Maine Coon colors and coats are prismatic, beautiful, and fascinating. I actually didn’t know that so many Maine Coon cat colors existed until after I became an owner of this charming breed.
Just how many types of Maine Coon coats colors exist? Maine Coons can be found in more than 70 color variations and combinations that include white, black, red, blue, cream, silver, and red.
Their coat patterns include the categories of solid to tabby, bicolor and particolor, shaded and smoke, shaded and smoke with white, and others. Get ready to fall in love with Maine Coons spanning the full prism of coat varieties!
- The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) Standards on Maine Coon Color and Pattern Classes
- Solid Color Class
- Tabby Maine Coon Pattern
- Particolor Maine Coon Color
- Particolor & White
- Shaded Pattern
- Smoke Maine Coon Pattern
- Other Maine Coon Colors and Patterns
- Most Common Maine Coon Cat Colors
- Rarest Maine Coon Cat Colors
- Maine Coon Eye Colors
- Maine Coon Color Genetics
- Taking Care of a Maine Coon’s Coat
The Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA) Standards on Maine Coon Color and Pattern Classes
Maine Coons have well-documented features. In fact, the sturdiness that we admire in this cat today plays a special role in the breed’s history.
While it’s hard to believe when looking at my pampered Maine Coon cat named Chelle, the Maine Coon was originally a working breed. The heavy-boned, muscular body of the Maine Coon made it a perfect fit for keeping homes and barns free of rodents.
While the true origins of the breed are unknown, most experts agree that this cat is derived from Norwegian Forest cats brought to New England by settlers.
Maine Coons have become “America’s cat”, popular in the media and the show cat circuit, and are known as the oldest natural breed in North America.
As show cat darlings, here are some of the Cat Fancier’s Association notes on the Maine Coon breed. CFA labels the Maine Coon as a solid, rugged cat capable of enduring harsh climates. The cat’s most distinctive feature is a smooth, shaggy coat with a rare silky texture and a long luxurious tail.
Next, let’s dive into Maine Coon coat color classes as per the CFA. They have a very logical breakdown. And while there’s no way to cover every possible color category of Maine Coons without creating an encyclopedia, I’ll hit all the top ones.
Solid Color Class
I love a monochrome Maine Coon! While there’s no doubt that “tortoise” and “marbled” patterns displayed on many coats are glamorous, there is something unique about a Maine Coon with a solid coat.
Here’s how the CFA breaks down solid Maine Coon colors.
White Maine Coon
Like an Arctic fox leaping on a snowy frontier, a totally white Maine Coon can inspire awe. These ivory beauties have pink nose leathers and paw pads.
Black Maine Coon
As majestic as midnight, a completely black Maine Coon has a coal-colored coat from root to tip!
A coat is only classified as being true black if it’s free from rust or smoke accents. While a black coat is accompanied by black nose leather, paws pads can be either black or brown.
Blue Maine Coon
The rare and highly desirable blue Maine Coon cat exhibits one level tone from nose tip to tail. The blue is consistent down to the roots. In keeping with a “true blue” theme, both the nose leather and paw pads are blue.
Red Maine Coon
A red Maine Coon coat shows off a deep, rich red hue of scarlet splendor. A true red coat is free of any shadings or markings.
The red even extends to the lips and chin. The nose leather and paw pads of a red Maine Coon show off a rare bricked-red hue.
But don’t fret if you’ve never come across a red cat because what this color actually looks like in real life is a deep orange Maine Coon!
Cream Maine Coon
As lovely as a latte, the cream Maine Coon color can display one level shade of “buff cream” that is free from markings.
The rich cream color goes all the way to the roots. Breaking up the cream vision are pink hues on the nose leather and paw pads.
Tabby Maine Coon Pattern
The rich, wholesome look of a tabby is a classic pick for anyone wanting a Maine Coon cat. However, you may not have realized that there are so many subcategories within the tabby Maine Coon color and pattern category. Let’s check them out.
Classic Tabby Maine Coon
The classic tabby Maine Coon coat is identified by its dense, clearly defined markings.
Pay attention to the legs! The tabby pattern on the legs should be evenly barreled. You should also see “bracelets” extending upward to meet the striations on the body.
In addition, the classic tabby pattern stands out for its evenly ringed tail, necklaces on the neck and upper chest, cheek swirls, and M-shaped frown marks on the forehead.
