It is no secret that Maine Coons are quite expensive, so many fans of the breed want to know, what is the most common Maine Coon color?
While common Maine Coon colors may not look quite as majestic as the rarest colors and patterns, they tend to be a lot cheaper.
The most common Maine Coon cat color is the black tabby. Red is also a common color. Maine Coons are more likely to be tabby than solid since roughly 80% of domestic cats in the world are tabby. The most common Maine Coon pattern is the tabby. The rarest Maine Coon colors are shaded silver and gold.
While black tabby Maine Coons are the most common, this breed comes in over 75 different color and pattern combinations.
Read on to find out which Maine Coon colors and patterns are your favorite!
Scroll on to get a sneak peek of Katrina Stewardson’s Reddit Roll (October 2023), where voters were asked which solid Maine Coon cat coloring was their favorite! Check out the Reddit audiences’ response!
What Is The Most Common Maine Coon Color?
The Maine Coon is a stunning breed with a regal appearance which belies its wild origins.
Their long, thick fur was initially used to keep out the cold and snow but today cat fanciers all over the world cannot get enough of their beautiful coats!
Perhaps even more impressive is the dazzling array of colors and patterns they can come in.
Overall, Maine Coons can come in more than 75 different combinations of colors and patterns, including these ones.
So, out of all the different Maine Coon colors, which is the most common?
The most common Maine Coon color is black, which gets its color from the pigment eumelanin.
The only other pigment in cats is called pheomelanin, which is responsible for the color red.
A third type of gene, known as a white spotting gene, masks over eumelanin and pheomelanin, and results in the color white.
The color black in cats occurs in the “B” gene and can be either:
All cats have two copies of this gene, which can be expressed as, or any combination of the following:
If a cat has one or both copies of the B gene, its coat will be black.
However, should they inherit only b or b1 genes, then their coat will be a much rarer chocolate or cinnamon color, though these colors are not part of the Maine Coon breed standard.
Reddit Poll: Which Solid Maine Coon Cat Color Is Your Favorite?
In a unique study conducted on Reddit in October 2023 by Katrina Stewardson, she found that of the 71 Maine Coon cat lovers that voted on what their favorite SOLID Maine Coon fur color was, black Maine Coons were the most popular!
The second most popular color was red (orange).
Below is a full summary of the Reddit results:
- 19 voted black
- 16 voted Red
- 13 voted blue
- 12 voted cream
- 11 voted white
Dominant B Gene
The B gene is dominant, meaning a cat needs just one copy for the trait to be expressed.
Cats are much more likely to be black because the B gene is dominant over many other genes responsible for coat color.
This is also why most Maine Coons are tabbies. In fact, about 80% of cats in the whole world are tabbies!
The tabby gene is also dominant and more likely to be expressed than other patterns (source 1).
Learn more about Maine Coon cat genetics, in this awesome guide to cat genetics.
What Colors Are Maine Coon Cats?
This cat breed comes in a grand spectrum of Maine Coon colors and patterns. Even the pickiest cat lover is sure to find a color and pattern combination that pleases them!
8 Maine Coon Colors
Here is a comprehensive list of Maine Coon colors with pictures:
This is the most common Maine Coon color.
A black cat must have at least one copy of the dominant B gene.
Black tabbies may look like they are brown with black stripes, but the brown parts are an illusion from the striping of their fur.
Blue Maine Coons have at least one copy of the dominant B gene and two copies of the recessive d gene.
Two copies of the d gene result in less pigmentation, turning the black color of eumelanin to a grayish-blue.
Female red Maine Coons carry two copies of the OO gene, while male red Maine Coons carry just one copy.
This is because the gene responsible for red coloration is only found on the X chromosome.
Red Maine Coon cats are otherwise known as Orange Maine Coon cats.
Cream Maine Coons have either two copies of the OO gene if they are female or one copy of the O gene if they are male.
They also must carry both copies of the recessive gene d, which dilutes the red gene into a cream color.
White Maine Coons either have a copy of the masking gene W or two copies of the albino gene.
Solid cats have just one coat color covering their entire body.
7. Parti-Color With White
These cats have either red or black fur with the addition of a white spotting gene that covers part of their body.
Tortoiseshell cats are female cats whose red genes are expressed as Oo, causing their coats to be both black and red (or some combination of the diluted forms of those genes)
Tricolor cats are female cats that have both black and red as well as a white spotting gene.
Maine Coon Patterns
There are also many different patterns that Maine Coons can come in, with the most common Maine Coon pattern being tabby.
The table below details all the 7 Maine Coon patterns you will likely encounter whilst buying a Maine Coon kitten:
|Solid||Solid cats have no pattern and their fur |
is evenly colored throughout.
|Classic Tabby||Classic tabbies have thicker stripes than |
mackerel tabbies, and the stripes often
swirl into a bullseye on the flank.
|Mackerel Tabby||Mackerel tabbies have a stripe running |
down their backs with striped bars running
down the flank on either side.
|Ticked Tabby||Ticked tabbies may not look like tabbies at |
first; their coat appears solid, but it is slightly
flecked. They also have the usual “M” on their
forehead that marks a tabby.
|Smoke||Over half of each hair on the cat’s body is |
tipped with either red or black, and the rest
|Shaded||Shaded cats have a moderate amount of |
tipping at the end of each fur, and the rest
of their fur is white.
|Shell||Also known as chinchilla, shell cats have |
a small amount of black or red tipping on
the end of each fur and the rest of the coat
What Is The Rarest Maine Coon Color?
Many Maine Coon owners decide that, since they are already spending a lot of money on such a luxurious cat breed, they may as well get the prettiest Maine Coon possible.
