Originally, all Maine Coon Cats were brown tabbies. Today, there are more than 75 color and pattern variations, including the Silver Maine Coon. Technically, the Silver or Gray Maine Coon is called the Blue Maine Coon. Blue is one of the five solid colors of Maine Coons. The rest are black, white, cream, and red.
Silver Maine Coon
The correct term for silver or gray-colored Maine Coons is blue. The term arises from the fact the gray color in cats (and other animals) has a slight blue tint. The term is also applied to other cat breeds, including the Russian Blue and the British Short Hair.
Maine Coon genetics
Genetics influence a diverse array of cat qualities, including coat color and patterns. In Maine Coons, some colors can only come out if one or two parents have the same colors.
Maine Coons with black coats carry the gene known as eumelanin. The gene is passed down by at least one parent to its kittens. Those kittens will also carry eumelanin.
Red Maine Coons possess their reddish hue because of the gene called pheomelanin. Pheomelanin is a sex-linked gene which means that a parent with the red coat will also produce a red-colored kitten of the same sex.
Maine Coons with white coats do not possess eumelanin or pheomelanin. To produce a white kitten, at least one parent should have a white coat.
Tortoiseshells, on the other hand, contain red and black colors on their coats. This color pattern only appears in female kittens with mothers who carry the gene for red. Apart from that, one parent should also be black.
Finally, the gray color of Blue Maine Coons comes as a result of the dilution of the black color. Blue Coons include the different shades of gray, including silver.
Gray and Silver Maine Coon variations
The Cat Fanciers’ Association or CFA recognizes close to 30 color variations of the Blue Maine Coon.
The Solid Gray Maine Coon includes cats with different shades of gray. These Coons have hairs that are gray throughout without a tinge of other colors.
2. Silver Tabby
Sometimes referred to as the Black and Gray Maine Coon, the Silver Tabby has a pale silver base color with black markings.
3. Gray Silver Tabby
Gray Silver Tabbies have a silver base coat which is contrasted by deeper gray markings.
4. Gray Silver Patched Tabby
Like the Gray Silver Tabby, the Gray Silver Patched Tabby also has a pale silver base. The difference is in the color of their markings. The Gray Silver Patched Tabby has patches of cream along with deep gray markings. Additionally, it also has a white undercoat.
5. Gray Tabby
The Gray Tabby Maine Coon has a base color that is grayish ivory interspersed with fawn and deep gray overtones.
6. Gray Patched Tabby
The Gray Patched Tabby also has a grayish ivory base color with warm fawn overtones all over. The markings are deep gray in color with some patches of cream.
7. Silver Tabby and White
Silver and Tabby and White Main Coons have white markings on their chests, stomachs, and feet. They have a pale silver base coat and deep gray markings.
8. Silver Patched Tabby and White
The Silver Patched Tabby and White has the same colors and markings as the Silver Tabby and White. The key difference is that the Silver Patched Tabby and White has patches of cream along with the deep gray markings.
9. Gray Tabby and White
The Gray Tabby and White contains a pale greyish ivory coat interspersed with fawn overtones. Its tabby markings are deep gray in color while its chest, stomach, and feet are white.
10. Gray Patched Tabby and White
The Gray Patched Tabby and White has a pale greyish ivory base coat that has fawn overtones. It also has cream and deep gray markings. The chest, stomach, and feet are white.
11. Gray and White
As the name implies, this bi-color Maine Coon Cat has a coat with Gray and White. The bib, belly, and paws, in particular, are white.
12. Gray Cream
Gray Cream Maine Coons are classified as parti-color. Their gray fur has patches of cream in the different parts of the body.
13. Gray Cream and White
The Gray Cream and White has a base coat of gray mixed with cream patches. Its chest, stomach, and feet are white.
14. Chinchilla Silver
The sparkling silver appearance of this color variation can be attributed to the combination of a white undercoat and black markings on the cat’s head, back, side, and tail. In some instances, the legs may have tippings while the chest, stomach, chin, and ears are white.
