naturally, since i nabbed this neocities url*, i would find it out-of-character to not dedicate a page to talking about siamese cats. they're wonderful! :-3 (i write this feeling guilty, like im cheating on my cat somehow. but i love him to bits and he IS my favorite) i want to get really good at distinguishing siamese cats from other color-pointed cats, because coloquially siamese is a synonym for colorpoint (whenever i see a colorpoint cat, i'm like ah! siamese... unless they're long haired). color pointilism is a form of partial albinism dependent on body temperature!
Point coloration in cats originated in the Siamese and closely related Asian breeds, and is found in many Western-developed modern breeds. It is a form of partial albinism resulting from a mutation that affects tyrosinase, an enzyme involved with melanin production. The mutated enzyme is thermolabile; it fails to work at normal body temperatures, but becomes active in cooler areas of the skin. As a result, dark pigment is limited to the coldest areas of the body, that is, the extremities. Pointed kittens are born white, since the womb is uniformly warm. As the kitten ages, the cooler areas darken while warmer areas remain cream to white in color.
this is why as siamese cats get older, you often see the darker parts expand in size. it's really interesting seeing some siamese cats whose tails and only about half their feet are dark, and others who have the dark fur creep to their upper back / upper thigh area... wow! this color can also change due to:
The Siamese cat comes in two distinct variations: traditional, with an apple-shaped head and a slightly chubby body; or the modern Siamese, which are very skinny and have a wedge-shaped head.