Categories: Siamese Cats

Do Siamese cats become darker as they age?

Yes, Siamese cats become darker as they age. You’ll see this in the flanks and central areas of the cat’s body which are normally lighter and sometimes almost white, normally.

Young and old Siamese. Collage: PoC. Images: public domain.

Normal situation for the Siamese cat

The reason for the cat’s “pointed” body is that the cells (melanocytes) that produce the pigment (melanin) that is delivered to the hair shafts are temperaure sensitive due to the presence of the gene cs. The Siamese cat is a black cat but for this gene (non-agouti black – i.e. plain black).

When a Siamese cat is born they are white all over as they hot. As they cool their extremeties darken because the extremeties are cooler than the center of the cat. This is because the blood carries heat and at the distal parts of the cat there are less blood vessels and the extremeties get colder in the same way that our hands and feet become cold in winter. They are exposed more to the ambient temperature (the temperature of the air around them) which will normally be lower than body temperature (100.5-102.5 degrees Farhenheit).

The cooler temperature of the skin at the extremeties results in the melanocytes producing more melanin.

Older Siamese cat

There are three reasons why their fur becomes darker in the middle of their bodies.

As the cat ages their ability to thermoregulate becomes less efficient which means they can’t maintain body temperature as well resulting in a cooling of the central portion of the body.

Also the blood vessels become narrower in the ageing process so they carry less blood resulting in the skin becoming colder. This results in the melanocytes producing more pigment which turns the flanks and central parts darker.

Thirdly, genuinely elderly cats lose some body fat which means they lose heat causing the skin to be colder resulting in less pigment production.

Shaving coat throws up interesting anamoly

Shaved pointed cat has a darker area where she has been shaved because that area is cooler. Photo in public domain. Click it to read the full explanation. This is not a Siamese cat but she is a pointed cat nonetheless.

Temperature controls the appearance of the Siamese cat. You can pretty well guage the age of a Siamese cat by the darkness of the central part of their coat. P.S. The advantage of the cooler body is that the cat is less likely to have fleas as the blood vessels are thinner.

Some more on pointing

What is a Flame Point Himalayan cat?

'Flame point' is an alternative name for red point while Himalayan is an alternative name for a long-haired Persian. A ...
Read More

My cat was shaved for sterilization and the new fur is a different color. This explains why.

On Twitter a cat owner uploaded a picture of her tabby cat with this caption: My cat got shaved for ...
Read More

Genetics of Siamese Coat Color

The genetics of the Siamese coat color is a form of Himalayan albinism which is found in many animals including ...
Read More

What is a Lynx Point Siamese?

A lynx point Siamese cat has tabby markings within the usually pointing. The extremities of a Siamese cat are darker ...
Read More

Odd-eyed Siamese Cat – unique!

This is an odd-eyed Siamese cat. I don't think I have seen one before... This is just another example of ...
Read More

3 Legged Cat Picture

I love this 3 legged cat picture by the great Helmi Flick. She knows how to capture the cat! Photographically ...
Read More
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

Recent Posts

Domestic cat defends her kittens with extreme aggression and courage

BAGCILAR, ISTANBUL, TURKEY: This is a video taken from a television screen of a community…

8 hours ago

5 reasons why black cats are less likely to be adopted

Despite Cats Protection reporting that their campaign to promote black cats has been successful and…

14 hours ago

Prospect of water resources drying up affecting dog and cat food manufacturing in US

Water resources are under pressure and it will get worse. Globalisation is putting pressure on…

17 hours ago

Will driverless cars mean less cats killed on roads?

We're not sure how many cats are killed on roads in either the UK or…

19 hours ago

Do cats have nine lives?

Of course they don't. It's just a saying based on the fact that cats are…

20 hours ago

Feline mindfulness: staying in the present

John Gray, the philosopher, says that we should not live in "an imagined future". The…

20 hours ago