Cats and the White Stuff

courtesy Flickr.com/Alice in loveland

Irish folklore claims that white cats are lucky. They certainly blend in with white clothes, furniture and snow. So it makes sense to write about white cats as New York City muddles through Snowmaggedon: The Sequel.

First, let’s remember that a white cat is not an albino (they generally have pink eyes). A recessive gene creates a solid-color cat. This gene completely blocks the common tabby pattern. Sometimes, white kittens will have little bits of color on top of their heads. These smudges may fade with maturity — or remain. More than 90 percent of the feline population has colored fur. A true, solid white cat is quite rare.

White cats can also have different color eyes. This genetic quirk is called odd-eyed white. This is not given as some cats can have blue eyes (rare in mature cats) or eyes of intense green or gold.

Another hallmark of white cats is a tendency toward deafness, which is greater is the cat has one — or two — blue eyes. This does not mean all blue-eyed white cats are deaf. Hearing loss can also occur in odd-eyed cats with one blue eye. The side with a different eye can have be normal.

If you have a white cat, don’t automatically assume it is, or will become, deaf. That’s largely decided by a roll of the genetic dice.

For more resources about white cats, click on the links below:

MessyBeast.com

Odd-eyed cat (Wikipedia)

Buzzle.com (white cat breeds)

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2 Comments

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2 responses to “Cats and the White Stuff

  1. Interesting white kitty facts! I never knew that. … funny, I have a black and white cat that has “selective” hearing, if you know what I mean. ; )

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