The first time I saw a white Maine Coon, I couldn’t believe how beautiful and fluffy it was. It was then that I realized I had never seen a white Maine Coon and wondered just how rare this cat color might be. I had seen Maine Coons with all kinds of beautiful coat colors, but never a pure white one. So, are white Maine Coon cats rare?
White Maine Coons are rare among the Maine Coon breed. This mainly has to do with the delicate manipulation of the genetics behind breeding a white Maine Coon. A Maine Coon must have a heterozygous gene to be completely white. There are dedicated and experienced breeders who breed white Maine Coons in a controlled environment.
White Maine Coons have a striking beauty due to their eye-catching features, including their stark white, fluffy fur, size, and the contrast of their large, colorful eyes against their fur.
While white Maine coons may be tricky to breed, they are popular (not to be confused with common) and highly desired. Their popularity is not only due to the breed and the white fur but also because of the range in eye color. White Maine Coons can have big, beautiful eyes that are gold, green, copper, blue, or odd-colored (also known as complete heterochromia.) These combined features make for a fascinating and glamorous looking cat.
Can Maine Coon Cats Be White
Absolutely!! Maine Coon cats come in at least 86 different coat colors, white included. White is considered a non-color. Interestingly enough, the fact that the fur itself lacks color does not mean that the cat does not have a color and pattern. What does this mean?
Cats have 19 chromosome pairs. These chromosomes are composed of thousands of genes that determine color, gender, size, shape, and several other characteristics. White Maine Coons possess what’s called a White Masking Gene. Simply put, when a cat possesses this gene as a heterozygous pair, meaning one dominant and one recessive White Masking Gene, you have the makings of a completely white Maine Coon.
A white Maine Coon must have at least one white parent. Even with a white parent, the kittens produced can either turn out to be white or the color and pattern that is masked by the white parent’s masking gene. To determine whether the kittens produced will turn out to be white, the masked color and pattern must be distinguished, and the breeding is monitored in a controlled environment.
When a white Maine Coon is a kitten, a colored spot is often noticeable on its head. This is an indicator of the color and pattern which is being masked by the Masking Gene. This is also indicative of the pattern/color combination that could potentially be produced in its offspring. As the cat grows older, the colored spot will, eventually, no longer be visible.
According to The Cat Fancier’s Association, for a white Maine Coon to be classified as white, it must have a coat that is “pure glistening white” and a “pink” nose and paw pads.
Are White Maine Coons Deaf
While not all white Maine Coons are deaf, white cats are more likely to be deaf. Generally, deafness in white cats, if present, is a congenital defect, implying they were deaf from birth. This means that the structure of the inner ear canal has not formed correctly or is deteriorating and that this process began in the womb. This can happen in either one or both ears.
The same dominant gene that causes their fur to be white, the White Masking Gene (W), can also cause several abnormalities or unique traits, including deafness. This gene causes abnormalities in their melanin forming cells known as Melanocytes, which is why white cats often have blue eyes.
White cats with blue eyes are more likely to be deaf than those without blue eyes. Blue eyes are a good indicator that there is a higher abnormality in their Melanocytes, signaling a possibility that they may be deaf.
If you have a white Maine Coon that doesn’t seem to respond to audio cues or its name, there is the potential that it may be deaf. If you suspect your white Maine Coon may be deaf, a veterinarian can perform a BAER (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Response) test. In this test, an auditory stimulus is delivered, usually through headphones. The veterinarian measures and records brainwaves and their correlation to the auditory stimulus, using three subcutaneous electrodes.
If the results show that your cat is wholly or partially deaf, it can still live a healthy life.
Just take extra care to supervise it when it is outdoors, to ensure its safety. Also, consider training it with visual cues.
Personality of a White Maine Coon Cat
Like all Maine Coons, white Maine Coons have a strong personality. In general, Maine Coons are sweet, friendly, and playful. The white Maine Coon is typically well behaved and well mannered, with an occasional mischievous streak.
Maine Coons are often referred to as the dog of the cat world, due to their size and personality.
White Maine Coons are gentle and loyal.
They tend to be very family and child friendly and, more often than not, get along well with dogs and other animals, especially if trained to do so from kittenhood. The great thing about the white Maine Coon, is that it is more easily trainable than other cat breeds.
White Maine Coons are affectionate and form strong bonds with their owners. While they aren’t necessarily lap cats, they prefer to remain close to their owners and often follow them from place to place.
