Maine Coons not only impress with their size but also by the variety of colors. Variations in shades, spots, and stripes are mesmerizing, but make it difficult to determine the suit.
Therefore, Maine Coon owners are often interested in whether the color of their cat meets the breed standards, as well as what variations are allowed by the breeders.
How Maine Coon Colors Are Classified
Maine Coon colors are classified depending on the combination of three elements:
- the main color of the coat;
- the presence of a pattern;
- the presence of spots, their color, and size.
Genetically, there are only two types of Maine Coon color:
- the black;
They are the basic palette for the appearance of other colors due to the work of breeders or the influence of the external environment on the breed.
Interesting! In the absence of coloring pigment, the cat’s coat will have a white color.
Determining the pattern on the coat is a more complicated process. Stripes, curls, or spots can vary in width and length. They are an additional element of the striped pattern or an independent part of the color. Therefore, only a professional can determine the color of a cat of this breed.
Types Of Colors And Their Description
On the basis of the basic colors of Maine Coons, breeders have bred many new colors of the breed. The most valuable of them are monochromatic variations and covers with a pronounced pattern or specks.
Tabby is a color with stripes. There are also additional features:
- The presence of stripes of medium thickness on the face, which go around the eyes and on the forehead of the cat appear in the letter “M”.
- Each hair itself is striped. Light and dark alternate with each other along the entire length. This phenomenon is called agouti.
Maine Coon tabby color exists in several subspecies:
Regardless of the variety of the pattern, the tabby can be any that the breed allows. But agouti ranges from light blue to bright red.
Solid is a solid color. It appeared thanks to the suppression by breeders of the gene that is responsible for the appearance of the pattern on the coat of a cat of this breed. Solid Maine Coons have no obvious stripes, tan marks. But this does not mean that the cat is not a carrier of the recessive gene. Therefore, monophonic parents may well have tabby kittens.
Solid color comes in the following variants:
- the black;
Maine Coon with “black solid” color scheme is a rather rare occurrence. Solid black kittens may have subtle stripes, but as they grow, they completely hide behind monochrome.
Important! With the wrong care and feeding, the black Maine Coon can turn brown or brown. A cat of this breed should not be fed with beets, and should not be allowed to stay in the sun for a long time.
Maine Coons of color “blue solid” do not have visible stripes, and their coat casts a beautiful gray shade. Often, blue Maine Coons have piercing green eyes.
Red Maine Coon is also a kind of rarity. Red shades are typical for most cats, but it is quite difficult to hide the presence of stripes with such pigmentation. Therefore, finding a monochrome ginger cat is quite difficult. Solid light and cream Maine Coons are even more rare.
Tortoiseshell color means that the cat’s coat has one predominant color, which is decorated with spots of a contrasting shade. They are located throughout the body in a chaotic manner.
Tortoiseshell colors are:
- Sitseva. On the coat, patches in the form of patches of basic colors prevail, sometimes white ones are also found, then the color is called “turtle with white”.
- Drawn. The spots contain a pattern in the form of stripes or streaks.
- Scaly. Red and black markings alternate in a scale-like manner.
- Solid. Spots of basic shades are large in area and stand out with clear boundaries.
Interesting! The patterned colors, as well as the tricolor “turtle with white” are characteristic only of the female specimens of this breed.
Smoky (silver) color
All smoky Maine Coons are united by the obligatory presence of a black or blue “collar”, the ends of the hair of which are painted white.
Depending on the intensity of the color, the following subspecies of the smoky color of cats are distinguished:
- chinchilla (only the ends of the hairs are colored);
- shaded smoke (hairs are colored exactly by a quarter);
- black smoke or blue smoke (there is only white at the base of the hair);
- true smoke (the hairs are colored exactly half);
- silver (hair is white at the base and silvery at the tip);
- cream (kittens of this breed are born with boiling white hair, but as they grow up they become cream).
Important! Smoky silver cats always have rich green eyes.
Color with white spots
Maine Coon with white spots is another result of the efforts of breeders. A similar color appeared because many of the colors seemed spectacular, and the previously absent white markings were considered a fault of the breed.
