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First, a bit of background…then a question. Muffs is a bi-color ragdoll. As a result, her coloring has darkened as she’s gotten older, and will continue to darken for another year or so. As many of you know, that’s common in point-colored cats, such as Ragdolls, Siamese, Birmans, Himalayans, Balinese, etc. The point color in these breeds occurs due to an alteration in the enzyme that produces melanin (the substance responsible for hair and skin color). The altered enzyme only produces color in cooler areas, which is why a darker color appears on the cooler body areas, such as the ears, face, feet, tail, etc., whereas the warmer body areas remain white or cream.

Moving on to the issue… In August, I had Muffs shaved in a few spots on either side of her body, since she was having trouble with matted fur. When I did that, I wondered whether her fur in these areas would grow back in a darker color – since the shaved area would be cooler. Sure enough, that’s what happened. She now has two dark “saddles” on either side of her body, precisely where she was shaved. I’m now wondering whether these dark saddles will remain permanently or whether they will disappear over time. That is, as she sheds her existing coat over time and a new coat grows in, will the new fur in these areas grow back white (since these areas will no longer be cool, but warm)?

I imagine I will find out next Spring! But, to satisfy my curiosity in the meantime, I’m wondering if any members have ever shaved their pointed cats. To those who have, did you find the new fur grew back darker and, if so, did the darker fur remain permanently or was it a temporary thing?

I actually don’t mind either way, since Muffs will look pretty regardless. I’m just curious – a trait I share with my cats. :)
 

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I can't really answer your question because Sidonie is my first pointed cat (I think she might actually be mink pointed, since the difference in color isn't that contrasted). BUT I had a question about "normal" pointed cats and "bicolor" pointed cats. On bicolors there is the upside-down V on their faces, which would lead me to assume that their noses and mouths are not as cool as their ears and the sides of their face. So, why would this be true for them, but not true for "normal" pointed cats where the entire face and ears tend to be darkened?
 

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As mine are both shorthairs (and therefore never been shaved obviously) I have no idea, but that's really interesting! I too will be curious to see what happens. I find pointed cats fascinating because of the way their markings develop slowly over time.

I too had wondered just how much specific environmental changes (like shaving or the temperature of their home while growing up) affected their points.
 

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I can't really answer your question because Sidonie is my first pointed cat (I think she might actually be mink pointed, since the difference in color isn't that contrasted). BUT I had a question about "normal" pointed cats and "bicolor" pointed cats. On bicolors there is the upside-down V on their faces, which would lead me to assume that their noses and mouths are not as cool as their ears and the sides of their face. So, why would this be true for them, but not true for "normal" pointed cats where the entire face and ears tend to be darkened?
My assumption (based on my very very limited knowledge of cat genetics) would be that it's not that those areas aren't as cool on bicolors, but that the genes that create fur color changes based on temperature aren't expressed in those specific areas? I.e. I assume bicolor cats are displaying two different color/pattern genes on their coat at the same time (solid, and temp-influenced pointed) the same way a lynx-point is expressing two different genes (pointed, and tabby) which results in their points being striped instead of solid, even though the temperature rule still applies to the dark portion of the stripes.

I don't really know for sure if that's how it works though. Just my guess!
 

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Well Susan, I just googed "Does shaving a pointed cat change its color." It didn't come up with specific sources, but other cat owners have mentioned color changes in cats that have fallen ill, or have just been spayed, etc. The common consensus seems to be that once the darkened coat is shed, it should go back to its original color.
 

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I have long been a fan of coat color genetics and the pointed cats are especially interesting to me. They must carry the homozygous, recessive pair of pointed genes to exhibit the points. If the cat carries the agouti gene, it will be lynx-pointed and if they carry variations of the white spotting gene they will have white markings.

I have read where pointed cats that were shaved, bandaged and/or suffered any sort of injury or truama (like a reaction to spot-on flea meds) will grow back darker or lighter hair depending on the temperature but after they have gone through a shedding or two, their coat returns to normal as long as the trauma is not a repetetive thing.
 

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That's good to know. Lacey was just shaved for her spay. I was wondering what color her fur would grow back....thanks, Susan for asking and Heidi and Naked for answering.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
nakedorchid: I have only recently started reading up on genetics, but as Heidi says, bi-colors have both a pointed gene and a white-spotted gene, which accounts for their bi-color pattern, combined with the fact that they have points that darken over time.

I suspected Muffs coloring would likely return back to the way it was, although I guess she will be our experiment and we shall know for sure next Spring!

saitenyo: I too am curious about the impact of environment. For example, do pointed cats tend to go darker when they live in colder climates, such as Toronto where I am versus California where you are? Hmmm...I wonder.
 

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saitenyo: I too am curious about the impact of environment. For example, do pointed cats tend to go darker when they live in colder climates, such as Toronto where I am versus California where you are? Hmmm...I wonder.
Yeah, I was wondering that too! Like, would the temp I keep my condo affect the way their colors come in? I assume genetics still has an impact on coat darkness too, since Apollo has always been much darker than Athena, despite the fact that most of his growth and marking development occured during the scorching CA summer, while we just got Athena in October.

But I wonder if Athena would, say, be slightly darker in a colder climate, or slightly lighter if she grew up during the summer, etc.
 
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