Beloved for their gorgeous looks and friendly nature, Maine Coons are among the most popular cat breeds in the world. These large, gentle felines are known for their luxurious coats and long, fluffy tails, developed by the earliest Maine Coons to keep warm in the brutal winters of their home state of Maine. Thanks to the efforts of breeders over the years, those beautiful Maine Coon coats are now available in what seems like every color of the rainbow.
Officially, Maine Coons can be found in about 75 different coat color combinations. These combinations also include accepted coat patterns. Because all these color and pattern varieties can get confusing, we have grouped them into categories to help keep them organized. Here is an overview of 7 types of Maine Coon coat colors.
Solid color Maine Coon cats have coats that are all one color, with no markings or lighter shades. The five acceptable solid colors for Maine Coon cats are white, black, blue, cream, and red. While these are the only official accepted colors for Maine Coon cat coats, you may sometimes find other colors such as chocolate or lavender available. If so, keep in mind these colors aren’t in the breed standard for Maine Coons.
Solid black Maine Coon cats are very popular. Their coat is black all the way through with no lighter areas and their nose and paw pads are black or brown.
Pure white Maine Coon cats are hard to find and often come with blue eyes. Their nose and paw pads will be pink. Another interesting fact about white Maine Coon cats, especially those with blue eyes, is that they are often deaf.
Red is one of the most common and popular colors for Maine Coons but true, solid red Maine Coons are rare. This color in a Maine Coon is more common in the other color categories. Red Maine Coons have red noses and paw pads.
Cream Maine Coon cats have pink noses and paw pads. The cream color is described as buff, making it a shade darker than pure white.
Tabby is an extremely popular and common pattern type for Maine Coons. The tabby patterning is a mix of stripes, spots, and swirls combined with one or more base colors. Within the larger category of tabby, there are three different types of tabbies recognized: classic, mackerel, and ticked.
Classic tabby Maine Coons display the familiar, up and down striped sides we think of when we hear of a tabby cat. Their legs and tail will be ringed with stripes and their bellies are adorably spotted.
Mackerel tabby Maine Coons are also striped but these stripes run front to back on the cat’s sides rather than up and down. This pattern makes it look like these cats have a saddle on their backs.
Ticked tabby Maine Coons have tabby markings on their legs, tails, and bellies. However, their coats aren’t striped but rather ticked with one or more different colors. When you look at them from the top, their coats don’t have any visible pattern.
The most well-known Maine Coon coat color is the classic brown tabby, with strong black markings on a brown coat. Maine Coons of this color win more cat shows than any other. Red tabby Maine Coons are probably the most popular type of red Maine Coons.
One very striking type of tabby Maine Coon is the silver tabby, a light silver cat with dark markings. Another is the cameo tabby which has an off-white coat color and red markings. There are so many gorgeous tabby Maine Coons to choose from, it’s no wonder they are endlessly popular!
3. Tabby and White
Tabby and white Maine Coon cats can be any color or type of tabby coat with the addition of white areas. Specifically, tabby and white Maine Coon cats should have white on their chest, belly, and all four paws. Sometimes they will also have white on their faces. This category can have some really beautiful and unique Maine Coon coat colors, such as red tabby and white and silver tabby and white.
Bi-color Maine Coon cats have coats that are one of the four (non-white) solid colors along with white markings. Like the tabby and white cats, bi-color Maine Coons should have white on their belly, chest, and all four paws. They are allowed to have white on their face as well, although this is not always the case. Black and white, red and white, blue and white, and cream and white are all possible coat colors in this category.
A parti-color Maine Coon cat will have a coat that’s a mix of two different colors other than white, often in different shades. Parti-color cats do come in combinations with white markings on their belly, chest, and paws called parti-color and white. The two parti-color Maine Coon cats officially recognized are the tortoiseshell and the blue-cream.
Tortoiseshell Maine Coon cats have black coats with red patches or shades of red blended in. Some tortoiseshell Maine Coons can have tabby markings, a coat variety nicknamed “torbie.”
Blue-cream Maine Coon cats have blue coats with cream patches or shaded cream blends. Like the tortoiseshell, blue-cream Maine Coons can also have white markings.
Sometimes, a Maine Coon cat will have tabby patterns in more than one color. This coat variation is known as a patched tabby. A torbie is an example of a patched tabby but they can come in many other colors as well, with or without white markings.
Maine Coon cats with shaded coat colors have a unique appearance. A Shaded coat comes in many colors but the defining characteristic is the cat having an undercoat that is lighter than the top hair coat. The darker color is more visible along the cat’s back and head then lightens further down the body. This makes the coat color appear to be shaded down the body, hence the name of this coat color type.
There are numerous examples of shaded coat colors, each more interesting than the last. A shaded silver Maine Coon cat, for instance, has a pure white undercoat, with dark-tipped fur on their face, back, and legs. The dark tips shade down the sides of the cat, becoming white along the belly, giving this cat a stunning appearance.
Shaded coat colors can also come in shaded and White varieties, with white paws, chest and belly required.
Smoke coat colors are another fascinating variation found in Maine Coon cats. With smoke coats, the Maine Coon will have a seemingly solid-colored coat. However, if you look closely at their fur, the hair isn’t the same solid color all the way through. Smoke-coated Maine Coon cats have a lighter undercoat, which gives their coat a less solid, more faded coloring.
All the solid colors can also come in smoke varieties, including tortoiseshell smoke. One thing to note about smoke coats is that they aren’t always easy to identify on a Maine Coon kitten. The undercoat will often lighten as the cat ages, becoming obvious when they reach adulthood.
Smoke Maine Coon cats may also have a white chest, paws, and belly, called smoke and white coloring.
With so many different coat colors to choose from, Maine Coon cats are certain to draw the eye for their beauty if not their size. However, it’s important to remember that a Maine Coon cat is a living being, not just an awesome fur coat to admire. If you are drawn to the Maine Coon breed for their coat color and appearance that’s understandable, just be sure you are ready for the cost and responsibility of taking care of a cat as well.
Featured Image Credit: Aleksei Verhovski, Shutterstock