While white Maine Coons are affectionate, they are not overly high maintenance in terms of needing attention and tend to also be independent. They just like to “chill” with their family.
Maine Coons were initially meant for a farm and outdoor environment, which means they are hearty and resilient and can quickly adapt to their surroundings. They have strong hunting instincts, so, as long as they aren’t raised to be too spoiled and catered to, they will retain their hunting instincts and be a good mouser. White Maine Coons are very intelligent and vocal, with their unique sounding chirps and vocalizations.
A White Maine Coon will, without a doubt, be a dedicated and lovable companion.
How Should I Care For My White Maine Coon’s Coat
Having a white Maine Coon is a bit like having a white car. White Maine Coon’s tend to show more dirt than those with colored coats.
Because of this, white Maine Coons require a little more maintenance to keep their coat looking gloriously white.
Cats can accumulate dirt, dust, urine, feces, and other stains in their fur, especially if they are long-haired. To keep your white Maine Coon looking bright white, it’s best to acclimate them to taking baths at an early age. As they get older, they will then be more willing when bath time rolls around. You can either bathe them yourself or take them to a groomer.
If you are bathing them yourself, use a good quality feline whitening shampoo, and dry them promptly to keep them warm. You can bathe them as much as once a week or as little as twice a year, based on your preference. In between baths, you can wipe away stains or dirt with a warm, damp cloth.
While cats self-groom often, long-haired, white Maine Coons may need a little more attention from their owners to help get knots and tangles out of their fur. You can use a variety of tools to keep tangles and matting out of your cat’s hair, including rubber grooming gloves, a file card brush, a de-shedding tool, and a de-matting rake. Brushing your cat’s fur a few times a week will help keep a nice smooth coat. Brushing or even considering a haircut is especially important to consider as your cat gets older and grooms itself less.
A quality diet also goes a long way in keeping your white Maine Coon’s coat healthy. A proper nutritious diet will provide the nutrients needed to help your cat maintain a shiny coat. A raw diet of ground chicken and plenty of proteins is a great way to keep a healthy coat.
How Big Do White Maine Coons Get
One of the biggest Maine Coons ever recorded reached almost 50lbs. However, most white Maine Coons will fall between a range of 8-30lbs. Full-grown females will generally weigh between 8-12lbs. Full-grown males typically fall in the 15-30lb range. They can grow up to approximately 10-14 inches tall and 31-48 inches long.
Other factors weigh in on the weight and size of your white Maine Coon, including pedigree, diet, and exercise. Pedigree means the recorded ancestry, essentially, the family tree. If they were bred to be show cats, they would likely be bred to be a specific size, which will be passed on through genetics.
Your white Maine Coon’s diet should consist of high-quality food, that can also be homemade or raw, such as raw ground chicken. You should also be aware of portion sizes to prevent obesity in your white Maine Coon.
White Maine Coons love to play. Be sure to get exercise in with your cat by setting aside at least 20-40 minutes a day to dedicate to playtime. You can also take your white Maine Coon on walks using a cat harness, which you can find online or at your local pet store.
White Maine Coon Price
White Maine Coons vary in price but tend to be reasonably expensive from breeders. When it comes to purchasing a kitten, breeders usually require a customer to reserve a kitten, which comes with its own fee, on top of the purchase price.
|Kitten – Pet||$200-$500||$1500 -$2550|
|Kittens with Breeding Rights||$200-$500||$3500-$5000|
|Retired Cat – generally over 5 years old||$500 and up|
Why are white Maine Coons so pricey? Breeders pride themselves on breeding the healthiest cat possible. So, before the cat reaches your arms, it has likely already undergone many tests, vaccinations, microchipped, received registration papers from TICA or CFA, and may have already had its BAER test performed, depending on the breeder.
Where Can I Find Reputable White Maine Coon Breeders
There are reputable white Maine Coon breeders all over the world. Here are a couple of resources for finding reputable breeders:
- https://tica.org/maine-coon-breeders – This site provides a substantial list of breeders from around the world
- http://www.metatroneyes.com/welcome – Metatroneyes is an Arkansas based breeder who breeds gorgeous white Maine Coons, along with other coat colors
Where Can I Find A White Maine Coon For Adoption
There are many adoptable kitties that need a loving new home, and adoption is an excellent alternative to buying from a breeder. Here are some resources to check out if you are looking to adopt a white Maine Coon: