Do black Siamese cats exist? This is a question that caused many heated debates among cat lovers.
Some people swear that they have seen, or even own, a black Siamese cat, while others insist that they don’t exist. So what is the truth?
Are there really black Siamese cats out there, or are they just a figment of our imagination?
Can Siamese cats be black?
Black Siamese cats do not exist because their distinctive coat color is caused by the Himalayan gene, which all Siamese cats possess. The Himalayan gene prevents their coat from being completely black. Black Siamese-like cats are usually Oriental cats who share many distinctive features with Siamese cats; however, fur color not being one of them.
Is a black Siamese cat rare?
People often ask me if black Siamese cats are rare.
The answer is that Black Siamese cats are very rare because they don’t exist. Cats that are black and look like they are Siamese cats are always either a different breed that shares certain characteristics with a Siamese cat or a mixed breed.
Why don’t black SIamese cats exist?
A black Siamese cat doesn’t exist because they lack one key factor that makes a purebred Siamese; the Himalayan gene. This gene is only present in Siamese cats and causes their distinctive white coat with darker ends and blue eyes. This gene prevents their coat from being completely black.
Another way to verify that a black Siamese cat is not a purebred Siamese is because the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) only officially recognizes 4 distinct color categories of a Siamese cat.
These are Seal Point Siamese, Chocolate Point Siamese, Lilac Point Siamese, and Blue Point Siamese.
While there are many other Siamese color point variations, these are not considered ‘pure’ Siamese by the CFA.
If you happen to come across, what you think is a black Siamese cat, they might very well have Siamese blood in their family tree and inherited some of the characteristics. Or, chances are that you’re looking at an ‘Oriental Cat.’
What is an Oriental cat?
Oriental cats are often confused with Siamese cats because they share many characteristics and personality traits with Siamese cats.
Both Oriental cats and Siamese cats have the same slender build, large and pointy ears, long tails, and triangle-shaped heads. Like Siamese, the Oriental cat is highly intelligent, very friendly, and playful.
Also, their character is similar to that of a Siamese cat; they are loving, go well together with other cats, and need a lot of attention.
Siamese cats and Oriental cats are so similar because they are closely related. They share a lot of the same genes.
They do, however, not share the Himalayan gene that gives Siamese cats their light color and darker tips, as well as their blue eyes.
Oriental cats have single-color coats and green eyes.
What is the Himalayan gene?
The Himalayan gene is a specific gene shared by all purebred Siamese cats. It causes partial albinism and is heat sensitive. This temperature-sensitive gene causes the cooler parts of the cat’s body to be darker and the warmer parts to be lighter. The partial albinism is also what gives Siamese cats their light blue eyes.
Heat sensitivity is also the reason why all Siamese cats are born white. In their mother’s womb and the nest, directly after birth, the kittens are exposed to warmer temperatures and thus completely white.
The darker colors start developing when their bodies are exposed to cooler temperatures, typically after about 2 weeks.
After about one year, a Siamese cat’s color has fully developed. The areas at their ‘ends’ (paws, tail, face, and ears) will be darker because of their lower body temperature in those areas.
The areas with a higher body temperature will remain lighter, varying from ivory white to cream.
Because having the Himalayan gene is a defining feature for Siamese cats, a completely black cat can’t be Siamese. Also, their eyes are almost undoubtedly green instead of light blue because they miss the Himalayan gene.
How to inherit the Himalayan Gene?
For a cat to inherit the Himalayan gene and to be a purebred Siamese cat, both mother and father need to carry the Himalayan gene. This is the only sure-fire way to pass on the Siamese characteristics to their offspring.
If both cats do not carry the gene, then (surprisingly) their offspring can never be Siamese and will not have color points and blue eyes.
This is because the Himalayan gene is ‘recessive‘, which means that the gene should be inherited from both parents for the offspring to exhibit the characteristics caused by the gene.
If only one of the parents carries the Himalayan gene, their child is unlikely to exhibit the color points that this genecauses. The child can still pass on the gene to the next generation.
What other cats could be mistaken for a black Siamese?
Although they are unique cats, a few other breeds look similar to Siamese cats and could be mistaken for black Siamese cats.
Burmese cats are often mistaken for Siamese cats. This is because they have a similar character and appearance.
Contrary to Siamese cats, Burmese cats lack the Himalayan gene and can therefore have single-colored coats that can be quite dark in color, mostly dark brown. Because of this, one could possibly think that this is a black Siamese cat.
Because Burmese cats do not have the Himalayan gene, they also lack the typical, bright blue Siamese eyes.
Other breeds that look like Siamese cats ,like Himalayan cats and Balinese cats, would not be mistaken for a black Siamese cat because they also share the typical Siamese coat coloring.
To read more about the differences between Siamese and Burmese cats, have a look at our article: The Differences Between Burmese and Siamese cats.
Another breed that could be mistaken for a Black Siamese cat is the Cornish Rex.
This breed which originated in Cornwall, UK. was originally a Tortoiseshell cat but can come in several color variations, including pointed and black.
Apart from that, it shares similar characteristics with Siamese cats, such as a wedge-shaped head, relatively large ears, and high cheekbones.
Which cat breeds can be all black?
Some of the most popular black cat breeds include Bombay, Persian, Sphynx, Russian Black, British Shorthair, Devon Rex, and Cornish Rex.
However, even to the untrained eye, it’s unlikely these breeds are mistaken for a Siamese cat because they all possess a set of defining characteristics that aren’t similar to the Siamese breed.
Which cat breeds have color points?
Did you fall in love with the beauty of the Siamese color points that are caused by the Himalayan gene but want an alternative to a Siamese cat?
The breeds below are similar to Siamese cats in that they share similar fur coloring.
How much does a black Siamese cat cost?
Because black is not an officially recognized Siamese cat color variation, these will be among the cheaper options because they are likely not purebred Siamese but a mixed breed.
For a mixed breed from a Siamese cat, you would expect to pay anywhere between $250 to $800, depending on where you purchase the cat.
Also, as explained, there are no completely black Siamese cats. If you are looking for a darker Siamese variation, your best bet is to go with a Chocolate point Siamese. Because Chocolate Point is one of the officially recognized purebred Siamese, the price will be higher.
For a Chocolate Point Siamese, you can expect to pay anywhere between $800 to $2000, depending on factors like age, gender, and origin.
Can Siamese cats have stripes?
Purebred Siamese cats always have solid-colored areas. If you come across a Siamese with markings such as an ‘M’-shape on their forehead or a ringed tail, these are mixed with other breeds such as a tabby cat.
Siamese-Tabby mixes are quite common, and they’re quite beautiful. The well-known (and rare) Flame Point, Red Point, or Orange Point variations are Siamese-Tabby crossings.
Suggested reading: All Siamese Cat Colors with Color Chart.
Love reading about Siamese cats?
Then you will enjoy our other content about this magnificent breed. Have a look at the other posts on our website.
Our most popular article:
Introduction to Siamese Cats
Everything you need to know.
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