Colorpointed Cats Transition: Ragdoll Cats Color Progression

From their extraordinary coats, unique fur colors, to striking blue eyes, Ragdoll cats are absolutely stunning as colorpointed cats. If you’re looking to adopt a Ragdoll kitten, it’s important to know in advance what color points are and understand how their coat color changes over time. In this article, we will address all the frequently asked questions about Ragdolls’ colorations.

A photo of a blue point mitted with a blaze Ragdoll cat as a kitten and then as an adult to show an example of colorpointed cats Fiyero loved by Cynthia
Fiyero, blue point mitted with a blaze, loved by Cynthia I

How Colorpoint Cats Change the Color of their Fur Over Time

Background Information about Colorpoint Cats

Holden Clawfield much loved Lilac Lynx Ragdoll from Australia collage as kitten and adult
Holden Clawfield, much loved Lilac Lynx Points Ragdoll from Australia

Throughout their lives, colorpoint cats change their coloration pattern quite a bit. This is a fascinating process that is entirely based on genetics. Colorpoint cats get their fur color from a genetic mutation that affects an enzyme in the metabolic pathway between tyrosine and the final pigment. This mutation is temperature-sensitive, so pigment production becomes dependent on the cat’s body temperature. Higher temperatures will inhibit pigment production, while lower temperatures will boost it.

Colorpoint cats have darker extremities (with various patterns), because their body temperature is lower in these areas. They present a lighter shade on the rest of their bodies, because the local temperature is higher there. However, the unique temperature distribution over each cat’s body depends on a wide variety of factors, and it changes throughout the cat’s life.

This local temperature map is one of the reasons why there is a very large diversity of color-pointed cats.

Changes in Body Temperature

Since color-pointed cats are genetically wired to change their color due to fluctuations in their body temperature, they are essentially a living heat map. Here are a few of the factors that typically cause these fluctuations and what you can expect:


Seal Point Bicolor Ragdoll Cat Abby Kitten at 4 months and 12 months colorpoint collage
Seal Point Bicolor Ragdoll Cat Abby (L) Kitten at 4.5 months and (R) 12.5 months

Body temperature varies greatly as cats age. Young cats have alert metabolisms, which keep their temperatures up, and their extremities are rather small, so they are more likely to have bright white or pale ivory fur when they are young. As these gorgeous cats age, their metabolism slows down, which causes their body temperature to decrease. This is when the first changes in color can be noticed in a colorpoint cat, as they start to develop darker colors on their paws, nose, ears, and tails.

Depending on the specific genetic background of each cat, the darker areas in the extremities could get larger, the lighter area could get darker, or even both. The older they get, the darker those colors will be.

color point cats collage - Dean Merlin Winchester of Rags2Riches 8 mos old Seal Mitted loved by Theresa
Dean Merlin Winchester of Rags2Riches – 8 mos old Seal Mitted loved by Theresa

To give you a better idea of just how much colorpoint cats can change fur color as they reach adulthood, here are some pictures where you can observe the differences between kittens and adults. Notice that the fur on the cats’ paws, faces, ears, and tails get darker as they age.

However, how much darker these get depends entirely on the individual. This is just one of the amazing traits of these adorable floppy kittens.

While it is perfectly normal for colorpoint kittens to start out with white fur and get darker points as they enter adulthood, there are other reasons why Ragdoll colors might change throughout their lives. Here are a few of them:

Local Injuries

When a cat suffers local injuries, like scratches, bumps, and bruises, scar tissue is formed. Scar tissue is not as efficient in conducting heat, so colorpoint Ragdolls can get darker fur in the areas where they suffered these injuries.


Health problems can also cause dramatic temperature fluctuations in a cat’s body color. A large number of acute diseases cause fever, while chronic diseases usually lead to a lower temperature. These changes can be visible in a Ragdoll coat. The longer the temperature change is maintained, the more the pigment changes will have the time to come up.

Do you have a color-pointed cat? Have you noticed the color of its fur changing over time? Tell me about it in the comments section below and share your pictures with our readers.

Where are color points generally found in cats?

Zachariah a Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat Kitten vs Adult loved by Laurie 3 photo collage
Zachariah a Seal Mitted Ragdoll Cat, loved by Laurie

There are several places on kitties’ bodies besides their luxurious coat that different colors can appear. As mentioned earlier, color points are dark color patterns found on cats. These color points can help us distinguish cats’ breeds, so cat owners need to be aware of where they should look for. 

Here are some of the most common parts of a cat’s body that can change color:

The Nose Leather

Noses are very important for distinguishing colorpoint cats from other cats. In the case of colorpoint cats, their nose is always darker in color than the rest of the body. Cats’ noses are always cooler than the rest of the body. This results in continuous pigment production in the nose area, thus causing its darker color.

