Welcome to Aoi Neko Maine Coons
Aoi Neko is a small hobby cattery located in the beautiful Pacific Northwest in Washington State. My Maine Coon cattery is registered with both The International Cat Association (TICA) and the Cat Fancy Association (CFA) and the very newly established Loving Cats World Wide (LCWW). Kittens are typically registered through TICA, simply because I show my cats in that particular cat fancy.
The cattery is named in honor of my mother, who was from Japan and my first Maine Coon, which was a blue silver mackerel tabby. As I think back even further, my very first cat ever, though not a Maine Coon, was a domestic long haired, solid blue boy, found in a shed. So my cattery name, is also in honor of my love of blue cats.
Aoi Neko (pronounced Owie Neck Oh) is Japanese for Blue Cat.
I strive to breed cats that are healthy, happy, within the breed standard and hopefully in the dilute color of blue. I do not compromise health and breed standard simply to achieve color. Therefore you will see cats of a variety of colors.
I do the best that I can to ensure you will have a companion that is with you for well into their teens. Obviously, no on can guarantee a lifespan, but as a breeder there are some things I can do to evaluate the health of my cattery.
Prior to breeding all cats are DNA tested to ensure they are free from the genetic defects of Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA), the MYBPC3 gene associated with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) and are not homozygous for Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK-Def). In some instances, DNA testing is not necessary, if the parents are free from these genetic defects. That is where you may see DNA Clear by parentage.
Hip x-rays are taken and sent to PawPeds to evaluate potential hip dysplasia when age appropriate. Those results are loaded directly to PawPeds webpage by their administrators.
Additionally, cats in the breeding program are continually screened by echocardiogram by a board certified veterinary cardiologist to be clear of HCM, every 12- 18 months (some are taking longer due to the limited availability of my Board Certified Cardiologist).
Also, while my goal is to also have cats 100% clear for Pyruvate Kinase Deficiency (PK-Def), a carrier may be used on occasion. PK-Def is a disease that will ONLY manifest if a cat is Homozygous for the gene.
I spend some time showing in the TICA Northwest Region. Showing my cats helps me maintain my focus on the breed standard. You may find me at a TICA show in Washington State and occasionally in Oregon or Canada. If you find yourself at a TICA show in the area, drop in and say hello.
There are many, many Maine Coon breeders and many more cropping up daily. Some are doing the right things to ensure the health of their future kittens and preservation of the Maine Coon, which originates in the USA. However, many others are simply importing from any cattery overseas willing to sell them a breeding cat without profound knowledge of the breed health, proper breed standard or understanding pedigrees and inbreeding coefficients.
If I can leave you with one bit of advice as you navigate through your search.
Please take the time to research the breed and the breeder to ensure you receive the best opportunity to acquire a healthy, life long companion.
Breeders must be doing more than just DNA testing to screen for genetic disorders. If claiming a cat is DNA clear by parentage, they should be able to show the tests performed on the parents. In addition to DNA testing, a heart echocardiogram should be done prior to breeding and they should continue to echo every 12-24 months, even if the cat is retired from breeding program.
When age appropriate all breeding cats should have their hips evaluated for hip dysplasia. My personal preference is to use PawPeds, which uses the same doctor doing the evaluations and the results are directly loaded into their database without bias. In other words, I cannot elect for them to be hidden. Other breeders use OFA and some just allow their vets to screen. Regardless of the method, screening should be conducted.
While doing all these things still cannot guarantee you will obtain a perfect kitty that will live until it’s late teens (they are sentient beings after all), it is a breeder’s best attempt to make sure their program is healthy.
Thank you for stopping by my page. Since I only have 1 or 2 litters each year, I realize the wait is way too long for many.
I hope you find the information here useful and that you find that purrfect Maine Coon to join your family.
You can also follow the cats on social media. Photos are often posted on Instagram #aoinekomc and on Facebook.
Photos on this site cannot be copied or distributed and each photographer maintains all copy rights to their individual work.
Thank you for respecting their artwork.
This cattery has not been inspected by and is not endorsed by The International Cat Association, Inc.