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Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. May 25, 2017
Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino

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If we talk about the special care of a white cat we must first distinguish this from an albino cat. The latter has a genetic disorder where, after the mutation, we are left with a white cat with blue eyes or one of each color. There are some, albeit few, differences with a white cat.

In this AnimalWised article we want to show you how to care for a white cat, what we must keep in mind and what not so to have a successful coexistence and a healthy and happy cat.

You may also be interested in: Caring for an Albino Cat

Differences to the albino cat

Not all white cats are albinos! This is the first thing to note in order to understand the differences between albinos and 'normal' white cats. An albino cat's fur is always white, but a white fur cat may have spots with other colors. There are also totally white cats that are not albinos.

A white cat cannot have blue eyes or one of each color, whilst an albino usually has these. It is not a rule but rather something that usually happens. On the other hand, the skin of white cats is usually not pale pink like an albino's. It can be in some cases if there is an albino ancestor that we are not aware of but this is not a fixed characteristic as with albinos.

For more information do not miss our article about caring for an albino cat.

Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino - Differences to the albino cat

Its fur coat: white

Like the black cat this fur colour is a great mystery as most geneticists do not consider it a true colour. We could say that this is due to a gene called W, which covers not only the actual colour of the cat but also any spots. In cats with lots of white this gene and not the S gene, which is responsible for colours in our felines, is abundant.

For one or some to be born in a litter of kittens one of the parents must be white. This particular gene is known among geneticists as 'epistatic', as it hides any colour susceptible to appear in the feline. In some puppies this may appear as a grey or reddish stain on the head, which disappears as they grow.

White cat eyes

Another difference to note regarding albinos is that here the entire colour palette is allowed when it comes to eyes: blue, green, yellow, grey, etc. Albinos, as we said in the introduction, only have blue or bicolour eyes. In this sense, within white cat care, if its eyes are of a rather dark colour we need not worry. But if they have shades, as with albinos cats, we should pay attention to the type of light we have at home as they will not tolerate bright lights.

Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino - White cat eyes

White cat skin care

With regard to our feline's largest organ we must pay special attention, as with albinos. There are albino cats that have no pigmentation on their fur or skin and white cats that have this anomaly on sectors of the body so in both cases they require special care to prevent the occurrence of diseases such as those detailed next.

Among the skin diseases we find actinic dermatitis as the most common where, due to the lack of pigments that protect the cat's skin, ultraviolet rays penetrate directly causing this disease and possibly leading to cancer. A deep burn in the cat occurs, chronic following exposure to the sun. It mainly occurs in ears, nose, lips and inter digital spaces.

As symptoms we will detect: constant itching in different parts, blood in ear point or pinna, scabs on different parts of the body, fur loss and / or areas with colour changes in the coat due to vasodilation caused by inflammation in the area.

As treatment there is nothing better than prevention. Try to ensure our little feline is not in the sun without sunscreen and much less in hours of high summer temperatures. This advice also applies to cats with white ears and nose or cats with colours. The sunscreen may be that used for human use but free of zinc oxide. Either way it is always good to consult a veterinarian specialist.

Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino - White cat skin care

Squamous cell carcinoma (cancer)

I think the word speaks for itself, skin cancer. It is the most common complication in animals with the previously named dermatitis not treated in a timely manner. The most common location is ears, face and nose. It is a skin ulceration and deformation of the face. It can advance forward into the lungs, loss of appetite in the animal and finally reaching its death if not treated in time.

We must be attentive to prevention and visit the vet whenever we have doubts on these issues. Everything happens fast and we can come to regret it. In particular, I have successfully treated animals using homeopathy, we only need good timing. For more information, do not miss our article on homeopathy for cats.

Deafness in white cats and albinos

Both the albino and white cat suffer this and therefore, when we talk about white cat care, it is essential to consider this condition. Some time ago it was associated with white cats with blue eyes. But today, this theory has been ruled out as there are white cats with blue eyes who hear normally and others with green eyes that are totally deaf.

The origin of this abnormality is not precisely known but it is believed to be associated to the hearing nerve structures during their formation and the lack of pigmentation in the fur. Within their care we have the trips outside, which should be monitored as they are easy prey due to their reduced defenses; deaf cats should not go out alone so to avoid accidents. But within all the negatives we maintain that they are very playful and affectionate, calmer, with very low nervousness because they are not disturbed by the world around them.

See our article on caring for a deaf cat and find everything necessary to offer the best quality of life for your cat if it has this condition.

Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino - Deafness in white cats and albinos

If you want to read similar articles to Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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1 comment
jake brown
hi i'm planning on getting a white cat at my local cat rescue when should i give them a checkup?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi,

Your cat rescue center should have all the health information you need for your cat. They may charge you a little, but they should give them their vaccinations, deworming, etc. They may spay or neuter the cat, but if they don't then you should take them to the vet and have this done. However, it will depend on the age of the cat and there may be other factors. White cats are somewhat more prone to deafness than other cats, so you should ask about this also.

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