Are ginger Maine Coons rare?

Red and ginger

The title refers to 'ginger' coated Maine Coons. Firstly, the word 'ginger' means 'red' in the cat fancy. The word 'red' is used by the cat fancy and 'ginger' or 'yellow' is used by owners! Both the solid red coat and the red tabby coat are listed under the Cat Fanciers' Association (CFA) breed standard and are therefore both accepted by this premier cat association in the US. 

Red (ginger) tabby Maine Coon. Image in the public domain.

Breeders

So, it's just a question of finding a breeder who is breeding solid red or red tabby Maine Coons from foundation cats that are red tabbies. And in searching for such a breeder it might be true that there are few breeders creating red Maine Coons. 

I don't know how many breeders are breeding the red and red tabbies. If there are very few then the answer to the question in the title is that they are rare! But it will only be because breeders don't want to breed them. However, please read on.

Not rare

Judging by the number of photographs of red and red tabby Maine Coons that there are on the internet, they are positively NOT RARE!

Solid red Maine Coon. An amazing looking cat. Image: Instagram.

Male and females

Red male Maine Coons are far more common than females. Sarah Hartwell (a cat genetics expert) says that ginger females "are less common than ginger males, but they are not rare. It is possible to selectively breed ginger female cats by mating ginger males and ginger females together. They will have ginger offspring." That applies to all domestic cats not just Maine Coons.

She does not provide information about the percentage of red males to females but another site suggests that it is an 80:20 percent split.

Females sterile?

Note: ginger female Maine Coons (and other domestic cats) are NOT sterile.

Breed standards

The CFA breed standard in respect of solid red MCs is:

RED: deep, rich, clear, brilliant red; without shading, markings, or ticking. Lips and chin the same color as coat. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red

And for the red tabby the CFA breed standard is as follows:

RED TABBY (classic, mackerel, ticked): ground color red. Markings deep, rich red. White trim around lip and chin allowed. Nose leather and paw pads: brick red desirable.

Character

I have always thought that red tabbies have a nice character. But you'll have to agree that character and coat colour are linked to believe that!

Cream

Cream is a diluted red because of the presence of the dilution gene in the cat. Cream looks great, I think.

I hope this helps. 

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