MGA2 14-19a

Temperature-sensitive melanin production in Himalayan (chh / chh) cats


    Expression of the melanin-producing alleles at the C locus in mammals is influenced by environmental temperature. The chh / chh genotype produces a dilute form of melanin, which is only expressed in extremities (muzzle, paws, tail, and ears) where the body temperature is cold. New-born kittens do not express the chh allele, having just emerged from a warm environment. If the extremities of an adult cat are shaved and kept warm, the fur will grow back without pigment.


All text material ©2012 by Steven M. Carr