You will often see a Maine Coon with some white fur and occasionally one that looks totally white. We were lucky enough to share our lives with a white Maine Coon for almost 15 years and in that time uncovered many facts about cats with this incredible coat color.
The White Maine Coon is a breathtakingly beautiful cat. The absence of patterns gives its face an open and innocent expression. Its almond eyes are a striking feature against the pure white of its coat. It’s no surprise the angelic-looking white Maine Coon is so adored and sought after.
From our own experiences of owning a white Maine Coon, we bring you 9 useful and interesting facts:
1. Can Maine Coons be white?
A Maine Coon cat can be white though technically white is not a color: it is actually an absence of color.
A white cat carries a dominant white gene (referred to as the W gene) that completely masks any colors that might have been programmed into its genetics.
In order for a Maine Coon kitten to develop a white coat, at least one of its parents must be white.
2. Are White Maine Coon Cats Rare?
You’ll rarely see a completely white Maine Coon as often there’s a little shading or a hint of another color somewhere in their coat.
Most Maine Coons are tabbies so any of the solid coats (which include white, black, blue, red, and cream) are fairly rare as most of these will have some hint of shading or pattern if you look closely.
Many Maine Coons have a certain amount of white fur and all smoke Maine Coons have fur with white roots. Not so many are born with white and no other coloration.
It’s fair to say solid white Maine Coons are comparatively rare. As with all colors, genetics are the decider and at least one parent must have white fur to give a chance of white Main Coon kittens being born.
There is no way of gauging if white Maine Coons are particularly rare as there are no published facts and figures to confirm this.
If you have your heart set on a white cat, your best chance is to contact lots of reputable breeders and ask to be informed when white kittens are born.
3. White Maine Coons Are Not Albino
It is often believed that white Maine Coons are all albino cats. This is not the case.
An albino Maine Coon has a total absence of pigment in its skin, hair, and eyes. For a kitten to be albino, both its mother and father must carry the genetic marker for albinism.
Albino Maine Coons have very pale blue eyes that almost appear pinkish. There is in fact no color in an albino cat’s eyes – the blue/pink effect is caused by the blood vessels within the eye showing through the colorless iris.
5. White Maine Coon Eye Colors
A Maine Coon with a white coat can have the following eye colors in a variety of shades: blue, green, amber, gold, copper, and orange.
Only a solid white Maine Coon or one with some white in its coat will have blue eyes or sometimes just one blue eye.
A cat with two different colored eyes (odd eyes) has heterochromia, a harmless genetic condition which means one eye is colored and the other has no color and appears blue.
All Maine Coon kittens are born with blue eyes and they develop color at about 7 weeks of age.
In some kittens with all or some white fur, a genetic anomaly means melanin doesn’t develop in one eye, leaving it colorless and appearing blue.
The other eye develops one of the usual colors, meaning the kitten has odd eyes.
5. Noses and Paw Pads
The nose and paw pads of white Maine Coons cat are always a shade of pink. You will often hear this referred to as nose and paw leather.
If it’s an albino white Maine Coon, the shade of pink will be very pale – almost anemic looking.
6. White Maine Coons and Skin C
White cats have pale skin and are more prone to getting sunburnt and developing skin cancer, especially on their ears, nose, lips, and eyelids.
There are sun creams available to boost protection – ask your vet about these.
Owners should try to deter white cats from basking in the sun – this is quite difficult as it is one of their favorite summer pastimes.
7. White Maine Coons Are Not All Deaf
The white Maine Coon is often assumed to be deaf, but this is not the case. It’s a genetic defect that causes some cats to be born partially or completely deaf.
Congenital deafness may or may not be pigment-related, and affected cats often have solid white or mainly white coats.
It is, however, not true that every white cat is deaf, or that white cats with blue eyes, green eyes, or one of each are always deaf.
It is difficult to say what the chances are of a white Maine Coon being deaf and to relate deafness to specific coat or eye colors as there are no clear scientific results available.
On the other hand, there are many blogs that mention this subject, with varying results.
If you have a white cat and you suspect it has a hearing problem, take it to your vet for a hearing check.
8. Do White Maine Coons Get Dirtier Than Other Colors?
They don’t get dirtier but they certainly look dirtier. It goes without saying that white is a great color for showing up dirt. If you let any white cat out to play it won’t necessarily return the same color.
A white cat may have noticeable staining around its eyes from time to time. This can be removed by gently wiping from the corner outwards with a soft damp cloth.
There are many ideal cat cleansing wipes available. We use Pogi’s Grooming Wipes as they are hypoallergenic, Earth-friendly, and conveniently available on Amazon. Here’s a link to see the current price.
Of course, anything that gets caught in a white coat will stand out a mile. Sticky seeds and grass seeds are a particular problem as they can cause matting of their fur, so groom these out as soon as you see them.
If you are fussy about your cat looking clean and intend to bathe it, I recommend that you get it used to being submerged in water at a young age.
Always make sure the water is warm, not hot, and use a good quality cat shampoo.
9. Cool Names for White Maine Coons
We called our white Maine Coon Charlie but his registered name was Sundew Snow Prince.
Here are a few popular names for these white beauties:
- Jack Frost
White Maine Coons are beautiful cats. They may need a little more maintenance than other colored Maine Coons but are well worth it.
Maine Coon colors other than white
We love all Maine Coons. Their coats can be just one color or a mix of two or more of the following colors:
Here’s a beautiful video of a white Maine Coon growing up.