Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
Hi! I read all about why cats can be a certain color. But, when I was born I was a beautiful cream color Siamese mix. Don’t misunderstand me, I am still beautiful, but as time went by I have darkened to several shades of black and gray, with little bits of tan throughout. Oh and my eyes are a beautiful shade of blue. Why has this color change happened ?
Siouxsie: Well, Monet, your fur color change is a pretty natural thing in the Siamese world. It has to do with the genes that create those beautiful dark points.
Thomas: Did you know that Siamese kittens are born entirely white? It’s only after three or four weeks that their colored “points” begin to show.
Kissy: And those points develop on the cooler areas of the body. That’s why Siamese cats’ ears, faces, tail and legs are colored while the rest of their body is white.
Siouxsie: Because the development of color is temperature-sensitive, cats that live in cooler climates tend to be darker than those who live near the equator — or who live in very warm houses.
Thomas: Grammie’s Siamese cat, Tinka, lives in a cooler climate, and a cool house. In the winter, her fur gets darker, and as it gets warmer and she sheds her winter fur, the new fur that grows in is lighter.
Kissy: Siamese cats can also get darker if they gain weight. When the skin on the body gets cooler because of the fat that keeps the body heat inside, their body fur can get darker.
Siouxsie: Kissy! That’s really rude! We certainly don’t mean to imply that you’re fat! There’s actually another perfectly ordinary reason Siamese cats’ fur darkens: age.
Thomas: Our research didn’t tell us why this happens, but Mama says it might have something to do with the fact that the body’s ability to regulate its temperature decreases with age.
Kissy: In that case, it would make sense that the fur would get darker as the cat’s surface temperature, so to speak, got lower.
Siouxsie: But then, really old cats don’t just get darker — they sometimes get gray furs and whiskers mixed in with all that dark fur.
Thomas: You’ve got some gray fur, Siouxsie!
Siouxsie: Don’t make me come over there and swat you! Actually, never mind: I’m much too wise to be bothered with your smart-alecky remarks. Humph!
Kissy: Please swat him, Siouxsie! Please?
Siouxsie: You quiet down there! Go back to your bed and take a nap.
Kissy: But Siouxsie! I’m not tired!
Siouxsie: Anyway, Monet — don’t be worried about the changing color of your fur. It’s totally natural. And like all cats, you’ll continue to be beautiful for the rest of your life, no matter what color your fur is!
I certainly hope I am not getting darker because of fat. I’m not fat. Well, not much. Or not enough to darken my fur…
I have a tuxedo female whose black fur is turning quite red . What would cause this?
I have seen this happen with some of the black cats I take care of at a TNR colony. They seem quite healthy and yet their fur takes on that red hue. I wish someone would reply with a good answer.
Black cats that spend a lot of time in the sun can fade to reddish brown. :)
Sometimes black fur tends to “rust” (go reddish-brown) as the cat ages … how old is your tuxedo girl?
We adopted a Siamese/Tortie mix two years ago and she is becoming more chocolate than cream color over the years and I wondered why. Its hot here….I live close to DC, but we do keep our apartment cool and she has put on a little weight since her adoption. “Cheesecake” is a healthy 8 pounds with beautiful Tortie markings on her paws and ears. Thanks for the article.
My cute lia losing its weight continuously I didn’t know why?can you help me.
I think the fat makes them become darker, like an oily mackeral :)