So, what is the rarest color of a Maine Coon cat?
If you are looking for a rare Maine Coon coloring, the Maine Coon gold and silver shaded are the rarest of all, though these rare Maine Coon colors are considered more of a pattern than a color.
Gold or silver-shaded Maine Coons have just a bit of black or red on the tip of each fur, while the rest of the coat is white.
The terms smoke, shaded, and chinchilla refer to how much tipping is on each hair.
Read more about the smoke Maine Coon cat in this incredible cat guide.
Cats with the most tipping are called smoke, while cats with the least amount of tipping are called chinchillas.
Breeders still do not know exactly which genes are responsible for these patterns, so it is often a pleasant surprise when breeding cats produce a litter of shaded kittens.
Rare Maine Coon Eye Colors
The rarest Maine Coon eye color is odd-eyed, where one eye is blue and the other is a completely different color.
Discover some more fascinating Maine Coon eye facts, by clicking on the picture below:
Most Popular Maine Coon Colors
Overall, the most highly sought-after Maine Coon colors are:
- Silver Smoke
Breeders have a harder time producing cats of these colors as even experts do not know exactly which genes cause such beautiful patterns.
As a result, gold and silver-shaded Maine Coons have a much longer wait time than other colors, and they are significantly more expensive (source 1).
Do Maine Coons Change Color?
If you have just gotten a Maine Coon then you might wonder, do Maine Coon kittens change color?
In most cases, kittens look pretty similar to how they will as adults, but in some cases, their coats can change in hue.
In Maine Coons, this is most commonly seen in cats who have the following patterns:
- Chinchilla Pattern
It takes several weeks before the breeders can determine whether a kitten is truly shaded or not, and the unique pattern can take as long as a year to fully grow.
If the little blue-eyed kitten you brought home is starting to look a bit different, then you might be wondering do Maine Coon cats eye color change?
Maine Coon Color Calculator
Breeders can use Maine Coon genetics to guess the potential colors and patterns a breeding pair might produce.
Of course, there is still a lot we do not know about genetics, and it is impossible to judge which genes a cat carries solely based on looks.
For a simple example, imagine a breeder is planning to mate a black female cat and a blue male cat.
In this case, the female has two copies of the B gene and two copies of the D gene, which is responsible for dilution.
The male’s B gene is expressed as Bb, while its D gene is dd, resulting in a diluted black color known as blue.
Breeders can use Punnett Squares to look at the range and likelihood of possible outcomes.
The first table is a Punnett Square for the B gene. The mother’s genes are written on the top (in bold) and the father’s genes are written on the left and highlighted in bold.
Looking at the chart, we can conclude that this particular pair of cats will produce kittens who have either BB or Bb genes.
This means that any kitten born from these parents will be black rather than chocolate or cinnamon.
Now let us take a look at the dilute genes.
The mother’s dilute genes are listed along the told in bold, and the father’s dilute genes are down the side and also highlighted in bold.
Even though the father carries two copies of the dilute gene, each kitten will only receive one copy of the father’s gene and one copy of the mother’s.
As a result, kittens born from these parents will be entirely black, but they will carry the dilute gene.
Maine Coon Color Chart
The Fédération Internationale Féline, also known as FIFe, is an international association for cat fanciers.
FIFe uses EMS, which stands for Easy Mind System, to refer to a cat’s coat.
The beginning of each code uses three capital letters, which define the breed. Maine Coons use the letters MCO. After that, a small letter is used to describe the coat color.
Here is a list of the Maine Coon color codes.
- n – black
- a – blue
- d – red
- e – cream
- f – black tortoiseshell
- g – blue tortoiseshell
- s – silver
- w – white
- y – gold
Then, a number is used to describe the coat pattern.
- 01 – Van
- 02 – Harlequin
- 03 – Bicolor
- 09 – Unspecified amount of white
- 11 – Shaded
- 12 – Shell
- 21 – Agouti (unspecified tabby)
- 22 – Classic Tabby
- 23 – Mackerel Tabby
- 25 – Ticked Tabby
- 61 – Blue
- 62 – Copper to Deep Orange
- 63 – Odd-Eyed
- 64 – Green
You can learn more about the Maine Coon color codes, in this article.
If you want to know what is the most common Maine Coon color, it is black, though these cats can come in a dazzling spectrum of colors and patterns.
Tabbies are the most common pattern, while the rarest of Maine Coon cats are silver and gold smoke, shaded, or shell.
Black Maine Coons and other common colors and patterns such as solid, tabby, and red are much cheaper than the rarer colors and patterns.
YouTube Research: Where Do Owners ACTUALLY Buy Maine Coon Cats?
The safest place to purchase a Maine Coon kitten is from a registered Maine Coon cat breeder, yet the Maine Coon price leads many cat lovers to buy their cats elsewhere.
Katrina Stewardson, the Director of Maine Coon Central, conducted unique research on 150 Maine Coon cat lovers, on Maine Coon Central’s YouTube channel, in October 2023.
She asked the audience where they got their Maine Coon cat from.
The aim of this cat research study was to establish where Maine Coon owners ACTUALLY purchased their Maine Coon kitten or cat.
This survey revealed that 33% of owners purchased their Maine Coon cat from a Registered Maine Coon cat breeder, whilst 8% of voters bought a cat from a Non-Registered Maine Coon cat breeder.
A staggering 23% of viewers voted that they found their Maine Coon at a shelter! So, do not give up hope of finding a ‘cheap’ Maine Coon!
Below are the results of Maine Coon Central’s users’ vote: