Yes! Aside from being known for their distinctive meows and vocal personality, all Siamese cats also stand out thanks to their unique coat type that changes with time and temperature. If you just adopted a Siamese kitten, it would be fun to take a picture of him daily and compare the coat changes he will make. The difference gets more obvious the more he matures.
There are various reasons why this phenomenon happens and it’s not just because of one particular gene. Let’s find out what these are!
Why Is There a Change in a Siamese Cat’s Coat Color?
A recessive gene called Himalayan or pointed gene is responsible for the appearance of the Siamese cat breed’s color. When a kitten is born, he’s considered partially albino. The genetic code then gradually mutates and controls how the enzymes that are in control of the coat color works. With this odd intervention, the enzymes no longer have the capacity to work in warm areas of the body.
To have a clearer description regarding the alterations in color, the Siamese is born with a fully white fur since it’s warm inside its mother’s womb. Once he gets exposed to the outside environment and the temperature drops, the color points will then start to exhibit.
Why Are Kittens Lighter Than Adult Siamese Cats?
It is because the kittens are not yet exposed to colder temperatures as much as most adult Siamese cats have. As mentioned, all kittens start by having a pure white coat that slowly transitions into their assigned color points after a week or two after birth. Additionally, these kittens sleep together with their mother to maintain the temperature they need to survive since their little bodies still can’t properly regulate their bodies’ heat.
When Does a Siamese Cat Stop Changing Color?
Surprisingly, Siamese cats never stop changing colors! The moment they are born up until they die, the Himalayan gene just keeps on working! This is why countless people are so fond of the Thai breed. They just keep getting darker each month. It’s like you are always in for a surprise regarding how the cat would look after another month.
4 Colors Siamese Cats May Have
We may already know the complexity behind the Siamese cat’s fur, but how about the different shades it may come into? After all, you won’t be able to determine the Siamese cat’s color until his white fur starts developing certain shades on the tail, feet, mask, and ears. There are 4 possible variations and the primary colors you can expect are the following:
- Blue Point
- Chocolate Point
- Seal Point
- Lilac Point
6 Reasons Why Siamese Cats Change Color
Aside from the gene that is continuously passed on to the new generations of the Siamese breed, there are six other more reasons why there is a change in the said cat’s coat color. It’s not always genetics since other more factors ranging from temperature to health can affect its appearance.
When there is a disruption to the Siamese cat’s tyrosine metabolism, the production of melanin is drastically altered. One of the signs but not absolutely the predictor that a Siamese cat has a dysfunctional tyrosine metabolism is a lightened fur pigment. Generally, cats need twice the amount of phenylalanine and tyrosine to produce the normal dark color and a decrease in amount will result in a lighter shade.
It is already expected for old cats to develop grey hairs in their bodies. The darker the Siamese cat is, the more obvious the change in his coat is going to be.
Having normal levels of tyrosine encourages the Siamese cat’s body to function correctly in terms of producing the desired amount of melanin. If there’s not enough of it, you’ll notice his coat turning rusty, so a vet visit would be required for a full diagnosis.
To prevent abnormal tyrosine levels, invest in high-quality cat food that is balanced and complete in nutrition. If you prefer preparing it from scratch, all health guidelines prescribed by the vet must be strictly followed.
Exposure to Sunlight
Most cats I have encountered love lazing under the sun. Siamese cats are no different! When they bask under the warm sun rays, their hair will start getting “bleached” into reddish-brown. The heat that directly comes into contact with their fur warms up the body, therefore, stimulating the Himalayan gene better.
Increased Body Temperature
Watch out if your Siamese cat suddenly turns lighter! Bring him to the vet because he might be having a sort of illness that needs immediate professional help. You can confirm if he’s sick through various other signs and symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, change in mood, constricted or dilated pupils, and lethargy.
Change in Seasons
When Siamese cats approach the shedding seasons, it is not just the thickness of their fur that changes but as well as the pigment. In the summer, you’ll notice a fade in your cat’s color. It will start getting darker during wintertime.
How Do I Stop My Siamese From Getting Darker?
Unfortunately, you can never stop your Siamese cat from getting darker. However, there are things you can do to slow it down such as by controlling the temperature in his environment and improving his diet.
Let’s find out more details below:
Limit His Sun Exposure
It’s true that Siamese cats don’t get dark when they are warm, but at the same time, it’s not healthy for them to get too much sunlight! Exposing them to the harsh rays of the sun might make them feel sick, nauseated, and dehydrated, so that can jeopardize their health. It’s like controlling the development of his pigment in an extremely harsh way.
Keep Him Warm
Apply this tip when winter comes. This is the optimal time when Siamese cats get really dark. Slow down their darkening process by maintaining the heat inside your home. Of course, this doesn’t mean you have to totally restrict him from playing in the snow. Just make sure he gets back to a warm and comfy bed near the fireplace after playtime.
Improve His Health and Diet
To ensure that your Siamese cat’s pigment develops at the normal pace, his diet must be enriched with all the needed vitamins, minerals, proteins, carbohydrates, and fats. It’s no longer new to us that what a cat eats will reflect through his outside appearance, so we must be responsible and meticulous in watching over his diet.
Can a Siamese Cat Turn From Dark to Light?
Yes, of course! When Siamese cats get dark, it does not necessarily mean that they will be stuck with that shade forever! As discussed, there are numerous other factors that play around with the color points. It all depends on the lifestyle you provide to the cat. The more exposed he is to hot or cold temperatures, the more drastic his color will become. You can try bringing your cat out in a cooler environment and bring him back in to see for yourself! Just be careful not to overdo it so he won’t get sick.