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In detail

Point cats: how is the fur pattern created?


So-called point cats have a very special fur. While the basic tone is brightened up, the tail, face, ears and paws are colored darker. But how does this fur pattern come about? Siamese cats always have a beautiful point fur pattern - Shutterstock / Ivonne Wierink

Some cat breeds have a fur color that gives the kitty a special name: the Point cats. These include the Siamese, Thai, Ragdoll, Burma or Persian cats. But there are also British shorthair cats with a color point drawing and domestic cats with a point pattern. Read here what these cats - who do not count as a separate breed - have in common and how the fur pattern is created.

Point cats: causes of the fur pattern

Point cats are unique and beautiful due to the light fur with the pretty dark areas. The reason for this pattern is a mutation that leads to partial albinism. The enzyme tyrosinase, which is involved in melanin production, works poorly in your body. Melanin, in turn, is responsible for the pigmentation of the fur - if it is missing, the cat's fur will turn pale.

But how does the dark spots come about? As mentioned, the point drawing is only a partial albinism. The enzyme tyrosinase cannot produce melanin only at high temperatures. In the cooler parts of the body, such as the ears, paws or face of the cat, the temperatures are low enough to produce pigments - and therefore these regions appear in the basic color of the cat.

Beautiful exotic: cats with point drawing

Effects of the metabolic disorder

But not only the fur pattern is affected by this mutation. For example, all cats with the Siamese factor have blue eyes. Furthermore, many Point cats suffer from strabismus (squint) and nystagmus (eye tremors), which are due to the partial albinism.

In addition, it is repeatedly observed that point cats begin to darken in old age. This applies especially to those velvet paws that live in colder regions and have a lot of free space. Sometimes it can only be seen from the light eye color that it was originally a point drawing.