casperworldlogo

Twitter @WhiteCatWorld

Load More...

Worlds Best Cat Shirts

Health Issues & White Cats

Casper is a healthy male who was rescued with his sister Lily by the SPCA. His health and personality blossomed after adoption.

Casper is a healthy male who was rescued with his sister Lily by the SPCA. His health and personality blossomed after adoption.

White cats are stunning, rare and you must pardon our insistence that white cats are probably the most beautifully colored of all cats. But, it’s not all about the color really. Among the top favorite colors in the world, white is ninth on the list (blue snags the top spot).

Nonetheless, the pristine beauty of the white coat often complemented by sparkling colored eyes can unarguably make you want to tear up in awe.

That said, white cats make up a tiny percentage of the general domestic cat population. This rarity may be one of the reasons why people often rely on inaccurate stereotypes, conjectures, and anecdotes as the basis of their knowledge about white cats.

This article aims to set the record straight on many white cat-related issues. And more importantly provide comprehensive information about our white fluffy companions.

Percentage of White Cats

Earlier on, I referred to white cats being a minority. You’ve probably already observed that. But do not know specifically how rare white cats are.

Now, there aren’t many standard books and scholarly reports about the prevalence of white cats. However, some sources have tried to pin a number on it. Some sources estimates it may be as low as 2% while other studies show that it may be as high as 5%. Regardless, the percentage is low and this rarity means that white cats can be particularly mysterious and unusual to see as they are so rare.

Eye Color Variation in White Cats

While the population of white cats may be low, the color variation of the eyes of white cats is widely known. Typically, the eye color may be blue, green, golden (hazel), or pink.

Sometimes though, each eye may have different colors. The common name for this is “odd eyes,” while the technical name is heterochromia.
In general, white cats like colored cats may succumb to any of over a dozen ailments. However, two health issues are prevalent for white cats. If you’re looking to get a white cat, then I cannot overemphasize the importance of being abreast of these health issues.

White Cats and Deafness

wcw-white-cat-with-big-earsThis is perhaps the most well-known health issue with white cats. It is so prevalent that many believe that all white cats [with blue eyes] are deaf.

This is not accurate.

The link between white cats and deafness appears to be a triangle, with blue eyes being the connecting angle.

You see, white cats lack melanin, which typically gives color to your hair and skin. Clearly, white cats lack melanin in their skin. In addition, white cats (especially white cats with blue eyes) also lack melanin in the irises of their eyes. Which is one reason why the eyes are blue.

However, the more important fact is that the stem cells that should turn into melanin-producing cells (melanocytes) are also the stem cells responsible for turning into a cell layer in the inner ear that is vital for hearing.

Since, these cats do not have these stem cells (evident by their lack of melanin), they also do not have this vital cell layer that should be in the inner ear. This absence is the cause of the deafness associated with white cats and blue eyes.

The keyword is associated because different genes cause blue eyes and white coat. Although, a particular gene/gene complex causes white coat, blue eyes, and deafness, not all cats get their white coat and blue eyes from this particular gene.

Therefore, the probability that a cat is white, blue-eyed, and deaf depends wholly on the genes the cat inherits and not just the appearance.

That said, when a cat is diagnosed to be deaf. It may be deaf in both ears or in just one ear. Often times, an odd-eyed white cat with one blue eye may be deaf in the blue-eyed side.

What the statistics say

  1. Of the 2-5% of cats that are white, 15-40% have at least one blue eye.
  2. Of this percentage, 60-80% are deaf.
  3. 30-40% of white cats with blue eyes are deaf.
  4. Only 10-20% of white cats with non-blue eyes are deaf.

White Cats and Skin Cancer

The melanin deficiency in white cats uncovers another surprise. That white cats can’t tolerate sun light as much as colored cats. It’s a fact that you have to take seriously. Because if you do not, repeated exposure to sunlight can cause squamous cell carcinoma.

Squamous cell carcinoma is a form of skin cancer that is painful and prevalent in areas of the skin where there aren’t much hairs—ears, eyelids, and nose. Treatment can often involve freezing the nose or lopping off the ear. It can also be fatal if it is not diagnosed early enough.

It’s an avoidable condition, so it’s best to keep white cats indoors.

Caring for White Cats
For starters, white cats do not belong to only one specific breed of cats. A white cat may belong to any of several cat breeds. This can be worthy of note when caring for a white cat, especially if the breed has peculiar cattitudes and cattributes.

Regardless of breeds, there seem to be an arguable consensus that white cats have a timid, aloof, shy, or lazy personality. It’s arguable because while some studies establish a link between a cat’s coat color and personality, others do not.

However, an explanation for this unflattering consensus is that white cats that fit this personality like a glove are often white cats that are partially or completely deaf. This can be frustrating in social interactions with your cat.

This can actually transcend from being frustrating to dangerous, as deaf cats are considerably vulnerable to attacks by predators. It can also be a secondary reason to keep your cats from going outdoors to avoid any unsavory accident.

Cat Links & Websites KittyClysm* A blog for cat lovers & kitty keepers everywhere. Join my pet Avery and I in our own little corner of the feline-obsessed world. Facts about cats, cat stories, training tips, & pet care advice. I talk as much as I can about it all here! Check out Elise and her great blog: https://kittyclysm.com/ Online Nursing ...

