Are you interested in knowing how many Maine Coon cat colors there are?
Maine Coons are an elegant and huge cat breed.
They are known for their medium to longhaired coat, and anyone would be curious to know how cute these gentle giants can get.
Sit tight as I review the most beautiful Maine Coon colors and patterns.
A Brief History OF The Maine Coons
The Maine Coon is a natural breed that has garnered many nicknames and accolades over the years. For instance, they are known as gentle giants due to their size (some can grow up to 40 inches long) and calm temperament.
It’s also referred to as the State of Maine’s State cat since that’s where it originated.
It’s believed that Maine Coons are descendants of Marie Antoinette’s cats (which may have been Turkish Angoras, Siberians (here are some Siberian cat colors), or Norwegian Forest cats.
These cats landed on the shores of Maine on a ship that was supposed to facilitate her escape. After breeding with local cats, they produced the modern-day Maine Coon.
Check: Maine Coon Cat Lifespan
6 Maine Coon Coat Color Types
There are more than 70 different color variations of the Maine Coons. That’s why the coat color is not always factored in the breed standard requirements.
Like all other cats, these color codes can be divided into five main categories; solid, tabbies, tortoiseshells, shaded, and smoke. Let’s look at each of these patterns and color combinations.
A solid color cat comprises one color with no differently colored marks. The primary Maine Coon solid colors include black, white (or pure glistening white according to CFA), cream, red and blue. However, white and cream Maine Coons often have pink paws and noses.
Smokes are similar to solids in the sense that they both have one uniform color. The only difference is, a Smoke’s undercoat is light.
The coat color fades as you get to the undercoat, which gives them the “Smoke” appearance.
Some of the most common Smoke color variations include cameo smoke, black smoke, blue smoke, blue-cream smoke, and Tortie smoke.
Most of the Maine Coons we have today are Tabbies, a color pattern that comprises black stripes that can appear on the undercoat or at the coat’s surface, and an “M” shaped marking on their forehead. There are three main types of Tabbies;
- Classic Tabby Pattern – The stripes on a Classic Tabby Maine Coon form sort of a whorl towards the cat’s side, also known as “targets”. The lines on the back of their heads towards the shoulder form a “butterfly”. Unbroken rings characterize this pattern along the neck.
- Mackerel Tabby Pattern – This pattern has the same unbroken rings along the neck and chest as the Classic Tabby. The only difference is, the Mackerel’s markings are narrower. Also, instead of swirls, this pattern features lines running parallel around their body, like in the Mackerel Fish.
- Ticked Tabby Pattern – This pattern lacks any stripes or spots found in the other Tabby types. But when you look at them from the top, you’ll realize the dorsal appears dark. They feature a ticked pattern with distinct tabby markings along the legs as well as their face.
Tabbies also come in different colors. For instance, a brown-colored tabby with black strips in a classic, Mackerel, or ticked pattern.
And the same applies to all other colors. A slightly different variation is the Tabby With White (TWW), a Tabby cat with large white-colored portions along the chest and paws. Tabbies With White can either be brown, silver, or red.
If you’ve tried painting, where you shade some parts darker than others using the same color, that’s how a Shaded cat looks like.
They have a uniform color but with varying intensities in some sections.
Also referred to as Torties, Tortoiseshells are characterized by a black coat with cream or red patches. They got their name since they resemble the shell of Turtle.
Most Tortoiseshells are female because the crème and red genes are associated with the X chromosome.
In case you didn’t know, females have two X chromosomes while males have X and Y chromosomes.
Tortoiseshells are often mistaken for Torbies, but instead of patches, Torbies have stripes. With that in mind, Tortoiseshells can be Torbies, but it’s important to note they are different patterns. Torbies result from crossing a Tortoiseshell and a Tabby cat.
Bicolor and Parti-Color
Bi-color Maine Coons have two coat colors where one must be white, while the other can be black, blue, cream, and red.
Bicolors must have White paws, bellies, and bibs. On the other hand, parti-color comprises a mixture of more than one color, including white.
Examples include Tortoiseshells, Tortoiseshells and white, blue-cream, and blue-cream and white, among others.
6 Most Popular Main Coon Colors and Patterns
Black Maine Coons
If you love black cats, I think you’ll love a giant black fluffy Maine Coon. These cats can come in a solid black coat where everything, including paws and nose, is black.
