The smoke Maine Coon is a beautiful addition to any family, but you may be wondering what makes this kind of Maine Coon so special. At first glance, a smoke Maine Coon may look just like any solid Maine Coon, but if you look more closely, you’ll be able to see why this coloration is so highly coveted among cat lovers.
The smoke Maine Coon is a result of banding on a cat’s fur, which gives it a smoky appearance. The tips of the cat’s fur is dark, often black, but the shaft is paler in color. While the most common color of a smoked Maine Coon is black, they can come in a variety of colors, including cream, blue, and red, among others.
In this article, we’ll look closely at all of the different colors and pattern a smoke Maine Coon can come in, as well as how you can find a smoke Maine Coon of your own!
The Smoke Maine Coon
A smoke Maine Coon has dark fur tips with paler roots. According to one cat specialist, the points of a smoke cat (the face, ears, tail, and feet) are typically darker than the rest of the body. Meanwhile, the mane of the cat is usually a bit lighter in appearance (source).
This coloration is highly sought after in Maine Coons because it looks so gorgeous. By simply stroking your cat’s fur in different directions, you will be able to see the paler undercoat beneath, and it can almost look like your cat is changing colors right in front of your eyes!
Because Maine Coons originated as tabbies, you may be curious as to how smoke Maine Coons were created in the first place. The genetics behind a smoked coat can be a bit complicated if you aren’t already versed in coat genetics, here’s a simplified version.
It is worth noting that the alleles necessary for a smoke coat pattern include a recessive non-agouti allele (which is also known as non-tabby), a dominant silver allele, and a wideband allele. Because the allele for a non-tabby cat is recessive, even if a cat appears tabby, it can still carry the non-tabby allele. By breeding two tabby cats who both have the recessive non-agouti gene, they will have a chance of producing kittens that are solid in color (source).
We will also cover the genetics of a smoke Maine Coon more in-depth later in this article.
Variation Of Smoke Maine Coon Colors
Smoke Maine Coon cats are available to purchase in six different colors.
The table below shows the six different smoke Maine Coon color variations:
|Black Smoke||Most Common. Black tipped fur, with paler undercoat|
|Blue Smoke||The blue color is diluted from black|
|Red Smoke||Orange or red tipped fur, with paler undercoat|
|Cream Smoke||Cream is a diluted form of red|
|Tortie Smoke||Patches of fur tipped in either black or red|
|Blue Tortie Smoke||Fur with red and black pigmentations|
For more information on each Smoke Maine Coon Color, see our detailed descriptions below:
a) Black Smoke
A black smoke Maine Coon is probably the most common. Black coloration in cats is caused by the pigmentation known as eumelanin. A black smoke Maine Coon will have black-tipped fur with a paler undercoat whose roots are stark white.
b) Blue Smoke
A blue smoke Maine Coon also contains eumelanin, just like a black smoke Maine Coon. In fact, blue is a variety of black, but is what’s known as “diluted.” If a black cat carries a dilute gene, the eumelanin pigment in its kittens can be diluted to a gray color, which breeders refer to as blue.
c) Red Smoke
Red smoke Maine Coons are beautiful to look at, with orange or red-tipped fur and a pale undercoat. Red coloration in cats is caused by the pigment pheomelanin, and this pigmentation is also sex-linked. This means that a cat can only be red if its parent of the same sex is also red.
d) Cream Smoke
Just like how blue is the diluted form of black, cream is the diluted form of red. The fur of a cream smoke Maine Coon is tipped with cream or pale orange, while the base of the fur is white.
e) Tortie Smoke
A cat who inherits both red and black pigmentations is known as a tortie or tortoiseshell. A tortie smoke Maine Coon has brindled patches of fur that are tipped either black or red, but, like all other smoked Maine Coons, the base of the hair paler.
f) Blue Tortie Smoke
If a cat inherits both red and black pigmentations that have been diluted, it is known as a blue tortie. Blue tortie smokes have brindled patches of fur that are tipped blue and cream with a pale undercoat.
Black Smoke Maine Coon Picture
Below is a picture of a majestic looking black smoke Maine Coon cat:
Smoke Maine Coon Patterns
According to The Cat Fanciers Association, smoke Maine Coons can come in three different patterns:
This is the most common coat pattern for smoke Maine Coons, and it is when the cat is one solid color throughout.
2. Solid And White
Solid and white smoke Maine Coons have one solid coat color with patches of white. The cat’s bib, paws, and stomach are usually white, while the rest of the body is one solid color.
