If you’ve come across a Black Maine Coon cat, then you are in rare company. Majestic Maine Coons are fascinating creatures/ With their lion-like mane, large feet, piercing eyes, and striking size, these beauties have become popular and sought-after cats. The gentle giants come in all of the colors we see in other felines, with the most common colors being tabby shades, but black is a color that is the most captivating and less seen of them all. So, what are black Maine Coon cats?
Black Maine Coon cats have a dominant black-fur gene along with traits of purebred Maine Coons. They have all black fur, or black and smoke color combinations with gold eyes. Black Maine Coon cats are rare compared to other coat colors and patterns. The cost of a Black Maine Coon is between $1000 – $2500 for kittens and adults.
If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to meet or own one of these distinguished felines in one of its rarest colors: Solid black. Maine Coons have become a true novelty for cat lovers. In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into these gorgeous cats in their rarest color: Pure, jet black!
Can Maine Coon Cats Be All Black
Maine Coon cats can be all black. This is one of the rarest fur colors you’ll see for this particular breed, and much of it has to do with the dominant black color gene. In order for a Maine Coon to be entirely black, the parents must also be purebred Maine Coons.
As with American shorthairs and other breeds, many colors and patterns appear on a feline, with solids like black, grey, red, and white present on the list. Solid black, and variations on solid black, are also possible Maine Coon colors, which span the same variety as those of more common felines.
However, with its many layers of fur, it can be somewhat rare to find a Maine Coon that doesn’t show any traces of other colors. For example, you are more likely to find a Black Smoke Maine Coon, or another bi-color combination rather than solid black. These are just some of the pros and cons of this breed.
Are Black Maine Coon Cats Rare
Yes, Black Maine Coon cats are rare. Black Maine Coons are not as common as their tabby counterparts. A black Maine Coon is truly black in all three layers of its fur, with a possible exception for the hair at the tips of its ears.
Black cats of any breed are fairly rare themselves, making the black Maine Coon a scarce and special being. Like regular black cats, Black Maine Coons are not as sought after as other colors, due to the superstition that they are bad luck. Lack of demand means Black Maine Coons have been bred less frequently.
Luckily, the superstition about black cats is beginning to fade away, and the striking looks of the black Maine Coon are becoming more appreciated.
Maine Coon cats also appear in a color called Black Smoke. This very deliberately-bred coloring is multi-layered within the cat’s long fur. The tips of their fur will be a standard black color, which will fade into a lighter color and have very light or white roots.
How Do Breeders Get Maine Coons To Be All Black
Male cats get their color genes from their mothers, while females get colors from each parent. The kitty’s pattern can come from either their mother or father. For a cat to be a solid color, one of its parents must also be that color.
Because of this, the best bet for breeders in creating a litter of black Maine Coons is two solid black parents. This can be difficult to find but is not impossible, and more and more breeders are able to accomplish it if demand requires. If only one black Maine Coon is available for breeding, it should be the female.
They are likely to produce black, male Maine Coons. This presents a bit of a problem for breeders, though. Since the male black Maine Coons are more likely to come from the litter, there are more male Maine Coons available and fewer females! This genetic paradox can explain the rarity of finding a true black Maine Coon.
Interestingly, black Maine Coons, like all black cats, may have disease resistance. The genetic mutation ASIP, which gives black cats their sleek, solid-color fur, can potentially ward off diseases like FIV, also known as feline AIDS. While this hasn’t been definitively proven, it could be a nice perk to owning a black Maine Coon!
Types Of Black Maine Coon Cats
There are a few types of Black Maine Coon cats you’ll want to keep a lookout for. Below I’ve listed the different coat color combinations you may see along with photos.
Black Smoke Maine Coon
This is the more commonly seen Black Maine Coon cat that you’ll see. It’s not a solid black fur color, but a combination of whites and greys mixed in. Black Smoke Maine Coon cats can have tabby patterning in the coat, and it’s really gorgeous.
