Understanding Siamese Cats' Potential Color Change After A Medical Procedure

Posted on: 11 April 2016

If you're a proud owner of a Siamese cat, chances are you love the beautiful coloring that Siamese cats have, with their dark masks and limbs, and pale coat. However, what might surprise you is that your cat's coat color can change, even after they've reached maturity. In fact, your kitty's coat may change its appearance following any medical procedure where it's necessary to shave off fur or bandage your kitty. Read on to learn how this works, and what you can do about it.

Temperature Color Coding

Siamese cats have special DNA that cause their unique coat coloring, and it's directly connected to temperature. Siamese cats develop their darker colors where their body is the coldest, and they're born white because they're kept warm in the womb. The colder a part of their body is, the darker it becomes, like their ears or tail. If a body part is warm, it stays pale, like most of the coat on their body. This DNA component is called a Himalayan gene named after the similarly-colored Himalayan cat breed.

While a Siamese kitty's coat generally stabilizes once they reach adulthood, sudden temperature shifts in their body can still trigger pigment changes. This means that if your cat needs a part of their fur shaved off for a medical procedure, the patch will grow back darker than it was. On the other hand, if they have to have a limb bandaged for weeks, the fur may begin to grow in as a paler shade.

Preventing Color Shifts

If your cat needs a bandage to stay on them for long periods of time, there isn't much you can do about preventing them from changing colors. However, if your vet needs to shave their fur off, there is something you can do: provide an alternative to fur.

For example, if your cat's belly is shaved, you could put a sweater on them to keep their body warm and prevent the color shift. It may be awkward for them at first, but they'll get used to it. Once the fur has grown back in, you can take the sweater off, as the fur will keep them warm.

The Good News

If you're stressing over a color shift that's already happened, or your cat needs to be bandaged and you can't prevent a color shift because of it, don't worry too much. It may take some time, but your kitty's coat will eventually revert back to its original coloring once the fur grows back in or the bandage is removed. Your cat's temperature will return to normal when their fur is back and they don't have a bandage on, so the color will change, too.

It may take some time, as the hair that emerges from the skin has already had its pigment determined, but once that hair falls out, new hair will grow back in its place in the original pigment.

Siamese cats are fascinating creatures with a particularly unique gene that gives them their beautiful coats. Now that you know, you can help to prevent color shifts, or at least rest easy when they do happen, knowing that it's not permanent.

For more information, talk to a business like East  Lake Animal Clinic.