Can Maine Coon cats be orange? When we think of Maine Coon cats, we often think of calico (brown, black, and white) or perhaps tortie-calico (blended brown and black on white).
But there are actually five colors that are considered breed standard: Silver, Black, White, Calico, and yes, orange!
Maine Coon cats can absolutely be orange, though they tend to come in a variety of shades of orange, from light to ginger, to goldenrod yellow. Pure orange (that is, orange or red with no white) is rare, but orange tabby or orange smoky is more common and just as appealing.
The Genes that Create an Orange Maine Coon Cat
Cats only have two genes which control coat color: red and black. Black is pretty obvious, but red can manifest as a variety of colors, including orange.
The gene is then modified further by its smokiness and other factors. In particular, the orange color shows the presence of melanin called pheomelanin which is the same pigment found in redheaded humans!
The orange gene is found on the X-chromosome of cats. The ‘O’ allele tells the orange color to turn ‘on’, while the ‘o’ allele would switch it off.
Because male cats have only one X-chromosome, they are more likely to be orange (if they have the ‘O’ allele, they will be orange; if they have the ‘o’ allele, they have black or brown fur).
Females on the other hand have two X chromosomes which mean there are more combinations of coloring and thus a far smaller chance of being orange. (It would take two ‘O’ alleles to create orange, whereas two ‘o’ s would make her have black or brown fur, and one ‘O’ and one ‘o’ would give her a tortoiseshell coat).
Male kittens also get their color genes directly from their mother, so if their mother was orange, the male kitten will be orange too (though perhaps a bit more diluted).
Maine Coon cats tend towards the ginger spectrum more so than true orange with ginger being the reddish-brown color that we see in many cats.
A truly orange Maine Coon won’t have any brown blended in their coat, leaning more towards red and almost always with tabby markings.
Solid orange Maine Coons are quite rare – the genes that they tend to inherit lean them more towards ginger or tabby. In order to be solid, their coats must be a brilliant orange color with no white and no obvious shading or markings.
They also have brick red paw pads and a red nose. That’s pretty rare. (The other rare color of Maine Coon cats is pure black). But orange shading such as tabby or smoked is more common.
For breed standards, the smoky orange or tabby orange is generally acceptable and far more common than solid orange.
Does Color Affect Personality?
There are many cat owners who would swear blind that their orange Maine Coon cat has a mischievous streak to them, but truly, the color of your cat has no bearing on their personality. (Tortoiseshell attitude isn’t a thing…)
The Maine Coon breed tends to have a mischievous streak simply because they are smart, high-energy cats who aren’t really afraid of much.
This is going to make it more likely that you have a Maine Coon who is smart, gets into things, like figuring things out, and doesn’t really fear much of anything since they tend to be the biggest pet in the house (or at least think they are).
An orange Maine Coon isn’t going to be more, or less, potentially bratty, or playful than any other color.
Do Orange Maine Coon Cats Cost More Than Other Colors?
There are a number of factors that go into how a breeder prices their kittens:
- The breeder’s reputation
- How many orange kittens there are in a litter
- The demand for orange kittens versus the ‘supply’
Maine Coon cats (purebred) tend to be pricey anyway because the breed is popular, so you’re usually looking at anywhere between $2,000 and $2,500, regardless of the color.
If orange is very popular, but there haven’t been many orange kittens, you may see a price jump. A highly reputable breeder can also get away with charging more for their kittens.
A kitten that is already spayed or neutered will also usually cost more than one that is not. And of course, if the kitten comes from a show line that has been successful, that will raise their prices as well.
In general, only a solid orange Maine Coon might carry a higher price tag than other kittens. Otherwise, if you want an orange tabby or a smoky orange and the supply isn’t incredibly limited, you shouldn’t be paying much more than you would have been anyway.
Orange Maine Coon cats are quite beautiful to behold in any shade. They have the brilliant eyes to match and that long fluffy tail always looks good in red or orange.
If you have an orange Maine Coon cat, enjoy the showy colors! Maine Coon cats can absolutely be orange (as well as many other colors) and it is a popular color to have as an owner.
Have you ever owned an orange Maine Coon cat?
Pam is a self-confessed cat lover and has experience of working with cats and owning cats for as long as she can remember. This website is where she gets to share her knowledge and interact with other cat lovers.