Early Maine Coons were mostly brown tabbies but today there are many coat variations. As more and more different Maine Coon coats and colors emerge
Although there are now over 80 different coat patterns to choose from, there are actually only five distinct Maine Coon colors: black, blue, white, cream, or red. Every Maine Coon coat (including solid, tabby, bi-color, calico, parti-color, and tortoiseshell) consists of one or more of these colors only.
Certain colors such as red, blue and cream can vary in shade from dark to light. Red is sometimes referred to as ginger or orange and cream is a dilute version of red. Blue is also known as grey or silver and is really a dilute version of black.
Any white fur seen on a Maine Coon is caused by a masking gene that blocks the actual color those hairs were genetically programmed to be from developing.
Maine Coon cat colors
Maine Coon cats come in a wide variety of colors and patterns. Some people believe the different colors come with different personality traits but I’m not so sure about this!
Whichever color Maine Coon color you choose, you will find yourself sharing your world with one of the most sociable and gentle domestic cats in the world.
Maine Coons are revered for being the perfect family cat which is probably why they are also the most popular domestic breed. They are full of character and will provide you with endless hours of joy and entertainment.
Before you set your heart on a black Maine Coon, let’s have a closer look at some of the colors and combinations of colors available. As you will see you will be spoilt for choice and may find you change your mind.
Solid Maine Coon coat colors
As you would expect from the name a solid-color Maine Coon cat has fur of just one color with no other patches of other colors to be found. The recognized solid colors of Maine Coon are:
White Maine Coon cats are further differentiated by eye color. They can have orange, blue, green or odd eyes.
Also listed in some places as a solid color are:
- Blue tortie
But these are really a combination of solid colors.
Smoke Maine Coon coat colors
A smoke Maine Coon cat looks like it has fur of just one color on the surface but at the roots, its hair is much lighter than at the tips.
Here is the range of smoke colors available:
- Black smoke
- Blue smoke
- Red smoke
- Cream smoke
- Tortie smoke
- Blue Tortie smoke
Tabby Maine Coon colors
A tabby Maine Coon cat has fur that is mottled or streaked with stripes. Tabbies are one of the most sought-after Maine Coon colors. They are split into the following five categories:
Classic Tabby colors
A classic tabby Maine Coon cat has fur that is mottled or streaked with dark stripes. The classic tabby colors are:
- Black Classic Tabby (Brown)
- Blue Classic Tabby
- Red Classic Tabby
- Cream Classic Tabby
- Tortie Classic Tabby
- Blue Tortie Classic Tabby
Mackerel Tabby colors
- Black Mac Tabby (Brown)
- Blue Mac Tabby
- Red Mac Tabby
- Cream Mac Tabby
- Tortie Mac Tabby
- Blue Tortie Mac Tabby
Silver Classic Tabby colors
- Black Silver Classic Tabby
- Blue Silver Classic Tabby
- Red Silver Classic Tabby
- Cream Silver Classic Tabby
- Tortie Silver Classic Tabby
- Blue Tortie Silver Classic Tabby
Silver Mackerel Tabby colors
- Black Silver Mac Tabby
- Blue Silver Mac Tabby
- Red Silver Mac Tabby
- Cream Silver Mac Tabby
- Tortie Silver Mac Tabby
- Blue Tortie Silver Mac Tabby
Silver Shaded Tabby colors
- Black Silver Shaded Tabby
- Blue Silver Shaded Tabby
- Red Silver Shaded Tabby
- Cream Silver Shaded Tabby
- Tortie Silver Shaded Tabby
- Blue Tortie Silver Shaded Tabby
Bi-color Maine Coon Coats
Bi-colored Maine Coon cats are a combination of white and another color. They may or may not have white on their faces but always have white on their bib (chest area), their tummies, and all four paws. Here are the range of bi-colors:
- Black and white
- Blue and white
- Red and white
- Cream and white
Interesting facts (and fictions) about Maine Coon coat colors
According to the CFA, there are several interesting facts where coat color genetics are concerned.
Male kittens always obtain both color genes from their mother. The male offspring in a litter will always be either the color of the mother or the dilute (less intense) form of her color.
Female kittens will be a combination of both parents’ colors. This makes it easy to predict the colors of kittens to expect from a particular pair of parents.
Paws and noses
Maine Coon cats can have pink or black noses and paw pads, and sometimes a combination.
The Maine Coon has beautiful eyes. They are large, round, wide-set, and have a slightly oblique setting.
Their eye color may be shades of green, gold, or amber but there is no relationship between eye color and coat color, except in solid white cats, which may be blue-eyed, amber-eyed, green-eyed, or odd-eyed.
Color and Personality
I have been looking all day and can find no hard evidence that there is a link between color and personality. But some people are convinced that there is.
This may be because they have had two Maine Coons of different colors and found their personalities are poles apart. And, of course, different cats can have different personality traits.
We have two Maine Coon boys. They are both 14 years old and came from the same litter. Charlie is an orange-eyed white and is nervous around strangers.
He is very loving towards us and loves to sit on our laps. He runs and hides, leaving carnage in his wake when he is taken by surprise.
Harry is a red tabby with amber eyes. He is feisty and confident. He isn’t as cuddly as Charlie but he’ll be anybody’s friend and as far as I’m concerned he’s in possession of the “naughty ginger gene”.
But I bet there are other people with Maine Coons of these colors with completely different natures.
People are often of the opinion that black Maine Coon cats are cool creatures but I’ve read several posts today where people have described their particular black Maine Coon cat as a loveable goon or crazy loon.
So I think it’s safe to say don’t believe you can get a Maine Coon with a specific personality by picking a specific color.
What is the rarest Maine Coon color?
There is much debate surrounding the rarest Maine Coon color because it’s difficult to really know. There is no record of every Maine Coon currently in existence and no data had been correlated.
A solid red Maine Coon is very rarely seen as the dominant tabby pattern always seems to show through slightly.
I’ve spent some time researching rare Maine Coon colors by speaking to a variety of breeders and you can see my findings in this article.
What is the most popular Maine Coon Color?
The Maine Coon that many people yearn to own is the black smoke. This is basically a black Maine Coon with paler roots that give a fabulous smoky look to the cat’s coat.
A fabulous and famous example is Mr. Vivo who you can find y googling. He’s owned by a breeder living in Hong Kong.
The most popular Maine Coon pattern is the black (AKA brown) mackerel tabby which is consequently also the earliest known pattern.
What is more important – the color or the cat?
I would vote for the cat every time. We chose our Maine Coon boys because we heard they had been returned to the breeder by their first owner at 4 months old.
This meant we could take them home straight away without being added to a waiting list as is often the case when you want a younger kitten. Their color wasn’t a consideration and we fell in love with them at first sight.
But if you fancy a particular color, as you can see there is an extremely wide range to choose from – you are almost spoilt for choice. All Maine Coon cats are beautiful whatever their color and make wonderful pets.
Contrary to what you might read elsewhere, Maine Coons only come in five colors: black, blue, white, cream, or red.
Other than the five solid coats in these colors, according to the CFA Maine Coon Breed Standard, there are at least 80 possible patterns consisting of two or more of these colors.
In fact, there doesn’t seem to be a color or color combination that you can’t get a Maine Coon in. So if you want one to match your hair, your sofa, or your carpet you will probably find one that does.
If you want one that’s of a particular personality, don’t be fooled into thinking a particular color will come with particular behavioral traits.
Whatever color you finally decide on, one thing is for sure – I know you’ll be totally smitten instantly.
I am convinced that there might be such a thing as the naughty ginger gene. Does anyone else agree?