The Maine Coon is a regal-looking cat with a strong face. This impressive cat can have all sorts of coat colors to make it look even better.
The Black Maine Coon is a color variation of the Maine Coon. They have a dominant black fur gene but the traits of a pure-bred Maine Coon. Black Maine Coons are one of the most popular Maine Coon variations. They are gentle giants with loving and friendly personalities.
As you read on, I’ll help you get to know the Black Maine Coon. If you’re interested in having one of your own, then you’ve come to the right place. I’ll begin with discussing the history of the Maine Coon and how the breed came to be. I’ll also discuss the Black Maine Coon’s appearance, personality, and how to identify one. Finally, I’ll cover how to take care of a Black Maine Coon and the common health issues that this breed has.
The History of the Black Maine Coon
The Maine Coon originates from, as the name suggests, Maine. Some believe that they were first brought by the Vikings to North America during their historical raids. Others believe that they are descended from longhaired cats that belonged to Marie Antoinette who sent her cats to America in the hopes of joining them after she escaped her death. Ultimately, where these cats come from has remained a mystery.
Maine Coons were named after raccoons because they share a similar ring-tailed feature. Some people even believe that Maine Coons were crossbred with raccoons to achieve this feature but that is untrue. Maine Coons are 100% cats and have a ringed tail because of their tabby genes. Maine Coons that have solid-colored tails are sometimes called Maine Shags.
The fifth breed to ever be registered by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) was none other than the Maine Coon. The popularity of the breed entered a slump when Persians and Siamese cats became frenzied over by cat breeders all over the world. However, the Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association was founded in 1968 and brought these elegant cats back into the limelight. Today, Maine Coons remain one of the most popular cat breeds in the world.
What Makes a Maine Coon Black?
For a Maine Coon to have black fur, it must have two specific genes. First, both of its parents must carry the dominant black color gene, also known as the B gene. Second, it must inherit a recessive non-agouti gene to ensure that it doesn’t have a tabby patterned coat.
What Does The Maine Coon Look Like?
The Maine Coon is a large-sized cat that can grow up to weigh anywhere between 9 to 20 lbs. Male Maine Coons tend to be larger than female ones and will fall on the farther end of the scale. When fully grown, Maine Coons stand to be around 10 to 16 inches tall and a massive 40 inches in length. These big cats grow much more slowly than most cats, only reaching their full size when they’re about three to five years old.
Black Maine Coons are muscular cats with strong and athletic builds. They have a broad chest and long limbs. These elegant cats have balanced proportions that complement their rectangular shape. Their legs are straight and wide-set with paws that are large and round. These cats normally have five toes on their front paws and four toes on the hind paws.
Your Black Maine Coon will have a medium-sized head that is slightly longer than it is wide. Part of what makes this breed so famous is its strong and visibly square muzzle that gives it an intimidatingly gorgeous look. Black Maine Coons have medium-length muzzles that seem blunt when viewed from the side. They also have a strong and pronounced chin that is in line with their upper lip and nose.
Black Maine Coons have large, expressive, oval-shaped eyes that can come in a variety of shades and colors that contrast their dark coats. These colors include amber, copper, green, green-amber, gold, orange, and yellow. Their fur is long and shaggy with tapering around the tail, chest, ears, and sides.
As you can imagine, Black Maine Coons have coats that are, well, black! They have a solid ebony color that covers their body from head to toe. The shade might vary in different parts of your Black Maine Coon’s body but it will definitely all be black. Under natural light, its fur may appear to be a dark shade of brown or a dark shade of gray.
According to the CFA, Black Maine Coon cats can actually be classified under four different color classes. The color classes are solid, bi-color, shaded and smoke, and shaded/smoke and white.
A solid Black Maine Coon should have a solid black coal coloring on its fur from the root to the tip. It cannot have tinges of rust coloring on the tips of their fur. There shouldn’t be smokey colors in the undercoat and the Maine Coon must have a black nose and paws that are black or brown.
Black and White
A Black and White Maine Coon will have fur that has a color combination of black and white. The white fur must appear on their belly, paws, and bib. It can also have white spots on its face. They can have either pink or black noses depending on the placement of the white markings. They can also have paws that are a mix of black and pink.
Black Smoke Maine Coons have a black overcoat and white undercoat. When these cats are resting, they appear to have black fur but as they move, the white undercoat can be seen. They must have a black nose and black paw pads. These cats normally have light silver frills and ear tufts that make them look extra smoky.
Black Smoke and White
Finally, there’s the Black Smoke and White Maine Coon. This color class is very similar to the Black and White Maine Coon. The only difference is that the black markings are replaced with a black smoke color. Just like the Black and White Maine Coon, the white markings must appear on all four paws, belly, and bib. It can also appear on the Maine Coon’s face.