The main thing for a color with white spots is the clarity of the boundaries. Variations in color do not depend on the intensity of the color, but on the number and method of distribution of spots:
- “Gloves” (only the bottom of the paws is white);
- van (white prevails, but the head and tail remain colored);
- “Medallion” (white mark on the breast);
- “Buttons” (one or more randomly located specks);
- bicolor (white marks are combined with another color in a 1: 1 ratio);
- harlequin (white cat with several large colored markings);
- “Tuxedo” (“gloves” and “medallion” are combined with a dark color on the back).
Rare Maine Coon Colors
The rare types of colors of the breed include not only solid basic ones. A unique color scheme for Maine Coon is one that may or may not be recognized by the European and American standards systems.
Here are some examples:
- Chocolate. The coat of the cat has an even brown tint throughout the body without tan marks or patterns.
- Marble. Maine Coon has stains in the form of circles with distinguishable borders, wide parallel stripes along the vertebrae or “butterfly” on the shoulder blades. In terms of color, the prevailing colors are black marble, red marble, blue marble and cream marble.
- Classical. It’s a tabby or black marble. It is a natural color for Maine Coons and most wild cats, the main purpose of which is camouflage in their natural habitat.
- Tiger. It is characterized by the presence of parallel stripes, often combined with markings on the thighs.
- Spotted. On the animal’s fur, spots of different area and definition are located, which form intermittent stripes.
- Ticked. Stripes or spots can be found on the forehead, chest and legs of the cat, and the main hair has a ticked color scheme.
- Tricolor. Belongs to a variety of tortoiseshell suit, combines black, red and cream colors.
Interesting! A rare occurrence is the birth of a respectable kitten to parents whose fur has any pattern.
Maine Coons with the following colors are not allowed to the exhibitions:
- chocolate (or brown);
- gold (peach);
- all acromelanic;
- ticked tabby;
- all colors that are found in oriental domestic cats.
Important! Most breeders believe that the admixture of oriental blood negatively affects the quality of the Maine Coon skeleton, which is extremely important for the structure of large cats of this breed.
Free Color Combinations
Due to the huge number of variations in color, difficulties often arise in determining the colors of the breed. However, even for random combinations, breeders have a special classification.
If the cat does not have light spots, the following colors are possible:
- brown spotted tabby (wool interspersed with red and brown);
- “Diluted turtle” (wool interspersed with cream and blue spots);
- blue spotted tabby (combination of primary colors in various variations).
If white spots are present, then the color of the breed can be called like this:
- “Blue cream with white” (the cat has different marks of the indicated shades);
- “Spotted tabby with white” (the tabby color is complemented by white spots, which have clearly outlined borders).
Color Table And Codes
Help in determining the Maine Coon color is the international EMS system. In accordance with it, each color of the breed has an individual code, which consists of letters and numbers.
If there are spots on the cat’s fur, a digital code is added to the letter:
- 01 – white Maine Coon with one or more spots of the main color (aka “van”);
- 02 – two-thirds of the wool is colored light (aka “harlequin”);
- 03 – bicolor;
- 04 – there is a light color in the cat’s fur, but it is less than half;
- 09 – white marks no more than 2 centimeters in size;
- 11 – unexpressed color, as if covered with a haze and manifested on gray wool, the so-called “shaded tabby” (no more than 25% of the main color of the cat’s coat);
- 12 – chinchilla (dark color) or cameo (red color);
- 21 – “agouti” (the Maine Coon has a tabby color, but the pattern is difficult to classify);
- 22 – typical tabby or marble (letter “M” on the forehead or “butterflies” on the sides of the cat);
- 23 – brindle tabby or mackerel (the letter “M” on the forehead of the cat, the stripes on the body are arranged in the manner of tiger ones);
- 24 – spotted or torn brindle;
- 25 – ticked tabby.
A special coding is also used for the color of the iris of the breed:
- 61 – Maine Coon with blue eyes;
- 62 – Maine Coon with orange, yellow, or gold eyes;
- 63 – heterochromia;
- 64 – Maine Coon with green eyes
Interesting! The name of the breed also has its own designations. In the case of the Maine Coon, these are the letters “M” and “C”.
If the documents contain the designation N22 or D22, this means that the Maine Coon is black or red with a marble color scheme.
Maine Coon hair itself can have different color combinations. And there are so many variations in the drawings of a cat of this breed that you cannot count. And this diversity has been increased even more thanks to the painstaking work of the breeders. Therefore, every fan of the breed will definitely be able to find a cat according to their own preferences.