Theodore Roosevelt a Mink seal mitted 18lb boy loved by Kristen
Theodore Roosevelt, a Mink seal mitted 18lb boy, loved by Kristen

Paw Pads

Cats’ paws are the furthest parts from the center of their bodies, so they are often the coldest parts of their bodies. This results in excessive production of pigments in the paw pads, and the specific color can be unique to each cat. This is why cat breeders often use paw pads to differentiate between colorpoint cats when they’re little.

colorpoint cat Fiona seal point mink ragdoll at 12 weeks and 8 years loved by Stacey and Jon
Fiona, seal point mink ragdoll, at 12 weeks and 8 years, loved by Stacey and Jon

Types of Color Point Cats

Any cat owner can tell you that cats come in all shapes and sizes, and that they all have unique personalities. At Floppycats, we joke that each Ragdoll kitty takes pride in being unique, so they make sure to have different color points. Some of the most common color points found in Ragdoll cats are as follows:

Honey a Seal Mink Mitted Ragdoll cat at 5 months and one year loved by Debra collage
Honey, a Seal Mink Mitted Ragdoll cat at 5 months and one year, loved by Debra

Tortie Point

Wondering about what tortie point means? The word “tortie” comes from tortoise shells. Tortie points are found in the form of mottled or flickered points, rather than solid ones. This coloration is also observed with tortoise shells, and that’s how these spots got the name of tortie points.

12 weeks old to 3 years old Chloe a mitted blue color point with blue eyes loved by Erica Litchfield photo collage
12 weeks old to 3 years old! Chloe, a mitted blue color point with blue eyes loved by Erica Litchfield

Cream Point

Any cat with any albinism sensitivity to temperature is referred to as a cream point cat. Cream colorpoint cats have darker extremities, while the rest of the body stays a warm cream color. Click here if you are interested in learning more about cream point cats.

Cinnamon Points

Most cat lovers mistakenly confuse cinnamon point cats with chocolate point cats. Cinnamon point cats are characterized by having rusty-brown and warm-colored color points. This unique coloration is due to the specific alleles that cinnamon point cats inherit from their parents.

color pointed cats collage as baby and adult Hunter a Blue Mitted Ragdoll cat at 8 months and two years two mont

Fawn Point

The fawn point is a lighter version of cinnamon colorpoint cats, that almost looks like rose gold. Colorpoint cats with a paler version of cinnamon points at their extremities, such as nose, paws, tails, etc., are called Fawn point cats, and they can exhibit a range of pink tones.

Chocolate point

The rarest type of colorpoint cats is the chocolate point Ragdoll. They have warm milk chocolate-colored noses, paws, tails, ears, and faces. In contrast, all chocolate point cats have light brown coats. This gives chocolate point cats a look that is similar to seal point Siamese cats. A simple method to differentiate the two is by looking at the paws. Chocolate point cats have pinkish toes, while seal point cats have dark brown toes. 

color point cat Hugo Blue Lynx Bicolor collage photo laying in the same bowl as baby and adult owned by Tonia
Hugo Blue Lynx Bicolor owned by Tonia

Lilac point

Lilac Ragdoll cats are known to possess white coats and light greyish-colored color points. Lilac point cats are one of the most famous cats when it comes to colorpoint cats because of their beauty, which contributes to their price range. Because they start out as white kittens, it is a very noticeable change of color over time.

12 weeks old to 3 years old Thumper a mitted blue color point with blue eyes and a small blaze loved by Erica Litchfield
12 weeks old to 3 years old! Thumper, a mitted blue color point with blue eyes and a small blaze loved by Erica Litchfield

Flame Point

Flame point cats (also known as redpoint cats) are characterized by having orange points on their extremities that give them a very distinct look, especially compared to their base color, which is a brighter apricot shade compared to other cats.

Ragdoll Cat Blue Mitted Lynx Mink Napa at 5 months and 4 years old collage as baby and adult cat
Napa at 5 months and 4 years old. He’s a Blue Mitted Lynx Mink. Loved by Lynn

Chocolate Tortie

Can’t differentiate between a tortie cat and a chocolate tortie cat? Well, no need to worry! A regular tortie cat can have all kinds of flecked color points. Meanwhile, cats that only have chocolate flecked points have the honor to be called chocolate tortie cats.

Blue point

color pointed cats seal transitions Fiyero blue point mitted with a blaze loved by Cynthia
Fiyero, blue point mitted with a blaze, loved by Cynthia

Colorpoint cats with dark grey color points are classified as blue point cats. A blue Ragdoll cat has a dark grey nose, ears, tails, paws, and feet. This adds a certain elegance to cats, and that’s why blue point Ragdoll cats are so sought after by cat lovers all around the globe.

Colorpoint Cat Breeds

Leo a Blue Mitted Ragdoll cat loved by Joel and Tammy fur changes as kitten and adult
Leo, a Blue Mitted Ragdoll cat, loved by Joel and Tammy

Leo at 4 months and 2 years

Many cats are classified as colorpoint cats, not only the Ragdoll breed. Different cat breeds exhibit different color point patterns, so we have a short account of all the colorpoint cat breeds, to help you find the perfect cat for your family.

