My Siamese Dumbo Boys Banner- Seal Point (left) & Stark Blue Points (right)
Color Point :: Genetics c(h)c(h)
Siamese are my pride, passion, the first variety I worked with and my main focus of my rattery. I deeply love Siamese as a variety.
Description: Siamese are a distinct color-point variety. They have points on the nose, feet and bum and shading of color over their body. The more common is the Seal Point Siamese, which is Black based ( aa c(h)c(h) ) and when someone just says "Siamese" without any additional qualifications, they are generally referring to a Seal Point with Ruby Eyes. But Siamese can come in different colors and if they have the black eyed gene, have Black eyes ( Be c(h)c(h) ).
They are little color changers! Siamese start out life as a dark shaded beige colored (if black based/Seal Point) and on their first molt the color fades and their points darken, leaving them with a creamy shaded body color and points on their butt, ears, nose, and feet - ideally.
Why does this happen?
The Siamese pattern has a somewhat unusual cause. Called acromelanism, this pattern develops because it is thermo-sensitive (the darkness of the fur color is determined by the temperature of its environment). The colder it is, the darker the fur comes in. This is why those areas on the rat which are cooler (nose, ears, feet, tail) have darker fur than the body which is warm. It is also why Siamese rats are darker in the winter than they are in the summer.- AFRMA
The picture to the right is a good picture of how Siamese changes. This is all one rat, my boy Dean. As a baby, he was quite dark as you can see!
AFRMA's Standard for Seal Point Siamese:
Body color to be medium beige gradually and evenly shaded over saddle and hindquarters towards the belly, being darkest at base of tail. Tail color to extend down the length of the tail. Belly to be light beige. Points (nose, ears, feet, tail, and tail-root) to be rich dark sepia and to shade evenly into the body color. Eyes red or light ruby.
Gene: aa c(h)c(h)
AFRMA's Standard for Blue Point Siamese:
Body color to be ivory (the darker the better) with a warm blue cast gradually and evenly shaded over the saddle and hindquarters towards the belly, being darkest at the base of the tail. The points (nose, ears, feet, tail, and tail-root) to be a medium slate blue. They should not have a definite or distinct line of demarcation but rather a toning or merging with the remainder of the coat. There should be no white hairs, blotches, streaks, or mealiness of the color. Eyes red or ruby.
Gene: aa c(h)c(h) gg
IMPORTANT NOTE: Sadly by far, most Siamese are not to standard. They can have poor light points or no points if marked.
Ideally, Siamese would be self/unmarked (meaning the entire body has uniform color, no white). A marked Siamese just means it has other markings, i.e. hooded, capped, Berkshire, etc...
Marked Siamese will not have points where their markings (white) are. So they may end up with only some points - usually just the nose and none on their butt or feet or they can have no points and appear all white even. Sometimes they have have half a nose point. They tend to be kind of wonky during their molt.
Marked Siamese are not ideal and not suitable for showing. They are more of a pet quality vs a show quality. It is just preference and there is nothing wrong with a marked Siamese as a pet :)
I currently do carry marked Siamese in my lines. I am working to improve my Siamese lines to better show quality.
What is wrong with a Marked Siamese? Well their points will never be as rich or dark or beautiful as with a nonmarked. Siamese can be truly beautiful and so as a breeder ofcourse I want that to shine as a truly remarkable example of what a Siamese can be!
The Siamese variety began in the UK in the 1970's and were brought to the United States in the 1980's.
AFRMA has wonderful write ups on the history:
The History of the Siamese Rat in the UK
Pictured right: Siamese Harley >