Black Maine Coon Cats

What Makes Them So Exquisite?

by: / Author, Mainer, Maine Coon Mama!

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.

The Maine Coon Magazine
The Maine Coon Magazine

all about the black maine coon cat colorAll About the Black Maine Coon Cat Color
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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.

Table of Contents:

About The Maine Coon Look

Obe is a stunning black Maine Coon cat with terrific ear tufts!Obe is a stunning black Maine Coon cat with terrific ear tufts!

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!

Alice as a young Black Maine Coon Cat

A Black Smoke Maine Coon Cat

hunley2.jpgHandsome Hunley

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.

What Color Are Their Eyes And Nose?

little black maine coon kitten curled up

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. [1]

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Georgina the Black Maine Coon kittenGeorgina
Spooky the Black Maine Coon kittenSpooky
Alice the Black Maine Coon kittenAlice

Brown Kitty?

girl and her black maine coon cat in the sunshine

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.

Black Maine Coon Cat Health Issues

Bo the Black Smoke Maine Coon catBo

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.

Faust the Black Smoke Maine Coon Cat in a boxFaust

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.

Black Maine Coon Cat resting

Is it True That Black Cats Are Less Prone to Be Adopted?

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.

Are Black Cats Bad Luck? 

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.

black maine coon cat on windowsill

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's):

Are Black Maine Coon Cats Rare?

Not really! There are many colors possible in a litter of kittens. Some breeders will specialize in a few particular colors, while others have more variety at their cattery.

So, while one breeder might specialize in tabbies such as the Classic Brown Tabby Maine Coon, or Brown Tabby With White, another breeder may be expecting a litter of Reds, Silvers, and of course Black kittens!

You should have no trouble finding your own Black Maine Coon kitten.

What is the Temperament of a Black Maine Coon Cat?

Regardless of color, these cats are an especially loving and friendly breed.

There are some cat lovers who seem to see personality differences in different colored pets.

For example, ginger kitties are thought of as being extra friendly and social, whereas tabbies are considered very affectionate.

Along these lines, black cats are said to be a little more aloof, yet quite sweet on their own terms. Of course, this is purely anecdotal!

These cats are all amazing. They are friendly, talkative, interactive, affectionate, and playful family members.

How Do You Tell if a Black Kitten Is a Maine Coon?

Sometimes folks happen upon a large, fluffy feline and wonder if it's a Maine Coon. They may do some research to figure it out!

This natural breed can have many coat colors, from classic tabby patterns to solid colors and more.

And since domestic medium haired kitties have similar thick coats and medium length fur and a bushy tail, it's easy to see where it can be confusing!

It's important to note that this is a breed, like Siamese, Ragdoll or Bengal - not a style/color, like domestic longhair or tuxedo, tabby or calico. They are bred by breeders, and have pedigrees.

If you think your black kitten has some Maine Coon heritage, or might be mixed, check out our extensive section on how to tell.

There are many special traits of this breed. You may have a look-alike or a mix on your hands.

How Much is a Black Maine Coon Cat?

Purebred cats are expensive. Because this isn't an especially rare color or pattern, they shouldn't be priced higher than the rest of the kittens in the litter.

You can expect to pay a thousand dollars or more for a purebred kitten. Many factors, such as location, characteristics of the kitten, and pedigree come into play when a breeder sets their prices.

Be wary of any "deals" out there, as these are almost always a red flag indicating a scam.

What's a Good Name For a Black Cat?

This is one of those times when it's extra fun to give a pet a name that's related to their appearance!

Some fun suggestions for naming your black kitty include:

  • Ash - a subtle, grayish-black color that could be a good fit for a feline with a dark smoke coat.
  • Carbon - a nod to the carbon pigment that gives many pets their color.
  • Caviar - a luxurious and sophisticated name for a kitty who deserves the finer things in life.
  • Jet - a name inspired by the dark, glossy stone, and could be a good fit for a kitty with a sleek and shiny coat.
  • Guinness - a name inspired by the famous dark beer, and a good fit for a pet with a bit of an edge or a mischievous streak.
  • Jetta - a variation on the name Jet, but with a more feminine sound.
  • Licorice - a sweet name for a pet with a gentle nature, inspired by the popular candy.
  • Nero - a sleek and sophisticated name with Italian roots, meaning "black."
  • Night - a simple and elegant name that could be a good fit for a calm or mysterious feline.
  • Slate - a dark, bluish-gray color that could be a good fit for a smoke-colored feline with a cool and collected personality.
  • Shadow - a name that evokes the idea of a dark, mysterious figure lurking in the background.
  • Midnight - a name that brings to mind the darkest part of the night, and could be a good fit for a kitty who is calm and peaceful.
  • Raven - a name inspired by the large, intelligent birds known for their glossy ink-like feathers.
  • Onyx - a name that references the black mineral with a smooth, shiny surface.
  • Panther - a name that suggests strength, speed, and agility.
  • Salem - after the famous black cat in Sabrina The Teenage Witch
  • Coal or Charcoal - a name that references the material used as fuel, and could be a good fit for a pet who is strong and dependable.
  • Smokey - a name that references the hazy, smoky appearance of the color gray-black. This could be a good fit for a kitty with a calm or mysterious personality.
  • Luna - a name inspired by the Latin word for "moon," which is often associated with nighttime and darkness. This could be a good fit for a pet with a calm, serene, or even mystical personality.
  • Ebony - a name that references the dense, black wood. This could be a good fit for a beautiful feline with a strong or solid personality.
  • Sable - a name inspired by the dark, silky black fur of the sable, a small mammal that is prized for its fur. This could be a good fit for a pet with a luxurious or refined personality.
  • Eclipse - a name that references the celestial event in which the sun is temporarily obscured by the moon. This could be a good fit for a pet with a bold or dramatic personality.
  • Noir - a name that references the French word for "black." This could be a good fit for a feline with a sophisticated or refined personality.
  • Spade - a name that references the suit in a deck of cards. This could be a good fit for a pet with a playful or mischievous personality.
collage of black maine coon catsBeautiful Black Maine Coon Cats!

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!

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reference: Maine Coon Cat Breed Standard – The Cat Fanciers’ Association, Inc. (n.d.).