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Do All Siamese Cats Have Blue Eyes? Breed Genetics Explained

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By Nicole Cosgrove

siamese cat in wild_Andreas Lischka_Pixabay

Known for their elegance, beauty, and unique fur patterns, Siamese cats are among the most attractive domesticated cats breeds. These gorgeous cats have a rich history and were considered royalty centuries ago in certain parts of Southeast Asia. One of the most interesting things about Siamese cats is that they always have blue eyes.

You might start to realize that you have never seen a Siamese cat with an eye color other than blue. It was no quirk that all the Siamese cats you’ve encountered in the past had very noticeable blue eyes because there’s a reason for it. Curious? Keep reading to learn more!

hepper-cat-paw-dividerWhy Siamese Cats Always Have Blue Eyes

While Siamese cats certainly don’t look like traditional albino animals, these cats do have a type of albinism. Siamese cats carry the Himalayan gene, which is a type of albinism gene that’s sensitive to external factors like temperature.

Unlike other cat breeds that have pigmented cells in the iris of the eye, Siamese cats don’t have these cells because of that Himalayan gene. In the Siamese breed, blue eyes are present because both layers of the iris are lacking pigment.

applehead siamese cat
Image Credit: woff, Shutterstock

The Albinism Gene Also Dictates Body Color

The temperature-sensitive albinism gene is also why Siamese cats’ coats are different colors on the extremities, like the legs and tail. Because the albinism gene is heat-sensitive, the color on the Siamese cat’s core body differs from the color on the cooler areas of the cat, like the face, lower limbs, and tail.

When born, Siamese kittens are all white because the albinism trait is active in the warm environment of the womb. While nursing and nuzzling up with their mother, the kittens remain warm and retain their whiteness. But as they begin venturing away from the warmth of their mother, their bodies begin to show color, which is quite remarkable!

Now that you know that all Siamese cats have blue eyes, here are some more facts about these cats you may find interesting.

The Breed is Old!

Siamese cats are one of the oldest domesticated cat breeds in the world. Originating in Siam (now Thailand) in the 1300s and revered by royalty, the Siamese cat breed remained largely unknown in the United States until the 1800s.

It is thought that the first Siamese cat to touch American soil was one given to First Lady Lucy Hayes, who was married to President Rutherford B. Hayes, in 1879.

Their Look is Unique

Siamese cats have sleek and graceful bodies with piercing blue eyes. They have large, pointed ears and lovely colored coats, coming in shades of seal, chocolate, cream, blue, and lilac. These cats look amazing with their dark markings around the face, ears, paws, and tail, and we know now that their unique coloring is caused by a form of albinism. Siamese cats are instantly recognizable by their striking appearance, and no other cat breed comes close to having such a distinctive look. You’ve probably come across a cat you knew right away was a Siamese because of the telltale blue eyes and uniquely beautiful coat!

blue point siamese cat lying by the window
Image Credit: Lucie K, Shutterstock

They’re Smart and Social

Siamese cats are intelligent animals that can be easily trained. You can teach a Siamese to give high fives, fetch a ball, and even walk on a leash.

Siamese cats are also inquisitive creatures that enjoy venturing about and exploring their environment. It’s not uncommon to watch a Siamese cat poking around an open cupboard, climbing inside a closet, or trying to turn on a faucet to get running water.

These beautiful cats are very sociable and love following their owners around. Siamese cats tend to get along well with people of all ages and even other pets. These cats are also affectionate and love cuddling up on the couch with their favorite humans.

Because Siamese cats are so social and affectionate, they can get depressed if they’re left alone for long periods. If you’re out of your home a lot and want to get a Siamese cat, you should reconsider because these cats do not thrive being left on their own for long periods.

They Have Poor Vision at Night

There’s a reason why it’s uncommon to see a Siamese cat out roaming about at night. Siamese cats have problems distinguishing details in the dark. The same albinism gene responsible for the Siamese cat’s blue eyes is responsible for their inability to see well at night.If you plan on getting a Siamese cat, it’s a good idea to leave a nightlight on at night to help your cat find his way around. It’s especially important to leave a light on at night if you have an older Siamese cat that may have other vision problems like glaucoma or progressive retinal atrophy that can lead to total blindness.

They Love to Play!

Siamese cats are playful and love nothing more than playing with a favorite cat toy or ball. Because these intelligent cats become bored easily, have a variety of playthings, including an interactive cat toy, to keep it busy and out of trouble.

siamese kitten in a basket
Image By: Kristin Brown, Unsplash



Siamese cats have fur color, but they all have one thing in common: piercing blue eyes. The next time you’re lucky enough to spend time with a Siamese cat, you’ll know why its eyes are as blue as the sky above.

If you’re planning on getting a Siamese, remember that these cats have poor night vision. Leave a light on, so your feline companion doesn’t bump into anything due to its inability to see well in the dark.

Featured Image Credit: Andreas Lischka, Pixabay

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