The gentle and affectionate Maine Coons are known around the world for their large size and adorable personality. These cats are smart, easily trained and very vocal. What makes them more lovable is their striking appearance especially their fluffy coats and vivid colors. Interestingly, Maine Coons have more or less 75 coat color variations classified by the Cat Fanciers Association or CFA.
These are the coat colors of the breed which are recognized by the CFA:
Black Maine Coons
There have been superstitious beliefs and stigma attached to them due to the black color. Their distinctive features include their eyes that may be gold, green, yellow, orange or copper. They also have a black nose and black or brown paw pads as well as black whiskers and tactile hairs above the eyes.
The coat color variations include the solid black, bi-colored, black tabby and black smoke.
White Maine Coons
Well-loved because of their luxurious coats and regal air, the white Maine Coons are considered the queens and kings of the breed. The Cat Fanciers Association or CFA recognizes white as a solid color for Maine Coons but the cats should have pink nose leather and paw pads. These cats are predisposed to sunburn, prone to skin cancer and have the risk of being born deaf due to genetic defects.
The coat color variations include the white and black, white and grey and white tiger.
Red Maine Coons
Red Maine Coons have striking coats and sharp eyes that may be a shade of green, orange, gold or copper. These felines are also referred to as marmalade, ginger, sandy or orange although the Cat Fanciers Association or CFA only accepts the red color. They have dark pink nose leather and paw pads and are considered tabby cats due tothe striped effect on their fur.
The coat color variations include solid red, red classic tabby, red smoke, red mackerel tabby and red ticked tabby.
Blue Maine Coons
These majestic felines have fur that looks blue but the shade is actually more gray with a bluish tinge since there is no classification for gray Maine Coon. Gray is a diluted form of black due to the dilution gene and the shade may vary from a light silvery color to a rich dark gray just like slate.
The coat color variations include the solid blue, blue smoke, blue-tabby, blue silver, blue tortie, blue and white and chinchilla silver.
Cream Maine Coons
The cream color also called buff is recognized and accepted by the CFA and The International Cat Association or TICA. The coat color variations includes the solid cream, blue-cream, shell cream, cream and white, cream-tabby, cream cameo tabby, cream silver and shaded cream cameo.
Smoke-colored Maine Coons look as if their fur is only of just one color on the surface. However, if you check the roots, the hair is much lighter compared to the tips. The range of smoke colors includes black smoke, red smoke, blue smoke, tortie smoke, cream smoke and blue tortie smoke.
Bi-colored Maine Coons have fur that is a combination of white and another color. These felines may have white on their faces but will always have white on their tummies, chest area and paws. The range of bi-colors includes black and white, blue and white, cream and white and red and white.
Tabby Maine Coons have fur that is streaked or mottled with stripes and is one of the most popular colors. This color is considered as the original Maine Coon pattern.
These are the five categories under this color:
Cats with fur that is mottled or streaked with dark stripes. The classic tabby colors are blue classic tabby, black/ brown classic tabby, red classic tabby, cream classic tabby, tortie classic tabby and blue tortie classic tabby.
Cats have an M shape on the center of the forehead and have narrow stripes that run parallel on their coat which are sometimes gently curving but which may also break up into spots and bars. These cats are also called tiger cats and the range of colors includes the black/brown mac tabby, blue mac tabby, red mac tabby, cream mac tabby, tortie mac tabby and blue tortie mac tabby.
Silver classic tabby
These cats have fur with a shimmery silver sheen and the hair is grey with white roots. The stripes are dark grey to black and also known as silver agouti cats. The range of colors includes black silver classic tabby, blue silver classic tabby, cream silver classic tabby, red silver classic tabby, blue tortie silver classic tabby and tortie silver classic tabby.
Silver mackerel tabby
The range of colors includes black silver mac tabby, blue silver mac tabby, cream silver mac tabby, red silver mac tabby, blue tortie silver mac tabby and tortie silver mac tabby.
Silver shaded tabby
These cats look darker in appearance and one third of the hair tips is colored while the rest is white and tipping may also have other colors. The range of colors includes blue silver shaded tabby, black silver shaded tabby, red silver shaded tabby, cream silver shaded tabby, tortie silver shaded tabby and blue tortie silver shaded tabby.
Maine Coons are renowned for being gentle giants and the dogs of the cat world. They have great personalities and get along well with children and other pets. They come in solid, bi-colored, tabby and smoke colors but they also have various color combinations, approximately 75 to 85 variations as recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nynke van Holten