Wednesday 20 July 2011

Dark Siamese Cat

We know that Siamese cat pointing is caused by a process that is sensitive to heat. Where the skin is cooler there is a production of pigment and where warmer the production stops or is less. At the body temperature of a cat (i.e. in the mother's womb) the temperature is such that the entire cat is creamy white. This is why newborns have no pointing.

This begs the question whether in certain environments that are cold the Siamese cat becomes darker all over. And whether in hot climates the Siamese cat is lighter.

The photograph below by AJ Franklin on Flickr caught my eye because he is a traditional Siamese cat with a dark body area. This area is normally lighter - cream coloured.

Dark Siamese Cat

The dark brown of the central areas of the body are probably caused by natural genetic variations that exist in individual cats and possibly because this cat, Oscar, lives in a cooler climate. Perhaps he goes outside a lot and outside where he lives is cold?! Don't know. But we rarely see a Siamese cat that is this dark....Update: The photographer lives near Houston, USA. Houston is hot and warm in the summer and not a cold area. Must be an individual trait.

Perhaps this is normal for the Siamese cat - I suspect it is. An old photo of an early traditional Siamese (the original shape) looks very similar:

Siamese cat 1911 Photo, R. C. Ryan

Perhaps modern Siamese cat breeders have selectively bred out this natural trait as they have the kinked tail and the squint.

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