Maine Coon smoke is formed by the combination of the inhibited gene with non-agouti (aaI-)

This is a nice photograph of a very large Maine Coon (yes, another wonderful-looking cat companion). What struck me immediately was the chiselled appearance of the smoke coat down the right foreleg of this cat. You can see the white parts of the hair strands below the dark tip. This to me is the classic smoke appearance. The top part of the hair strands are dark while underneath there is light coloured fur.

The smoke coat and how it is created is very evident in this photograph of a beautiful Maine Coon cat. You can see the white under colour and the black tip.
The smoke coat and how it is created is very evident in this photograph of a beautiful Maine Coon cat. You can see the white under colour and the black tip. The photograph is from Twitter. I've lost the name of the contributor; sorry.

The title explains how the smoke appearance is created as described by the authors of the book: Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders and Veterinarians. They also state that:

The action of I in producing white undercolor is clearly seen in this variety. (The symbol I is for the inhibitor gene).

You might also see ghost tabby markings of dark and light pigmentation and kittens who have this coat type.

The extent of the white undercolor is variable and "the overall colour may be described as dark, medium or light, depending upon the amount of top color or tipping".

The white undercolor is not always a stark white with the smoke coat. The colour may vary between off-white to bluish and may be barely distinguishable from the "blue undercolor of ordinary black".

The variation in undercolor is "comparable to that which distinguishes shaded silver from Chinchilla and is presumably due to the same modifying genes".

You will find the smoke coat type on both short and long-haired cats. However, we are far more used to seeing longhaired cats with the smoke coat. The Maine Coon has a medium-longhaired coat.

Smoke coats of various colours are produced by a combination of the inhibitor gene with "other mutant alleles at other loci".

You will see blue smoke, chocolate smoke and lilac smoke. And as is evident in this photograph "the light undercolor is more apparent when combined with a long coat and its beauty enhanced".

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