You might be wondering “Are Maine Coon cats rare?” especially if you’ve come across a cat with similar features to a Maine Coon. If you’ve just adopted a cat from a shelter, or you managed to find a stray, you could be curious as to whether or not the cat you just found is a Maine Coon.
The Maine Coon breed was rare in the 1950s when they went out of style and almost went extinct. However, after the breed became the official state cat of Maine, its popularity soared, and it made a comeback in 1985. Today, Maine Coons are so popular that they are no longer considered rare.
Of course, you’d still be lucky to stumble across a Maine Coon stray. In this article, we’ll cover just how rare the average Maine Coon is, as well as what patterns and colorations can make them rarer.
How Rare Are Maine Coon Cats?
At first glance, the Maine Coon might seem to be an especially rare cat breed. One of the most distinctive features of these cats is its huge size. Maine Coons can weigh as much as 25 pounds, which is over double the weight of the average housecat. Maine Coons are also known for their gorgeous long fur, which leads to tufted ears and an iconic mane around their neck- two features you rarely find in other cat breeds. It’s all too easy to assume that Maine Coons are rare based on these unusual physical characteristics.
If you are asking “Are Maine Coon cats rare?” the answer is no, they are not. In fact, they are popular enough today that it is not at all hard to find one!
Many people assume this particular cat breed to be extremely rare though, since these cats have such distinctive features. After all, not many cats have a huge build, tufted ears, and an iconic mane. Still, the popularity of the Maine Coon today is the reason why it is far less rare than it used to be. While you can hardly be expected to come across stray Maine Coons in your day-to-day life, they are far more common than you might think.
Of course, this wasn’t always the case. If you take a look at the history of the Maine Coon, you will discover that it wasn’t always as popular as it is today.
Whilst the exact origins of the Maine Coon cat are a little murky, we do know a few things for sure.
For starters, the Maine Coon is a naturally occurring breed that originated in the state of Maine at some point during the mid to late 1800s. Their thick coats and wide paws were perfectly adapted for life in the snowy climate of Maine, and they were effective mousers.
While the breed was popular for some time, its fame began to decline in the mid-1900s as it was shown up by a new cat breed – the Persian. By the 1950s, the breed was on the cusp of extinction, but thankfully a few breeders managed to preserve it until 1985. This was a special year for Maine Coons, as the breed was named the official ‘State Cat Of Maine’ (source).
From there, the breed’s popularity boomed and, as of 2018, it was considered the fifth most popular cat, according to the Cat Fanciers Association.
If you’re eager to learn more about the origin of these gentle giants, take a look at my article ‘Where Do Maine Coons Originate?‘.
Rare Maine Coon Colors
In this section, we’re going to take a look at which coat colors are rare versus which coat colors are common in Maine Coon cats.
To get a true understanding of which Maine Coon colors are most rare though, it is important to learn what colors this particular cat breed comes in, in the first place!
Therefore, why not take a quick peek at my complete guide to Maine Coon Colors: ‘What Colors Do Maine Coon Cats Come In?‘.
Now that you are fully versed in what Maine Coon colors are available to buy, we are going to delve into the world of Maine Coons. From this, you can then determine are Maine Coon cats rare, or not?
1. Most Rare Maine Coon Colors
Some cat breeds only come in certain colors. For example, the coat of a Russian Blue can only be a cool gray, called “blue” by cat breeders. Maine Coons, however, are special in that they can come in virtually any color. Overall, a Maine Coon cat can come in 75 different colors! Of course, some of these colors are more common than others.
Two of the rarest Maine Coon colors are shaded silver and gold:
- Shaded Silver Maine Coon
- Golden Maine Coon
Shaded Silver Maine Coons
The shaded silver Maine Coons is gorgeous to look at, but quite rare and, as a result, horrifyingly expensive. The shaded coloration is a result of tipping, which is when the shaft of a cat’s hair is a different color from the tip. In a shaded silver Maine Coon, the shaft of the hair is pale in comparison to the dark gray tips.
Golden Maine Coons
Golden Maine Coons are also quite rare. A shaded gold Maine Coon has an apricot or orange hair shaft with a black tip. Because the base color of a golden Maine Coon is a result of red coloration, all golden Maine Coons are also tabbies, even if they don’t have visible stripes (such as a ticked tabby).
