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Points (Coat Color)

Cats

Points (Coat Color)

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Point coloration, often mistakenly called 'Siamese coloring' this pattern is seen not only in Siameses, but also in many other cat breeds, and in mixed breed or moggy cats.

The point pattern is expressed by limiting pigment to the coldest areas of the body, namely the face, ears, tail and legs. This means that point kittens are often born white, since there is little temperature difference in the womb. As the kitten ages, the cooler areas darken and warmer areas cause the pigment to become unstable and show up as only a creamy to white color. Points are not limited to solid colors or dark colors. It is possible to have a red (orange color) or fawn (pale warm gray) point. It is also possible to have a tortoiseshell or tabby point. If the points are not black or at least very dark, the coloration is called colorpoints.

Because of this restriction of pigment, point cat's eyes are always some shade of blue, because the top layer of the iris is not covered in another color, letting the blue show through. The back of the eye also lacks pigment, giving these cat's pupils an eerie red reflection in the dark, unlike a normally pigmented cat's green to blue shine.

The point gene is carried on the C locus, where albinism is also carried. It is shown with the sign cs, and needs two alleles of cs for the point to be expressed. The point gene is recessive to the tabby gene. Also carried on the C locus is the gene for the sepia pattern. This is the darkest of all of the pigment restricting patterns, and pigment is only paled at the warmest point in the body, the abdomen. This pattern's gene is represented by cb. When a cat carries the genes cs and cb, the mink pattern is formed, in which the pigment distribution is between a sepia and a point cat.

Breeds with points

These breeds either include points in the breed standard, or often contain the coloration:


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This guide is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia.


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