They can also come in a smoky version, which, as I mentioned earlier, seems to be fading as you get to the undercoat.
If you’re a fan of Tuxedo cat breeds, then you’ll love the black and white Maine Coons. Not all of them are tuxedos, though, but they all qualify to be called bi-colors.
As the name suggests, they have black-colored sections and white-colored sections. The pattern may vary from a Tuxedo pattern to a Van pattern depending on the parent cats.
Blue Maine Coons
Blue Maine Coons are gorgeous creatures. In the cat world, blue often represents gray. That’s why a grey smoke Maine Coon, and a gray and white Maine Coon all qualify to be called Blue Maine Coons.
From a spiritual perspective, Blue represents trust, loyalty, intelligence, and confidence, which is everything you would want in a cat.
Brown Maine Coon Cat
Brown is another gorgeous color in a cat, both as a solid color or a mixture of various colors. Like blue, the brown color represents strength and reliability.
However, while it’s called “brown”, it’s more of a faded black color since it’s pretty challenging to achieve a brown color in cats.
Havana Blue cats are the only cats that are exclusively brown and are also quite rare. But the lighter shade of black looks good too.
And if you’re lucky, you can find a chocolate Maine Coon, though the chocolate color is not accepted by cat registries for Maine Coons.
My favorite is the Brown and white Maine Coon cats that look like a cat wearing a brown tux. They are also easier to find.
White Maine Coon Cat
Bicolor cats are gorgeous, but what if you want an exclusively white, giant fluffy cat with no differently colored marks? You can get that too.
While Maine Coons are also more popular than you think. Also referred to as “pure glistening white”, the white in Maine Coons and other cats is actually not a color.
It’s more of a non-color since it results from a masking gene that inhibits any other colors from showing. You should also be aware that white Maine Coons, like any other white cat, can suffer from deafness.
This mostly happens to cats with blue eyes. But not all white Maine Coons are deaf, so make sure you have them tested.
Red Maine Coon Cat
This is another delightful Maine Coon color that’s also quite common, especially in male Maine Coons. When you think of the red color, you may assume it’s similar to a red LED light or blood.
But red looks more like orange in the cat world, and it looks pretty great on the Maine Coons.
Cream Maine Coons
When you dilute the red coat color I mentioned above, you get cream, another common color among Maine Coons.
Cream also comes in more than 25 variations in solid, bicolor, tricolor, smoke, and even Tabby pattern.
WHAT IS THE RAREST MAINE COON COLOR?
Solid silver, orange, and gold colors are pretty hard to find in Maine Coons. You might find them in Tabby patterns, but they’re rare in solid form. The most common Maine Coon colors include brown tabby, black, white, blue, and cream.
HOW DO YOU TELL IF YOU HAVE A MAINE COON?
To differentiate Maine Coons from the other large cat breeds, make sure they have a thick mane, thick coat, oblique-shaped eyes, and a bushy tail. You can also consult a trusted breeder if you’re still unsure.
DO ALL MAINE COON CATS HAVE AN M ON THEIR FOREHEAD?
No, not all of them. Only those with Tabby markings. Most cats with a Tabby pattern will have the M on the forehead.
CAN MAINE COONS BE WHITE?
Yes, they can. White occurs in this breed due to a masking gene that “blocks” other colors. Some white Maine Coons may also be deaf.
There is a wide range of Maine Coon colors and patterns to choose from. To make it easier, start with the colors you’re passionate about or believe in and select a color or pattern that corresponds to that. And once you nail down the color, we have suggested some great Maine Coon cat names that will go along with the color and appearance.
- International Cat Care. 2018. “Inherited Deafness in White Cats | International Cat Care.” Icatcare.org. September 5, 2018. https://icatcare.org/advice/inherited-deafness-in-white-cats/.
- “Maine Coon Cat POINT SCORE.” n.d. Accessed November 1, 2021. https://cfa.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/maine-coon-standard.pdf.
- “RECOMMENDED BREEDING POLICY for the MAINE COON CAT.” n.d. Accessed November 1, 2021. https://www.gccfcats.org/Portals/0/MaineCoon.BP.pdf.
What Maine coon colors are your favorite? Let us know below!