The Tabby Maine Coon

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Maine Coons come in all varieties of colors, from black to brown to white. If you are looking to add a Maine Coon to your household with a very distinctive color and pattern, consider a tabby one!

Some of the patterns available, include ticked, mackerel, or classic, but all are characterized by a distinct M shape on their forehead. Tabby Maine Coons are large, fluffy, and energetic creatures no matter what color you end up with.

Check out the following guide to learn all the ins and outs about tabby Maine Coons. We will explore everything from the history of tabby Maine Coons to their costs. Plus, you can learn more about the wide range of color classes.

This post is part of the Maine Coon color series. See posts on silverblackorange, white, calico Maine Coons.

Discover Everything About Tabby Maine Coon Cats

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The beautiful colors and easy going nature of tabby Maine Coons make them a favorite choice among cat owners. There is a certain appeal for the specific combinations coat patterns and colors of the tabby Maine Coon.

These types of Maine Coons have a long history. And there are even different color classes that set each Maine Coon apart from another.

Breed History

Maine Coons trace their origins back to the New England area. Further back than that they are enshrouded in myths. Most likely their ancestors were European cats who interbred with cats already living in colonial America. 

The tabby pattern Maine Coon variation may have led to one fantastic legend. Some people hold that Maine Coon cats are the result of a cross between a domesticated house cat and a raccoon!

This origin story probably stems from a tabby Maine Coon cat’s ringed tail and bushy appearance.

Tabby Maine Coons were a popular long-haired breed in the 1800s. However, European long-haired breeds became more popular moving into the 1900s.

Maine Coons never completely fell out of favor with those breeders and owners who loved them. In 1976, they were given recognition by the Cat Fancier’s Association. They are a formally recognized breed, including the tabby mix variation.

General Physical Appearance

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The origins of the Maine Coon breed go back to a rugged life in the cold climate of Maine. The temperature and lifestyle of that time influenced their huge size and thick, fluffy fur.


You can see the difference between the upper layer of fur and the thicker, bottom layer of fur. Although you will probably keep your fur baby inside, this multi-layered fur coat was an adaptation to keep Maine Coon cats warm when staying outside.


In size, Maine Coons are large cats. Males can be as heavy as 25 pounds and females as heavy as 15 pounds.

They are anywhere from 8 to 16 tall and around 40 inches long from head to tail. In fact, Maine Coons are the largest cat domestic breed in the world.

Head and Body

Their head and body are rugged, with large, tufted ears. Their eyes are a distinctive oval shape with a soft, but noticeable, slant.


Their signature tails are long, with it being wider at the base and tapering to an elegant tip. A Maine Coon has wide set, powerful legs for jumping and swimming.

M for “Maine Coon”

The distinct feature of a tabby Maine Coon mix is the M highlighted on its forehead. Tabby Maine Coon cats can be immediately identified by that one specific marking. This is true for all recognized tabby patterns.

Recognized Tabby Maine Coon Coat Patterns

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If you are interested in owning a Maine Coon with a tabby pattern, you get to choose from several varieties. These standard patterns have distinct characteristics. You might like the look of stripes more than spots, or vice versa.


The classic tabby pattern is distinct and probably familiar. This pattern is characterized by broad, swirling markings on the sides. Some people compare this to a marble cake design.

Some classic tabby Maine Coons, however, have a more apparent bullseye design. Another name for the classic tabby pattern is the blotched tabby. The markings sometimes resembles ink blotches on paper.


The mackerel tabby pattern is characterized by parallel stripes. These thin stripes usually run down the cat’s sides, starting from a long strip down the back.

The mackerel pattern gets its name from the fish species. In some ways, this tabby pattern resembles the skeleton of a fish.


Different bands of color on every hair characterizes this unique tabby pattern. Ticked tabby Maine Coons are sometimes known as agouti tabbies.

They have other traits similar to other tabby patterns, such as the tabby rings on the legs and tail. However, they are usually made up of multiple colors on different parts of their coat.


Instead of distinct stripes or swirls, a spotted tabby Maine Coon is known by the spots dotting its body. These spots can be large and small.

However, the distinctive stripes of a classic tabby pattern are highlighted on the head, tail, and legs. This pattern is very similar to mackerel and classic.

You can often see the stripes and swirls that characterize those patterns, but they are broken up into pieces. This break between the patterns creates spots.

Tabby Maine Coon Color Combinations

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There are several different color classes that the CFA splits tabby Maine Coon cats into. Below you can see many of them detailed.

However, this is not a thorough list of all the potential color combinations and variations. Make sure to explore the different color classes before you go out to purchase your own tabby Maine Coon from a breeder.


