White cat breeds are wonderful. Their glossy snowy coats have new people falling in love with them every day.
Some are cross breeds or moggies, with no family history that you know of. Others can be purebred, from all white cat breeds or breeds that produce all white cats.
Welcome to our most interesting, fun and informative white cat facts!
1. White Cats Are Often Deaf
Are white cats deaf? Yes, white cats are often deaf. The gene which causes deafness is linked to the coat color white.
Chalky cats with blue eyes are more likely to be deaf, as this eye color is also caused by the same gene.
One study of purebred white cats found that approximately 20% of them were deaf in one or both ears. Of these deaf individuals, around half were deaf in both ears and half were deaf in just one.
In cats that have inherited the deafness gene, it is possible to find physical signs of impending hearing loss in kittens from 4 days old!
2. White Cats Have Helped Scientific Research
Did you know white cats help deaf children and adults?
By improving our understanding of them, researchers have designed better ways to improve hearing loss in humans!
So, are white cats deaf? Some of them are! But, deaf white cats have been vital for scientific research on hearing loss.
3. White Cats Are Seen As Being Shy and Calm
However, a 2012 study showed that people have pre conceived ideas about white cat personality, despite the lack of evidence.
They were seen as less bold and active, and more shy and calm than other colors of cats.
4. White Cats Are Popular Fictional Characters
White cats aren’t just popular in real life as pets, they are also pretty big in the world of TV, movies and even books.
Some of the most famous fictional white cats include:
- Hello Kitty
- Duchess from Disney’s Aristocats
- Marie from Disney’s Aristocats
- Simon’s cat
Can you think of any more?
5. There is No Single White Cat Breed
6. White Cats Aren’t Albino
Albino animals are unable to produce any pigment across their body. Whereas white cats usually get their color from either the dominant white gene or the white spotting gene.
You can read more about the science behind albino cats and white coloring in this complete guide.
7. White Cats Can Have Any Eye Color
Feline eye color can vary widely. Basically, anything goes when it comes to their big, beautiful peepers! Common white cat eye colors include blue, green, gold, amber and yellow.
Lots of kittens have blue eyes when they are small, which change to their permanent color before they are a few months old.
But a white kitten with blue eyes is one of the lucky ones that may keep this color forever.
Some white cats can even have two different colored eyes.
8. White Cats Can Have Different Types of Coat
Coat color isn’t related to coat length in pale kitties. You can find examples of white shorthair cat breeds, as well as long haired white cats.
White Cornish and Devon Rex cats can even have gorgeous curly coats!
White Cat Facts – A Quick Summary!
Completely colorless cats really are incredible creatures. Although they are often troubled by hearing loss, these playful kitties don’t let it dampen their spirits.
White cats can make great pets, provided you do your research and pick one from a healthy breed.
References and Resources
- Delgado, M. (et al) ‘Human Perceptions of Coat Color as an Indicator of Domestic Cat Personality’, Anthrozoos Journal (2012)
- Bergsma & Brown ‘White Fur, Blue Eyes, and Deafness in the Domestic Cat’, Journal of Heredity (1971)
- Gunn-Moore (et al) ‘Breed-Related Disorders of Cats’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (2008)
- Hartman (et al) ‘Response of the Primary Auditory Cortex to Electrical Stimulation of the Auditory Nerve in the Congenitally Deaf White Cat’, Hearing Research (2008)
- Cvejic (et al) ‘Unilateral and Bilateral Congenital Sensorineural Deafness in Client-Owned Pure-Breed White Cats’, Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine (2009)
- Squires ‘Oesophagael obstruction by a hairball in a cat’, Journal of Small Animal Practice (1989)
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