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Cats have a huge variety of colors. What color are Maine Coons? Many people believe that the colors of Maine Coons are limited to the classic black tabby, but it is difficult to imagine that Maine Coon colors and patterns has more than 50 variations.

There are only two basic colors of cats:

Colors based on black (indicated by the letter n)

Colors based on red (indicated by the letter d).

Some of you will say where the white one is. We have seen that there are white Maine Coons. It turns out that white is not a color, but its absence. I.e., a black or red cat seems to put on a white cloak that hides its true color. The white color encoding letter is "w".

maine coon black, maine coon black cat, maine coon black solid white maine coon, maine coon of white color, white color in maine coons 

maine coon cat of red color, maine coon red solid

Interesting facts about the white color. The gene responsible for the white color may disrupt the operation of the neighboring gene responsible for hearing, so some white cats may be deaf in one or both ears. In addition, the offspring of two white animals has a very high lethality, so mating of two white cats is not allowed.

In white cats, the eye color is also taken into account. During the development of a kitten, the gene responsible for the formation of a white color also disrupts the work of the gene responsible for eye color. This is how blue-eyed cats appear (w 61). In addition to blue eyes, white cats can have green (w 64), orange (w 62) eyes, as well as have two differently colored eyes - odded eyes (w 63).

maine coon with odded eyes, odded-eyed maine coon

In cats, the red color is sex-linked, so males can be either black or red, but females can be black and red at the same time. This is called the tortoiseshell color and is indicated by the letter f. Tortoiseshell cats are very bright and there is an opinion that such cats bring good luck.

tortoiseshell maine coon, tortoiseshell maine coon cat, tortoiseshell maine coon cat, black solid tortoiseshell maine coon cat

There are also males of tortoiseshell color, but these are very rare cases, and such cats cannot have offspring.

There are genes that are responsible for the distribution of pigment (colored) granules in the hair. One of these genes groups the pigment granules, leaving a space between the groups of colored granules, so the color turns out to be lightened and diluted. This is how blue (color code a) and cream (color code e) colors appear. For tortoiseshell cats, such a clarified version is called blue tortie (coded g).

 maine coon of blue color, blue solid maine coon, blue maine coon 

cream maine coon, cream-colored maine coon, cream solid maine coon blue-tortie maine coon, blue tortoiseshell cat maine coon, blue tortoiseshell solid maine coon

A group of monotonously colored cats without a pattern is called solid.

Another gene may also be added, which is responsible for the distribution of pigment granules in the hair. This gene collects granules in large groups, so a pattern is formed on the cat. The classic color for Maine Coons is considered to be blotched tabby - large streaks in the form of a bull's eye on the sides. The number 22 codes the blotched tabby color. Another variant of the pattern is mackerel tabby or tiger tabby, characterized by vertical stripes on the body, on the paws and rings on the tail (coded by number 23). Finally, the third version of the pattern is ticked tabby (coded 25). In this case, you will not notice a bright pattern on the cat, but on each of its hairs there will be an alternation of light and dark areas. If you remember the Abyssinian cat, you will understand what the ticked color looks like.

maine coon black marble, black blotched tabby maine coon, black tabby 

maine coon tiger color, tiger color in maine coons, black tiger color  ticked color for maine coons, ticked color for maine coons, ticking for maine coons

In the group of patterned colors, there is also a spotted tabby color (coded by number 24). Its distinctive feature is round or oval spots all over the body, but in most cases in Maine Coons, this comes from the tiger color, when tiger stripes are torn due to the influence of some multigenes.

An interesting fact about the red color. It is very difficult to distinguish a red solid cat from a red tabby, almost impossible, because red solid cats will almost always have a residual pattern on the body. The fact is that the gene responsible for the red color suppresses the gene responsible for the solid color and the pattern will manifest itself in any case. This phenomenon is called epistasis

Let's complicate the task even more and add a gene that is responsible for suppressing the formation of color in the hair. During the formation of the kitten, the pigment was laid in the hair, but then it was as if the tap with paints was turned off and part of the hair in the root zone remained unpainted. And here we have a group of silver and smoky colors. Now it is one of the most popular colors among Maine Coons. In this case, the letter s is added to the color code.

maine coon black silver marble, maine coon silver, black silver blothed tabby maine Coon

If such a gene overlays on a solid color - we get smoky cats. Black smoke (ns), red smoke (ds), tortoiseshell smoke (fs), etc. If such a gene appears in painted cats, the color is called silver: black silver blotched tabby (ns 22), red silver mackerel tabby (ds 23), etc.

black smoky maine Coon, Maine Coon Russia

The larger part of the hair at the root remains unpainted, the lighter the silver color will look.

