Why Do Siamese Cats Get Darker?
If you own a Siamese cat, you may have noticed that she turns darker in specific stages of her life. The color pattern of a Siamese cat's fur follows a predictable change, dictated by one particular gene.
Why do Siamese cats get darker? Siamese cats become darker, depending on the temperature of their body. If it drops below the cat's standard body temperature (around 101 - 102°F), the hair won't stay white. Due to this, a Siamese cat's body is a heat map.
In the following, I will go into detail about this fascinating aspect of a Siamese cat and how to keep your cat's fur as bright as possible.
What Causes Your Siamese to Get Darker?
The Siamese cat breed has a specific modifier gene, the Siamese allele, which causes albinism. It is active at the usual Siamese cat's body temperature of around 101 - 102°F (38 - 39°C). Once it somehow drops below that temperature, the gene turns inactive, and the feline starts becoming darker at the cold spots.
But which factors do you have to consider when examining this allele's behavior?
Seasonal Temperature Changes
As the allele's activity is dependent on the temperature, the season does matter a lot if the Siamese cat is outside regularly. If there is a rather cold season at the time, you may notice your Siamese cat getting darker fur, but this isn't irreversible.
Once the season becomes warmer, the fur will brighten up, too. In case your cat doesn't like to roam around outside, this might be no significant factor if you keep the room temperature at home comfortably warm.
To keep your Siamese cat's coat as bright as possible, try not to expose her to the outside world if it's winter, for example. You will have to compensate for this lack of activity by redirecting her attention to extra playtime while inside at home.
Body Fat Percentage
As there are fewer veins inside adipose tissue than inside muscles, its temperature is also lower. Due to this, the fur of overweight Siamese cats tends to be darker than the coat of cats with a healthy weight.
But this shouldn't be the only reason for you not to overfeed your cat and give her enough exercise. Of course, the health aspect of having normal-weight is much more desirable than the simple aesthetic factor, although that would come as a bonus.
Keeping your Siamese cat at a healthy weight is necessary for her overall well-being and for the coat to have its typical coloring.
If you have ever seen a newborn Siamese kitten, you know they all come out as complete albinos. Once exposed to the atmosphere, their extremities will begin to turn darker, including their face.
Especially senior cats are prone to becoming even darker because of the natural susceptibility to overweight and medical conditions that comes with high age. Besides that, the general skin temperature drops with increasing age.
Because of this, you may notice that your Siamese cat's coat becomes even darker once having surpassed a certain age.
Position of the Fur
As the Siamese allele's efficiency depends on the temperature, it also matters where exactly the fur sits. A Siamese cat often has dark ears, and its extremities such as the tail and legs share this attribute.
On top of that, the face of a Siamese cat is of a darker color, too. This most notable characteristic is due to the many cavities inside its head. Furthermore, the air that regularly passes the feline's nose cools the fur.
How Do I Stop My Siamese Cat from Getting Darker?
Judging by the aspects mentioned above, there's a couple of measures we can carry out for your cat's fur to stay as remarkable as possible.
Firstly, you should ensure your cat to have a healthy diet and enough daily exercise. Positive attention and affection also play a significant role here, as many of your Siamese cat's habits are dependent on her mental state. Exercise and a healthy diet will help your feline to stay lean and therefore maintain a bright coat color, apart from the life-extending health benefits.
Secondly, keeping your home at a warm and comfy temperature will further assist the Siamese allele in your cat's fur to work efficiently. If you want, you can even get your cat some clothing for outside for her to stay warm.
A Siamese cat is - simply-put - a living heat map. Her coat gets darker if the temperature drops below 101 - 102°F.
Therefore, seasonal temperature changes come into play when examining your cat's fur color. During winter, you might notice her becoming darker overall.
Furthermore, one has to keep in mind that adipose tissue is supplied worse with blood than muscles are. Hence, an increase in body fat will lead to your cat's coat losing brightness.
Siamese cats also get darker with increasing age. Their body temperature decreases, and they usually tend to become slightly overweight.
Lastly, the position of the fur impacts its color notably. Your feline's extremities and ears are darker due to the distance to the center of the body. The head tends to be darker because of all the cavities it contains.
If you want to keep your Siamese cat's fur as bright as possible, ensure your home is well-temperated. Also, your cat should get enough activity and follow a healthy diet.