The Black Maine Coon: Photos, Facts, and Fictions


The black Maine Coon is one of five solid Maine Coon coat colors. When a Maine Coon has jet black fur from root to tip it is officially called solid black. Every inch of the cat is black bar two bright eyes.

The face of a black Maine Coon appears expressionless because of its total lack of markings. Though a back Maine Coon may look cool and aloof, it is just as friendly as any other color of Maine Coon.

A word of warning – black cats are difficult to see at night. If you allow your cat out after dark, ensure it wears a luminous safety collar so it can be seen by motorists.

The Science behind the black Maine Coon Coat

Solid black Maine Coon kittens result when both parents carry the dominant black color gene (allele) known as B. For the black coat to appear the kittens must also inherit a recessive non-agouti gene (a) so that the tabby pattern is suppressed.

The Different Black Coats

As well as solid black, there are several black Maine Coon coat variations. How can you tell them apart? Here’s a simple guide.

Solid Black

A solid black Maine Coon has a coal-black coat. Every hair is solid black from root to tip. Some black coats are medium length and some are longer. The fur can appear matt black on some cats and glossier on others.

Black Smoke Maine Coons

Black Maine Coon
Black Maine Coon

Black smoke Maine Coons appear solid black but on closer inspection, you will notice they have a lighter undercoat. These cats look black and grey as they move. Their fur is actually white at the roots and coal-black at the tips. When they are still, black smoke Maine Coons are often mistaken for solid black cats.

You sometimes see black silver smoke Maine coons and occasionally Black Smoke and White Maine Coons.

Bi-colored Black Maine Coons

Black and white

Black Maine Coon

Maine Coons can have solid black and white coats as per the stunning cat above.

Tuxedo

The Tuxedo Maine Coon is predominantly black with a white bib, paws, and belly. It looks like it’s wearing a black jacket and a white shirt, ready to go out for the evening.

Black Silver

Black Maine Coon

The Black Silver Maine Coon (on the right above) is quite rare. For some reason, this coat is not an accepted color with the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) so many breeders don’t specifically attempt to breed cats with this color combination. However, the International Cat Association (TICA) does recognize Black Silver as a Maine Coon color.

Black Tabby Maine Coon

Black Tabby

The black tabby Maine Coon is sometimes referred to as a brown tabby. This is a traditional coat color and pattern and it is believed most early Maine Coons were of this coat type.

Their markings can be:

  • classic tabby – with butterfly markings.
  • mackerel tabby – fishbone stripes
  • ticked tabby – with each hair being multicolored to give a flecked pattern

Black Silver Classic Tabby

Black Silver Maine Coons can also have a classic, mackerel or ticked tabby pattern.

Black Tortoise or Tortie

Black Tortoiseshell or Tortie Maine Coons have black coats with patterns of different shades of red.

Can a Black Maine Coon change color?

Some black Maine Coons can seem to fade to a rusty brown color. There are two possible reasons for this:

1. Tyrosine deficiency

A deficiency of the enzyme tyrosine could make black fur change to a rusty brown. Tyrosine is responsible for the production of Eumelanin, a dark brown/black aggregate of melanin, the pigment that makes a black cat’s fur black and so a deficiency causes the fur to fade.

As melanin protects cats from the sun, take care that a cat with this deficiency could be more prone to sunburn.

All preprepared cat food is supplemented with taurine which should avoid a deficiency. If your black Maine Coon has a balanced diet yet is beginning to fade to a rusty color it’s best to take it to your vets for a check-up.

2. Sun-bleached

It is thought that the sun can bleach the color out of a black Maine Coon cat’s fur making it turn brown. I’m not sure how true this is! In any event, if your cat is a sun worshipper ensure you protect it from too much sun.

Black Maine Coon Features

Black Maine Coon

Whiskers

A black Maine Coon has black whiskers. You will also notice Maine Coons do not have eyebrows as such but they do have long hairs above their eyes. These are known as vibrissae or tactile hairs and are also black on solid black cats.

Eyes

Black Maine Coon cats have large almond-shaped eyes set wide and at an oblique angle. Expect them to be a shade of one of the following colors:

  • Amber
  • Copper
  • Orange
  • Gold
  • Green
  • Green amber
  • Yellow

Though black Maine Coon kittens have blue eyes at birth, you will not see a sold black adult Maine Coon with blue eyes. If you have a solid black fluffy cat with blue eyes you can be certain it is not a purebred Maine Coon.

A black Maine Coon with any amount of white fur can have blue eyes or eyes of different colors, referred to as odd-eyes.

Ears

Some black Maine Coon cats have very noticeable Lynx tips on their ears. These will always be a matching black color.

Black Maine Coon

Nose and Paws

All black Maine Coons have black nose leather. Their paw pads can be black or brown.

Black Maine Coon Traits

Personality

A black Maine Coon may look like a cool character but really it behaves just like any other Maine Coon. It will be blissfully unaware that black cats are supposed to behave in a mysterious manner and will behave like a happy, playful, sociable cat as is normal for this breed.

Size

Black Maine Coons, like those of other colors, can vary widely in size. Expect one to weigh anything from 8 to 18 lbs. Their size depends on many factors including genetics, exercise opportunities, and diet. Occasionally Maine Coons are much larger than this average.

How Much is a Black Maine Coon?

Solid black Maine Coons are quite rare compared to the other coat colors which means they often cost more. The price of a Maine Coon varies widely depending on where you live and who you buy it from. Expect to pay anything from $500 to $2,000. Registered breeders are always the best option but usually charge the highest prices.

If you particularly want a black Maine Coon but can’t afford one, it’s worth registering an interest in with cat shelters and rescue centers – you may get lucky.

10 Black Maine Coon Myths

Black Maine Coon cats are intriguing to many people and several myths are associated with black cats in general.

1. Black Maine Coons are unlucky

False!

People once believed if a black cat crossed your path it brought you bad luck. There isn’t a Black Maine Coon owner in the land who would agree this is true!

2. Black Maine Coons were witches’ cats

False!

There’s no such thing as a witch is there? but if there were, their cats would have to be much smaller – a Maine Coon could never fit on a broomstick!

3. No one wants to adopt black Maine Coon cats

False!

There is a popular myth that because back cats are surrounded by superstition, no one ever wants to adopt them from shelters. Whether this was once the case, I don’t know but today this just isn’t true. Prove me right by dashing out to rescue a black cat today.

Black Maine Coon – Conclusion

Black Maine Coons are super-cool and so are all the other black combinations.

All colors of Maine Coons are beautiful. Find out more about red, white and blue Maine Coons.

Matt

I'm Matt Pettitt, joint founder of the Pets Knowledge Base alongside my wife, Jane. Since I was just 2 years of age I've had pets in my life - which I don't mind admitting is 47 years! I strongly believe that when you introduce a pet into your family you should do everything you can to give it the best life possible. I've learned a lot during the past (almost) five decades and this blog gives me a medium to share everything I have learned ( both good and bad) about pets. If you'd like to know more about us, and how to contact us - take a look at our About page here!

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