Thoughts for Thursday – White Cats

This morning Lily (a dilute tabby) leaped into the bathtub after a flying insect. As she sat there looking up at me I remembered Winfield. He was a pure white odd-eye cat. He had one blue and one green eye. One day I happened to see him sitting in the bathtub and my photographer’s eye took over. I thought he looked stunning with white against white with those striking eyes and pink nose. What a great photo opp. As it turned out I couldn’t manage the shot well enough, so I had a friend who’s a professional photographer take that picture for me.

Winfield was born with a black spot on his head. He matured, however, into a pure white cat. His eye color was his crowning glory as was his gentle, sweet, curious purrsonality.

You might wonder if he was born to a white cat and if all of his siblings were also white. No. His mother was a dark tabby, as I recall. And he was the only white cat in the litter.

For the purpose of this blog post, I decided to do some research on white cats. Interestingly, I learned that white is a non-color. White fur on a cat is masking its true color. I mentioned that Winfield had a black spot on his head when he was a kitten. According to experts this indicates that his true color was black, but genetics caused the white fur to mask his true color. Fascinating.

Pure white cats with one or two blue eyes have a larger chance of deafness. I’ve also read that white cats are often born blind. I knew someone years ago who had two white cats. One was blind and the other deaf. They were siblings and they watched out for each other throughout their life—the deaf one seeing for the blind one and vice versa.

While only about five percent of cats are white, there are several breeds that produce white cats. They include Persian, Oriental shorthair, British shorthair, ragdoll, and several others. So how do you breed for a pure white cat? It appears there’s no way to guarantee white kittens. Even if you were to breed two white cats, you could get a black-and-white, tabby, or calico throwback or two or three.

Well, I still have a lot of questions, how about you? One of them is, what color parents produce a pure white kitten? I finally found that answer. If this expert is correct, one parent has to be pure white. Here’s a site I found fascinating. It relates entirely to cat and kitten color and genetics.

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