What is an albino cat?

I am going to quote verbatim if I may the meaning of the word ‘albino’ in relation to domestic cats as provided by Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians:

“The pink or red-eyed white mutant which is completely devoid of pigment is a true albino. The red-eye is caused by the blood in the translucent eye structures. Blue or dark-eyed white individuals are not albinos. Siamese coloration is a form of incomplete albinism”.

The statement sums up what constitutes an albino cat and below are three photographs, one of which is of a very rare albino bobcat regrettably shot by an idiot sport hunter. It makes me sick to look at the photo to be honest.

I think it can be tricky to identify a true albino cat. Sarah Hartwell, an expert on cat genetics interestingly describes the albino cat as follows: “Full blue/pink-eyed albino is more often called ‘recessive white’ by cat breeders to differentiate it from the temperature dependent albino gene responsible for colour-pointing.”

She implies in that statement that albino cats can be blue-eyed which goes against what I have just said above. The gene causing albinism in cats is fully recessive to full-colour. She says that the recessive white originates in the USA and some Siamese and Oriental short and long-haired breeding lines contain the gene.


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