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The Orange Maine Coon guide created by owners

Orange is one Maine Coon color that is so vibrant it’s hard to ignore.

This breed is glorious no matter what shade or pattern of fur, but the orange Maine Coon is a beautiful sight to behold and a favorite with many people.

Maine Coons with orange fur have quite a reputation. They are feisty, intelligent, cheeky, and guaranteed to steal your heart.

There is a popular rumor that orange Maine Coons possess a naughty ginger gene!

As a family who has owned no less than four orange Maine Coons, we bring you the ultimate orange Maine Coon guide based on 25 years of real-life experiences.

You won’t find a more honest guide.

An orange smoke Maine Coon kitten with his head on a copper jug.
Fred, one of our orange smoke Maine Coons

The Orange Maine Coon: is it a breed standard?

The orange Maine Coon cat is one of five standard colors for the breed; it’s just not officially called orange. Though orange perfectly describes this bright coat color, it is officially known as red and sometimes affectionately referred to as ginger.

A Maine Coon with a solid orange coat is rare. Orange smoke and orange tabby cats are far more common.

Orange fur also occurs seen in varying quantities in many other Maine Coon coat patterns.

The Solid Orange Maine Coon

An orange Maine Coon with very slight shading.
I’m almost a solid orange Maine Coon

Solid orange Maine Coons are rare. This is because to be classed as solid their coats must be brilliant orange from roots to tips with no white present at all and no obvious shading or markings.

On most Maine Coons with supposedly solid orange coats, you will see slightly different shades of orange fur. In particular, the tabby cat ‘M’ can often be spotted on their forehead.

Solid orange Maine Coons have brick-red nose leather and paw pads. This coat is officially known as solid red and often referred to as ginger.

Orange Smoke Maine Coons

A pale red smoke Maine Coon in a small cardboard box.
Oscar, our 7-month-old red smoke Maine Coon

An orange smoke Maine Coon has a white undercoat with orange tips. The official name for this coat is red smoke. A cat with this coloring has rose-colored nose leather, rims of eyes, and paw pads.

When an orange smoke is sitting still it can appear to be a solid color but as soon as it moves the white undercoat shows through to give the smokey look.

Our kitten Oscar, pictured above is a very pale example of a red smoke Maine Coon. This coloring can be a lot darker like his brother Fred (pictured earlier).

Orange Tabby Maine Coons

A classic orange Maine Coon tabby climbing on a pergola.
Harry, our classic red tabby Maine Coon

A Maine Coon with an orange tabby coat is often referred to as a ginger tabby but the official name is a red tabby.

An orange tabby Maine Coon has a pale orange background color and markings in a deep, rich orange.

There is a faint white trim around the lip and chin. The orange tabby’s nose leather and paw pads are often brick red.

The tabby coat can be classic (swirly), mackerel (stripey), or ticked pattern (barely patterned).

Other Maine Coon Coats With Orange Fur

The following Maine Coon coat patterns can also include orange fur:

  • Silver Patched Tabby (classic, mackerel, or ticked patterns)
  • Cameo Tabby (classic, mackerel, or ticked patterns)
  • Shell Cameo
  • Bi-Colored with orange and white fur
  • Tortoiseshell
  • Shell Tortoiseshell
  • Shaded Tortoiseshell
  • Calico
  • Calico Smoke
  • Shell Calico
  • Shaded Calico
  • Cameo Smoke
  • Tortie Smoke

Orange Maine Coon Cat Facts

The Maine Coon is a unique breed of cat with some extraordinary personality traits.

They are fantastic companion cats and thrive on interaction with their owners.

They are friendly towards adults, children, babies, and other pets, which is one of the reasons why they are so popular as family pets.

A red tabby Maine Coon with large fluffy tail like a sail.
Harry’s amazing tail

The Orange Maine Coon (AKA red or ginger) has a very distinctive coat which is described by some people as an exotic, vibrant color.

We’ve owned four orange Maine Coons with extraordinary personalities. There’s more on whether a cat’s color has any bearing on its behavior in a moment.

Orange Maine Coon Kittens

Most orange Maine Coon kittens are males, in fact, approximately three out of four orange Maine Coon kittens are males.

If both Maine Coon parents are orange then all their kittens will be orange too. Most orange Maine Coon kittens are tabby cats.

