White cats, with their soft, clean fur and uniquely colored eyes, are works of feline art. But these cats are more than just a beautiful look. White cats have a long presidential history and are considered lucky all over the world.
Like tricolor cats, called calico, and those coloristically similar to the shell of a turtle, white cats are not related to a particular breed. Rather, many different breeds, both long and short-haired, can exhibit pure white fur, including Persian, Turkish angora, American shorthair, Siamese, and Devon Rex.
So, what causes them a completely white fur? If a cat has the dominant W gene, known as the masking gene, it will “hide” the gene of any other color and pattern of the fur, resulting in snow-white fur.
Did you know that the color of a cat’s eyes is related to the production of melanin in the body? As a result, white or slightly colored cats often have light-colored eyes. Completely white cats can have a striking variety of eye colors, such as blue, green, yellow, orange, or a combination of these.
The same genetic factors that give cats their white coat and unique eye colors can cause total or partial deafness in many felines. It is believed that the ear closest to the “strange” eye color, or both ears if both eyes have a unique color, will be the deaf ear.
If your cat is partially or completely deaf, you should take several precautions to keep it safe. Be careful not to frighten them and use visual rather than verbal signs to communicate.
It is also better to keep a partially deaf or completely deaf cat indoors. It may have trouble avoiding hazards or protecting itself from potential predators.
No, cats with white fur are not albino. There is a key difference. White cats simply have a gene for white fur, while albinism is a genetic condition that leads to a complete lack of color pigmentation in the skin, fur, and eyes.
The easiest way to determine whether or not a cat is an albino is to control the eyes. White cats, as mentioned before, can have a wide range of eye colors. However, albino cats have pale blue, pink, or red eyes. Their eyes are not exactly pink or red, but the reflection of light on the blood vessels in their eyes gives them that appearance.
Like humans, cats with light or white fur are at increased risk of developing sunburn, especially on the ears, eyelids, and nose. Because they are more susceptible to sunburn, white cats also have a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma or skin cancer.
It is important to take the right measures to protect your cat’s sensitive skin from damage caused by the sun.
If your kitten loves sunbathing, try to limit the time near the bright windows between 10:00 and 16:00, when the sun is the strongest. Consider investing in curtains or blinds, which will help block or limit the UV light entering through your windows.
Do you have an outdoor cat or live in an area where the sun is extremely strong? Talk to your veterinarian about water-resistant sunscreens designed to protect the sensitive skin of cats.
Unlike black cats which are supposed to bring bad luck, white cats symbolize wealth and luck in cultures around the world.
The famous Japanese Beckoning cat, also known as Maneki Neko, is most often described as a white cat. Coming around 1870, these figures are placed near the entrances of homes and businesses to bring good luck.
Suitable, right? Several presidents of the United States had white cats rushing around the White House during their mandate.
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President Rutherford B. Hayes, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter all had Siamese cats, and although many Siamese cats are not completely white, most of their fur is white.
William McKinley, the 25th president, had two Turkish Angora with equally exotic names: Enrique DeLome and Valeriano Weyler.
There is no doubt that white cats are gorgeous! But the most striking, and most in-demand white cat is of the Persian breed. Their long, silky fur and large, expressive eyes look very stylish. It is no wonder that for so long they have been organized into cat-themed calendars and pet food labels!
However, if you have a white Persian, you know that regular care is essential. Otherwise, you will have to deal with a feline with dirty and tangled fur rather than a calendar-model kitten!