Saturday 18 June 2011

Why the Siamese cat is pointed

The Siamese kitten is born without pigmentation (color). Within a short time - a few days - the coat forms pigmentation on the nose and ears.

Robinson's Genetics calls this typical of what it describes as "Himalayan albinism".

The production of pigmentation is dependent on ambient temperature. The temperature in the area of the fur is dictated by the body temperature of the cat and before being born the temperature in the womb.

The womb is at body temperature and it is this relatively high temperature that keeps the new born kitten white.

Once born, thrust into environment, the extremities become cooler than the center of the cat's body. The causes the production of pigmentation. The central area of the body of the cat is warmer causing the production of pigmentation be be restricted.

The body temperature is too high for "full pigment to be produced". This results in the coat varying from "pale to medium sepia".

The density of the color of the coat and points is dependent on the genes of each individual cat.

Apparently older cats tend to become darker in the body and for that reason only younger Siamese cats are show cats. Below is an older Siamese looking very dark:

Harlee looking vary dark in the body - Photo by cliff1066™

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