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Caring for an Albino Cat

By Josie F. Turner, Journalist specialized in Animal Welfare. Updated: May 15, 2018
Caring for an Albino Cat

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It is important to understand that an albino cat requires special care. You may choose to adopt a cat with albinism because you like their physical appearance, but due to the characteristics associated with this condition, the albino cat may experience problems such as deafness, blindness, cancer or eye redness.

Albino cats are rare, and they have several unusual peculiarities, just like many other albino animals. Albinism is a genetic alteration that not only marks the cat's fur and eye color, but also important characteristics in their organism. You will have to give your albino cat a care and attention that other cats would not require.

Stay with us at AnimalWised and learn all about caring for an albino cat.

You may also be interested in: Caring For a White Cat - Not Albino

Differences between albino cats and white cats

Not all white cats are albino, but all albino cats are white. Besides that, what are the differences between white cats and albinos?

Albino cats have an absolutely white coat. However, you can also recognize albinism in cats in their eyes, which are usually pale blue or show heterochromia, that is, each eye is a different color. An albino cat will have a pinkish dermis, noticeable under their coat and on their nose, eyelids, lips, ears and paw pads.

If a cat has a white coat but its epidermis is grayish or white and its nose it means that the cat is not albino, despite being white.

Caring for an Albino Cat - Differences between albino cats and white cats

Deafness in albino cats

Albino cats tend to suffer from partial or total deafness, which is caused by the alteration of the autosomal gene W resulting in an irreversible malformation of the inner ear. Many other albino animals have this same deficiency. In the past it was believed that albino animals suffered from mental disorders, which is not true. Being deaf causes difficulties in the cat's understanding, but it does not affect their intelligence.

Deafness can be detected when the cat is a kitten because they do not come to you when you call their name. You will have to learn to communicate effectively with them. If you think your cat is suffering from deafness, it is important to learn how to care for deaf cats to help them communicate and live without this sense. Ask your vet for advice.

Just like deaf people, it is possible for deaf albino cats to be able to communicate. This communication is done using gestures which the cat learns to distinguish with a little training. It also includes the gestures of your face.

Albino deaf cats are sensitive to vibrations, which is why they know when a door closes, or when you are approaching because of your footsteps. However, it is very dangerous for deaf cats to be out alone on the street, as there is a very high risk of being run over.

Caring for an Albino Cat - Deafness in albino cats

The epidermis of albino cats

The epidermis of albino cats is very sensitive to the action of sun rays. This means that you must protect them from direct sun exposure, especially between midday and 5 pm. It is vital that the vet prescribe a non-toxic cream or sunblock to apply on the cat's nose.

Their dermis can suffer from severe burns, and they are more likely to develop skin cancer than other cats.

Caring for an Albino Cat - The epidermis of albino cats

Blindness in albino cats

In some cases of albinism, the whites of the cat's eyes are pink or even red. These cats are even better at seeing at nighttime than others. However, albino cats cannot handle intense light well.

If you suspect your cat may be suffering from blindness, it is very important to go to the vet as soon as possible and they will give you the most appropriate advice for your case.

Caring for an Albino Cat - Blindness in albino cats

As you can see, caring for an albino cat requires more time and attention. Have you ever had an albino cat as a pet? If so, please share your experience in the comments section.

If you want to read similar articles to Caring for an Albino Cat, we recommend you visit our Basic care category.

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43 comments
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Michael
Came across this post, just adopted this 3 month old kitten today. I'm wondering now if he is albino after reading this post. White fur all over, eyes look white, doesnt come to me when I call him maybe because he still doesnt know his name, but now I'm thinking maybe he is deaf. Taking him to the vet next month for his shots and I'll find out.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Michael,

We can't tell from this picture, but can you let us know what the vet says? It would be interesting to find out!
Rating:
Luche Coetzee
Hi this is our kitten and we just found out it is a albino the dad and mom are not. Does anyone know where to get special glasses for animals
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Luche,

