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White Maine Coon: the cat with a secret to share

We had the privilege of sharing our lives with a particularly stunning white Maine Coon called Charlie for 15 years so are in the ideal position to share with you everything there is to know about owning such a special cat, in particular, a little secret this cat hides!

Can Maine Coons Be White?

A Maine Coon cat can be white but in reality, white is not its true color. A white Maine Coon only develops white fur because a masking gene in its genetic coding masks the color nature intended it to be.

If you’re now wondering if it’s possible to determine a white Maine Coon’s hidden color, it isn’t. Siblings can shed some light on the mystery.

Any that are non-white will give an idea of what a white Maine Coon’s secret hidden color is.

If a white female is bred, any kittens she bears may shed some light on her color mystery unless of course, they are all pure white.

A white Maine Coon laying in front of blue flowers.
Charlie in our garden

How rare are white Maine Coon cats?

It’s fair to say solid white Maine Coons are comparatively rare. As with all colors, white genetics are complex and at least one parent must have white fur to give a chance of white Maine Coon kittens being born.

Often, a white Maine Coon has a small amount of shading or a hint of another color somewhere in their coat.

The majority of Maine Coons, like their early ancestors, have tabby coats. This means all solid color Maine Coons are rare to some extent. Most of them have some shading or pattern if you look closely.

Many Maine Coons have some white fur somewhere and all smoke Maine Coons have hidden white roots.

There is no way of saying exactly how rare white Maine Coons are because no one has ever collated such information.

But trying to source one often entails joining a long waiting list which is a fair indication of how rare white Maine Coons really are.

If you have your heart set on a white Maine Coon, your best chance is to socialize online with lots of reputable breeders and ask to be added to their waiting list, stating you are interested in knowing when any white Maine Coon kittens are born.

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.

A white Maine Coon asleep on a table.
Charlie loved his sleep

Are White Maine Coons Deaf?

Contrary to popular belief, white Maine Coon cats are not deaf. However, white cat deafness is a congenital condition and can be pigment-related. Affected cats often have white or mainly white coats.

Many white Maine Coons have perfect hearing and it is impossible to predict the chances of a white Maine Coon being deaf or to relate deafness with a specific coat or eye color as there are no clear scientific results available.

If you have a white cat and suspect it has a hearing problem, take it to your vet for a hearing check.

How much is a white Maine Coon?

The price you pay for a white Maine Coon will vary from breeder to breeder. At the moment, a Maine Coon kitten generally costs in the region of $800 to $2000.

A breeder is quite likely to charge $2000 for a white Maine Coon kitten, especially if they have a long waiting list for this color. In some instances, they may even ask for a lot more.

We were lucky when we bought our white Maine Coon, Charlie, and his red tabby brother, Harry. The breeder charged us her usual price for both so we didn’t pay over the top.

White Maine Coons Are Not Albino

A white Maine Coon asleep upside-down.
Charlie in his favorite bed, belly up

Though it is often assumed that white Maine Coons are all albino cats, this is not the case.

Though it is often assumed 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 have albinism, both its mother and father must carry the genetic marker for albinism.

Albino Maine Coons have very pale blue eyes that almost look pinkish. There is in fact no color pigment in an albino cat’s eyes – the blue/pink effect is a result of blood vessels in the eye being visible through a colorless iris.

White Maine Coon personality

Our white Maine Coon Charlie was an introvert, to begin with. This personality trait is often known as neurotic. He was shy, anxious, and nervous. He would run and hide when strangers entered our home.

We allowed him to hide and provided plenty of safe places where he could do this. We never forced him to face a situation that scared him.

Over time he grew more confident and became a totally cuddly lap cat.

A white Maine Coon can have any personality. A lot depends on how it is socialized as a kitten so it pays to look closely at how your chosen breeder cares for their kittens.

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 that results in one eye being pigmented with color whilst the other has no color and so appears blue.

All Maine Coon kittens are born with blue eyes and they change color at about 7 weeks of age.

In some kittens with solid white or some white fur, a genetic anomaly can occur whereby melanin doesn’t develop in one of their eyes, leaving it colorless and blue.

Their other eye develops one of the usual cat eyes colors, meaning the kitten has odd eyes.

A white cat Maine Coon with one orange eye and one blue eye.

Noses and Paw Pads on white Maine Coons

The nose and paw pads of white Maine Coon cats are always a shade of pink. You will often hear this referred to as nose leather and paw leather color.

If it’s an albino white Maine Coon, the shade of pink will be very pale – almost anemic looking.

A white Maine Coon cat asleep in a guitar box.
Charlie could sleep anywhere

White Maine Coons and Skin Cancer

White cats have pale skin and are more prone to sunburn 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. Don’t use your sun lotion as it contains ingredients that can harm a cat if ingested, and your white Maine Coon is bound to attempt to lick it off.

Owners should ensure white cats do not bask in the sun all day long – this is quite difficult as it is one of their favorite summer pastimes.

A white Maine Coon wearing a blue sun hat.
Charlie loved the sun

Do White Maine Coons Get Dirtier Than Other Colors?

They don’t get dirtier than other cats but white Maine Coons can certainly appear that way. White is the perfect color to make any amount of dirt very noticeable.

If you let any white cat go outdoors, there’s a very good chance that it will not look quite so white when it comes back indoors.

A white cat may show 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.

A white Maine Coon walking along a low wall with a red Maine Coon watching him.
Charlie and Harry enjoying outside time

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 lead to matted fur. 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, and not hot, and only use a good quality cat shampoo.

A white Maine Coon laying in the garden.
Charlie enjoying the shade

Cool Names for White Maine Coons

We called our white Maine Coon Charlie but his registered name was Sundew Snow Prince – very regal!

Here are several names that will perfectly suit a white Maine Coon:

  • Jack Frost
  • Luna
  • Casper
  • Snowdrop
  • Snowball
  • Misty
  • Lily
  • Pearl
  • Shiro
  • Sirius
A white Maine Coon drinking from a tap.
Charlie only ever drank from a tap

Conclusion

White Maine Coons do exist and are a little rarer than other Maine Coons. They may show up the dirt a little more than other Maine Coons but this is not a huge problem.

Contrary to popular belief, white Maine Coon cats are not all albino and are not all deaf. Occasionally they have odd eyes but this is an endearing feature and not a sign of an eye condition.