A question that we get asked frequently. Of course we never know for sure what Mother Nature will send us but with Maine Coons and their 80 odd colours it can be tricky to know what will arrive.
Maine coons are mainly tabby patterns. In the tabby patterns there are 4 different types – Mackerel, Classic, Ticked and Spotted. Various overseas associations and breeds can call the other names but that’s it for us here in Australia.
So the colours. There are Black/Brown, Blue, Red or Cream. Not many right but there can be a lot of combinations and then you can add white and make it more fun. So you can have Tabby or you can have Solid and another variation is to add Silver/Smoke.
What comes is determined by what genetics the parents carry. Blue for example is what we call ‘dilute’ can be carried or be visual. Blue you have to have it with both mum and dad for it to come out. If you have 2 Blues you wont get Black or Brown. Are we having fun yet???
Silver and Smoke
Now Silver/Smoke. Silver does not carry. You have to have one parent showing Silver to get Silver/Smoke kittens. If you have a Tabby then its called Silver – such as Black Silver. If you have a Solid then adding Silver is called Smoke. So you can have Black silver, Blue silver, Red silver or Cream silver. For the solids you have Black smoke, Blue smoke, Red Smoke and Cream smoke. The issue with Red and Cream is that you usually see what we call ‘ghost markings’ which means the Red and Cream always look like tabby. DNA testing will help to clarify if the Red and Creams are solid or tabby.
Tortie and Red
With adding Red or Cream you get Tortie. Torties are always girls – the Red/Cream is a sex linked gene. From Tortie mother you can get Red/Cream boys. You have to have a Red/Cream dad to get Tortie girls. If you mate a Tortie mum to a Red/Cream dad that’s when you can get Red/Cream girls because the Red/Cream gene is then on both sides – both mum and dad – so it can appear. That one is a bit tricky
Here at Fullofcharm we also have the Poly feet. You have to have one parent have Poly feet for the kittens to be born with Poly feet. Just another option.
So that is just a bit of what can help produce the colours in the kittens.