This article is from the Traditional Siamese Breed FAQ, by Laura Gilbreath firstname.lastname@example.org.
The "pointing" gene creates the distinct color pattern that
distinguishes the Siamese breed. This gene is recessive: two pointed
parents will always produce pointed kittens.
The Siamese kitten is pure white at birth - the gene that produces the
"points" on the face, paws, and tail is heat sensitive, and the point
color gradually develops on the cooler parts of the body. In some
breeding lines, and in warmer climates, the point color may not fully
develop until the cat is over a year old.
Older cats have a darker body color than young cats and kittens,
though there is still a marked contrast between the body color and the
The Seal Point Siamese is genetically a black cat, but the pointing
gene causes the color to manifest almost exclusively on the points. As
the cat matures, the creamy body color will usually give way to a
light shade of the point color, particularly with seal and blue
points. (For this reason, seal and blue point Siamese have relatively
short careers as show cats - it's rare to see one at a cat show over
the age of 2. Chocolate and lilac points don't darken as quickly and
can be shown longer.)
The recognized colors are: Seal Point, Blue Point, Chocolate Point,
and Lilac Point. The Red Point is not an accepted Traditional Siamese
color, though it is an accepted Siamese color in some cat