What exactly is a white-haired blue-eyed cat?
Purebred white cats are extremely rare in the cat family because they require a gene to hide other possible coat shapes and colors in the cat’s genetic makeup.
These cats can have long or short coats and can be single or mixed breed.
They occasionally have light-colored eyes. Blue eyes in cats are most commonly caused by a lack of pigment; kittens are born with blue eyes because cats do not produce melanin, the pigment in the eyes, until they are about six weeks old.
All kittens born with blue eyes later change color, just like some newborn babies.
At 6 or 7 weeks of age, the color of the eyes begins to change to their true color.
Iris melanocytes are the pigments that give the color to an adult cat’s eyes and develop once the eyes are large enough.
The situation is a little different with blue-eyed white cats. Mutations in the KIT gene cause approximately 60% of white kittens.
Blue eyes in these cats are caused by a cellular issue: The cat’s pupils contain fewer melanocytes, which produce pigment.
These cells are responsible for skin pigmentation as well as inner ear function.
As a result, blue-eyed white cats with fewer melanocytes may not have enough cells to maintain normal hearing function.
White cats have the same genetic makeup as albinos and lack pigment, which has always made them vulnerable to UV rays.
What characteristics distinguish blue-eyed white cats?
Despite some research linking it to genes known to be associated with Waardenburg syndrome in humans.
It is a hearing loss and hypopigmentation syndrome caused by a genetic disruption in neural crest cell development that also affects cats.
Many pets and small mammals, including dogs, ferrets, and rats, have Type 2A Waardenburg syndrome (due to MITF mutations).
As in deaf white cats, at least patchy white hypopigmentation and some cochlea and gallbladder degeneration have been observed.
The dominant gene responsible for white hair in cats is an allele of KIT, which also suppresses pigmentation and hearing in cats.
Cats have basic coat colors and patterns, but when the dominant white gene is present, the coat color patterns disappear and the cat becomes deaf.
Cats who are homozygous (WW) or heterozygous (Ww) for this gene have white hair regardless of the underlying phenotype.
Cats with coat coloration lack this dominant override gene (ww). KIT mutations also cause patchy hypopigmentation and multicolored irises in humans.
KIT was discovered to boost the expression of MITF, a gene linked to Waardenburg syndrome type 2A in humans.
Other factors can cause blue eyes in white cats. Blue eyes may be genetic if the undercoat is a cat with leukoplakia.
Persian, Balinese, Himalayan, Siamese, Birman, and Javanese cat breeds have blue eyes. Ragdolls are well-known for their bright blue eyes, but not all Ragdolls have them.
Persian cats are known for their silky soft coats, ruddy complexions, and sweet personalities, making them one of the most popular and recognizable felines on the planet.
Although white-haired Persians may have blue eyes, this genetic combination is also sometimes associated with deafness.
Persian cats are gentle, loving, and quiet. They usually prefer to curl up on their owner’s lap.
This breed is not known for its intelligence, and it will be more difficult to train than the other breeds on this list.
The Siamese cat
Siamese cats have white fur from birth. They may appear all white and pink at first, but then they begin to grow black earrings and nose tips.
They frequently develop full color as they age. Adult cats have a warmer neck and body with no or little pigmentation.
Cooler parts of the body, such as the face, ears, legs, and tail, retain their original color.
The fat layer in overweight Siamese cats acts as an insulator, and the cat’s body may turn black.
Siamese cats’ coat pattern is the result of a partial albino gene (Himalayan gene).
This pattern is caused by an enzyme that causes the hair roots to produce little or no pigment for growing hair when exposed to temperatures above 37 degrees Celsius.
This explains why Siamese kittens are all white when they are born.
The Himalayan cat
Himalayan cats make excellent house pets. Although they can be erratic at times, they are described as easygoing, intelligent, and sociable. They are more active than Persian cats because they are descended from Siamese cats.
Himalayan cats are notoriously mischievous. They enjoy playing find; confetti or cat toys will keep them occupied for a long time.
Himalayan cats are devoted to their owners and rely on them for companionship and protection. They frequently desire to be loved, groomed, and pampered. As a result, they crave familial affection.
The Birman has a rectangular body, a broad face, and a distinctive Roman nose.
They have broad ears at the base of their heads that are carried high and placed on top of the head. Their eyes are round and usually a deep sapphire blue.
The coat of the Birman is medium in length and smooth in texture. This breed, unlike Persian or Himalayan cats, does not have an undercoat and thus does not shed easily.
The breed’s signature are the bold stripes that contrast with the solid white, symmetrical fur on each paw. Toes should be white all the way to the toe knuckles.
Deafness causes in white-haired blue-eyed cats
In a 1997 study of white cats, 72% of the cats were found to be completely deaf.
The entire Corti organ in the cochlea was discovered to have degenerated within the first few weeks of life.
Even so, the auditory stimuli failed to elicit a brain response, implying that the animals had no auditory sensations.
The spiral ganglion of the cochlea began to degenerate a few months after the organ of Corti degenerated.
White cats with blue eyes are more likely to be deaf than white cats with yellow or green eyes.
Deafness is linked to the dominant white gene rather than the white point gene, and an estimated 40% of blue-eyed white cats are deaf.
Take a look at it this way: If 40% of these cats are deaf, that means the remaining 60% have some hearing ability.
Cats with mixed-color eyes, such as one green eye and one blue eye, may develop hearing loss in one ear, particularly on the blue eye’s side.
Furthermore, 60%-80% of white cats with one or both blue eyes are deaf. 60% – 80% of the population has orange or green eyes, and 20% are deaf.
White-haired domestic cats are prone to congenital sensorineural deafness. This condition is caused by inner ear degeneration.
White cats are more likely to be deaf than other colors of cats.
According to the ASPCA Cat Guide, approximately 17% to 20% of non-blue-eyed white cats are deaf; similarly, approximately 40% of white cats are mixed-eyed (odd-numbered eyes) with one blue eye deaf; and finally, 65% of white cats are mixed-eyed (odd-numbered eyes) with one blue eye deaf. Deafness affects up to 85% of blue-eyed white cats.
Deafness is common in domestic cats with white fur and blue eyes.
Deafness can occur in white cats with yellow, green, or blue eyes, but it most commonly occurs in white cats with blue eyes.
Deafness is more likely to affect the ear on the side of the blue eye in white cats with colorful eyes.
White cats’ eyes can be blue, yellow, green, or bronze.