Maine Coon cats are surrounded by myths and mysterious tales, but what’s the tea with red Coons? Whether you’re on the hunt for a Garfield with an addicting purrsonality or a Milo with a tendency to cuddle the day away, you can’t go wrong with a red Maine Coon.
Coons are curious creatures known as everyone’s favorite cats because they’re affectionate, appreciative, and obsessed with humans. Contrary to popular belief, you’d be surprised at the number of different Coons out there – white, black, red, and blue are just the tip of the iceberg.
Cinnamon, cream, gold, and silver are the most sought-after colors because they’re the rarest. Gold and silver, for example, are brought about by a rare inhibitor gene that causes the loss of pigmentation in the undercoat. Tabby, tortie, solid, smoke, shaded, bicolor, and parti-color are the most common patterns.
With that out of the way, you might be wondering what makes red Maine Coon cats different from others. Why would you consider getting a red Coon when there’s a myriad of colors to choose from? We’ve rounded up all you need to know about these beauties down below!
What’s a red Maine Coon?
A red Maine Coon cat refers to one of the biggest, brightest cat breeds out there who happens to have a red coat. Maine Coons are adored around the world because they’re family-friendly pets that adore hanging out with humans, napping on the floor, and cuddling the day away.
Red Maine Coons are defined by flowy, fluffy fur that can be a specific shade of red, brown, or orange – sort of.
So, what makes a red Maine Coon cat considered purebred? The Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) states that the color of the coat needs to be a rich red without markings or shadings that would disrupt the rich red shade.
Apart from that, purebred red Maine Coons can be red classic tabby, red mackerel tabby, red ticked tabby, red smoke, and red cameo smoke, too. And, they need to have red noses and red paw pads, as well.
We wouldn’t argue that red Maine Coon cats are rare, but they’re much more mysterious than the average moggie. For instance, Maine Coons were once believed to be a combination of a cat and a raccoon.
They’re also rumored to be Marie Antoinette’s cats that were shipped to America during her foiled escape attempt from France. Not to mention that they’re believed to have been brought to America by Vikings and similar European sailors.
Now, Maine Coon cats, red or otherwise, are the oldest cat breed native to America and that’s everything we need to know about their origins and whereabouts.
What do you need to know about the breed before getting your hands on a red Maine Coon kitten, though? We’ve got you covered!
What to know about red Maine Coon cats before getting one
1. Red Maine Coons aren’t actually red
When you take a peep at a red Maine Coon cat, you might notice she’s more orange than red. While that might be confusing to the average Joe, both the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) and the International Cat Association (TICA) agreed to refer to orange cats as red.
Orange cats seem to have taken the Internet by storm with silly videos of them expressing strange behaviors, getting millions and millions of views on TikTok – but orange cats aren’t a breed.
Orange coats are common among most breeds, with shades ranging from a cute, creamy orange to a sun-soaked tangerine orange.
We do need to mention that some breeds are more likely to produce orange kittens, with American Bobtail, Exotic Shorthair, Devon Rex, and Scottish Fold leading the way, leaving red Maine Coons slightly rarer than we initially thought.
2. Red Coons are almost always striped
Who wouldn’t want a solid red Coon, right? We agree that solid-colored Coons deserve a special spot in our hearts, but you’ll probably never find a solid red Coon. Red (or orange) cats typically sport some sort of a striped pattern.
Rather than wearing stripes for the summer, red Coons come with four different patterns – mackerel (stripes resembling that of a tiger), ticked (light and dark stripes), spotted (spots rather than stripes), and classic (swirls rather than stripes).
3. Maine Coons are often referred to as “the gentle giants of the feline world”
Maine Coons are sweethearts, there’s no question about that. Whether you’re hoping to get a cute, cuddly kitty that spends most of the day napping or a big, bubbly cat that supports everything you do and follows you around, a red Maine Coon’s the one for you.
Maine Coon cats are known as the gentle giants in cat circles because they’re one of the biggest breeds out there – but they’re the sweetest, too.
When you’re cuddling with a red Coon, you might think you’re playing with a brown bear that’s waiting to attack you and rip your eyes out. Coons are creatures of consent, but they’re too sweet to attack you on purpose – no matter what you do.
4. Red Coons are more similar to humans than you think
“Gingers don’t have souls” might be the first thing that comes to mind, but that’s not what we’re talking about. Ginger Coons are a force to be reckoned with, but they have something in common with red-headed humans that might make you think they’re out of this world.
Cats are already rumored to understand everything we’re saying but play dumb because they’re trying to avoid paying taxes – but there’s much more to them than meets the eye.
Ginger cats possess the same pigment as ginger humans. Pheomelanin, a pigment responsible for the red coat in cats and red hair in humans, manifests in a range of shades from red to cream.
5. Red Maine Coon cats are almost always male
Males account for a whopping 80% of ginger cats and we’re questioning whether the male-dominated tribe is a result of genetics or something more sinister. We’re kidding, we’re kidding – genetics are to blame, there’s no doubt. Why, though?
Females have two X chromosomes and males have the XY chromosome. For a female to be ginger, the ginger gene that belongs to the X chromosome needs to occur twice. For a male to be ginger, the gene needs to occur once. Female or male, red Maine Coons are worth your attention.
6. Maine Coons, red or otherwise, adore playing fetch, walking on a leash, and following commands
With cat toys, cat trees, cardboard boxes, and paper bags, you won’t have to worry about your red Coon getting bored. Maine Coons are simple and sweet, but that doesn’t mean that they’ll be content spending all day napping on the floor.
Coons need physical activity to be happy and healthy, and they’re over the moon whenever you play with them the same way you would with a dog. Playing fetch, walking on a leash, and following commands are some of the dog-like qualities that red Coons possess.
7. Red Maine Coon cats are a little “cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs”
What do we mean by that? We’ve seen TikToks of orange cats running around the apartment like headless chickens, asking to be petted and proceeding to scratch the petter’s eyes, and displaying the strangest of behaviors we’ve ever witnessed online or IRL.
Red Maine Coons aren’t different – they’re guaranteed to act up, meow your ears off, and exhaust you on the regular, but they’re worth the effort. Maine Coons are the cutest creatures and they’re only loony when they’re lonely.
8. Red Coons are marked by a mysterious “M”
We brushed over the fact that red Coons are typically tabby, which means they’re marked with an M-shaped patch on the forehead.
We’re pretty sure that’s a feature shared by all tabby cats, although there’s a chance you might meet one or two without the mysterious M. Myths and tales aplenty explore what the M might stand for; however, it’s clear that it’s reserved for special cats only.
9. Red Maine Coons come with freckles
What!? Cats can have freckles!?
Freckles are another feature that ginger cats share, even though tabby gingers aren’t the only ones with the ability to develop dark spots on and around the nose.
Calico, tortoiseshell, and even flame point ginger cats can develop the same colorations, too. Lentigo, a condition that typically affects ginger cats, causes red Maine Coon cats to develop black spots on the gums, lips, nose, and eye margins.
10. Maine Coons are Chatty Cathys
Maine Coons are known to produce a myriad of strange sounds, from meowing and purring to chirruping, trilling, and growling.
And we’re not talking about the mellow meowing your red Coon might do when she’s trying to get your attention – we’re talking about neverending conversations packed with sounds you’ve never heard before.
At the end of the day, red Maine Coons aren’t for everyone. Are they for you?