The shoulders on a tabby are notably spectacular. Those who look closely will see vertical lines down the spine that create intricate paneling. Finally, rows of buttons can be seen running down the chest.
This tabby Maine Coon pattern is defined by its dense, clearly defined markings.
The legs are beautifully barred with thin bracelets that blend upward into the body markings. The tail is also barred. Finally, look for chain-like necklaces on the chest and neck.
A forehead barred with M-shaped lines, unbroken lines running from the large eyes, and lines that run from head to shoulder give this coat a dramatic look.
Ticking describes a pattern of colors with small flecks. With a ticked tabby coat, you’ll notice pronounced freeform ticking that’s devoid of any noticeable blotches, stripes, or spots.
Classic tabby Maine Coon patterns and markings are present on the face, legs, and underside.
Tabby & White
Cats dressed in tabby & white enjoy classic, mackerel, and ticked patterns. This category is for cats with or without white on the face.
However, white must be present on the bib, belly, and paws. In order to fulfill the tabby & white requirements, a cat must have their white coats paired with blue, blue, blue-silver, cream, cream-silver, or cameo.
There’s also a patched tabby & white subcategory that shows off classic, mackerel, or ticked Maine Coon patterns with requirements for white on the bib, belly, and paws.
The bicolor Maine Coon coat class is divided into four subcategories.
The black & white category is defined by a coat made up of black and white. While white on the face is optional, the cat must have white on the bib, belly, and paws.
That requirement for white on the face is universal for every bicolor subcategory.
The blue & white subcategory shows off a combination of blue and white. Bold red & white coats feature a combination of red and white fur.
Finally, cream & white displays a combination of rich cream and pure white. While white on the face is optional, the cat must have white on the bib, belly, and paws.
Particolor Maine Coon Color
The particolor Maine Coon color class is split between tortoiseshell and blue-cream.
Tortoiseshell is defined by a black coat with patches of red. Patches can also be substituted for subtly arranged areas of red throughout the bodies or extremities. Several shades of red may be present.
Blue-cream coats are blue coats peppered with patches of cream. Like red patches, cream patches can be softly intermingled throughout the body and extremities.
Tortoiseshell Maine Coon
A highly prized Maine Coon pattern, tortoiseshell can manifest in a variety of ways. This includes shell tortoiseshell, shaded tortoiseshell, shell tortoiseshell & white, and tortie smoke.
Shell tortoiseshell features a white undercoat that is tipped with black and red at the back, flanks, and tail. Ears, chin, stomach, and chest can also be tipped with shading. Paw pads, nose leather, and eye rims can vary from rose to black. These features can also be patched.
Shaded tortoiseshell is defined by an undercoat of white with a mantle of black and red shading over the sides, face, and tail. Ears, chin, stomach, and chest can range from white to tipped.
Ears, nose leather, and eye rims can range from rose to black. Patching is also acceptable on these features. Overall, shaded tortoiseshell is distinguishable for being darker than shell tortoiseshell.
Tortie smoke is defined a white undercoat that is deeply tipped with black and red.
Particolor & White
The particolor & white color class is divided into four subcategories.
Calico Maine Coon
Calico Maine Coon coats are white with non-brindled black and red patches. Dilute calico has un-brindled patches of blue and cream.
Tortoiseshell and White
Tortoiseshell and White is a tortoiseshell pattern with optional white fur on the face. However, the bib, belly, and paws must have white.
Blue Cream and White
Blue Cream and White is defined as blue-cream with optional white on the face. Bib, belly, and paws must have white.
I could fill the whole page with shaded patterns if I went down the list!
You’re most likely to come across “shaded and white” variations that include shaded silver & white, shaded blue silver & white, shaded cream & white, shaded cameo (red) & white, shaded tortoiseshell & white, and shaded-blue cream & white.
Smoke Maine Coon Pattern
The smoke pattern on a Maine Coon is the result of banding that presents a smoky look. In this combination, darker tips are blended with a paler shaft. In person, this pattern can make for a dramatic Maine Coon cat color.
The popular-on-social media black smoke Maine Coons in this pattern are simply black or gray coated cats with a smoke pattern.
Other common combinations include black smoke & white, blue smoke & white, cameo (red) smoke & white, tortie smoke & white, and blue-cream smoke & white.
