Perhaps you’ve heard rumors of a completely black Maine Coon with glowing golden eyes. Have no fear, for although this gigantic, dark feline can look a little intimidating at first, their outward appearance is simply a unique look that’s been achieved by Maine Coon breeders over time.
Maine Coons come in a wide variety of colors and patterns, and while it’s more rare to see, the black Maine Coon is one of them!
Variations of the Black Maine Coon
There are actually several types of black Maine Coon out there, ranging from solid black to smoke.
The solid back Maine Coon is exactly as the description sounds; a solid black cat.
A black smoke Maine Coon looks more like a combination of grey and black that comes from the roots of the hairs being white while the rest of the hair is black.
Black with White
Some black Maine Coons are not completely black, but instead of one or more white spots on them.
What Makes a Black Maine Coon Black?
Black Maine Coons are rare because they must have a recessive trait from both parents that makes them not a tabby (non-agouti) as well as a dominant trait that makes them black.
Evolutionary-wise, black cats are actually unusual as the tabby pattern helped cats disguise themselves in their surroundings for thousands of years. An all-black cat is easier to see among their environment, and so their color is generally considered a gene mutation.
Panthers are one of the only all-black felines in the wild, and their success might be attributed to the fact that prey don’t really look out for them because their color is so unusual.
So why are there so many black domestic cats out there? Scientists believe that the same mutation that causes the agouti gene (non-tabby) to fail also protected the domestic cat from a particular virus that was unable to affect cats with the mutated gene.
Are Black Maine Coons Any Different Aside from their Color?
There doesn’t seem to be any difference in the personality or temperament of black Maine Coons vs any other color Maine Coon. At the end of the day you can still expect that gentle giant that makes Maine Coons so famous.