The Maltese tiger, or blue tiger, is a suspected coloration morph of a tiger, reported mostly from the Fujian Province of China. It is said to have bluish fur with dark grey stripes. The term “Maltese” comes from domestic cat terminology for blue fur, and refers to the slate grey coloration. Many cats with such colouration are present in Malta, which may have given rise to the use of the adjective in this context; however the tigers have nothing to do with the island.
Most of the Maltese tigers reported have been of the South Chinese subspecies. The South Chinese tiger today is critically endangered, and the “blue” alleles may be wholly extinct. However, “blue” tigers have also been reported from Korea, home of Amur tigers