Can Black Maine Coon’s Change Color?
This question is often asked by Black Maine Coon owners because they notice that as their cat ages, the color of its fur changes. However, the truth is, the color is actually fading rather than changing. A Black Maine Coon’s coat can possibly fade into a rust color on different parts of its fur.
Your Black Maine Coon can change color, normally this is because of it experiencing tyrosine deficiency or that its fur has been sunbleached.
Tyrosine is an amino acid that is responsible for the production of Eumelanin, which is the pigment that makes your cat’s fur black. If your Black Maine Coon experiences a tyrosine deficiency, its fur will fade into lighter rust or brown color. If you feel that your cat might be tyrosine deficient, you can take it to the vet who can then prescribe tyrosine for your cat.
Most Black Maine Coon owners also notice that their cats’ fur fades as it ages. A possible explanation for this is sun exposure. It’s believed that prolonged sun exposure can lead to the fur being bleached into lighter colors. So if your cat loves to bathe in the sun, it might eventually have its fur fade from black to brown or rust.
Are Black Maine Coons Rare?
The short answer is yes, Black Maine Coon cats are rare. However, solid Black Maine Coons are rarer than other Black Maine Coon color classes. This is because black cats of any breed are rare in general. Most cat owners don’t prefer to have black cats due to the popular misconception that black cats are bad luck. Without the demand, breeders don’t have any incentive or motivation to breed them as frequently as other colors.
How Are Black Maine Coons Bred?
To produce solid Black Maine Coon kittens, breeders will have to breed two solid Black Maine Coons. Male Maine Coons inherit their color genes from their dams while female Maine Coons inherit them from each parent. It can be difficult to find two solid Black Maine Coons so breeders are often unable to produce entirely black litters.
If there is only one Black Maine Coon available for breeding, the ideal would be for it to be the mother of the litter. However, if the only Black Maine Coon parent is the mother, then they are likely to only produce male solid Black Maine Coon kittens. Since male Black Maine Coons are easier to produce, there are more of them than their female counterparts.
Take Care of a Black Maine Coon
Since it’s such a large and longhaired cat, the Black Maine Coon can seem like high-maintenance pets. However, these cats are actually pretty easy to take care of! Their coats need a medium amount of maintenance. They however have particular diets because they can become prone to being overweight. In the next following sections, I’ll cover the things you need to know about your Black Maine Coon’s grooming, feeding, dental care, and exercise needs.
Despite being a longhaired cat, Black Maine Coons have fur that doesn’t mat easily because of its smooth and silky texture. You will only need to groom your cat twice a week to get rid of dead fur and to keep its natural skin oils flowing. The best type of tool to use for grooming your Black Maine Coon is a steel comb that can easily remove tangles and pull out its tufts of dead undercoat.
When combing your cat, it’s best to do it gently, especially on the tail and underbelly areas. Your Black Maine Coon might not be patient with being groomed at first, but once you’ve done it enough times, it’ll get used to its regular grooming sessions.
You should also regularly check your Black Maine Coon’s butt for poop because it can easily get stuck on its long fur. If you find any, simply wipe it off with a damp piece of tissue or baby wipe. Black Maine Coons are responsible when it comes to grooming themselves but they’ll still need a bath every now and then to keep their coats healthy. You’ll only need to bathe your Black Maine Coon as often as once every few weeks or months. Of course, it’ll also need a bath if it gets into a messy accident or sneaks into dusty parts of your home. If your Black Maine Coon’s coat feels greasy, then it probably needs a bath.
When bathing your Black Maine Coon, be sure to use both shampoo and conditioner to maintain the silkiness of its fur. Using shampoo alone might be too drying and lower the quality of your cat’s fur. Be sure to use conditioner after you’ve shampooed your cat to provide its coat with healthy nutrients that will make its fur softer and silkier. It’s also important to keep your cat’s litter box as clean as possible. Not only will it be good for your home, but it’ll also be good for your cat’s hygiene.
Like most cats, Black Maine Coons will need to have their nails trimmed once every two weeks. This will mostly be to protect your belongings from being scratched up by your cat. It’ll also keep your cat’s claws from catching dirt which can lead to a nasty infection later on. Be sure to use cat-friendly nail clippers when trimming your cat’s nails to avoid potentially hurting it.
Unlike most cats, veterinarians don’t recommend allowing your Maine Coon to free eat. This is because these large cats are prone to becoming overweight. They spend the first three years of their lives growing and during these stages, they can have insatiable appetites. To lessen your cat’s chances of gaining too much weight, you’ll need to feed them three to four meals of healthy wet food.
