This popular breed can be almost any color! The Black Maine Coon Cat color is one of the most mysterious, alluring, and stunning colors.
As a Maine Coon Mama to the sweetest ebony lady myself, this color holds a special place in my heart.
If you have a Coonie, you know how unique and different they are from "regular cats."
You know you have something unique and very special on your hands!
And if you're a novice to the breed, you're probably learning all about them, including the many different colors they can be.
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Although these gentle giants are most famous for their large size, they are also known for having a more natural look.
This is because they developed naturally here in New England.
They have not been "bred to extremes," so that means purebred Maine Coons can be almost any color, including beautiful, silky, jet black.
Of course, all the colors are so beautiful that it would be impossible to choose a favorite!
Every color has its admirers, and every kitten gets placed in its forever home easily, so it's difficult to say how the midnight color fares in popularity.
But, I can say that everyone who met my Black Maine Coon Cat, Alice, was surprised and enamored by her beauty!
A popular theory is that Turkish Angora or Norwegian Forest cats came to the United States on sailing ships. These kitties were set free, breeding with the local feline population.
Here in the state of Maine, natural selection took over. Their descendants eventually became known as a Shag, a Coon, a Snughead, a Maine cat, or sometimes, just a barn cat!
You may have heard that this is a working cat or that they are excellent mousers. These ideas come from their history as outdoor barn cats.
Nowadays, they are domestic cats as pampered as any indoor kitty - and not necessarily adept at catching mice!
Once cat fanciers took note and started breeding them, preserving their traits, they became a recognized breed.
Then they started showing up at cat shows in the late 1800's. Nowadays, not only are they the largest domesticated cat breed, they are also one of the most popular breeds!
So, what exactly is the difference between a solid raven Maine Coon Cat and a Black Smoke? Glad you asked!
Usually it's pretty clear. Solid Black Maine Coons are just that - pure onyx in color.
Every bit of the body is ebony, and there's not much more to say about it! Their fur is raven-colored all the way from the roots to the ends. There is no smoky or faded undercoat.
A Black Smoke will have a smokey look. You know it when you see it!
The breed standard specifies that their points and mask (legs and face) should be solid and dark as night.
The undercoat, or fur that grows closest to the skin, is white. It's tipped in ink, meaning the tips (or ends) are dark as night. You have to separate the fur to see the white. The chest (or mane) and ear tufts are silver. Just stunning!
For a long time, we didn't realize our Alice was a Smoke. We thought she was simply an ebony colored Coonie.
After speaking to a local breeder, I learned that I could part the fur where it is short, on her legs or head, and check the roots. Boy, was I surprised to discover she was not a true Black Maine Coon Cat!
The fur close to her skin was light gray/white, gradually getting darker till it was dark-as-can-be at the ends.
Also, she had white fur coming out of her ears, and a few random white furs all over.
When she flopped on her back, belly up, she had a gray belly. But, just as the breed standard indicates, when in repose she looked like a solid Black Maine Coon Cat.
A Black Smoke Maine Coon's nose leather (hairless skin on the tip of the nose) and paw pads are black.
A pure Black Maine Coon cat has black nose leather and black or brown paw pads.
For both of these types of darkest Coonies, eyes can be gold, green, green-gold, or copper.
They will not have odd-colored or blue eyes, as these will be found only in Coonies who are White or With White. 
When looking at a Black Maine Coon Cat, you might notice he seems almost brown, especially in the light. How can that be? Is he actually a brown kitty?
Actually, the genes for a black cat are sometimes accompanied by another set of genes which cause him or her to "rust" when the fur has been exposed to sunshine!
Think of it as highlights. It will happen even if the only sunlight your kitty is exposed to is through a window.
There is a special shampoo, though, that is made especially for these darkest felines. It returns them to their true ink-like color.
No matter the coat color, there are just a few medical conditions to be aware of with this breed.
There is no connection between the color of the kitty and predisposition to any of these conditions:
Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (or HCM) is a heart condition.
It makes the walls of the heart thick and stiff, which makes it difficult for blood to flow through. This can cause sudden heart failure, even in young felines.
Sometimes there are no symptoms, but your Coonie might seem tired, have trouble breathing, lose weight, or have a limp.
Your vet might also hear a murmur or an irregular heartbeat when listening to your cat's heart.
It's important to take your furry friend to the vet regularly to check for HCM and other health problems.
Spinal Muscular atrophy or (SMA) is genetically inherited. It is a problem with their spine that can make their back legs weak, but it doesn't affect their appetite or using the litter box.
The kitty can still live a normal life, but it might not run and jump like other cats. Breeders can do a test to make sure they don't breed kittens with SMA.
Hip dysplasia can be a problem in larger breed cats. A full size Maine Coon can be 20+ pounds on occasion.
Because of their large size, they put more strain on their joints than their smaller counterparts. In hip dysplasia, the ball and socket are poorly aligned, which can lead to arthritis and pain.
It's important to note that responsible breeders perform DNA testing and health screenings on their breeding cats, in order to avoid breeding kittens with these health conditions.
And routine, regular visits to your vet will keep your mind at ease that your Coonie is in tip-top shape.
While it was once believed that these onyx-colored cats were less likely to be adopted, spend more time in shelters, and face a greater risk of being euthanized, most people now consider this a myth.
In fact, black pets are actually born in higher numbers. Therefore, there are more midnight beauties waiting for adoption.
When pets of other colors are adopted first, or when kittens of other colors in a litter are chosen first, the percentage of these darkest kitties left behind increases.
This contributes to the idea that they are less desirable. To help promote these dark cats, some shelters and rescue organizations hold special events.
Regardless of the truth of these beliefs, black cats make great companions.
There are many superstitions about these darkest cats in various cultures and societies around the world.
In many Western cultures, these kitties are believed to be bad luck, especially if they cross your path. This superstition dates back to the Middle Ages, when this color of cat was associated with witchcraft.
In some cultures, however, they are considered to be good luck. For example, in Japan, a black feline is believed to bring good fortune and prosperity to its owner.
In some parts of the world, it is believed that if you dream of an ebony cat, it means that good things are on the horizon.
And some people believe that giving a midnight-colored feline as a gift will bring good luck to the recipient, while others believe that it will bring bad luck.
Overall, the superstitions surrounding these felines vary widely depending on culture and region, and not all of them are negative.
However, it is important to remember that these beliefs are not based on fact and should not be taken too seriously.
There's no doubt about it. These darkest of Coonies are drop-dead gorgeous, stunning, and extremely difficult to photograph.
Now you know all there is to know about the Black Maine Coon Cat Color!
reference: Maine Coon Cat Breed Standard – The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. (n.d.). https://cfa.org/maine-coon-cat/maine-coon-cat-breed-standard/