15. Shaded Silver
The Shaded Silver can be considered as a darker version of the Silver Chinchilla.
The undercoat is white while the tipping on the face, side, and tail is black. The chin, bib, belly, and tail have white markings.
16. Chinchilla Gray Silver
The sparkling silver appearance of the Chinchilla Gray Silver is caused by the combination of its white undercoat and the gray tipping on the head, back, sides, tail, and in some instances, the legs. The chin, bib, belly, and ear tufts are white.
17. Shaded Gray Silver
Es sentially, the Shaded Gray Silver variation is just a darker variation of the Silver Chinchilla. This color variation also has a white undercoat with gray tipping on the face, sides, and tail.
18. Shell Gray Cream
The fur of the Shell Gray Cream Maine Coon has a white undercoat as well as gray and cream tipping on the tail, back, and sides. The face and legs, on the other hand, may also have tipping while the bib, chin, ear, and belly can either be white or tipped.
19. Shaded Gray Cream
The Shaded Gray Cream is a darker variation of the Shell Gray Cream.
The white undercoat is partnered with gray and cream shades on the face, sides, and tail. The face and legs can also appear darker than the other body parts while the ears, chin, belly, and bib can either be lightly tipped or white.
20. Grey Smoke
Viewed from afar, the Grey Smoke Maine Coon looks like the Solid Gray. But upon close inspection, the cat has a smoky coat.
This can be attributed to the combination of a white undercoat coupled with gray tipping. The gray points and face offer a nice contrast to the white ear tufts and chest.
21. Grey Cream Smoke
At first glance, the Gray Cream Smoke appears to have a gray and cream color. But once the cat moves, the coat takes a smoky color, characterized by the white undercoat, gray tipping, and patches of cream.
22. Chinchilla Silver and White
The Chinchilla Silver and White coat’s sparkling appearance comes as a result of the combination of a white undercoat and black tipping on the head, sides, back, and tail. In some Maine Coons, the legs may also be lightly tipped while the chin, bib, belly, and ear tufts are white.
23. Shaded Silver and White
A Maine Coon with a Shaded Silver and White color has a white undercoat and a face, sides, and tail with black tipping. Its chin, bib, belly, and tail are also white.
24. Chinchilla Gray Silver and White
This color variation is characterized by a white undercoat combined with gray tipping on the head, sides, back, and tail. In some cats, the legs may also be slightly tipped. The chin, ear tufts, belly, chest, and paws are white.
25. Shaded Gray Silver and White
The Shaded Gray Silver and White Maine Coon has a white undercoat coupled with a face, sides, and tail that are gray tipped. Its chin, bib, belly, and tail’s underside are also white.
26. Shell Gray Cream and White
The Shell Gray Cream and White combines a white undercoat with gray and cream tipping on the tail, back, and sides. In some cats, the face and legs may also be lightly tipped. The chin, ear tufts, bib, belly, and paws can either be white or tipped.
27. Shaded Grey Cream and White
A Maine Coon with a Shaded Gray Cream and White color has a white undercoat and gray and cream shading on its face, sides, and tail. In some cats, the face and legs may have a color that is darker than the other body parts. The chin, ear tufts, bib, and belly can either be white or have a light tipping.
28. Gray Smoke and White
The Gray Smoke and White color variation features a combination of a white undercoat and deep gray tipping. The face is gray while the chest, ear tufts, stomach, and feet are white.
29. Gray Cream Smoke and White
A Maine Coon with Gray Cream Smoke and White coat has a white underside as well as gray tips and patches of cream. The face and ears are gray and cream in color. Upon closer look, each strand of fur is white at the base.
Finding a Silver Maine Coon
Thinking of adopting a Silver Maine Coon? The gray, silver, or blue color is not necessarily rare. Most Maine Coons come with brown fur while orange or ginger is considered the rarest. White and blue Maine Coons do not come as often as other colors but not they are not as rare as the ginger Coons.
Image: istockphoto.com / Nils Jacobi