2. Are Orange Maine Coon Cats Rare?
While silver and gold Maine Coons are the rarest of all, a specific kind of orange Maine Coon can be quite rare, as well. It’s relatively easy to find an orange tabby Maine Coon, but finding a solid orange Maine Coon is much more difficult. It is hard to breed a solid orange Maine Coon cat, making it one of the more rare Maine Coon colors.
3. Are Black Maine Coon Cats Rare?
Black Maine Coons are one of the most common Maine Coon colors. A black Maine Coon is not considered rare at all.
Read our complete guide to the mysterious Black Maine Coon Cat.
4. Are White Maine Coon Cats Rare?
Pure white cats are typically difficult to breed, and only make up 5% of the entire population of cats. As a result, it is a rare color to find in Maine Coons (source).
Read our complete guide to the White Maine Coon cat here.
5. Are Blue Maine Coon Cats Rare?
A blue Maine Coon (which appears grayer than blue) is relatively common and particularly beautiful. A blue chinchilla Maine Coon, however, is the result of a specific fur coloration that is extremely rare in Maine Coons.
Read our complete guide to the Blue Maine Coon Cat here.
6. How Rare Are Smoke Maine Coons?
Smoke Maine Coons have a faded undercoat, giving them a smoky appearance. This pattern is somewhat rare in Maine Coons, but not as rare as silver, gold, or blue chinchilla Maine Coons.
Read our full guide to the Smoke Maine Coon cat here.
7. Can Maine Coons Be Gray?
The color gray in cats is a diluted version of black. Maine Coons can come in a variety of grays, and it is not considered rare. For more information on the supposed gray Maine Coon cat, take a look at my guide: Gray Maine Coon Cats.
8. Are Red Maine Coons Rare?
Red Maine Coons are fairly common, as well as popular. However, it is easier to find male Maine Coons that are red than females. This is because 80% of red cats are male, while only 20% of red cats are female.
Rare Maine Coon Patterns
Colors aren’t the only part of a cat’s coat that can make it rare! Now we’re going to look at a list of the different Maine Coon patterns, as well as which ones are the rarest.
Solid Maine Coons are one color throughout. This is an extremely common pattern, especially for black, white, cream, brown, and gray cats.
Tabby Maine Coons are possibly the most common of all Maine Coon patterns, and it is also the most distinctive. Most people envision a tabby when they hear the phrase “Maine Coon.”
Smoke Maine Coons are not as common as solid or tabby patterns. While most of the cat is solid in color, the undercoat is faded. This is a bit more difficult to breed and is therefore rarer.
Shaded Maine Coons are one of the rarest coat patterns. Each hair on a shaded Maine Coon has two different colors, which gives the cat a beautiful, soft appearance.
How Rare Are Male Calico Cats?
Male calico cats are incredibly rare. Calico cats are almost always female, and male calico cats can only occur through a genetic anomaly that gives them one extra X chromosome. The chances of a male calico cat being born are 1 to 3,000!
Since there is so much to learn about the Calico Maine Coon cat, I have written this article to guide Maine Coon cat owners: ‘Calico Maine Coon Cat‘.
Can You Buy A Maine Coon In All Countries?
Maine Coons are available all over the world and in any country. While Maine Coons are more common in Australia and the United States, you can also find them in Europe, Canada, Brazil, and virtually any other country!
Side step the scammers and countless questions relating to buying a Maine Coon kitten, by reading my ‘Complete Guide To Buying A Maine Coon Cat‘ first!
Are Maine Coons Illegal?
Maine Coons are not illegal to buy, sell, or own in any country. Some hybrid cat breeds, like Bengals are illegal to keep as pets in certain locations though.
Therefore, if you hoping to own a purebred Maine Coon then stop stressing because these large cats are perfectly legal throughout the world. The only issue you might run into is that, due to their enormous size, some people might mistake your Maine Coon as a small wildcat!
Rare Cat Breeds
While the Maine Coon is not a rare cat breed, other cat breeds are far more difficult to find. Here is a list of some of the rarest cat breeds (source).
- Turkish Van
It’s not unusual to wonder “Are Maine Coon cats rare?” especially when you consider their tufted ears, distinctive mane, and huge size. Surprisingly enough, however, Maine Coon cats are not considered rare at all.
If you have been asking yourself “Are Maine Coon cats common?” then the answer is yes! These gentle giants may appear rare at first glance, but they are so popular that their rarity has decreased drastically over the years.