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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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57 comments
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Kim McHugh
Does anyone know the chances of an albino cat surviving skin cancer?

My youngest daughter took on a wild albino mother and kitten who needed some tlc about 2-3 years ago. They all live in Ibiza, not the best place for albino cats!!

The mother developed cancer around one of her ears and my daughter managed to catch her with help of other caring people and the mother cat had surgery to remove the skin cancer.

But now the cancer has come back on the mother cat's other ear! Could someone advise on this poor cat's chances of surviving yet another operation? Many Thanks.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Kim,

There are so many variables, only a veterinarian who has performed the right diagnostic tests will be able to provide a prognosis. Even with this, there would be no guarantees. We're afraid we simply cannot answer your question other than to say that prompt treatment is the best way to ensure a positive prognosis. We wish them well!
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Lizzie
I just adopted a gorgeous, silly white male kitten. I’ve been doing a lot of research on the difference between a white and albino cat, but I’m still a bit confused as to whether or not he is actually albino...Even after asking my vet, even she couldn’t give a *100%* answer as to whether or not he is, after saying that it wasn’t likely he is albino. Therefore I’m still skeptical... After reading all the traits of what makes a cat albino, he seems to match them. He isn’t deaf, but I also read that not *all* albinos would be deaf. I am wanting detailed picture comparisons of white and albino cats, or better yet a professional in distinguishing albino cats to look at my cat. XD Here’s a question that I didn’t really get a clear answer from anywhere...Would only albino cats have a reddish-pink color in their pupil when light is reflected? Or is that for all white and albino cats? My cat definitely has that...And his iris color is a pale blue. Dermis (on all visible points, paw pads, nose, ears) are pink. Not a *very* light pink, but definitely pink haha. Would Albion’s have a much lighter to almost white pigmentation or can they also have a more pink skin?

Thank you very much for someone who answers and knows a lot more about true albinism!!
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Lizzie,

Albinism in cats is not the same as in humans, which is why your vet cannot confirm 100%. However, whether or not they are albino, their light skin means you should take the same precautions as if they were (e.g. protect them from the sun). It would be better to be safe than sorry!
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Liz
I am a TICA registered breeder. I bred 2 Lilac Point Mitted parents together. 3 of the 6 kittens are Albino. This has never happened before.
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Katie
I am fostering two cats from a hoarding situation. Both are possibly pregnant. I noticed that the white one squints a lot in bright light and mentioned it when we were at the vet. The vet looked at her cornea and said she was an albino. My question is if she is pregnant would there be any possible complications extra to her or the babies if she was pregnant because she is an albino? Picture of her and her sister.
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Katie,

The health conditions associated with albino cats shouldn't affect the pregnancy directly.
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Natalia
Hi I was wondering is it more dangerous for albino cats to have kittens than regular cats? Can they get sick or have a bad reaction if they get pregnant. I’m soon going to have a baby girl. Also not sure what to name her yet, thinking Crow. But please let me know :)
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Natalia,

Albino cats do have a genetic predisposition toward various health problems. For a true albino cat, both parents need to carry the gene. We can never predict what the kitten will be like exactly in terms of appearance and well-being. However, we also want to discourage guardians from breeding their cats at all. There are so many cats in shelters and they need loving homes. It is important to adopt and not shop, both for the benefit of the individual cat and cats as a whole.
Kaye
May I know the breed of your cat? We have the same breed of cat, I think :)
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Shobit Verma
My black tabby just gave a litter of 4 cats...out of which 3 I suspect are albinos...today they opened their eyes they were red as blood ..😰😰..even their feet and faces arr ppink...can you tel me if they are albino or not...🙏🙏
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dalia
My cat s partially albino his eyes are almos White but in the light you can she pink spots, he jeeps his tira eyelid Close when there is Sun light and eventhough all cata are active at Night he is extra active when there is no light, he doesn't seem to como to me when I call him unless I am very Close to him, how can I know if he is deaf?

Partial Albinism
There are degrees of albinism, however. Partial albinism is much more common than you may think. In fact, cats such as the Siamese, Burmese, and Tonkinese all get their pointed coloration from a partial albino genetic lineage.

Administrador AnimalWised
You will have to take them to the veterinarian for tests.
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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!
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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?
dalia
they do not need to be true albinos, there are parcial albinos and they need care too
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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.
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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!
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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!
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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.
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Breanna
I had a stray baby kitten come up to my house one night. We took her in and decided to keep her. She is pure white and has a pale blue eye and a greenish colored eye. She also has a pink nose and pink paws... I noticed that everytime I tried calling her at first she would just stare at me or act like she wasn't paying me any attention. Then one day I noticed that while she was sleeping, she didn't even hear me walk up through the door...which was very unusual because my other cats would jump up immediately. I've noticed that in order to get her to come to me, I have to stomp my foot on the ground to get her attention then motion for her to come. I am so glad that i ran across this website so i know what is going on. I suspected she was deaf but after reading this I know for sure. Thank you! :)
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Breanna,

We are very glad we could be of use to you. We also recommend your take the kitten to the veterinarian for a proper examination and to start their vaccination and deworming schedules. Good luck and than you for being such a kind ally to cats.
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Jenna
Just wondering - I have a 3 week old kitten born white - but he's getting color on his ears, tail & paws (like a Siamese) but his pupils are pink (& light seems to bother him - he squints in the light). Is it possible he is albino - or does he need to be completely white?
Heather Fishman
I just got a kitten and right away noticed his eyes being extremely pale almost clear. Then I googled albino. I'm confused because it says they have to be completely white he has very light orange stripes on his tail and ear tips but he is pink everywhere and sensitive to light. Can a albino have color?
Administrador AnimalWised
Hi Heather,

It is relatively rare, but it is possible to have partial albinism, so this may be the case with your kitten. We recommend taking them to the vet to confirm if they are indeed partially albino or in case they have another issue with their eyes.
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Lisa D Borsch
I am sure my rescued foster Yuki is a partial albino. He's got a pink tint under his all white undercoat, his ears, eyes, nose, mouth, and paw pads. He squints his eyes so I have no clue what color they are. How do I help him with the light sensitivity? How do I tell if he's going blind? How do I keep his coat clean?
Suzanne
I also have an albino cat named Yuki...I never imagined I'd find another. Is your Yuki deaf as well? Someone dropped my Yuki off and the poor baby was in the verge of a heat stroke by the time I got to her, but she's a spoiled baby now and queen of the house for sure..lol

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