The Science Behind the Orange Cat

The orange gene responsible for orange fur is found on the X-chromosome.

Its allele can have two forms: ‘O’ which will produce the orange color and ‘o’ which will produce non-orange fur.

As males only have one X-chromosome, if they carry the orange gene with an ‘O’ allele they will have an orange coat; if they carry an orange gene with an ‘o’ allele they will have black or brown fur.

Because she has two X chromosomes, a female with the orange gene can have the following combinations of alleles:

  • Two ‘O’s and she’ll have orange fur.
  • Two ‘o’s and she’ll be black or brown.
  • One ‘O’ and one ‘o’ mean she’ll have a tortoiseshell coat.

If you’ve ever wondered why there are more orange male cats than females it’s because males have a 1 in 2 chance of being orange and females only have a 1 in 3 chance.

And in case you are interested, the red pigment that causes the orange color is known as phaeomelanin.

If none of the above made much sense, don’t despair – that’s the end of the biology lesson – I’m sure most people don’t want that level of detail anyway!

Does a Maine Coon’s fur color affect its personality?

No, the color of a Maine Coon does not control its personality. However, it can (and does) change how we perceive a cat to behave for some reason!

How we act with a cat can change how it behaves and this can give the impression that certain colored cats act in a specific way when it’s actually our behavior around them that creates this illusion!

It’s as if we have a perception and then imagine those traits.

A red tabby cat with a guilty face.
Harry looking naughty!

The orange Maine Coon cat is often perceived as more mischievous than other colors. Whether all owners feel this I don’t know, but having owned four I can definitely say they seem to possess a naughty gene.

However, our two tortoiseshell girls have attitude – often referred to as ‘tortitude’. Maybe all Maine Coons are all generally quite cheeky!

Other Maine Coon Colors and Patterns

Solid Colors

Maine Coons can come in five solid colors: black, white, orange (red), blue (gray), and cream.

They also come in a variety of patterns.

Tabby Patterns

The orange tabby Maine Coon has a coat that is either streaked with stripes or perhaps mottled and these appear to be the most sought-after color combination.

A tabby Maine Coon can be seen in the following five color combinations:

  • Classic tabby
  • Silver tabby
  • Mackerel tabby
  • Silver shaded tabby
  • Silver tabby

Solid Smoke Colors

The smoke-colored Maine Coon looks, at first, like a solid color. However, when you look at the roots of its fur, you will notice the color is noticeably lighter. As the cat moves, the lighter undercoat shows through.

Bi-Colors

The Maine Coon can also be seen in a combination of two colors. However, one of these colors will always be white. This white color will always be seen on their belly, chest, and paws.

The bi-color Maine Coon can be white with either black, blue, red (orange), or cream.

A white Maine Coon on a lawn.
Charlie, our white Maine Coon

What’s the Best Maine Coon Color?

No Maine Coon color or pattern is any better than the other. Every Maine Coon is unique and whichever color you have (or choose) you can be sure you will find it a pleasure to live with.

The way a Maine Coon behaves is heavily dependant on the way it is socialized and interacted with from a very young age.

Maine Coon Color Facts

Did you know that the male Maine Coon kitten obtains both its color genes directly from its mother?

Therefore, the male kittens found in a litter will always be the same color as their mother (occasionally a slightly diluted version of it).

Female kittens will have a combination of the colors of both parents. This is helpful to know and allows you to predict what colors the kittens might be.

Maine Coon eye color does not depend on the color of its coat. Only white Maine Coons or those with some white can have blue or odd-eyes. Other colors range through shades of green, amber, gold, copper, and orange.

Can A Maine Coon Be Orange? Conclusion

The Maine Coon has a variety of shades and patterns. Orange (red/ginger) is the most vibrant. There’s usually something quite edgy about the orange Maine Coon … a little twinkle in its eye.

I’ve never known a cat quite like the Maine Coon and I’ve never known a Maine Coon cat quite like the orange one.

Most likely a coincidence, but they seem to have this particular naughty streak that I haven’t seen in others – a naughty ginger gene perhaps?

Further reading

Our Complete Guide to Maine Coons is packed with facts and photos.

If you’re wondering if the Maine Coon is the right cat for you, Are Maine Coons Good Pets answers this question in great detail.

We are passionate about Maine Coons and all of our articles are based on first-hand experiences through owning Maine Coons for 25 years.

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