As well as their elegant body shape, large ears, and charismatic personalities, Siamese cats are famed for their pointed coat coloration. But is there such a thing as a black Siamese cat? Is this a breed that even exists? Thanks to the genetics of the Siamese cat, a Seal Point Siamese is, in fact, a black Siamese cat, but their genetics means that their hair lightens to a pale cream color over their bodies.
The Himalayan Gene
The gene that causes Siamese cats to have a pointed coat is called the Himalayan gene, also sometimes called the pointed gene. This gene causes partial albinism and is heat sensitive. At lower temperatures, the gene allows for the synthesis of pigment, but it can’t function at the higher temperatures on a cat’s core, leaving the hair on their torso, chest, and stomach paler.
All Siamese kittens are born white, since the temperature in their mother’s wombs is a constant warm temperature. Once a Siamese kitten is born and their bodies are exposed to the outside world, their coat color starts to develop.
The temperature on a kitten’s extremities is lower than their core, so the color of their points will start to develop, while the hair on their bodies that is exposed to a higher temperature remains pale. So, it’s impossible to tell exactly what color a Siamese kitten’s points will be until they’re a little bit older.
The Himalayan gene is recessive, and all Siamese cats will inherit two copies of the gene from their parents.
Seal Point Siamese — Black or Not?
Technically, from a genetic point of view, Seal-Point Siamese cats are black. But of course, from a visual point of view, they don’t look much like your classic black cat!
The Himalayan gene means that the black color on the fur on the body of a Seal-Point Siamese cat doesn’t develop much. Without the presence of that gene, your Seal-Point Siamese would be black. But, of course, it’s the Himalayan gene that actually makes them a Siamese cat!
If you have a Seal-Point Siamese, you might notice that the fur on their body becomes a little darker when the temperatures drop.
Siamese Cat Colors
The Cat Fanciers Association Breed Standard for the Siamese accepts four colors: Seal, Blue, Chocolate, and Lilac.
Seal-Point Siamese cats have bodies in a pale cream to fawn color, with warm tones. This can shade into a lighter cream on their stomachs and chests. Their points are a very dark brown, sometimes almost black. Their paw pads and nose leather is the same color as their points.
Chocolate-Point Siamese cats have an ivory-colored body, without any lighter shading on their stomach or chest. Their points are a warm milk chocolate color. Their paw pads and nose leather are cinnamon pink.
Blue-Point Siamese cats have body fur in white with blue undertones, and they can have lighter fur on their stomach and chest. Their points are a deep blue color, and their paw pads and nose leather will be a slate gray.
Lilac-Point Siamese cats have an icy white body, without any shading. Their points are cool gray with a slight pink tone. Their paw pads and nose leather are lavender-pink.
All four colors have deep blue eyes.
Some other breed associations, like The International Cat Association, accept any colors with points, so under their breed standard, you can have a Siamese cat with tabby points, ginger points, or even parti-color points.
But even so, the cat’s coat has to be paler on their body, with darker colored points. That means a pure black Siamese doesn’t exist. But there is a breed that’s as close as it’s possible to get.
What’s the Closest Breed to a Black Siamese?
You might be disappointed to find out that while a black Siamese cat does technically exist, they actually have pale cream fur across their bodies. Don’t stay sad for too long because there’s another option!
If you’ve been dreaming of a black Siamese cat, you should consider the Oriental breed. Oriental and Siamese cats share almost exactly the same genetic makeup, except that Oriental cats don’t have the Himalayan gene. Of course, that means, their coat can be pure black across their entire bodies.
Black Oriental cats are technically called ebony and have green eyes rather than the classic Siamese blue. Apart from that, they look and behave exactly like a Siamese cat.
Black Mixed Breed Siamese Cat
Another way to achieve an almost-but-not-quite black Siamese cat is to cross a black cat with a Seal-Point Siamese. Depending on the black cat’s genetic makeup, some kittens will inherit the gene for black fur from their non-Siamese parent. The trouble is, they may not look exactly like a Siamese cat either.
Mating a Siamese cat with a black Oriental cat would give a higher chance of kittens with similar looks to a Siamese but with the black coat color.
Nearly But Not Quite
So, now you know that technically a Seal-Point Siamese cat is black, but the presence of the Himalayan gene means they end up with a pointed coat, as the color doesn’t develop on the warmer areas of their body.
Crossing a Seal-Point Siamese cat with a black cat of another breed will result in some of the kittens being born with black fur. But they won’t be purebred Siamese cats.
The Oriental breed is genetically almost identical to the Siamese breed, and Oriental cats can have black, or ebony, coats. This means these cats don’t possess the Himalayan gene, so their coats will remain black across their whole bodies.
You can’t get a black Siamese cat that’s pure black all across their body, but there are a few other options that will allow you to end up with a cat that looks as close to a black Siamese as possible!
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