Siamese cats are known for their long, slender body, stunning blue eyes, and their unique pointed coat pattern. The breed comes in several colors; the most common are seal, blue, chocolate, and lilac.
Related: Siamese cat genetics
All Siamese cats have an off-white, or cream body with darker color on the nose, ears, feet and tail. This unusual coloration is due to the Himalayan (or pointed) gene, which causes partial albinism. The gene is temperature-sensitive, and is inactive on warmer parts of the body such as the trunk, but is active on cooler parts of the body such as the nose, ears, and tail, allowing pigment synthesis on these parts of the body. The Himalayan gene is recessive, which means two copies of the gene are required (one from each parent). If you mate a Siamese cat to a Siamese cat, the offspring will all be Siamese (or colorpoint shorthair with some cat councils).
The Himalayan gene also occurs in rabbits, rats and mice.
Is there such a thing as a black Siamese cat?
No, however just to confuse things, genetically a seal point Siamese is a black cat, but the Himalayan gene prevents the production of melanin (pigmentation) in the hair on the warmer parts of the body, resulting in the pale cream/white color on the body with darker pigmented areas on the nose, ears, and tail. Think of it this way, a black cat wearing a cream tank (vest) which masks (hides) the black color on the warmer parts of the body.
If you are looking for a true black cat with the Siamese temperament and body shape, then the Oriental (or Foreign Shorthair) is the cat for you. They are essentially a colored Siamese cat.
The cat pictured at the top of the page is a black Oriental, his father was a caramel Oriental, and his mother was a seal point Siamese. As he is a black cat, he is registered as an Oriental while some of his littermates had the Siamese coloring and were registered as Siamese cats. Unlike the Siamese, though, you will not find a black cat (Oriental or another breed) with blue eyes. The Oriental’s eye color will be a shade of green, gold or yellow.
Are black Siamese cats rare?
Seal Point Siamese cats (the “black” color variation), is one of the most common – and most ancient – colors of Siamese cats. With that said, Seal Point is still one of the most sought-after colors of Siamese cats because of their loyal, intelligent personalities and associations with royal families.
What are the different Siamese cat colors?
There are four distinct purebred Siamese cat colors: Seal Point, Chocolate Point, Blue Point, and Lilac Point.
- Seal Point Siamese Cats have dark brown color spots on their face and paw pads, paired with their pale fawn or cream-colored body. These cats tend to have the darkest body color of all the Siamese coat colors.
- Chocolate Point Siamese Cats have milk chocolate-colored points on their ears, paws, and tail. In contrast, their paw pads and nose leather tend to be cinnamon-pink, and their bodies are ivory.
- Blue Point Siamese Cats are named for their blueish-white bodies and deep-blue spots on their ears, tail, and paws. As they age, their coat becomes darker as well.
- Lilac Point Siamese Cats are also called Frost Point Siamese because the color of their points is reminiscent of a frosty gray-pink color. Their main body color is white without any kind of shading, and they have the lightest body color of all the Siamese cat types.
Breeds of cat with pointed coats
Breeds of cat with black coats
- Bombay (Burmese type cat with a black coat)
- British Shorthair
- Russian Black
- Devon Rex
- Cornish Rex
If it’s not a Siamese, then what breed is my black cat?
If you have a black cat with the long, slender appearance of a Siamese cat, the chances are you have a mixed breed or domestic shorthair cat. These cats can come in all shapes and sizes, some large and stocky, others slender and long. Of course, the cat may have some Siamese in its background, but a black cat cannot be Siamese as all Siamese cats have points.
Can Siamese cats have stripes?
Purebred Siamese cats always have solid blocks of color on them without stripes or spots.
Sometimes, as kittens, they may have ghost tabby markings as a result of the Agouti gene that all cats possess. In Siamese cats, this gene is not dominant, but they may still show light-colored stripes in the right lighting until they grow out of them.
If your Siamese cat has stripes, it’s actually mixed-breed Siamese.
Frequently asked questions
What is a pointed coat?
A cat with a pointed coat has all of its color or pattern on its tail, face, ears, and feet, while its body remains a solid white or off-white color.
While the Siamese gene is responsible for this coat pattern, not all cats with a pointed coat are Siamese cats.
How much are black Siamese cats?
Because black Siamese cats are the most common of all the Siamese colors, they’re also the Siamese cats with the lowest cost.
Black Siamese cats, or Seal Point Siamese cats, can cost anywhere from $250 USD to $1000 USD, depending on the cat’s age and what breeder you adopt them from.
Is it possible to have an all-black Siamese cat?
Siamese cats always have a pointed coat, meaning their color only comes in on their extremities (face, ears, tail, and feet). Because of this, a Siamese cat can’t be entirely black.
If you’re interested in an all-black cat with Siamese features and temperament, a black Oriental cat will be the best fit for you.
Is Siamese coloring recessive?
A Siamese cat’s pointed coloring is caused by the Himalayan gene which is recessive. Because of this, a cat needs two copies of the gene for it to be present (one from each parent).
If you mate a Siamese cat with a Siamese cat, they can only ever produce Siamese offspring.
Are all black cats part Siamese?
Black cats can be part Siamese, but not all black cats carry Siamese genes. Black coloring is common in many cat breeds, so the only way to know if your cat is part Siamese for sure is to pursue genetic testing.