Siamese cats are instantly recognized by their distinctive coat coloration, pale-colored body, and darker extremities, i.e., their face, ears, feet, and tail have a darker color compared to the rest of the body. If you are the owner of a Siamese cat, you may be wondering why do Siamese cats get darker as they age?
Why Do Siamese Cats Get Darker?
A Siamese cat’s skin temperature has a direct impact on the color of its coat. An increase in the temperature makes the coat paler and a drop in the temperature makes the coat darker.
Siamese cats suffer from partial albinism. That is the reason that Siamese kittens are born white without any points. The warmth of their mother’s womb is the ideal temperature to keep their coat from darkening.
The color of the fur of Siamese kittens starts developing after they are 1 week old. They will start developing points on their extremities which will darken as the cat grows.
Why Do Siamese Cats Change Color?
The temperature of a Siamese cat’s skin has a direct impact on the color of its coat. Siamese cats have point coloration, which refers to the coat coloration with a pale body and relatively darker color at extremities.
This point coloration is due to the presence of the Himalayan Gene or Himalayan phenotype, which prevents the development of melanin at temperatures above 98 degrees Fahrenheit or 36.6 degrees Celsius.
So when the temperature is above 98 degrees Fahrenheit, the coat of a Siamese cat tends to get lighter and as winter arrives, the coat becomes darker.
Seasons and external have a direct impact on the depth of color of a Siamese cat’s coat, but the actual color of the coat is controlled by genetics itself.
What Colors Can Siamese Cats Be?
The points of your Siamese cats can become lighter or darker depending on the temperature but the actual color is determined by genetic coding.
Purebred Siamese cats come in four natural colors – Blue Point, Seal Point, Chocolate Point, and Lilac Point.
Apart from this, due to the result of extensive breeding programs, Siamese cats also occur in more modern colors like apricot, caramel, cinnamon, cream, fawn, lynx, red, tortie, and tabby.
Reasons Why Siamese Cats Get Darker
Your Siamese cat may get darker as it ages. Some of the reasons a Siamese cat gets darker are:
If a Siamese cat’s body temperature goes below 98 degrees Fahrenheit, its coat tends to get darker. Not the entire coat, but the points may get a shade darker. This is due to the Himalayan Gene present in Siamese cats. When temperatures fall below the average body temperatures of cats, an enzymatic coat color change occurs which leads to the extremities appearing darker than usual.
If your Siamese cat has excess body fat, the heat is trapped inside and doesn’t propagate to the skin making it a few degrees colder. This can trigger a color change in your pet’s coat due to the temperature drop.
If your cat is on an unhealthy diet, it can gain excess weight and body fat which could be a reason for the change in its coat color.
Why Is My Siamese Cat Getting Lighter?
A Siamese cat’s coat will generally get lighter during summer and warmer temperatures. Apart from this, the following factors can also be a reason for your cat’s coat getting lighter.
Too much exposure to the sun can bleach your cat’s coat. It may start turning a rusty hue of reddish-brown. This can also happen if your cat doesn’t go outdoor but is exposed to the sun indoors. Cats love lazing around near windows or entrances where sun rays fall directly.
To avoid this, ensure you have a shielded window curtain that partially blocks sun rays. This will stop your cat’s coat from getting bleached over time.
Your Siamese cats will get darker as they age but they also may start getting gray hair in their coat. These are visible more the darker your cat is. This combination of dark and gray may make it feel as if your cat is getting lighter. This is a normal phenomenon associated with old age.
Nutritional deficiency can also cause a Siamese cat’s coat to get lighter. If your cat is on a vegetarian diet and does not eat an all-purpose meal, there is a heavy chance that your cat may be Tyrosine deficient. This enzyme is responsible for the production of melanin and is found in protein-rich food like chicken and fish.
Apart from this, a deficiency of zinc and copper can also lead to your cat’s coat turning a shade lighter. Cats require between 15 ppm and 50 ppm of zinc and 5-15 mg of copper per kilogram of dry cat food.
If you are unsure if your cat is getting the required daily nutrients, consult your veterinarian for suggestions on diet and supplements for your cat.
Health conditions like liver diseases can affect the metabolism of Tyrosine in cats. Kidney and thyroid problems are also common health problems in cats. This can also affect the coloration of your cat’s coat and make it turn lighter.
What Age Do Siamese Cats Stop Changing Color?
Siamese kittens are born all white and they start developing their coloration when they are 1 week old. Their points tend to get darker till they are 1 year old and some cat’s coats keep darkening till they are 2 years old.
Beyond 2 years, your Siamese cat’s coat will not change color, they may get lighter or darker depending on other external factors like temperature, weight, diet, health issues, etc.
Do Siamese Cats Change Color During Summer?
Yes, Siamese cats shed their winter undercoat during spring and as summer arrives their coat will lighten up a lot. This seasonal change cycle will continue throughout the cat’s life.
Do Siamese Cats Get Darker in The Winter?
Yes, Siamese cats’ coats become darker in the winter due to the drop in temperature. Lower temperature makes the color points on your Siamese cat’s coat get darker and more pronounced.
Why Is My Siamese Cat Turning Black?
Your Siamese cat is not turning black, but the color points on its coat may be getting darker. A number of factors can cause this, the most prominent one being cooler temperature. A Siamese cat’s coat becomes darker when the temperature falls below 98 degrees Fahrenheit and can become lighter when the temperature rises above 98 degrees.
The darker shade may make you think that your cat is getting black but that is not really the case.
Can a Siamese Cat Be Black?
All Siamese cats have partial albinism so it is technically impossible for them to be completely black. They can of course have black points.
If you think you have seen a completely black Siamese cat, you are actually looking at an all-black Oriental cat. Oriental cats and Siamese cats are essentially the same cats with two very important differences. The Oriental cats do not have the Himalayan Gene which is the reason for the point coloration in Siamese cats. Since the Oriental cats do not have the Himalayan Gene, their fur can be completely black.
The Himalayan Gene is also what gives the Siamese cats their blue eyes. Since this is missing in the Oriental cats, their eyes are green instead of blue.
So there you have it, if you want an all-black Siamese-looking cat, get yourself a black Oriental cat that will have all the physical features of a Siamese cat but with green eyes.
Why Do Siamese Cats Get Darker – Conclusion
Siamese cats get darker depending on the surrounding temperature. Warmer temperatures will make your cat’s coat get lighter whereas colder temperatures will make them darker. This is a natural phenomenon caused by the presence of the Himalayan Gene in Siamese cats and is not a cause of worry.