Brown tabbies showcase a lovely brown with a copper hue. The markings are typically a deep black, with white markings sometimes on the chin.

The brown color class also features a patched tabby variation. A brown patched tabby Maine Coon has some red patches mixed in with the black markings.

Brown tabby Maine Coons are very common and very popular. Their commonality makes them one of the easiest colors to find for a reasonable price. Breeders will have a good selection of traditional brown tabby Maine Coons to pick from.


The base color of a silver tabby Maine Coon cat is a pale silver. The markings are usually black, but some white is allowed on the lip and chin.

The patched variation mixes in red or cream colors into the black markings. Consider the silver color class if you want an elegant and stately-looking cat.


A red tabby Maine Coon has a beautiful red ground color. The markings are also red, but a deeper, richer red color. White trim on the chin and lip is also sometimes present in a red tabby.

The red ground color is usually close to an orange or ginger hue, which makes the deep red a cool contrast. This color class is unique in that you may only find male tabby Maine Coons with the red color.


Some tabby Maine Coons have a unique blue shade mixed in somewhere. The blue color in cats is often very similar to gray, but usually more distinctive.

The blue tabby has a ground color that is a pale ivory with bluish undertones. The markings are a deeper blue that creates a very bold contrast. There is also a blue patched tabby variation that mixes in patches of cream with the deep blue markings.

There is a lovely mix between the silver and blue color classes, too. A blue-silver tabby has a clear silver base color, but with deep blue markings. The resulting contrast is very distinctive.

A blue-silver patched tabby is similar to a blue-silver tabby. However, this type of Maine Coon features cream patches within the deep blue markings. The blue-silver patched tabby also commonly has a lovely white undercoat.


Cream tabby Maine Coons have a soft cream color as the ground color on their coat. Their markings are also a cream color, but dark enough to create a contrast.

There is also a beautiful mix between the cream and silver color classes. A cream silver tabby Maine Coon has an off-white base color with cream markings. The undercoat is typically white and distinctive compared to the cream color.

Tabby Maine Coon Cat Genetics

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Even if they do not show it, every Maine Coon cat carries a gene for the different tabby patterns. If they are not a tabby, then it is due to genetic masking.

In cats, an agouti gene is the determining factor if a cat has a solid coat. A dominant agouti gene means that a Maine Coon will definitely showcase a color other than solid.

A specific tabby gene will then determine what type of pattern their coat has, with the dominant pattern being the mackerel pattern.

Health Issues

Most domesticated animals, including our favorite fluffy friends, are prone to certain health concerns. Maine Coons, including the tabby variety, are not the exception.

Knowing what can go wrong with your cat’s health can help you make a plan for prevention.

Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy

Many Maine Coons experience this disease thanks to genetics. The result is an enlarged heart muscle. Typically, this disease is first detected as a heart murmur, but can be confirmed with an echocardiogram.

Hip Dysplasia

As your cat gets older, you might notice it exhibiting pain in its hips. Maine Coons are particularly prone to this concern due to their large size. Too much weight on aging joints can make jumping or playing more difficult as they age.


Although this is more of a unique trait, it is an inherited characteristic for some tabby Maine Coons. If your cat has polydactylism, then they have an extra toe.


Stomatitis is a serious condition that is caused by the feline herpes virus, or sometimes other bacteria. It appears as inflammation on your cat’s mouth or lips. It is a risk that tabby Maine Coons have for their health.

Periodontal Disease

Many cat breeds, including tabby Maine Coons, experience a condition called periodontal disease. This condition impacts the teeth and gums of your cat. 

The gum tissue becomes inflamed over time due to bacteria. Ultimately, this condition left untreated can lead to deterioration of the gum tissue completely.

This disease can be prevented with consistent cleaning and upkeep of your cat’s mouth. Modern housecats have different diets than their ancestors. This means they need help keep bacteria out of their gums.


Maine Coons are a breed of cat that is commonly overfed by their owners. Trust me, I know my cat, Chelle, has a big appetite. Make sure to follow feeding guidelines outlined by your vet.

Although they are a large breed, you have to be careful to keep them within a healthy weight. Too much weight creates stress for their bones and joints.

Lifespan of a Tabby Maine Coon Cat

Most Maine Coon cats, including tabbies, have a life expectancy of 12 to 15 human years, but many surpass 15 years and even get into their 20s. Males may have shorter lives than females, from urinary and kidney issues more prevalent in males.

To give your Maine Coon the best chance of a long and healthy life, I recommend obtaining kittens from reputable catteries, feeding them high-quality food, encourage exercise and mental stimulation, and schedule regular visits with a veterinarian. Keeping your Maine Coon indoors is also a huge factor!

