Like many cat breeds, Maine Coons come in a vast array of colors and patterns. If a black Maine Coon has ever crossed your path, you may even have considered this good luck. Is there such a thing as a totally black Main Coon?
Maine Coon cats can be completely black, a color officially called solid black. However, the cat many people assume is a black Maine Coon often isn’t one: it’s a black smoke instead! Discover how you can tell these two coats apart and what makes a true black Maine Coon so special.
Black is one of five solid Maine Coon coat colors and a solid black Maine Coon has coal-black fur from root to tip. The black smoke Maine Coon has paler roots and its neck ruff and ear tufts are often silver.
The face of a black Maine Coon appears cool and expressionless because of its total lack of markings. Though a back Maine Coon may appear aloof, it is just as goofy and friendly as any other color of Maine Coon. That single-colored face is just hard to read.
1. What makes a Maine Coon black?
Two factors determine whether a Maine Coon kitten develops a solid black coat:
- Both parents must carry the dominant black color gene (allele) referred to as B
- Kittens must also inherit a recessive non-agouti gene (a) to ensure a tabby pattern does not appear.
If a Maine Coon kitten has a black smoke coat, where each hair shaft is black at the tip and white at the root, an inhibitor gene must be present to prevent pigment from developing at the base of each hair.
2. The Two Popular Black Maine Coon Coats
There are many beautiful black cat breeds, and I think the Maine Coon is top of the list.
As well as solid black, and black smoke, there are many other Maine Coons coats that have a certain amount of black fur.
Here’s an explanation of each:
Solid Black Maine Coons
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 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.
3. Why black Maine Coons are so intriguing
It isn’t often that you see a completely black Maine Coon. Throughout history, black cats have been linked with folklore and myth and to this day they seem to exude an air of mystery.
Some people believe a black cat crossing their path signifies good luck and others associate them with black magic and witchcraft. Black Maine Coons are just like any other Maine Coons and have no special powers, good or bad.
4. Black Maine Coon Features
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:
- Green amber
Though black Maine Coon kittens have blue eyes at birth, you will not see a sold black adult Maine Coon with blue eyes.
Like all Maine Coon eyes, they are almond-shaped and set at an oblique angle, and are set off by black rims that resemble mascara.
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.
As with other coat colors, Black Maine Coon kittens have 26 teeth and adults have 30.
As for all cats, it’s important to take care of a black Maine Coon’s teeth because they tend to suffer from gingivitis (inflamed gums.)
Invest in a cat toothbrush and special toothpaste and aim to clean your cat’s teeth every day if you can or at least twice per week.
Black Smoke and solid black Maine Coons generally have black whiskers. These can vary in number and length.
As with all cats, black Maine Coon whiskers will shed so expect to find them wherever your cat sleeps or grooms.
You will notice black 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 colored black on solid black Maine Coons.
Nose and Paws of Black Maine Coons
All black Maine Coons have black nose leather. Their paw pads can be black or brown.
Some black Maine Coon cats have very noticeable Lynx tips on their ears. These will always be a matching black color.
5. Black Maine Coon Care
Like all Maine Coons, the black Maine Coon thrives better with the company. They love human attention or to live with other cats.
To give a black Maine Coon a happy life, be sure to give it plenty of your time every day – not that you’ll be able to resist paying it attention.
Like the other colors, Black Maine Coons need a good quality high-protein diet. Make sure you buy complete cat food designed for the stage of your cat’s life according to its age.
The right quantity is important so keep a check on your black Maine Coon’s weight and ensure you provide the correct amount of nutrition to maintain this.
If you intend to keep your Maine Coon indoors most of the time, make sure you encourage it to exercise through play at least once a day of 10 or 15 minutes.
A large indoor cat tree is perfect for Maine Coons to climb and provides a perfect area for scratching and flexing muscles.
A selection of Maine Coon toys is a must to stop boredom or cat stress from taking hold.
A good cat brush is an essential tool when it comes to caring for black Maine Coon’s coat.
Like all Maine Coons, daily grooming keeps a black Maine Coon tidy and mat-free.
A Hertzko self-cleaning slicker brush is the best tool to groom through a Maine Coon’s coat. It’s conveniently available on Amazon and you can see the price and reviews at this link.
There are several genetic conditions that can occur in all Maine Coons. There are none that specifically affect black Maine Coons.
You will have the best chance of acquiring a healthy black Maine Coon from a registered breeder who has proof of using breeding cats that have tested negative for genetic conditions.
It’s best to avoid buying from backyard non-registered breeders to try to discourage such practices.
6. Black Maine Coons Patterns
Bi-colored Black Maine Coons
Black and white
Maine Coons can have black and white fur in varying amounts. Some black and white Maine Coons have white on their faces and some don’t. They always have white on their bib, belly, and all four paws.
There is no set pattern so each black and white Maine Coon is truly unique.
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.
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
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.
7. 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:
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.
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.
8. Black Maine Coon Traits
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.
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.
9. 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.
Black Maine Coons are unlucky
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!
Black Maine Coons were once witches’ cats
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!
No one wants to adopt black Maine Coon cats
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: In summary
Black Maine Coons are super-cool and so are all the other black combinations. Most black Maine Coons are actually black smoke so if you do come across a solid black Maine Coon, you are very lucky.
Whether they are Red, white, cream or blue, all colors of Maine Coons are beautiful.
If cat coat genetics fascinated you, the CFA covers them in their informative article, Basic Feline Genetics.
Here are some of my favorite products for cats
Thank you for taking the time to read this article. I hope you found it helpful whether you own a cat or are considering it. I thought I’d share a few of the cat products I love which you might find really useful too.
The following are Amazon affiliate links, and if you decide to use them, I’ll earn a small commission from Amazon at no cost at all to you.
An indoor cat tree: This is an excellent item to satisfy a cat’s urge to climb and scratch. There are several sizes to choose from so you can pick the right height for your home. Our cats love this Amazon Basics tree with multi-levels, scratching posts, and a little hideaway.
Drinking fountain: Cats love to drink from flowing water. Many don’t seem to drink enough so a fountain is a good way to get them interested. This Orsda Fountain is quiet, has a large capacity, and looks stylish too.
Scratcher Lounger: The more cat-scratching posts you have the better. Many cats like to claw horizontally which is why we chose the PetFusion Ultimate cat scratcher. It has seen quite a bit of action from 4 Maine Coons but still looks great.