White Cat Breeds White cat family is bigger than you can imagine. The popular white cats are more than their snowy look. Apart from their downy, milky long coats, the white pet could also be diverse in terms of personality, physical attributes, and origin. It is a fact white cat has blue eyes. Otherwise, you may meet those with ...

6 Most Common Cat Problems & Illnesses The domestic cat is one of the top three cleanest animals on the planet. Quite a number of people believe cats may actually be the most hygienic, since they are fond of bathing and spend considerable amount of time grooming themselves. Unfortunately, no degree of self-maintenance can make a cat immune to all diseases. It is ...

The Automatic Cat Feeder When Casper and Lily came to live with us from the SPCA we needed to find a way to control feeding at home because our cat Alaska is a small kitty who eats a bit at a time when she is hungry and Casper & Lily were used to different feeding conditions and tended to ...

Cat Window Perch I wasn’t sure if the cats would like the window perch when I brought it home from the pet store but after I saw their reaction to the first one I installed in the kitchen I had to get another window perches! The cats just love them! We have one heated perch for our kitchen window ...

Basic Cat Training White cats are similar to normal cats. They could be disobedient or the contrast. However, in order to leave peacefully without cleaning up poop everywhere or getting controlled by your cat, training is necessary. Cat training is now your goal in order to make your feline well-behaved. You will not know why your cat does what ...

Common Health Concerns of White Cats White cats are naturally more beautiful than other cats due to their aesthetic features. Their pure white fur matched with eyes that may be blue, golden, or green make them even prettier. In spite standing out among other cats, they are traditionally prone to illnesses. It is sad knowing how a pristine beauty could be affected ...

How to Give Eye Medication to Your Cat Many cat eye diseases or injuries require that you give your cat eye medication. These include the herpes virus, abscesses, and glaucoma. This article will describe three different options you can use to give your cat the eye medication. Giving your cat eye medication can be a difficult process. It requires some sneakiness and planning on ...

A Healthy Cat Is A Happy Cat Our cats can bring us much happiness throughout our lives while living with them and observing their antics. They all have their little quirks and wonderful personalities. Making sure that they are healthy and happy is very important and it needn’t be difficult. If you are a new cat owner you may find yourself perplexed as ...

Choosing The Best Cat Toys Choosing a cat toy for your favorite feline would seem like a no-brainer. Cats will pretty much play with anything. If you want to discourage your cat from playing with things around the house, then it’s a good idea to get them a cat toy that diverts their attention. Cat supply stores usually carry a ...

Is Your Cat Eating Her Emotions? Does it seem like your cat is eating more than normal? Unfortunately, when a cat has an increase in the consumption of its food, which is called polyphagia, there may be an underlying cause that will need to be diagnosed and treated by a veterinarian. There are two types of polyphagia. Psychological polyphagia is the type that ...

Health Issues & White Cats White cats are stunning, rare and you must pardon our insistence that white cats are probably the most beautifully colored of all cats. But, it’s not all about the color really. Among the top favorite colors in the world, white is ninth on the list (blue snags the top spot). Nonetheless, the pristine beauty of the ...

White Cats Vs. Albino Cats Albinism and White Cats Nonetheless, more important than the cool fact that white cats often have odd eyes is the fact that White Cats are not always Albino Cats. Much like humans on the surface, but a lot different on the genetic side of things. I’d give you a short explanation and then a long one. In a ...

Anatomy Of The Cat: A Wonderful Creation We are so immersed in technology and surrounded by machines it is often easy to overlook the natural wonder that is right next to us in the form of our cats. “How does my cat work?”, is a question I have often asked. Not so much as a mechanic wanting to understand the physical interactions ...

Take Time To Talk & Play With Your Cat Some people decide to get a cat because they want a pet and they think that cats are less work than dogs. I’m here to assure you that caring for cats is not as easy as some people think. Cat lovers know that a healthy, happy cat can take a lot of hard work. It ...

Hereditary Risks of Deafness The Truth on Deafness of White Cats With Blue Eyes Many people have asked veterinarians whether white cats with blue eyes are normally deaf or not. This is a frequent topic of research for the favorite white feline seems to have a special distinction not all knows. White cat breeds are naturally sought for by pet lovers ...

Bathing A Cat Most cats prefer to groom themselves instead of allowing their human companions to apply a brush or be bathed. Some take this really seriously and will become aggressive if someone tries to groom them. After getting bitten, scratched and putting up with general uncooperative behavior, the feline will most likely either be left to his own ...

You Know When He’s Ready To Be Neutered Cat owners who do not intend to breed their male cat will need to make sure that they do the responsible thing and have their cat neutered before the cat reaches sexual maturity, which is usually around 6 months of age. If they fail to have their cat neutered, the cat will display signs that ...

The Common Cat Health Concerns All cats are different. Some may never get sick. Some cats unfortunately will and in some cases, they will inherit their diseases. It does not matter what type of cat breed you own, all cats are not immune to infections and diseases. Here is a list of the most common cat health issues your cat ...

My Cat Loves To Fetch It is a long standing tradition for many people to teach their dogs to fetch. But, what if you are a cat lover? Can your cat be taught to fetch as well? You bet! In some cases, your cat may surprise you and teach itself this little game. Playful cats that love to run and jump ...

1 comment to Health Issues & White Cats

  • janice sleichter

    We inherited a white cat 7 yr.she has some yellow and gray spots very small. We noticed that she can’t see and her eyes drain a lot what can be done to help her eyes from draining as much

Leave a Reply

You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>