Explaining the concept of foundation is not always simple, but I will make an effort here to explain it as easily as possible.

Starting with a parable of how a cat breed can start, we use a fictional race.

We have a wild cat type in the country that looks in a special way lets say everyone has zebrapattern. Now, when we will start the breed, we have to go out and find cats that look like this and also have a "type" ie an appearance that is in line with the new "breed" we imagined. We have decided to call our new breed Zebris. We will go out into the village and look for some really nice specimens, and those we decided, fit in well in our "standard" regarding type and pattern. We will register these cats as Zebris. These first cats of the breed Zebris then become founders for the breed, ie Foundation.

50 years later, we realize that we need to broaden our breeding base a little. We then have to go back to see if we can find some nice wild specimens that fit in and that we can register as "new founders" in the breed. We may even be lucky that there is a breed that is similar to our own, this breed is called Zabris. We can then breed them with our Zebris and then incorporate them as "new foundation" in our breed.

When we talk about Maine Coon, the grade 2, 3 and 5 grading is about our 2, 3, and 5 most commonly original foundation cats.

Ie The first cats who were registered as Maine Coon. The complete list of foundation cats can be found here!

The cats that count to Top5 are:
* Andy Katt of Heidi Ho
* Bridget Katt of Heidi Ho
* Dauphin de France of Tati-Tan
* Tatiana of Tati-Tan
* Whittemore Smokie Joe (or Smokie Joe of Whittemore)

In the case of Top3, it is the presence of the top three cats in Top 5 ie.

Andy Cat of Heidi Ho, Bridget Cat of Heidi Ho and Dauphin de France of Tati-Tan.

Therefore, Top2 is about the presence of the two tops in the pedigree.

Ie Andy Cat and Bridget Cat of Heidi Ho.

The novice is really the same as the new foundation.

But note that when we talk about foundation and outcross, it's not necessarily the same thing!

Here is more to read about working with foundation for those interested.


 To continue this adventure, talking about Foundation and New Foundation, I heard lately that new Foundation should be originated from North East America only, no other states. Most of the world though considers North America as a whole as an acceptable origin for a new Foundation.
I do know that FIFe for example said that the origin must be North East America to enter Novis class, but I wonder, how they can allow cats with 40+ in Top 2, which is  Andy Cat of Heidi Ho (from Maryland) and Bridget Cat of Heidi Ho (from Florida)? I mean it's ok that the majority of all MCO today got a pedigree that is 40+%, F1 origin from Maryland and Florida, but new foundation cats are allowed only from North East America?
For me and I think for most others, the most important thing when working with new Foundation is to make sure they come from rural farms, we know that cats spread in a country people take their cats with them when moving it's always been like that, cats also wander and they can wander long distances.

Well let's continue, I also heard people commenting about F-cats (Cats are considered foundation from generation 1 to 5, F1-F5), after that they might still be outcross but not considered Foundation, the comments I have heard are not only for F-cats but also outcross, that they are ugly, that they do not look like MCO and so on. The problem here is not that the cats do not look like MCO, the problem is that people today expect MCO to look like this new spin-off called Eurocoon, that's not what an MCO should look like, this is really, really important to remember!
Of course, we cannot expect an F1 to have a really good type according to standards, remember this is kind of raw material we are working with.
But if you breed correctly and do your selection really well, work slowly, and are determined each generation will be more and more to standard. 

This is a few old F1 cats and I will also show a couple of completely new F1 some of those are still very young so please take that into consideration when looking at the pictures, some are in their rouge age. I could not add everyone since that would just be too many, so I just picked a few, you can see them all here: 

Andy Katt of Heidi HoPicture linked from PawPeds  Bridget Katt of Heidi Ho Cricket of Miaka 
Andy Katt of Heidi Ho
Origin: Maryland US, 1969 
One of the Top 2 cats in Foundation Analysis
Bridget Katt of Heidi Ho
Origin: Florida US,  1969
One of the Top 2 cats in Foundation Analysis
 Cricket of Miaka
Origin: Maine US, 1999
Dauphin the France of Tati-Tan  Direct the Path of Praylyne  Flaming Fire of Praylyne 
 Dauphin de France of Tati-Tan
Origin: New York, 1967
One of the Top 5 cats in Foundation Analysis
Direct the Path of Praylyne
Origin: US, 1999 
Flaming Fire of Praylyne
Origin: US, 1998
 Fogcity Saddleback Mack Tatiana of Tati-Tan  JoyFromWatersOfMasterweaver 
 Fogcity Saddleback Mack
Origin: Maine, 2003
Tatiana of Tati-Tan
Origin: US, 1965
One of the Top 5 cats in Foundation Analysis
 Joy from Waters of Masterweaver
Origin: Ontario CA, 2018
20230119 InitiumNovum 01   20230125 nova 01  
 Initium Novum of MCFP
Origin: Michigan US, 2022

 Mea Spes Nova of MCFP
Origin: Ohio US, 2022



Author: Malin Sundqvist