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Do Siamese Cats All Have Blue Eyes? Genetics Explained

Written by: Christian Adams

Last Updated on June 16, 2024 by Catster Editorial Team

siamese cat sitting on a table

Do Siamese Cats All Have Blue Eyes? Genetics Explained

Renowned for their beauty, Siamese cats are among the most attractive cats you can bring home, and they’re incredibly affectionate! These regal, vocal cats are loving and loyal to their owners. One of the most striking features of the Siamese cat is their blue eyes. But you may wonder, “Do Siamese cats all have blue eyes?” Yes, they do because it’s part of their genetics. Only mixes have eye colors other than blue.


Siamese Cat Genetics

Siamese cats are distinctive for their pointed coats, which are a lighter body color with darker-colored “points” on their paws, face, and tail. Selective breeding has created variations on the classic pointed coat of the Siamese, including seal point, lilac point, chocolate point, and blue point, all of which have blue eyes.

This is because of the genetics that produce pointed coats. Genetically, pointed coats are part of the recessive albino spectrum of colors. Albinism is the absence of pigment entirely in both hair and skin. Siamese cats also have a modifier gene, which inhibits albinism below a certain temperature.

If a cat’s temperature is above 100- or 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, albinism affects it. Once the body temperature drops below that, the genes for coat color turn back “on” and carry the pigment to the fur. Cats’ bodies are cooler around the ears, nose, paws, and tails, which is where the pigment gets deposited, leading to the pointed look.

a seal point siamese cat in brown background
Image Credit: Altsva, Shutterstock

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Siamese Cat Coat and Eye Color

Blue eyes are not a color as much as an absence of pigment and colored light. The eyes only appear blue because of the light reflected in them. The white-to-blue light ratio determines the shade of blue and how it appears to onlookers.

All cats are born with blue eyes, and the pigment (melanin) slowly develops in the eyes, giving them their brown, amber, green, or yellow color. With blue eyes, the pigment never distributes, leaving their eyes looking blue.

Likewise, Siamese kittens are born white and develop their markings over time. The womb is warm and blocks the color gene from reaching the fur. Once exposed to the cooler atmosphere outside the womb, Siamese kittens develop pigment around the point areas and eventually get their permanent coat color.

Interestingly, the shade of blue in different point colors can be different. For example, a seal point coat Siamese cat can appear to have deep blue eyes, while a lilac point Siamese cat (a lighter coat color) may appear to have a paler shade of blue with some gray.

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Final Thoughts

Siamese cats are one of the most beautiful and unique breeds. Between their signature wedge- or apple-shaped heads, stunning pointed coats, and piercing blue eyes, it’s no wonder they’re common in Hollywood and regarded as royal or fashionable cats. All Siamese cats will have blue eyes because of their genetics, but that doesn’t make them any less special.

Featured Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay

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