Veterinarian-written / veterinarian-approved articles for your cat.

Siamese Color Points Explained

Siamese coat color is responsive to temperature.

A cat's coat coloring has to do with genetics, just like a person's hair color. The same is true about the darker color points of a Siamese cat, but the genetics involved there are a bit more interesting.

Siamese Cats Have Fur That Changes Color in Relation to Heat

Siamese cats' coat color is super interesting. It is light unless the cat's temperature drops; then it darkens.

All Siamese cats have a gene that makes them partially albino. They are white cats, and that's how they're born. However, this gene has a mutation which affects enzymes that control the color of the fur, and those enzymes don't work in warm temperatures.

Areas of a Siamese cat's body that are cooler allow the enzymes to function and they become more greatly pigmented, or darker. This is what creates a Siamese's points, or the darker areas on their feet, legs, tail, and face. Which color the points are is controlled by other modifiers to the cat's primary color gene.

Areas of the cat's trunk, especially the back, are often a medium shade between white and the cat's points. This is because those areas of the body are cooler than the core body temperature but not as cool as the extremities.

Siamese kittens are born lighter and their points darken.

Why Are Siamese Kittens Lighter Than Adults?

The temperature inside the mother cat's womb is warm and stable; too warm for the enzymes that darken the fur pigment to be triggered. That's why Siamese kittens are born white. An experienced breeder can often guess what color the kitten's points will end up being based on the color of the paw pads and nose, but that color doesn't usually start to develop until about a week after birth and isn't complete until around a year of age.

You can learn more about Siamese cats here: "Siamese Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat."

You May Also Like These Articles:

Abyssinian Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Cat Breed Comparison Chart

Persian Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Top 10 Most Popular Cat Breeds - Slideshow

Siamese Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Black Cats

Exotic Shorthair Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Ragdoll Cats: An Interview with Fancy Cat

Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. Just Answer is an external service not affiliated with

Notice: Ask-a-Vet is an affiliated service for those who wish to speak with a veterinary professional about their pet's specific condition. Initially, a bot will ask questions to determine the general nature of your concern. Then, you will be transferred to a human. There is a charge for the service if you choose to connect to a veterinarian. Ask-a-Vet is not manned by the staff or owners of, and the advice given should not delay or replace a visit to your veterinarian.