Below is a table that compares the price of the brands of wet kitten food that you can feed your Black Maine Coon Kitten:
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Below is a table that compares the price of the brands of wet cat food that you can feed your adult Black Maine Coon:
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Your Black Maine Coon will need to have its teeth brushed at least once or twice a week to prevent any nasty oral infections. These cats are known to be sensitive to having their teeth brushed, so be sure to use a cat-friendly toothbrush and toothpaste when taking care of your cat’s teeth.
Since your Black Maine Coon will primarily be on a wet food diet, it will need a lot of help in keeping its teeth healthy. Aside from regular brushing, you should also take your cat to the vet for a dental exam and teeth cleaning at least twice a year. Your vet will be able to get rid of any deeply impacted plaque and make sure that your cat’s teeth and gums are in check.
Maine Coons are large and active cats that need plenty of exercise every day. A great way to help your cat exercise is by having routine playtime. About 1 hour of play a day will do wonders for your cat’s muscles and weight management. Black Maine Coons love to run around and chase things so purchasing a robotic mouse toy or teaser is sure to get your cat going.
Unfortunately, Black Maine Coons are indoor cats so you’ll have to restrict your cat’s play to the inside of your home. Aside from toys, you can also install a cat tower or cat shelves to give your Black Maine Coon exciting to places to explore at home.
Health Issues in Black Maine Coons
Every cat breed has a few certain health issues that are more common, even the Black Maine Coon.
Below are some of the health issues commonly found in Black Maine Coons:
2. Hip Dysplasia
3. Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
A unique health issue that Black Maine Coons face is overheating. This is common among Black Maine Coons because of their dark fur color. Dark colors tend to absorb more light and heat so your Black Maine Coon will feel higher temperatures than most cats.
Symptoms of overheating include panting, lethargy, stumbling, and vomiting. You must keep a close eye on your Black Maine Coon during the hot summers because that’s when they’re most prone to overheating.
You can prevent your Black Maine Coon from overheating by having black-out blinds in your home. This will protect them from the harsh sun rays that can cause them to get too hot. It’s best to keep your cat in well-ventilated or airconditioned rooms to keep them cool. Always make sure that your cat has easy access to cool water because hydration is another way to prevent overheating.
2. Hip Dysplasia
Hip dysplasia is a condition wherein your cat’s thighbone doesn’t fit correctly into its hip joint. It causes severe pain, lameness, and even arthritis. This is an inheritable condition that Black Maine Coons normally inherit from their parents. When buying or adopting your Black Maine Coon, you must access its parents’ medical records to make sure that it doesn’t have a chance of inheriting this condition.
The symptoms of hip dysplasia include limping, loss of energy, difficulty jumping, and weight gain. Diagnosing hip dysplasia involves a physical exam and x-ray that will be conducted by your vet. For milder cases of hip dysplasia, your cat will be prescribed medication and possibly a weight management diet. For more serious cases, your cat might need corrective surgery to reposition its thighbone.
3. Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy
Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy is a condition that causes your cat’s heart’s walls to thicken. This condition is incredibly difficult to diagnose and most cat owners don’t even realize that their cats have this until they experience a heart attack. This disease mostly affects older male cats but can also occur in younger cats.
The symptoms of feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy include extreme weight loss, difficulty breathing, coughing, fainting, and loss of use of the legs. However, it’s also possible for your Black Maine Coon to not experience these symptoms at all. The best course of action to prevent this disease is by getting your cat’s heart checked out at least once a year. If your vet finds that your Black Maine Coon has this disease, your cat will be prescribed medication that will regulate your cat’s heart rate.
Black Maine Coons are definitely some of the most beautiful cats I’ve ever seen. The first time I ever saw one was online and I didn’t think that a cat could look that majestic! Although I’ve never met one myself, I definitely want to see this gorgeous cat with my own eyes.
It’s easy to see why you would want your very own Black Maine Coon. They’re elegant, playful, and impressive cats. Not to mention are they fairly easy to care for despite their size and coat. I think that Black Maine Coons would make the perfect pet for anyone that’s looking to have a large and strikingly beautiful pet.
Besides being beautiful, I think what makes the Black Maine Coon even more interesting is its rarity. Fortunately, the stigma toward black cats has lessened over the years because people are realizing that having a black cat isn’t bad luck at all. In fact, nowadays, people believe that black cats bring about good fortune because they ward off bad energy. Mystical or not, if you want to have a great-looking cat with a playful personality, then the Black Maine Coon is perfect for you.
Hey there! I’m Matt and I’m a content writer from the Philippines. I’ve raised over 10 dogs and 5 cats. I love taking care of my rescue dog Kewpie and my two rescue cats, Misty and Rosy.