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Silver Maine Coon: Facts, Origin & History

silver maine coon cat

The Silver Maine Coon is the rarest color variation of the large, domesticated Maine Coon cat. Hailing from the state of Maine, very little is known about their origins. They do have a knack for hunting and are known for their superior mousing talents.

Silver Maine Coons are large, affectionate cats that love to play and spend time with their humans. These cats are known for being loving family pets.

Silver Maine Coons come in different fur patterns and are quite striking to look at. The silver coloration is sometimes referred to as the “smoke” color. It includes a silver undercoat and exists on a solid-colored Maine Coon.

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The Earliest Records of the Silver Maine Coon in History

The Silver Maine Coon is native to the United States, specifically the state of Maine. They are dated as far back as the early 19th century.

They evolved through natural evolution as opposed to human intervention. The first published reference to a Maine Coon cat comes from 1861. It was about a black-and-white cat named Captain Jenks.

There are unproven tales of Vikings bringing them to North America, centuries before Christopher Columbus arrived in 1492.

Other tales say they’re the descendants of long-haired cats that belonged to Marie Antoinette. It is said \that when she intended to escape to America she had her cats sent ahead of her. As we know, Marie Antoinette did not make it to America.

The mystery of their origin remains.

silver maine coon kitten
Image credit: Pixabay

How the Silver Maine Coon Gained Popularity

The Maine Coon Cat was initially held in high regard for its mouse-hunting capabilities. They were popular barn cats when first discovered in New England.

They became quite popular in the early 20th century, even competing in shows. That popularity was lost after a variety of other breeds such as the Persian and Siamese were introduced into the United States.

When their popularity dived, it was rumored the Maine Coon had become extinct in the 1950s.

Thankfully, rumors of extinction were untrue. The breed made a comeback and became all the rage. Silver Maine Coons are now popular as family pets and are commonly found competing in cat shows across the nation.

Formal Recognition of a Silver Maine Coone

The Maine Coon Cat was chosen as Best Cat at the first major cat show in the United States in 1895. The show was held at Madison Square Garden in New York City.  The winner, named Cosey, was not a Silver Maine Coon.

Cosey was awarded a silver collar and a silver medal that now sits on display at the Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, Ohio.

The Maine Coon Breeders and Fancier’s Association was formed in 1968. The breed was accepted for Cat Fancier’s Association championship status in 1976 and with The International Cat Association, or TICA in 1979.

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Top 12 Unique Facts About the Silver Main Coon

  • The coat of the Silver Maine Coon can be a variety of different solid colors and patterns. This varies from hues like light blue-grey to a much darker lead-grey, or patterns such as calico.
  • In tabby cats, this particular coat color is usually referred to as silver but with Maine Coons, it’s generally referred to as smoke
  • It is not uncommon for the Silver Maine Coon to be polydactyl (having 6 toes)
  • The silver coloration originated from the two primary coat colors of red and black. The silver occurs due to diluted genes in the black and red coat colors. Silvers are both naturally occurring and selectively bred.
  • The silver undercoat might be tricky to notice in kittens and will be more noticeable as the cat ages
  • A Silver Maine Coon held the Guinness World Record for the longest tail for a cat at 17.58 inches. Cygnus Regulus Powers, a silver Maine Coon cat, was listed in Guinness World Records 2018 Edition. Sadly, Cygnus was killed in a house fire in late 2017.
  • There are 5 different coat variants with the Silver Maine Coon. Blue, blue/grey, cameo, black, and white
  • Unlike other cats, Silver Maine Coons are known to love water
  • The Maine Coon cats have evolved to withstand the harsh New England winters
  • The breed became the first pet animal to be cloned commercially. With a $50,000 price tag, a Maine Coon named Little Nicky was successfully cloned in 2004.
  • Silver Maine Coons are known for their love of “singing.” They love to communicate with their owners and vocalize frequently
  • In 2019, the Cat Fanciers’ Association listed the Maine coon as the fifth-most popular cat breed

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Does the Silver Maine Coon Make a Good Pet?

The Silver Maine Coon makes for a wonderful family pet! This breed has a reputation for being more dog-like than cat-like. They are very intelligent, vocal, and playful and have been labeled as gentle giants.

Their popularity levels have resulted in an expensive price tag. Depending on the pedigree, you can expect a Silver Maine Coon kitten to cost you $400 to $1500. They rank as one of the most expensive cat breeds in the world.

The Silver Maine Coon has a long, beautiful double coat that will shed frequently. If you’re looking into owning a Silver Maine Coon, you’ll want to keep a brush handy to keep control of the shedding.

Silver Maine Coon has a lifespan of 10 to 13 years. Due to their large size, they are prone to health issues such as arthritis or hip dysplasia. They are also predisposed to a form of heart disease called hypertrophic cardiomyopathy.

Overall, if you choose to become the owner of a Silver Maine Coon, you’ll have a strikingly beautiful, friendly house-cat that will make an excellent mouser.

Conclusion

Though there is not much information on the Silver Maine Coon’s origins, there are many speculations. They have stood the test of time and to this day remain a very popular breed of domestic cat.

Their silver coating is naturally occurring and has become selectively bred. This coat is also referred to as a “smoke” coloration and comes in a variety of patterns and hues.

One of the oldest natural breeds in North America, this Maine native has held onto its reputation as an excellent hunter while becoming a popular family pet and show breed.

Related Read: Black Smoke Maine Coon: Facts, Origin & History


Featured Image Credit: Olga Korvinuss, Shutterstock

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