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22.05.2022

Tabbies, solids, or torties—what are all the Maine Coon colours and patterns?

A huge part of what makes Maine Coons one of the most desirable cat breeds is their striking looks and beautiful fur shades. 

There are many Maine Coon colours—over 75 according to the CFA (Cat Fanciers Association), so cat parents can choose from smoke to particolour. 

Keep reading to discover different Maine Coon variants, the most and least popular colours, and whether you can predict a kitten’s colour before they’re born. We’ll also present the best diet for your feline’s shiny coat and general well-being

Maine Coon colours and patterns

Since these long-haired felines come in various shades, breed specialists have come up with eight main pattern categories for easier classification:

  1. Solid
  2. Tabbies
  3. Tortoiseshell
  4. Smoke
  5. Shaded
  6. Bicolour
  7. Particolour

There’s also an additional category known as “Other Maine Coon Cat Colours” since some colours, such as lavender, are not officially accepted as a Maine Coon variant. 

Solid

While most Maine Coons have complex patterns with several different colours, solids are monochromatic from head to tail—no stripes or marks. 

Oh maaaan, being this beautiful is exhausting!

Source: Romain Chollet

Here are five Maine Coon colours with brief descriptions:

  • White—The fur is snow-white, and the paws and nose are pink
  • Black—The coat is black, while the paws and nose are brown
  • Red—These kitties are often referred to as ginger or orange
  • Blue—The coat is a specific shade of grey with a hint of elegant blue
  • Cream—These kitties have cream-coloured coats, and their noses and paws are pink (the same as with white Coons)

    Tabbies

    Tabby is the most common pattern in the Maine Coon world. Tabby Maine Coons first spotted in Maine, in the US, are predecessors of today’s Maine Coons. Their patterns are various and distinct—they can have spots, stripes, whirls, etc.

    There are three main groups of tabbies, classified according to their patterns and markings:

    Maine Coon pattern

    Characteristics 

    Classic tabby pattern

    • Dense, big, distinct markings
    • Blotches (targets) on their sides
    • An “M” imprint on the forehead 
    • Whirls on the cheeks
    • Lines on the back of their head that extend into beautiful patterns down the shoulders
    • Circular markings on their chest and neck

    Mackerel tabby pattern

    • Distinct parallel lines down both sides of their bodies
    • An “M” imprint on their forehead
    • Parallel lines that go from their heads to the shoulders 
    • Unbroken circular patterns around their necks

    Ticked tabby pattern

    • Dense ticking all over the body
    • Signature tabby markings over legs and faces
    • No patterns or spots are visible from above

    Tabby with white is a subcategory and includes tabby kitties with white chests and paws.

    The combinations are numerous, but the most common are:

    • Silver tabby-white
    • Red tabby-white
    • Brown tabby-white

    Tortoiseshell

    Tortie's primary colour is black, but they usually have cream or red marks. Since the black and red colours come from the X chromosome, there are far more females of this kind than males. 

    By combining tabbies and torties, you get torbies. The best way to differentiate them is by looking at their paws—torbies’ paws have distinct red colouring. 

    Smoke

    Smoke Maine Coons are similar to solids—their coat is also monochromatic and comes in the same colours. The difference is that smoke Maine Coons’ undercoat is a light silver colour resulting in a faded or smokey look. 

    The best way to spot this is by petting or brushing a Maine Coon. You should be able to see lighter roots. The difference is less obvious in kittens, so you might find out that your solid is a smoke Maine Coon after a while.

    Here are some standard smoke colours:

    • Blue smoke
    • Cream smoke
    • Cameo smoke
    • Tortie smoke

    Shaded

    Shaded Maine Coons have light coloured undercoats with a distinct shade on the outer layer of their fur. They come in many combinations, such as:

    • Shaded silver
    • Shaded cameo
    • Shaded blue silver
    • Shaded tortoiseshell

    Bicolour

    Bicolour Maine Coons have one colour mixed with white. Their pattern is easily recognisable—it goes far up their legs and sometimes reaches their faces and stomachs. 

    Particolour

    These Maine Coons have two mixed colours, such as brown and red, while some parts of their coat remain white. 

    What are the most common and rarest Maine Coon colours?

    Tabbies are the most common cats. Their actual colour depends on the shade of their stripes and markings. 

    Typical Maine Coon colours are brown tabby, black, white, blue, and cream.

    The two rarest Maine Coon colours are gold and silver. They’re brought about by a rare inhibitor gene that causes the loss of pigmentation in the undercoat.

    Even though every Maine Coon is gorgeous, the most sought after are:

    • Gold
    • Silver
    • Calico
    • Cinnamon
    • Cream

    Maine Coon colour calculator—Cat coat genetics

    Breeders often use a Maine Coon colour calculator to figure out how genetics will predetermine a cat’s shade and pattern. Although it’s not an exact science, it can predict all the potential outcomes. 

    Having a detailed ancestry of both Maine Coon parents is the only way to know for sure. For example, if two black cats have the recessive allele, they can produce a blue coloured kitten. 

    What about Maine Coon eye colour?

    All kittens have blue eyes, but the initial colour will change over time. Once they reach eight weeks, you can expect your Maine Coon’s eyes to start turning into their actual shade. 

    So, you’re saying I don’t get to keep my dashing blue eyes forever???