Other Maine Coon Colors and Patterns
I’m really only scratching the surface on colors and patterns by mentioning the show-stopping favorites above. However, most of the other options that you’ll find are actually variations of the core patterns and colors I’ve covered so far.
Some other exciting looks to keep your eye out for when browsing Maine Coons include red tabby & white, silver patched tabby, and chinchilla silver.
In fact, CFA’s standards dictate that Maine Coons can display any other color as long as it’s not the result of a hybridization of chocolate, lavender, or the Himalayan pattern. Maine Coons with those coats are considered as having Any Other Variety (AOV) coats that are not suitable for shows.
Most Common Maine Coon Cat Colors
Which Maine Coon coat colors can you expect to see the most? While you can find an endless types and varieties of Maine Coon colors and patterns, most contain these core bases and accents.
Maine Coon Color Chart
|Red||While red may seem exotic, it’s an extremely common coat color for Maine Coons. This is also known as an “orange” coat.|
|Blue||Both solid blue coats and blue-cream coats are common.|
|Black||While all-black Maine coons aren’t very common, smoky Maine Coons with black-based coats are.|
|White||While some Maine Coons are fully white, many “& white” combinations pair a deeper hue with white splotches.|
|Brown||Brown is often one of the bases of a tortoiseshell Maine Coon coat.|
|Silver||Silver Maine Coons commonly are shaded, smoke, or tabby patterns with silver accents. Lovely!|
|Cream||Cream is most commonly found in blue-cream coats.|
|Grey||Beautiful gray Maine Coons are responsible for the popular “smokey” look that so many cats show off!|
|Orange||AKA “red” Maine Coons|
Rarest Maine Coon Cat Colors
With so many different colors of Maine Coons, what is the rarest?
It’s mostly agreed that a rare Maine Cool color is gold. Golden Maine Coons are technically tabbies with a red coloration that lacks visible stripes.
Maine Coon Eye Colors
According to CFA standards, Maine Coon eye color types include shades of green, gold, green-gold, and copper. Any cat with an all-white or partial-white coat may have either blue or “odd” eyes.
Maine Coon Color Genetics
While it seems like there are unlimited different colors of Maine Coons, the truth is that the only to coat colors are red and brown/black.
Every other color you see is actually a variation of these two colors. While male cats get their basic coloring from their mother, the female cat gets her coloring from both parents.
Maine Coons (and all cats) can technically only be red, brown, or both! However, any color of fur can have white layered on top of it.
Solid and dilute characteristics come from recessive genes that can only be passed on if both parents have them.
Silver is a dominant gene that will be inherited by roughly half of the kittens in the liter if one parent carries it.
Taking Care of a Maine Coon’s Coat
The good news is that you don’t need to be a geneticist to know how to take care of a Maine Coon cat’s fur like a pro! Ideally, you should be brushing your Maine Coon’s long coat at least three times a week. They do not come as short haired cats.
This will help to prevent painful tangles, decrease shedding, remove loose dander in a controlled way, and provide a nice bonding experience! I’ve even seen some veterinarians recommend daily brushing for Maine Coons.
Your Maine Coon’s fur may actually need extra attention if you live in a cold, damp climate. During damp winter days, Maine Coon cats will “cling” to their coats in order to stay warm.
This lack of shedding can cause a coat to become very dense. You may not realize that your extra-fluffy cat is actually hiding an undercoat full of knots and tangles that will become painful to remove if you’re not keeping up maintenance.
(On the flip side, a Maine Coon who is shedding too much may require more fats in their diet, which can come from special cat food for shedding for this exact issue)
You can generally help your Maine Coon to maintain a healthy, vibrant coat by brushing with a soft-bristled brush. These brushes are great for getting through fur without causing matting. Avoid wire brushes that can tear at your cat’s skin.
Should You Bath a Maine Coon?
I’m asked frequently if Maine Coon cats need regular baths. I recommend giving your cat a bath once a month to keep fur clean and fresh.
A bath is also a great time for sloughing away the dead skin cells that are making your cat’s fur matted and dense. Make sure you’re using feline shampoo instead of human shampoo!
I’m Gary Hu, a proud cat dad to a 15 lb Maine Coon. Have taken care of outdoor and indoor cats for over 10 years, and learned tons on behavior, habits, health, and products. I help new Maine Coon (or any other cat) parents with common questions and issues based on real, practical experience.