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10 surprising facts about white cats you didn't know

10 surprising facts about white cats you didn't know What features impress white cats (Photo: Freepik)

Soft as snow and pleasant to the touch, white fur makes cats exceptionally charming. Unlike gray or black cats that can easily blend into shadows, white cats practically glow and are hard to miss. Here is a list of 10 facts about white cats that will surprise even devoted cat enthusiasts.

Many different breeds can have completely white fur

Completely white cats are not associated with a specific breed. Rather, many different breeds - both long-haired and short-haired - can have purely white fur, including Persians, Turkish Angoras, American Shorthairs, Siamese, and Devon Rexes.

What is the reason for their completely white coloring? If a cat carries a dominant W gene, known as the masking gene, it "masks" the other color and pattern genes in the cat's genetic makeup, resulting in snow-white fur.

White cats can have very unique eye colors

Did you know that the color of a cat's eyes is linked to the production of melanin in the body? Accordingly, in white or light-colored cats, eyes are often light. Completely white cats can have different eye colors, such as blue, green, yellow, orange, or combinations thereof.

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White cat with yellow eyes (photo: Freepik)

Most (but not all) white cats are deaf

The same genetic factors that give white cats their white fur and unique eye colors can also cause complete or partial deafness in many kittens.

This is particularly common in white cats with blue eyes, as the genetics associated with white fur are also linked to deafness. In white cats with one blue eye and one eye of another color, it is not uncommon for the ear on the "blue side" to be deaf, while the ear on the other side hears normally.

If your cat is partially or completely deaf, it's important to be careful not to startle them and to use visual signals rather than verbal cues for communication.

It's also better to always keep a partially deaf or completely deaf cat indoors. This is because they may have trouble avoiding dangers or protecting themselves from potential predators.

White cats are not albino

Having white fur and being an albino are not the same. The key difference is that white cats simply have a gene that codes for white fur, while albinism is a genetic condition that results in a complete lack of color pigmentation in the skin, fur, and eyes.

The easiest way to determine if a cat is an albino is to look at their eyes. White cats, as mentioned earlier, can have a wide range of eye colors. However, albino cats' eyes often appear very pale blue, pink, or red (their eyes are not pink or red; the reflection of light off the blood vessels in their eyes just gives them that appearance).

Вертикальний знімок білого кота з різнокольоровими очима

Heterochromia in white cats (Photo: Freepik)

White cats can get sunburned too
Like humans, cats with light or white fur are at a higher risk of sunburn, especially on their ears, eyelids, and nose. Since white cats are more susceptible to sunburns, they also have a higher risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma or other forms of skin cancer.

It's important to take proper steps to protect your cat's light skin from the sun's rays:

  • If your cat loves to sunbathe, try to limit their time near sunny windows from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm, when the sun is strongest.
  • Consider purchasing thicker curtains that can help block or limit the amount of UV light entering through the windows.

White cats are considered lucky

Unlike the supposedly unlucky black cats, completely white cats symbolize good luck around the world.

The famous Japanese beckoning cat (also known as Maneki Neko) is most often depicted in white. These figures, created around 1870, were placed near entrances to homes and businesses to bring good fortune.

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Maneki Neko figures (Photo: Freepik)

Many white cats have lived in the White House

It sounds like a crazy theory, but some US presidents had white cats running around the White House during their tenure.

Rutherford B. Hayes, Gerald Ford, and Jimmy Carter, the 19th, 38th, and 39th presidents respectively, had Siamese cats (although many Siamese cats are not completely white, most of their coloring is white).

William McKinley, the 25th president, had two Turkish Angoras with equally exotic names: Enrique DeLome and Valeriano Weyler.

White Persian cats are the most popular

The most striking cat with the highest demand in white is the Persian. Its long silky fur and large expressive eyes look very elegant.

However, if you have a white Persian, remember that regular grooming is crucial. Otherwise, instead of an exemplary kitten, you'll have a dirty, tangled ball of fur.

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White Persian cat (Photo: Freepik)

Pure white cats are the rarest

There are many cat colors and, of course, cats can have various fur patterns, including tabby, tuxedo, calico, and tortoiseshell. However, among solid-colored cats, pure white fur is one of the least common.

White cats are considered shy

While every cat has a unique personality, people often like to generalize different cat colors and their personality types:

  • Tortoiseshell cats: have a feisty nature
  • Orange cats: sociable and friendly
  • Black cats: exceptionally loving
  • White cats: often considered a bit more shy and calm