    Source: Beeki

    The most common eye colours in Maine Coons are:

    • Green
    • Gold
    • Green-gold

    In rare cases, a Coon’s eyes can be:

    • Blue
    • Odd-eyes (a combination of blue and one of the three regular colours)

    Blue-eyed white cats are often deaf (because of the pleiotropic gene that creates white fur). Odd-eyed white cats are also likely to be deaf on the blue-eye side. 

    Are there special grooming techniques for different colours of Maine Coon cats?

    You should groom your Maine Coon regularly, regardless of their colour. They have long, thick, and luscious coats that demand frequent brushing. If left ungroomed, their shiny fur will become tangled. 

    These are the essentials of Maine Coon grooming:

    1. Brushing—You should brush your cat's fur two to three times a week without exceptions
    2. Trimming—Cutting the fur might be tricky, so it's better to take your feline companion to a grooming salon 
    3. Clipping nails—If your Maine Coon spends most of their time indoors, their claws will get too long. Make sure to clip them regularly or get them to a kitty beauty parlour
    4. Bathing—You shouldn’t bathe your feline more than once a month. Use a cat shampoo and conditioner because human products can mess up your kitty's skin

    Shedding and allergies

    Shedding mainly depends on your cat’s lifestyle (indoor or outdoor). 

    Like Siberian and Norwegian Forest cats, Maine Coons have had to adjust to milder climates as they got domesticated, but their thick coats have stayed. Adult outdoor Maine Coons, especially those living in cooler climates, shed layers of dead fur twice a year. Other than that, their shedding is pretty minimal.

    Indoor Maine Coon’s shedding is an entirely different story. Some felines shed all year round, and some rarely ever. A healthy Maine Coon usually sheds mildly during the whole year. If you notice any excessive fur loss or an unusual shedding pattern, contact your vet. 

    Excessive shedding can be a symptom of allergies and bacterial infections, but it can also affect cat parents. Maine Coons aren’t hypoallergenic, so sensitive people can react to their fur. 

    To improve both your cat’s health and their coat quality, feed them high-protein food with all the nutrients they need.

    The perfect diet for your Maine Coon’s shiny coat

    Besides grooming, your cat’s diet also plays a massive role in maintaining a healthy and beautiful coat. 

    Your feline is an obligate carnivore, so their meals must consist of animal protein and fat. Maine Coon’s nutrition should be modelled after their ancestral diet. Cats used to hunt birds, mice, rabbits, and other small animals to meet their needs for animal protein, so it’s best to mimic their eating habits but with human-grade meat. 

    The best food should contain human-grade lean meat or fish (such as chicken, turkey, liver, etc.) and not plant-based proteins (derived from grains, peas, carrots, or corn) because cats cannot break down those ingredients properly. 

    They put how many vegetables in my food?!

    Source: Michelle_Raponi

    Vegan and vegetarian dishes are useless and taste bland to cats, so you'll have a hard time getting your furry friend to finish their meal. Some human products are harmful to cats, so avoid chocolate, coffee, allium vegetables, and anything with alcohol.

    Whether you opt for dry, wet, or mixed food, make sure that it has the proper nutrient ratio, as presented in the table below:

    Nutrient group

    Ideal percentage

    Animal protein

    50% or more

    Animal fat

    Up to 20%

    Carbs 

    Less than 3%

    How can Untamed help?

    A well-balanced diet is vital for your feline’s health and longevity, and Untamed offers the perfect meal plan!

    Here's what we bring to the table:

    • High-protein formulas—Our products offer twice as much protein as most commercial products. Every Untamed can is full of taurine, arginine, and other amino acids 
    • Allergen-free meals—All our meals are made with natural ingredients and contain no known allergens
    • Vet-approved formulas—Untamed recipes are created by vets to provide complete and balanced nutrition for your cat
    • Human-grade ingredients—We offer only the best for your feline—nutrient-dense, easy-to-digest whole meat with no slaughterhouse scraps
    • Ethically produced cat food—Untamed works with sustainable, cruelty-free, and dolphin-safe suppliers, and our packaging is 100% recyclable

    With Untamed, you don’t need to worry about your Maine Coon getting bored with their diet. Even if they’re very picky and dislike wet food, our delicious meals will make them lick their bowl while their coat remains sleek.

    A new Untamed recipe, you say? Can’t wait to get my paws on this one!

    Image (c) Untamed 

    Our gravy and jelly products suit felines at every life stage. For particularly sensitive kitties, we offer single-source-protein dishes (Tuck-in Tuna and Choka Chicken in Jelly) to keep their tummies calm. 

    Take our online questionnaire, and together we’ll come up with the perfect meal plan for your furry friend.

    Getting Untamed 

    Ordering cat food online has never been easier.

    All you need to do is:

    1. Take our try now quiz
    2. Choose the products 
    3. Place the order

    We'll deliver your order in a day with no additional shipping fees. If your kitty gives us the go-ahead, we’ll provide a fresh batch of Untamed at the same time every month. 

    Our clients have noticed positive changes in their Maine Coons’ coats and overall health after switching them to our cat food subscription boxes. Check out what they shared with us:

    Timeline 

    The Untamed effect

    After a week

    In 2 months

    Within 4 months

    • A sleeker, shinier coat
    • Reduced hairball formation
    • Less shedding 

    Life-long