What’s the Difference Between Albino and White Cats?

White cat
Photo by engin akyurt on Unsplash

Albino and white cats can look the same at first glance due to their pure white coat, but the similarities end there. Once you scratch beneath the surface, albino and white cats are nothing alike because there are many differences that affect both their appearance and their health.

Lack of Melanin

One of the albino cats’ main characteristics is a lack of melanin, which leads to the absence of color in their fur, skin, and eyes. Their discoloration is caused by a missing or damaged TYR gene, but that’s not the case with white cats – they simply possess the dominant white gene (W), which masks other colors, resulting in the pure white coat.

Eye & Skin Color

Albino cats and white cats can have similar coat colors, but it’s easier to tell the difference once you pay attention to their eyes and skin. The eye color of white cats can vary, while albinos tend to have blue and pinkish eyes, and their skin is also pink or pale due to lack of melanin.

Health Problems

White cats with blue eyes can sometimes be deaf, but they generally enjoy good health apart from that. That’s not the case with albino cats, and they tend to face a long list of health problems, from impaired vision and poor depth perception to sun sensitivity, which can lead to sunburns and even skin cancer.