Some of our most recognisable and charismatic cats are colourpoint cats!
The cream coloured body with the darker extremities shows up on breeds like the Siamese, Tonkinese, Birman, Himalayan and many others. This type of coat can have many different types of colours, anywhere from a cream body paired with a strong contrasting black to a smooth white and soft brown 'lilac' point.
This type of fur colour is quite special in cats as it is the result of a mutation of one of the enzymes that is responsible for producing melanin, a dark pigment responsible for coat colour. Technically, these cats have a very particular form of temperature sensitive albinism.
The enzyme, called tyrosinase, is mutated and will only work at temperatures cooler than the core body temperature. This is why the places that have a darker colour are extremities, face, ears and scrotum in male colourpoint cats as they are the only regions where tyrosinase will be active to produce melanin.
Amazing how a little genetic mishap gave some of our most popular kitties their unforgettable colour!
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