It seems I will never run out of things to write about Siamese cats.
Siamese cats are one of the most affectionate, engaging, playful, and attention-loving cat breeds that you can have the pleasure of owning.
For all the above reasons they are among the most popular cat breeds on the planet.
Therefore, out of the cat-related queries that I find myself addressing. The questions regarding Siamese cats are definitely among the top ones.
I have discussed many personality-related topics regarding Siamese cats here on Siamese cats.
Here are the most popular ones.
- 5 reasons why Siamese cats are so vocal
- Do siamese cats like to cuddle?
- Do Siamese cats like catnip?
- Are Siamese cats skittish?
- Why are siamese cats so needy and clingy?
- Best companion for Siamese cats
But this time we are not discussing any personality trait regarding Siamese cats.
In this article, let me address a topic that is very rarely discussed, but I know for a fact many Siamese owners or otherwise have.
And that is about Siamese cat’s eyes.
It’s so strange. Siamese cats’ eyes are probably one of the starkest characteristics of their physical existence.
And yet there isn’t a lot of good articles on the internet associated with them that address questions like do Siamese cats eyes change color, why do Siamese cats have blue eyes, do all Siamese cats have crossed eyes, etc.
Let’s change that today shall we. Now I know you may not have all the questions that I am going to address here.
But the cool thing about the mind is that it is always happy to receive comprehension.
Therefore, stick to the end and I will answer questions you didn’t know you had. 😊
So, without any further ado let’s begin with the most popular one.
Do Siamese cats eyes change color?
A fully matured Siamese cat will in most cases have a stark sapphire blue eye. A Siamese kitten eyes will usually have a lighter shade of blue and will change color as the pigment starts to develop depending on the relevant gene. A Siamese Cat’s eyes will develop their true color when she is around 2-3 months old.
Siamese cats are categorized under what is termed as the pointed cats. There are some very specific characteristics of pointed cats including sharp blue eyes.
Now let’s go ahead and dive a little deeper into understanding what are pointed cats, why do Siamese cats have blue eyes, is it possible for Siamese cats to eyes that are not blue, why do Siamese cats have crossed eyes etc.
I told you, I will give you answers to questions you didn’t know you had.
Let’s get into it.
Why Do Siamese Cats Have Blue Eyes?
Out of the many aspects of a Siamese cat that will grab your attention, those sapphire blue eyes placed neatly in the backdrop of dark shade are going to be at the top.
But why do Siamese cats have those stark blue eyes?
This may sound strange, but Siamese cats have blue eyes because they carry a special gene variant that makes them have a form of albinism. This temperature-sensitive albinism causes Siamese cats to have pointed coats (dark on extremities and a lighter shade on the torso region). This albinism extends to the Siamese cats eyes and gives them that stark blue color.
The next logical question here, of course, is how exactly is the albino gene responsible for making the eyes blue.
So, here is what happens. You will be pleasantly surprised knowing that the reason why the eyes of a Siamese cat are blue is the same reason why the sky appears blue to us.
The shortest wavelength in the visible spectrum is that violet color.
The colors with shorter wavelengths like violet, blue, etc. scatter more in comparison to colors with higher wavelengths like orange and red by Rayleigh scattering.
Now you may say if violet color has the shortest wavelength why is the sky and Siamese cats eyes aren’t violet?
The reason for this that human eyes are more sensitive to blue color and as a result, our human eyes aren’t as receptive to violet as they are to blue.
Therefore, the sky and Siamese cat eyes appear blue to us.
Now there is a good chance you may be asking the do Siamese cats eyes question by observing that the color of the eyes of your Siamese cats apparently change with the environment she is in.
Well, there is actually a very good explanation for that.
In cat’s eyes, as is the case with human eyes the color is dictated by two muscle layers in the iris.
These layers are known as stroma and epithelium. The pigmentation is spread across these two layers which dictates what will be the color of the eyes.
In Siamese cats eyes, however, this pigmentation in these muscle layers is absent due to the temperature-sensitive albinism gene as explained above.
Now, what you need to understand here is that many cat breeds have blue eyes due to pigmentation in their lower epithelial layer.
But this is not the case with Siamese cats, the blue color in their eyes is because of the absence of pigmentation in their stroma and epithelium.
And for the very same reason, you may observe that your Siamese cat’s eyes apparently exude different shades of blue in different environments.
Now I think it is the right time to address what do I mean when I say pointed cats.
There is a special category awarded to cats that have darker shades at their body extremities and therefore, by this quality they are referred to as pointed cats.
Now, why does this happen? Why do the extremities of this special category of cats have darker colors in comparison to the coloration of their torso?
This variation in the coloration is the result of partial albinism that happens as the consequence of mutation in tyrosinase.
Tyrosinase is a special enzyme that is in addition to certain other enzymes is responsible for the production of melatonin.
This mutated enzyme is temperature sensitive and because of that it is ineffective at normal body temperature and gets activated in relatively cooler areas of the skin.
