Albinism in cats – Albinism is a genetically caused condition in which there is a complete lack of pigment. We take pets out of love. And always with the desire to be as healthy as possible and visit the vet as little as possible. However, sometimes our new family member shows that he carries with him an irreparable defect. These defects are usually genetic and we cannot treat them. We have to come to terms with a situation and provide a pet that has a problem with a more comfortable life.
Genetic defects are always associated with so-called recessive genes, which carry traits that are most often not manifested in healthy individuals. Recessive genes often occur during inbreeding or due to genetic damage and malformations. They are the most common causes of some diseases (hemophilia, motor skills problems, neurological underdevelopment, kidney diseases, etc.).
One of the more common problems that can occur in animals in terms of the expression of recessive genes is the appearance of albino individuals. This congenital disease is common in cats and is easy to recognize. Not every white cat is an albino individual. Cat owners often easily declare their white cats to be albino, but they are not in most cases.
Albinism is a genetically caused condition in which there is a complete lack of pigment. This means that there is no albino or white cat with yellow eyes or other color variations. The skin of non-albino cats is pigmented, while in albino cats it is extremely white. The ears of albino cats, especially on the inside, look opalescent white. The eyes of these cats are pale blue or, as we often call them, “watery blue” and reddish-pink. These colors we cannot notice in normal cats. The pink color comes from the reflection of light from the bottom of the eye, which sometimes looks as if the eyes themselves are bloody without any other color. In white cats that are not albino, we can often notice heterochromia, different colors of left and right eye (chakra eyes).
This genetic disease has several health aspects that we must pay attention to if we have an albino cat. They are very sensitive to light. Direct exposure to the sun is very dangerous for them because it can lead to eye damage but also to changes in the skin that can very often turn into various forms of skin cancer. Albinism is a lack of pigmentation means that these cats are incapable of producing melanin (pigment). The lack of melanin in the skin and eyes makes such an individual more resilient with a lower level of immunity. The lack of pigment in the eyes leads to difficult depth perception, so such cats have a harder time estimating the distance of an object or moving object. This can be very dangerous if, for example, they go outside on their own.
Albinism in cats is often associated with deafness
Albinism is often associated with deafness. However, the scientific truth is completely different. Of course, there is a gene that is responsible for deafness, but that gene doesn’t connect with the genetic disorder that causes albinism. However, organisms with albinism can also carry other genetic disorders, so deafness is statistically very common.
Albinism in cats is not essentially dangerous
Although it is a congenital genetic disease, albinism is not essentially dangerous. This disease does not change the animal’s character in any way and can be normal pets, like everyone else. Of course, individuals who have it require increased attention and care about their health status. But, in essence, with a little more attention, they can live their life normally.