Black Maine Coon

Black Maine Coon

You have probably heard of the superstitious belief that black cats bring bad luck and misfortune. This superstition can be traced back to ancient times. In reality black cats are really different from others in any other respect than, obviously, the color of their fur. 

Black Maine Coon coat variations

Black Maine Coons are considered to have a solid color when they have jet black fur from head to the legs. These cats appear expressionless since there are no markings that add to their ferocious and aloof look. However, do not be fooled since these cats are friendly and affectionate just like other Maine Coons. The other solid coat colors of this breed include white, red or ginger, cream and blue or grey. 

These are the coat variations for black Maine Coons:

  1. Solid black –  these cats have coal-black coats, the fur are matt black or glossier,  length may vary from medium to long. 
  2. Black smoke –  these cats may look like solid black but upon scrutiny, they have lighter undercoats. Their fur is white at the roots and coal-black at the tips and they are often mistaken as solid black cats if they do not move. Some cats are black silver smoke and black smoke and white. 
  3. Bi-colored – under this variation the cats can be black and white (these cats have solid black and white colors), tuxedo (these cats’ coats are mostly black with a white bib, paws and belly and they look like they are wearing a tuxedo jacket) and black silver (a rare color combination which is not accepted by the Cat Fanciers Association but recognized by The International Cat Association).
  4. Black tabby –  these cats are also called brown tabby cats. The markings include the classic tabby with butterfly markings, mackerel tabby with fishbone stripes and ticked tabby that has a flecked pattern and each hair is multicolored. Other kinds of black tabby cats include the black silver classic tabby and the black tortoise or tortie.

Ever wonder why black Maine Coons tend to change to rusty brown? There are at least two reasons for this change:

1. Due to a deficiency of the tyrosine enzyme 

Tyrosine produces eumelanin, a dark brown/black melanin cluster and pigment responsible for making a cat’s fur black. If this enzyme becomes deficient the black color fades to a shade of rusty brown. Make sure to feed your cat with taurine-enriched cat food to prevent your cat from becoming tyrosine-deficient. 

2. Your cat may be staying too long out in the sun 

Another possible reason is when your cat’s coat becomes sun-bleached as she may be staying too long outdoors or in direct sunlight. 

Black Maine Coon physical features 

1. Eyes

Black Maine Coons have almond-shaped eyes set at an oblique angle and the colors may have a shade of amber, gold, green, copper, orange, yellow or green amber. There are no solid black cats with blue eyes and if you see one it may be only part Maine Coon. Black Maine Coons with some white fur may either have blue eyes or a combination of colors also called odd eyes. 

2. Nose and paws 

These cats all have black nose leather and may have black or brown paw pads. 

3. Ears 

These cats usually have lynx tips on their ears with a matching black color. 

4. Whiskers 

Black Maine Coons have black whiskers and have black vibrissae or tactile hairs which are long hairs above the eyes instead of eyebrows. 

Black Maine Coon personality 

These cats are playful, sociable and affectionate just like other Maine Coons. Like other cats of the breed, black Maine Coons have huge personalities and sweet, gentle nature. These cats are fun-loving, enjoy hunting and like the water. Most of all, they are known as the dogs of the cat world and they can play fetch and be walked on a leash

How Black Maine Coons become black?

To be solid black, both of her parents should possess the black gene. The dominant black color is represented by the B gene while the recessive black gene is represented by b and for a cat to be solid black she must have both B dominant genes.

Why are black cats considered bad luck or unlucky?

This superstition that a black cat brings bad luck or misfortune stems way back from the ancient years when Christianity started to spread in Europe. People belittled pagan systems like the Roman goddess Diana and her cat. Pope Gregory IX declared in 1233 AD that cats are an incarnation of the devil itself and this led to catching black cats and burning them alive. 

In the centuries that followed, black cats became synonymous with witches and were believed to be witches in disguise. A study made in 2013 by the Colorado State University confirmed that black cats were less likely to become adopted soon due to reasons that may include the earlier ones mentioned. 

Image: istockphoto.com / Sergei Ginak

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