBFA). Since it was already hard to get the Maine Shag, by many seen as ‘barn cat’, accepted as a pedigree cat, it was decided to add this trait later. However this never happened. The breeders working with polydactyls became a small group because they were frowned upon by other breeders. Also, showing a cat that was not accepted for champion status was too costly for most breeders. Luckily there were still breeders who treasured this trait and part of the Maine Coons original heritage by keeping them in their breeding programs.
A few groups of breeders and fanciers started to inform people about the polydactyl Maine Coon and did their own research for information in trying to dispel myths and to promote this cat. In 2005 a small group of members took the chance of showing their polydactyl Maine Coons in the New Traits class in TICA. Since then many have followed their footsteps with sometimes up to 30 polydactyl Maine Coons in the New Traits class.
In 2006 a database, PolyTrak, was created to collect info and data solely about the polydactyl Maine Coon. As more studies were done and polydactyl Maine Coons gained popularity the question rose: “why is this trait still not included in the Maine Coon breed standards of today?” The group PolyStandard started to take it a step further by sending a proposal to TICA in 2008 to include the polydactyl trait in the Maine Coon standard. With the goal to give the polydactyl Maine Coon its rightful place in the Maine Coon standard. Although the 2008 proposal wasn’t accepted, a new proposal was sent in 2009. Unfortunately it didn’t got enough votes from the MC Breed Section. Three times is a chime we thought, so a third proposal was done in 2014.
The proposal to advance the polydactyl Maine Coon from New Traits into Championship was not granted by the TICA Board. The discussion and voting of the board resulted in the passing of a motion to take no action on the advancement of polydactyl Maine Coon cats into Championship competition. The proposal was previously voted on by the Maine Coon Breed Section, winning a majority vote in favor of the polydactyl trait within the Maine Coon breed. However, even though status quo states that the board follows the wishes of the breed section majority, they chose not to!
The Board advised to compromise and go for a separate breed group and work close with the Breed Section Committee. Since there was also a proposal to exclude certain traits, including polydactyl, from the New Traits class, it was thought better to compromise. Very hasty a new proposal was done by a few poly supporters. This time for a separate breed group within the Maine Coon breed Group. The poll passed 107 supporting the change and 92 not supporting it, with a total vote of 199. For the second time the Maine Coon Polydactyl was accepted by the TICA Maine Coon Breed Section, but this time as a compromise creating the MC /MCP standard, as suggested by the BOD. The BOD motion carried a majority vote! 7 supporting and 6 not supporting the changes. As expected it was not an easy win!! But as of May 1st. 2015 the Maine Coon Polydactyl (as part of the Maine Coon Breed Group) has now been accepted for Championship in TICA.