In general, the darkest parts are going to be on the face, and then the coat surrounding the chin and neck area will be a mixture of colors. Like other types of Maine Coons, the eyes will be yellow.
The inside of the ears is usually a lighter color, but they are outlined with solid black fur.
When it comes to a Black Smoke Maine Coon, it’s all about pigmentation. Eumelanin is what causes the smoke effect. The undercoat is a mixture of whites, but that color is usually solid white right at the tips.
Unlike the solid black version, the smoke coloration is a combination of banded hairs. It’s darker towards the ends, but as you go deeper into the fur, the lighter the color will get. So while it may appear that it’s one solid color for each hair follicle, it’s actually multicolored which makes this such a unique and treasured cat.
While they are treasured cats, they really aren’t that rare. Smoke Black Maine Coons are quite common at breeders.
Solid Black Maine Coon Cat
The solid black Maine Coon cat is the more rare coat color. The fur is a rich, black color entirely. This color travels through the ears, tail and face, and the eyes are yellow, but can also be brown. The noses are usually black.
Unlike the smoke version, the undercoat is entirely black. There is no situation where the fur is multicolored, so it’s really easy to pick the solid black Maine Coon out compared to other versions.
Now, there are some versions of this cat that may have a solid bit of light coloring in the undercoat. If you notice then, then it’s not a true solid black cat. Instead, you might be dealing with a smoke Black Maine Coon that is closer to solid.
That’s important information to know, especially if you are purchasing from a breeder trying to pass it off as a solid black cat.
How Much Is A Black Maine Coon
Like other cats, gender, color, and age play a role in the cost of a black Maine Coon. A purebred Maine Coon breeder can charge anywhere from $400 to $2200 for one of these little beauties. The chart below indicates approximate prices for different types of Black Maine Coon cats. Keep in mind that these prices vary greatly by the breeder, location, and demand.
To find a reputable Maine Coon breeder, visit the Cat Fancier’s Association breed search page. Keep in mind that given the rarity of Maine Coons, you may have to be willing to travel to find your new cat. Reputable breeders have let their cats grow up and learn in a litter and from their mother, have all of the necessary paperwork and vaccination records, can answer basic questions, and do not use hard-hitting sales tactics.
The best way to know what you’re getting from a breeder is to talk to others who have used that breeder or to read online reviews. It’s also important to visit the area where the cats are being bred and raised to gauge it for cleanliness and also to see that the area is free and open, rather than caged.
If you don’t want to get your black Maine Coon through a breeder, you can try to find one for adoption in your area. Sites like petfinder.com and adoptapet.com allow you to put in your criteria and find animals to adopt. Maine Coons are difficult to find in a shelter. If you have your sights set on a black Maine Coon, it might take a while to find them, and you might have to travel to pick them up.
How Big Do Black Maine Coon Cats Get
Maine Coons are by far the largest domesticated cat breed, and a black Maine Coon is not affected by their color. Male Maine Coons generally weigh anywhere from 11-18 pounds, while females weigh 8-12 pounds.
However, many Maine Coons have been reported to be even heavier. Long as well as tall and sturdy, they typically reach an average length of 3.3 ft. Their growth rate is slow, and therefore, unlike other cat breeds, they may not reach their full size and weight until they are approximately three years old.
Black Maine Coons are a relatively new domesticated cat breed, and their many distinct features were developed as survival mechanisms. Their large size and features evolved over time to battle cold climates.
Their black ears are well-tufted to provide warmth, and their bushy dark tails can be wrapped around their body to retain heat. Maine Coons also have very large paws, which are thought to have developed from adapting to snowy habitats in Europe and later in Maine, acting as a sort of snowshoe.
Their fur is also very long and grows in three different lengths. This fur is plentiful for warmth, but not dense in texture, which means grooming of the cat will not be as difficult as it is for some other long-haired breeds. Maine Coon cats are known for their oily fur, so keep that in mind as you find solutions for grooming.
