Velvet Shadows: The Black Maine Coon Cat

black maine coon cat outdoors in a tree on a snowy day

Black Maine Coon cats are impressive animals whose appearance often stops people in their tracks. Their midnight colored coat, combined with the impressive stature typical of Maine Coon cats, make these cats truly stand out from the crowd.

Black Maine Coon Cat Physical Appearance

In general, black Maine Coon cats have the same physical traits as all Maine Coons. 

black maine coon kitten on a white rug, studio image

General Appearance

  • Size: Maine Coon cats are the largest breed of non-hybrid domestic cats. Males usually weigh between 13 to 18 pounds, but cats as big as 25 pounds are not uncommon. They are also very long! The world record for longest cat goes to a Maine Coon measuring 48.5 inches from tip of his nose to the end of his tail(1).
  • Fur: These cats have dense, water-repellent fur. It is longer on the ruff, giving them a slightly lion-like appearance. It is even long between the toes, creating tufts on the bottom of their feet that help them walk on snow and keep their feet warm.
  • Ears: One of the distinctive features of Maine Coons is their large ears that have tufted tips, reminiscent of lynx ears(2).
  • Tail: Also notable is their long and bushy tail, perfect for wrapping around their legs and feet to help keep them warm.
  • Eyes: The Maine Coon’s eyes are almond-shaped and can be green, gold, or copper, colors which are really striking against the darkness of their black fur.
black maine coon cat hanging over owner's shoulder while on a nature walk

The Distinctive All-Black Coloration

  • Fur: The fur is uniformly black, giving them a sleek and elegant look. The depth of the black color can vary from a jet black to a slightly lighter charcoal black.
  • Paw Pads and Nose: The paw pads, or “toe beans”, will be a solid black, as well as their nose. This is consistent with the rest of their all-black appearance.
  • Skin: Like most black cats, the skin itself is not the same rich black color as the fur. Instead, the skin of black cats tends to be shades of dark gray.

Color Variations:

  • Solid Black: The fur of solid black Maine Coon cats is entirely black, from the tip of the fur to the skin. This includes both their longer, courser outer coat hair as well as the softer and finer undercoat hair.
  • Black Smoke: Black smoke Maine Coons feature a black outer coat with white or gray roots, creating a “smoky” look. This color pattern is striking, as the lighter undercoat seems to glow when the cat moves.
  • Russeting: This is a phenomenon where black fur appears to have a reddish or brown tint. It can occur due to sun bleaching (if it is an outdoor cat), or if the cat’s diet is lacking in the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine.
black maine coon cat laying on a cat tree

Personality and Behavior

Maine Coon cats, including the black ones, are known to be very affectionate and loyal to their family members. They are social cats that like to be around people as well as other family pets.

They are also intelligent, active cats that like to play, explore, run and jump. Cats that do not have enough room to express these behaviors tend to get in trouble when they try to find other ways to entertain themselves, such as getting into cupboards and drawers and finding their way on top of cabinets and other furniture.

They like interactive toys and activities that keep them active and mentally engaged. They often follow their owners and are known for being vocal, with many different sounds beyond the usual “meows”.

black maine coon cat, studio image, royal purple background

Care and Grooming

With all that long, thick hair, Maine Coons need help keeping their coat clean and free of tangles. Daily brushing is recommended to prevent matting, and monthly baths with cat-safe shampoo can help keep their fur clean, soft, and shiny.

Since these are large, fast growing cats, care and attention must be given to their diets and portions adjusted appropriately as they grow. These large cats will eat more than your average cat, and need a diet that is balanced for their specific needs. As they grow older and become less active, portion control may be necessary to keep them from becoming overweight.

Health Issues

Like other Maine Coons, the black Maine Coon is prone to health problems like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy(3), hip dysplasia(4), and polycystic kidney disease(5). Regular veterinary check-ups for these cats is highly recommended, to make sure that you catch any developing health issues early.

young black maine coon cat sitting on a tan colored cat tree with grey wall behind

More Information About Maine Coon Cats

Are you interested in learning more about Maine Coon cats? We’ve got you covered! We recommend starting with our comprehensive breed information guide, and then moving on to other articles on more specific Maine Coon topics:


  5. Maine Coon renal screening: ultrasonographical characterisation and preliminary genetic analysis for common genes in cats with renal cysts

[Image credits: All images are used under license or with permission]


  • Dr. Wendy Wilkins DVM PhD.

    Dr. Wendy Wilkins is an experienced veterinarian and epidemiologist with over 20 years of expertise. She holds a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) degree and a Doctorate in Epidemiology from the University of Saskatchewan. Throughout her career, Dr. Wilkins has excelled in clinical practice, academia, research, and regulatory veterinary medicine. She is a respected voice in knowledge dissemination, delivering factual information in a readable and understandable manner through articles, books, and public engagements.

    View all posts