This pattern is similar to a tortie smoke cat in that it has patches of red and black (or diluted variants) but these patches must be unbrindled, and the base of the cat’s coat can also be white.
For more information on the stunning calico Maine Coon, take a look at my article ‘Calico Maine Coons‘.
How Common Are Smoke Maine Coons?
Smoke Maine Coons are relatively rare because to breed them, the kittens need to receive three separate alleles: The recessive non-agouti allele, the wideband allele, and the dominant silver allele.
While smoke Maine Coons are rare, they are still accepted in competitions held by the Cat Fanciers Association.
How Much Do Smoke Maine Coons Cost?
Because smoke Maine Coons are relatively rare, they can get pretty pricey. Smoke Maine Coons can cost anywhere from $2,000 to $4,000, so unless you are lucky enough to find one up for adoption at a shelter, you’ll need a lot of extra cash on hand to take one home.
If you are interested in purchasing a Maine Coon kitten (which isn’t a smoke Maine Coon kitten coloring), take a look at my article on Maine Coon Kitten Costs.
Smoke Maine Coon Genetics
As we mentioned earlier, a Maine Coon kitten must inherit three specific genes to have the smoke coloration: The non-agouti allele, the wideband allele, and the silver allele.
For a Maine Coon kitten to be born, it must receive two recessive non-agouti alleles from its parents. This means that while the parents can both be tabbies, (as long as they both carry the non-agouti allele) there will be a higher chance of smoke kittens being born if both parents are solid in color. At least one parent must also carry a wideband allele, as well as a silver allele.
Since feline genetics is such a complicated subject, I have dedicated an entire article to the subject. Take a look at my article ‘Maine Coon Genetics‘ where I have done my best to simplify the complex world of Maine Coon genetics.
Where To Find Smoke Maine Coon Breeders
Many breeders specialize in Maine Coons, but you should always do your research before purchasing one. Here are some things to look out for when choosing a breeder.
- Registration: Make sure the breeder in question is registered under the CFA, as well as TICA.
- Online Reviews: Take the time to comb through reviews from previous buyers. If you see a lot of dissatisfied reviews, you might want to look somewhere else.
- Ask For a Look Around: You want a breeder who is 100% honest and transparent about every step of the process. You should always ask for a look around the place to ensure proper conditions. If the breeder refuses, this is a big red flag, and you should look elsewhere.
Many breeders focus on specific Maine Coon colorations or patterns, and this is the same when it comes to smoke Maine Coons. If you are looking for a smoke Maine Coon in the US, here are a few breeders to consider:
US Maine Coon Cat Breeders, By State
For a full list of Maine Coon breeders in the United States, click here to read my article.
Buying Smoke Maine Coon Kittens
If you are considering buying a smoke Maine Coon kitten, you should keep in mind that they will not be cheap! You should always make sure your breeder is certified, as many “backyard breeders” can claim to sell you one thing when you’re getting another.
Also, keep in mind that a kitten’s coloration, especially with smoke cats, changes as the cat grows older. A kitten may appear smoke while it is young, but as it grows into an adult, you may find that it is not smoke at all! This is why purchasing from reputable breeders is so important.
Famous Smoke Maine Coons
The most famous smoke Maine Coon was named Valkyrie, a black smoke Maine Coon owned by breeder Tatiana Rastorgueva. This Russian breeder has worked hard for many years to breed cats just like Valkyrie, and this oddly human-like cat has garnered much attention for her.
While smoke Maine Coons are both rare and expensive, this coat coloration is so gorgeous that most cat owners agree they are well worth the money.
If you can afford a smoke Maine Coon, this beautiful cat will offer you more than just its looks, however; they will also be your loving and loyal companion for many years to come!
1. Black Smoke Maine Coons in Australia
A black smoke Maine Coon costs between $1,000 and $3,000 in Australia (source).
2. Other Smoke Colored Cat Breeds
Maine Coons aren’t the only cat breeds who can come with smoke coloration. Here are some other cat breeds that can come in smoke:
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- Scottish Fold
- Selkirk Rex
- Norwegian Forest Cat
- Featured image at top of blog post sourced from Creative Commons.
- Page URL: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Chamberlain_Quinn_The_Mighty_(Varjo)_MCO_ns_male_kitten_EX1_BIV_NOM.JPG
- Link: Heikki Siltala-catza.net / CC BY (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0)
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