Albino Siamese- Oafie
Albino Siamese cat….Lyndsey
Thanks Lyndsey for the picture. If it is alright by you I’ll see if I can add some words….Michael
Oafie has a modern Siamese appearance (in contrast to the traditional Siamese cat) but not extreme in appearance.
Albinism is rare. I am not going to talk much about genes because it is mind blowingly complicated and I don’t think the experts actually know everything about albinism from a genetic standpoint.
However, Robinson’s Genetics says that the albino cat in the USA and Europe is not, it seems, a “true” albino as reported in other species of animal.
This is because although the coat is white, the iris is a pale blue rather than colorless or pink. The blue of the iris indicates pigmentation that runs counter to the albinism.
Apparently, the complete albino that has pink eyes and a white coat is practically unknown in the cat (there are some rare albino wild cats). Robinson’s reports two cases, one in North America and one in France. The pupils are blood red and the iris a translucent white.
It perhaps surprising that there is not an accepted breed of cat based on albinism (or is there one?).
The Albino Siamese in the United States is like your cat, completely white (no points) and pale blue eyes (pale bluish pink eyes). This is due to a recessive gene to both normal colour and Siamese. The same type of albinism can be seem in the Himalayan (pointed Persian).
There is a Belgian cat called the “European Albino” that has been bred. The cat is a European Shorthair in overall appearance (see a post on the various shorthairs from Europe, Britain and USA – new window)
Touching on genetics, Robinson’s says that the recessive mutant gene that produces the Albino Siamese bred in the USA is the same as that found in the European Albino. It is thought that it is a mutant allele labelled ca which is just short of “true albinism”.
Perhaps these cats are true albinos and the eye colour is misleading as it may be due to the structure of the eye and not through pigmentation.
A blue eyed albino Siamese is not a dominant white cat cat, whose appearance is due to the dominant W allele (see cat coats white)
Deafness is associated with white cats but is “not a property of albinism” (Robinson’s Genetics). See Deaf Cat
I’m amazed at some of the photos identifying the cat as being Albino Siamese when the photo shows a cat with bright blue eyes like other Siamese cats. I’ve had three Albinos and have seen many others. Each of them have had eyes with large pink pupils and pale blue iris. The pupils seem to stay large causing the entire eye to appear pink. The Albino Siamese cats I’ve had resemble Oriental Shorthairs except for the unmistakable pink eyes. Each of the Albinos I’ve had squint in bright light. I’ve never researched the reason but have assumed it’s due to the lack of pigment, including in their eyes. I try to keep these guys out of direct sunlight. Your vet can tell you about skin cancer in our pets.