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Maine Coon Colors

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
What determines a Maine Coon kitten's color?

I mean I know they come in solids, smokes, tabbies, torties, torbies all with or without white but how can we know what color the litter from say a Classic Brown Tabby and a Black Silver tabby?

Does anyone have a chart or something?

Thanks in Advance!
post #2 of 8
You just have to study feline genetics, which is no easy task. Color and markings come in all varieties in Maine Coons (except pointed), so regular application of feline genetics applies.

Silvers are dominant, you kittens should be silver, with varying degrees of breakthrough. I think anyway. Thats how it is in bengals :p .

A brown mackerel tabby could carry for anything though. They could carry for whited expressions, classic pattern, among other color variations. So it becomes hard to tell what could be expressed.

But if one of the parents has a dominant color type then it makes it easier to guess.
post #3 of 8
From what I understand you don't want to breed a brown tabby to a silver as the brown color can sometimes produce a tarnished silver - which is not what the standard calls for. You want clear bright silver - not that silver with brown undercoat/cast.
post #4 of 8
Thread Starter 
That's very interesting. I'd never have guessed that there would be colors which should rather not be bred.

I was also wondering if reds and red silvers were mostly males? Also, can you ever get a tortie or torbie male? Or is that color only for females?

I also didn't know that silvers were dominant. I would have thought classic black and brown tabbies would be more dominant since they seem to be more common. Again very interesting stuff.
post #5 of 8
The "female" colors would apply to any breed - you could get a male that was genetically XXY, but it would be less then 1%

The red-silvers would be called silver torties/torbies.
post #6 of 8
My girl Hope is an example of a silver with a brown mom. She has very little tarnishing and unless I pointed it out most people would never know. The degree of tarnishing will vary with the litter. I think silver is a masking gene so the brown is still there its just how much is masked by the silver.

In Hope's litter they were all silvers as would be expected. One girl had some break-through along her spine, my girl has a tiny bit but not much and the other girl had pretty much no tarnishing. If you decide to keep one as a breeder and breed it to a silver then the tarnishing will be diminished.
post #7 of 8
Silver is dominant, which means one copy of the gene will cause the cat to be silver. If it only has one copy, only half of the offspring will be silver, it has to have two copies of the silver gene to throw 100% silver offspring. Also, tarnishing doesn't matter in Maine Coons, in most associations color isn't a judged quality, as long as the cat is a legal color, that's all they care about.
post #8 of 8
Color DOES play a small part in the maine coons. If you have two equally good silver tabby MC's and one has more tarnishing, the judge will pick the clearer color.

I've heard judges comment on tarnishing in the silvers.
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