Because of this the extremities of a cat’s body, the face, paws, and tails have relatively darker coloration than the rest of her body.
Pretty cool han!
Let me tell you something even more interesting.
The Siamese kittens are all-white when they are born for the very same reason.
The albinism trait is active when the kittens are in the warm temperature of the womb and even when they are nursing during the initial stages of their growth.
As the kittens start to develop and move away from their mom, the gradient of temperature in their body enables the development of dark coloration on their cold extremities.
How Potent Is A Siamese Cat’s Vision?
So, till now what we have understood is why Siamese cats look the way they do.
But that isn’t the only effect of the albino gene in Siamese cats.
The same temperature-sensitive gene is indirectly responsible for Siamese cats to have problems with vision clarity at night.
The albino gene has restricted the Siamese cats to evolve to a possibility where they can have a good night vision.
And because breeders and owners want Siamese cats to have those blue beautiful eyes, the poor night vision trait will likely continue.
While their daytime vision is perfect and at par with other cat breeds, their clarity of vision during nighttime is relatively poor and sometimes becomes a cause for injury.
Now, this is not to say that Siamese cats do not see anything in dark, but it needs to be acknowledged that their night vision has limitations.
Where other cat breeds are capable of perceiving details and small features in the dark, the Siamese cat may be seeing just a basic shape.
This is again due to the presence of the temperature-sensitive gene they carry.
Other cat breeds have an additional muscle layer in their eyes that is known as tapetum lucidum which allows maximum light to pass through their retina.
As this layer is absent in a Siamese cat’s eyes, it results in a relative reduction in clarity. While the day vision remains at par with other cat breeds, the night vision is severely limited.
Do All Siamese Cats Have Crossed Eyes?
The mutated temperature-sensitive gene that causes albinism in Siamese cats is also responsible for a certain degree of communication mishap between the brain and eyes.
Because of this genetic flaw in the framework of their eyes, these cats basically had to cross their eyes to discern between objects and see straight.
So, the main question that stands here is do all Siamese cats have crossed eyes?
The answer is no. As of today, most breeders have taken care of this problem by selective breeding but the chances of Siamese cats having crossed eyes is still there. As a matter of fact, cat breeds that are classified as traditional Siamese or Thai Siamese still have crossed eyes.
So, this was the scientific explanation of why Siamese cats have crossed eyes and why do they have relatively poor night vision.
You will be surprised to know that there is a cultural myth that goes around explaining why exactly do Siamese cats have crossed eyes.
The myth says that a bunch of Siamese cats were given the task of guarding a royal golden goblet in an ancient temple.
The loyal Siamese cats did their job with so much intensity that they didn’t take their eyes of the golden goblet for even a second.
And because of this intense focus, their eyes got crossed and continued on through their genealogy.
Not just that the myth also says that because these cats in order to protect the vase wrapped their tails around it, that was the reason their tails are permanently bent.
Now how much truth there is to these myths, I will let you be the judge of that.
Okay, I hope I was able to answer the core questions around Siamese cats eyes and their vision comprehensively.
Now, I know for a fact that when it comes to Siamese cats, owing to their popularity and nature, there will still be some queries, doubts, and questions still lingering on your minds.
For that, I am creating this frequently asked questions section in this post so that I can keep this post organic.
So, all you need to do is post your question below in the comments section below.
If the question is potent enough or will address an issue that many people face I will answer them specifically in this section.
And I will also mention who asked it for the world to see and acknowledge. 😊
So here are some questions that I feel need to be addressed.
Do Siamese Cats Change Color With Temperature?
Yes, Siamese cats do change color with temperature due to a temperature-sensitive gene called tyrosinase. The gene becomes activated at lower temperatures. Because of this at the time of birth Siamese kittens are predominantly white but as they grow their extremities which are at a lower temperature start getting darker than the rest of her body.
When Do Siamese Cats Stop Changing Color?
At the time of birth, the Siamese kittens are predominantly white because the coloring enzyme tyrosinase isn’t active owing to the warmth of the mother’s womb. Gradually, tyrosinase will become active at the cat’s extremities giving them a darker shade. The colors will become stable when the cat is 9 to 12 months old.
Do Siamese cats get darker with age?
Yes, Siamese cats do tend to get darker with age. Because their overall body temperature drops the enzyme responsible for their coloring, Tyrosinase becomes active in body parts apart from extremities thus making her body darker.
With that, I think I have given you the maximum I could as far as the questions surrounding Siamese cat coloration, their eyes, and the impact of temperature on their body is considered.
But as is the case with all things, nothing is perfect, neither is my knowledge.
So, if you wish to know anything apart from what I have discussed here do let me know in the comments below.
I will try to answer them to the best of my abilities.
But do me a favor and don’t leave this page without subscribing to the blog so that I can make this relationship that I have with you permanent.
The subscription box is below this post. And yes, on subscribing you do get FREE goodies. 😊
Take care of yourselves and I will see you in the next one.