What Are Some Important Parts Of Caring For A Black Maine Coon
Black Maine Coons require adequate nutrition, grooming, medical care, attention, and exercise. While many of their needs are similar to those of other cats, this special breed of feline does have some singular needs to keep in mind.
Black Maine Coon cats are large by nature, even as kittens. However, it is still important that they don’t become overweight. This can be incredibly difficult as they are growing since they don’t reach their full size until they are about three years old.
To ward off excess weight gain, they should be fed a carefully– balanced diet that is high in protein, with an eye kept on portion control depending on their age.
Many veterinarians suggest that Maine Coons, unlike other cats, should not be allowed to free feed. Instead, they should be fed three or four times per day with nutritious wet food. Be careful of allowing your black Maine Coon too many treats! Maine Coon cats are known for always being hungry, but if you put them on a solid feeding schedule they won’t gain too much weight.
Your veterinarian will have recommendations of good pet food varieties to feed your black Maine Coon, as well as any additional supplements or vitamins to add to their diet.
Maine Coons need to be groomed frequently, and your black Maine Coon will be no exception. Given their long fur, they should be brushed daily if possible. At a minimum, try to brush your black Maine Coon two or three times per week.
If you are brushing your cat every day, and their fur does not get matted easily, a metal comb with wide-set teeth will work nicely. You may also want to consider a brush specifically designed for long-haired cats, which will have a side of pins and one of the bristles.
The bristle side is great for removing dead skin and dirt, and catching hair before it sheds and ends up on your carpet! Maine Coons have dander just like other cats, so keep that in mind.
In addition to their fur, your black Maine Coon’s large ears and claws will need regular attention. Since the Maine Coon’s ears are so prominent, it’s easier for them to collect dirt.
Therefore, you should aim to clean them once a week. Use warm water and a soft cloth to clean around the visible part of the ear. Do not use a Q-tip or attempt to clean the inner-ear. This could damage the kitty’s eardrum. If your cat’s inner ear needs attention, it’s best to leave it to your vet.
Your black Maine Coon will also grow long and thick nails that match their big floppy feet! Though they may sound scary, “guillotine-style” nail clippers are the best type of clippers for your Maine Coon. These are easier to manipulate for the human and run a much lower risk of cutting the quick, or nerve, of your cat’s claws.
As with other cat breeds, Maine Coons are prone to gingivitis. This means it’s a good idea to clean your black Maine Coon’s teeth with a cat-specific toothbrush and toothpaste. (Do not ever use toothpaste meant for humans on your cat!) Brushing your black Maine Coon’s teeth once a week can help fight off future tooth trouble.
Like all cats, your black Maine Coon should receive regular medical care. Take your cat to the vet for regular checkups, and stay up to date on their vaccinations. This is particularly important if your cat goes outside.
Maine Coons do experience certain conditions more commonly than other cats due to their large size. One of these is vestibular disease, which can cause clumsiness and loss of balance. This is typical in Maine Coons due to their large ears, which are more susceptible to foreign bodies entering and throwing off their balance. Falling over, vomiting, darting of the eyes, or a tilting head can all be potential signs of this condition.
Because of their size and weight, hip dysplasia is also seen in Maine Coons. This condition causes difficulty moving and can progress quickly to being very painful. You can spot this condition early by watching your cat for trouble walking or resistance to jumping and playing.
The Maine Coon’s size can put pressure on its knee joints and lead to patellar luxation, causing similar symptoms to hip dysplasia. Early detection of these joint-related conditions is the best solution to treating them.
Maine Coons are also genetically predisposed to cardiomyopathy. The various forms of this disease can be caused by an overactive thyroid or taurine deficiency in their diet. Early signs of this condition include rapid breathing, loss of interest in food, or lethargy. These symptoms can sometimes be subtle, so it’s essential to watch your black Maine Coon for anything out of the ordinary. When left untreated, cardiomyopathy can lead to blood clots that can paralyze your cat’s hind legs.
If you notice any of the above symptoms or additional odd behavior in your black Maine Coon, make an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. An early vet appointment could, in some cases, save your kitty’s life.