We continue to add color genes to our cat. Sometimes there are areas in which the pigment is completely absent. We remember that the absence of pigment is a white color. Now our cat gets unpainted places on the coat, which means that white spots appear on the cat.

Depending on the size, location and number of white spots, the colors are called:

  • Van - the cat has only the tail painted and there is one color spot (indicated by the number 01)
  • Harlequin - the cat has only the tail painted and there are 2-3 color spots. (indicated by the number 02)
  • Bicolor - the cat has a white triangle on the face, white solid belly, may have white spots on the body (indicated by the figure 03)
  • Nonspecific white spotting - there are several white spots, usually in the groin or armpits, white locket on his chest, white socks or gloves on the legs (indicated by the figure 09).

maine coon color black marble with white, maine coon bicolor, black blothed tabby with white Maine Coon, Maine Coon Russia 

maine coon tortoiseshell marble with white, maine coon tortoiseshell cat with white, maine coon calico with white, Maine Coon Russia 

Sometimes locket can have literally a few hairs. When our Mafia was born, we thought that her color was black. And only in the photo we saw several white hairs in her chest area. Then one white whisker appeared :) So the Mafia became a black and white color (n 09).

black maine coon cat with a white medallion, Maine Coon Russia

When a cat has a lot of white and only one spot is colored, it can be difficult to determine what type of pattern it has. In this case, unspecified tabby is indicated, i.e. a cat with some kind of pattern, but we do not know which one. This color is indicated by the number 21 and applies only to the van and harlequin colors.

Another interesting fact about colors with white. Many of you have noticed that tortoiseshell cats without white have black and red colors mixed together. But as soon as such a cat has a white color, red and black colors are grouped in large spots, the boundaries between the colors become clear and a color is obtained, which is called calico.

To the main color, you can add

  • lightening / dilution
  • pattern
  • silver
  • white

For example: black + lightening => blue + blotched pattern + silver + white = we get a blue blotched tabby silver cat with white. You can write this color with the code as 03 (or 09) 22.

And there can be a huge number of such variations.

And what colors can Maine Coons not be?

What colors are prohibited and not allowed for Maine Coons?

Everything is very simple here. According to the standard, the following colors are prohibited for Maine Coons:

  • chocolate and cinnamon
  • lilac and faun
  • all colorpoint colors.

chocolate, окрас шоколадный cinnamon, окрас циннамон

 lilac, окрас лиловый favn, окрас фавн colorpoint, окрас колорпоинт

Why exactly were these colors banned? The fact is that such colors are not typical for Maine Coons, as for the aboriginal breed. Since we believe that the breed was formed naturally in Maine, there is simply nowhere to take on such colors there. And any admixture of another breed to the Maine Coons is not allowed.

Now knowing what colors Maine Coons have and how they are designated, you can easily decipher the encoding of their color.

Shall we try it?

  1. es 23
  2. d 09
  3. a 24
  4. fs 03 22
  5. gs 

Check the answers

  1. es 23 - cream silver mackerel
  2. d 09 - red with white
  3. a 24 - blue spotted
  4. fs 03 22 - tortie silver blotched tabby bicolor
  5. gs - blue tortie smoky

Photos from: Erosha Pride, Panacea, Greatlion_Cattery

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All About Maine Coons

You just can't imagine how many myths about Maine Coons I had to listen to during the entire existence of our cattery. Despite the fact that the Maine Coon came in Russia for more than 20 years, myths about these huge cats continue to exist to this day.

So it's time to refute them.

If you are interested in the Maine Coon, you have probably met information that there are American and European types in the Maine Coons.

What are they and how do they differ from each other? This division is primarily associated with the development of the breed.

Cats have a huge variety of colors. What color are Maine Coons? Many people believe that the colors of Maine Coons are limited to the classic black tabby, but it is difficult to imagine that Maine Coon colors and patterns has more than 50 variations.

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