Cats cannot wear glasses. If you could fit them to their head, they would not be appreciated and would cause them undue stress. Although they may not be completely blind, this article might help in caring for them:

https://www.animalwised.com/adopting-a-blind-cat-2736.html

However, this cat does have some seal point markings. We would be unsure if this makes them a true albino?
Rating:
Caroline
I have had this cat since he was 6 months old and thought he was just a white cat. I do believe he is albino now. He has really pale blue eyes, almost white, and a red glare on them in certain lighting. His pads, nose, and ears are really pale frosty-pink. Is he an albino, or just white?
(when we got him, the shelter said he had perfect hearing and vision)
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Caroline,

From your description, it sounds like they might be albino, but it would be impossible for us to tell. Even so, as long as you provide their necessary amenities and a loving secure environment, there is no reason they cannot enjoy a happy and healthy life.
Rating:
Karen
I found this sweet albino baby close to death and rescued him. He is one of the sweetest graceful cats I have ever seen!
Administrador AnimalWised
Thank you so much for doing what you do!
Rating:
Jaki Powell
I adopted an albino who has pinkish/red eyes, pink nose and paws paws.It's true that they're sensitive to sunlight. He(Cooper) was sitting in a window in summer and his ear tips burned slightly. Not really knowning what to do, I applied room tempuature wet, very sot washcloths then put some Aand D ountment on. He did'nttry to clean it off either. In 2 days his ears were fine. He isn't blind or deaf. He's EXTREMELY active but I think that's just his personality.
Administrador AnimalWised
Thanks for sharing Jaki!
Rating:
Sara
I bought this sweetheart of a hamster. Her name is Shai and she's DEFinitely albino! Place I bought her from wasn't treating her well. Taking me an eternity to teach her that my hands aren't scary. I call her name, saying "Shai do you want a cookie?" And she comes running to me! Definitely seems blind though as she sniffs any treat I give her before taking it. Debating giving her away but I'd only want to give her to a good home. I've never let kids hold her since I can barely hold her! She freaks out if she's held for too long.
Administrador AnimalWised
Thank you for sharing, Sara!
Rating:
Anton
Hi we have 2 albino cats, mom and daughter. We battle with their skin. Their fur very thin and skin by eyes, neck most of the time raw looks like cat fight but its not. How can we treat them not to get this. It's very difficult to keep them indoor not to go out in sunlight
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Anton,

There are many reasons why a cat my have scabs on their skin, something we detail here:

https://www.animalwised.com/my-cat-has-scabs-skin-conditions-in-cats-3027.html

However, we also state that we cannot diagnose any problems. This is the remit of a qualified veterinarian, so we recommend taking them to the clinic if you are worried about their health.
Diana Hasegawa
HE WAS BORN 4-4-19 HE HAS PINK EYES AND A BROWN SPOT ON HIS NOSE
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Diana,

Lovely kitten, but we don't think they are an albino. They have colorpoint ears and snout which would disqualify them from this categorization. Thanks for posting.
Linda Love
I have a cat that I have had for six years. He is about ten years old. He is all white with pale blue eyes. He has pale pink ears, nose,lips, and eyelids. He doesn't like bright sunlight or bright lights. His skin is pink and his fur is very thick. He hides a lot under the bed or sleeps on the bed in the dark room. He has trouble hearing. He sees fine. Could he be an albino?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Linda,

It is possible this cat is albino, but part of the difficulty is that a white cat will share many traits, even if they are not technically albino. While albino cats do have higher incidence of deafness, white cats are also more likely to be deaf than other colors of cat. Their blue eyes suggest that maybe they are not, as albino cats will almost always lack pigment in their eyes. Can you look at their paw pads? Are they very pink?
Jeanne
I had a feral albino kitten when I was a little girl living on a farm in VirginiaI loved her dearly but my daddy warned me not to get too attached to her. Sure enough she died while still a kitten
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Jeanne,

We are so sorry to hear it. Unfortunately, feral cats in particular are prone to various life threatening diseases.

Caring for an Albino Cat
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Caring for an Albino Cat

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