What Makes a Cat a Tabby Maine Coon Mix?

Almost any type of cat can be a tabby cat. Tabby is a gene that helps determine the pattern of markings on a cat’s coat. Tabby Maine Coon cats are the result of a dominant tabby gene.

Many early Maine Coon cats were actually brown-striped tabby cats in appearance. So, there is a long tradition of Maine Coons with the distinct tabby patterns.

Tabby Maine Coon Disposition

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Most Maine Coons, including tabbies, have an easygoing temperament. They are friendly and playful. They are the type of cat breed that loves being around people.

You should expect to have a companion who will want to join you around the house. However, Maine Coon cats are not your typical lap cat. They enjoy pets and naps, but they choose to enjoy them a distance.


Maine Coon cats, including tabby mixes, are intelligent animals with the ability to make friends with anyone. You can confidently introduce them to friendly dogs, small children, and strangers.

Many people compare Maine Coons with dogs. Overall, the Maine Coon breed is very gentle and shows little aggression in any situation.


In a way similar to dogs, Maine Coons have an innate ability to learn. You can even start them out young learning tricks and walking on a leash. A Maine Coon is an eager to please pet.

Plus, they are natural problem solvers. This natural curiosity and intelligence make them highly trainable. Watch out because you may find yourself being trained and not the other way around!

Tabby Maine Coon Diet

Maine Coons, as obligate carnivores, require a diet rich in animal protein for optimal health.

Our little predators are cousins to tigers, lions, and jaguars, so give them them their protein! Maine Coon cats also don’t need special food, they eat normal cat food, though probably larger quantities.

To ensure your furry friend receives the necessary nutrients, consult the Association of American Feed Control Officials (AAFCO) cat food nutrient profiles.

A well-balanced cat food should contain a minimum of 20% protein and 9% fat, as well as essential fatty acids like Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s, amino acids and Taurine, plus a variety of vitamins and minerals.

While an AAFCO label on cat food indicates nutritional balance, it does not guarantee quality. Most commercial cat foods available in the market have this label.

Long Haired Coat Care

Maine Coon cats, including the tabby mixes, are a long-haired breed that sheds. Short hair Maine Coons do not exist, at least in as purebred cats.

Be prepare to provide regular grooming, including brushing and baths, to help keep your friend’s coat looking sharp. Improper grooming can lead to painful matting or skin irritation. 

Maine Coon cats shed continuously, though it’s not as much as other breeds like Siamese or Persians. Make sure you live in a home where you can easily vacuum and pick up clumps of fur.

Heavier shedding typically occurs in the spring and fall as they transition into the different seasons. But if the shedding is extreme, it may be a health or diet issue.

Cost of Tabby Maine Coon Cats

If you have the option to search local shelters for a tabby Maine Coon, you can pay much less. A purebred kitten or adult tabby Maine Coon from a reputable cattery can be anywhere from $800 to $2,000.

Kittens will be more expensive compared to a grown cat. The benefit of taking an adult cat home is that you get to see what their coat color and tabby pattern looks like with no guesses!

You need to be aware of the costs of maintaining a Maine Coon, too. They require proper food, veterinarian visits, grooming, treats, and toys.

Owning a cat, especially a Maine Coon with unique needs, is not always cheap. Try to keep your tabby Maine Coon as healthy as possible. Spending more on the right species specific diet, preventative health care, and possibly pet insurance are smart things to consider.

What to Expect with a Tabby Maine Coon Kitten

Tabby Maine Coon kittens are much sought after. People want to enjoy the kitten years of this adorable cat breed. Tabby Maine Coons may not keep the same color variation as they mature.

Keep in mind that it is hard to determine things like adult height and weight, too. Make sure to find Maine Coon kittens from a reliable breeder. A good breeder will provide genetic profiles about your kitten’s parents and grandparents.

Awesome Names for Tabby Maine Coons

Naming your tabby Maine Coon cat is an important task. You should not take it lightly.

You might want a name that will embody their grace and majesty, such as Duchess or Lady or Royal. Or you might decide to focus on their loyal and energetic vibes, using names like Faith or Constance.

Other people like to point out the fun markings on the tabby Maine Coon and choose something like Tiger or Stripes or Inky.

In Closing

Thanks for taking the time to explore one of the most interesting variations of the Maine Coon cat breed! Tabby Maine Coons are as lively and friendly as other Maine Coons and would make anyone a great companion.

Consider finding a tabby Maine Coon of your own by locating a reputable breeder or cattery near you.

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