Exercise and attention
Your black Maine Coon cat will take as much attention as you have to give! Being so loving means they yearn for playtime. They can jump, pounce, and play as much as any other cat, and often are just as agile despite their extra size.
It’s vital that they get adequate exercise through play since Maine Coons have a careful weight balance to consider. As with any cat, it’s important to set aside time to show your black Maine Coon you love them. Playing with a feather or string toy accomplishes your kitty’s need for exercise and attention all at once. After a play session, they’ll feel strong and loved.
Do Black Maine Coons Make Good Pets
If you’re looking for a delightful pet, look no further than the black Maine Coon! Though they may seem mysterious because of their black, lustrous fur and piercing eyes, black Maine Coons, like their breeds’ other colors, are wonderful pets. They’ve even been called “the dogs of the cat world!”
Black Maine Coons are highly intelligent, making them easy to train and allowing them to pick up on signals from their humans. This is a big reason why they make great pets for families. It’s unlikely that your gentle giant will be put out by the addition of a new family member, or by children who want to play with them. They will probably greatly enjoy the attention!
Black Maine Coons are also incredibly loyal to their owners and are likely to follow you around the house, requesting pets and cuddles. While this may not always be convenient, it’s a sign that your cat adores you. If you need them to entertain themselves for a bit, you can give a black Maine Coon a puzzle or catnip toy, and they will get significant enjoyment from it.
Surprisingly, while a Maine Coon does shed, their fine hairs don’t make any more of a mess than regular cats. They also are not destructive, and while they may be timid around strangers, they eventually warm up. Maine Coons are also very laid back, allowing them to do things like travel and adjust to new surroundings.
Where Did Black Maine Coons Come From
Black Maine Coon cats have a really rich history. In fact, the entire lineage of Maine Coon cats provides some interesting facts.
There are several theories as to how Maine Coons came to America and became the extra-large, loving felines that they are. The most credible story is that they were pets of a Captain Coons, who docked in Maine in the 1700s. His cats, known as Norwegian Forest cats, mated with the local short-haired feline population, eventually producing the Maine Coon.
Throughout their lives, Maine Coons have attracted significant attention. Shortly after they appeared in the United States, they began showing up in northern rural communities, where they were equally happy as indoor or outdoor cats. The first official winner of a cat show, held in 1895 in Madison Square Garden, was a brown Maine Coon named Cosey.
The Maine Coon’s popularity decreased in the early 1900s as other long-haired cats replaced them in prominence. It was even thought for a while that Maine Coons were extinct. Luckily, the Central Maine Cat Club reinvested in breeding them, and by the 1980s, Maine Coons had made a resurgence, becoming the third most popular cat breed in the United States.
The Cat Fancier’s Association has established over 75 colors for the Maine Coon breed. Black is one of those colors, and often one of the more expensive for this cat breed. As I shared earlier, it can cost as much as $2500 to get your hands on a solid Black Maine Coon cat.
As with American shorthairs, the most common patterns are tabby, with stripes found anywhere from the head to the tail. In this case, you’ll be dealing with a Black Smoke version. The most typical colors found in Maine Coons are browns and greys, making the black Maine Coon a true novelty!
Black Maine Coons Are Beautiful
Among other colors in their breed, black Maine Coons stick out. Their gorgeous looks and majestic stature are coupled with all of the loving and loyal traits of the Maine Coon breed. If you’re lucky enough to find a purely black Maine Coon cat, you’ll want to grab one of these beauties and enjoy the benefits!
Keep in mind that raising a Black Maine Coon cat is not much different than the normal version. They are large cats, and so they’ll require a robust diet to keep their fur coat looking healthy.
Aside from all the myths dealing with black cats, you’ll want to make sure they are well taken care of and get plenty of your attention.
If you want a Black Maine Coon cat but don’t quite have the funds to purchase one outright, you may want to consider adopting one. While the fees might be a bit higher considering the rarity of the cat, it’s an enormous saving.