American Shorthair Cat

Colorpoint American Shorthair is a mix of Siamese and American shorthair breeds. This beautiful mix results in a cat with color points resembling that of Siamese cats, but with shorter fur and more muscular bodies. Colorpoint American Shorthair cats can have tortie points or even tabby markings, which aren’t usually present in Siamese cats.

Siamese Cats

The Siamese cat breed is the most famous amongst all the colorpoint cat breeds. These cats are well known for their playful, energetic personalities and unique vocals. But what sets them apart from all other cat breeds is their color points. They have highly defined color points that come in many color groups.

Ragdoll cat Seal Mink Mitted Pickles loved by Virginia color pointed cats
Ragdoll cat Seal Mink Mitted Pickles loved by Virginia

Colorpoint Shorthair Cats

Not a fan of the American shorthair breed? Well, no need to worry, as there are many other shorthair colorpoint cat breeds. Most of these breeds originate by mixing Siamese cats with other shorthair cats. As a result of this thorough mixing, you can find shorthair colorpoint cats in 16 different color pairs

Snowshoe Cats

The Snowshoe cat breed is another color point cat breed recognized by the Cat Fanciers’ Association (CFA). 

The Snowshoe cat breed is another colorpoint cat breed recognized by the Cat Fanciers Association (CFA). The Snowshoe breed is also a result of mixing Siamese cats with other cat breeds. This is why Snowshoe cats can have different sets of color points. Common color points that are associated with snowshoe cats are: 

  • Lilac
  • Seal
  • Blue
  • Chocolate
  • Grey
Ragdoll Cat Seal Point Bicolor Kitten to Adult seal transitions
Lisa’s girl Abby Seal point bicolor 3.5 months and 8.5 months.

Birman Cats

Birman cat breed is a trendy colorpoint shorthair breed amongst lovers of color-pointed cats. The biggest reason for the immense popularity of this fantastic cat breed is the sheer number of color points it has. 

Due to the diligent work of some adventurous breeders, Birman cats can be found having ten different types of color points, namely: 

  1. Seal Point
  2. Blue Point
  3. Lilac Point
  4. Chocolate Point
  5. Red Point
  6. Cream Point
  7. Tortie Point
  8. Smoke Point
  9. Tabby
  10. Silver Tabby

You can predict the cat’s coloration by the way its parents look, although, as stated, there can definitely be big differences between kittens, even in the same litter.

Ragdoll cat Seal Mink Mitted Pickles loved by Virginia baby photo to adult collage
Ragdoll cat Seal Mink Mitted Pickles loved by Virginia

Tonkinese Cats

Tonkinese cats are quite popular amongst color point cat aficionados. Like all other color point cats, Tonkinese cats are also characterized by darker extremities. Color points common in Tonkinese cats are: 

  • Cream point
  • Lilac point
  • Redpoint

Burmese Cats

The CFA also classifies Burmese cats as color point cats, due to different color point patterns that are common for the breed. 

They are produced by mixing Siamese cats with wild Bengal cats, and they continuously rank high in popularity polls.

Diseases That Can Cause Cats to Lose Color Points

seal point lynx Ragdoll cat at 7 8 weeks and at 14 months loved by Lorrie
Boo, a seal point lynx Ragdoll cat at 7-8 weeks and at 14 months loved by Lorrie

It is important to know that there are some diseases that can affect the production of color points in cats and cause them to lose their color points. Here are a couple of them:


Albinism is a condition where not enough pigments are formed in the body, resulting in cats having completely white coats. 

This can show up in cats who are bred to be colorpointed, as no matter what genes a cat inherits from its parents, albinism can turn all those genes recessive. That’s why we recommend that cat breeders test for any albinism-related genes before crossing a pair of cats.


Asthma can also contribute to affecting color point production in cats. As mentioned earlier, color points are formed at the coolest parts of the body because of body temperature, but asthma can completely change this equation, because kitties experience fever-like symptoms during asthma attacks. If asthma isn’t treated for a long time, these fever-like symptoms can significantly increase the body temperature and inhibit pigment production even in body extremities.

Read more about Feline asthma from our Interview with Sarah Brandon, DVM.

Colorpoint Cats’ Fur Pictures

color pointed cats Dylan at 2 months and 2 years collage photo
Dylan at 2 months and 2 years. Dylan is a seal mink mitted ragdoll.

These pictures will show you the delightful variation of this color change among colorpoints, sourced from our Floppycats Facebook community. Enjoy!

Seal Transitions

Tessa is a seal bicolor loved by Cynthia photo collage from baby to adult
Tessa is a seal bicolor loved by Cynthia
Harley a Seal Bicolor Ragdoll cat loved by Debi collage small kitten to a grown cat
Harley, a Seal Bicolor Ragdoll cat, loved by Debi
Ragdoll Cat Seal Point Bicolor Kitten to Adult loved by Mary collage baby and adult
Pippin, a seal bicolor Ragdoll cat, loved by Mary
Binx purrfect seal color pointed cats Ragdoll cat loved by His family five photo collage transition from kitten to adult
Binx, a purrfect seal colorpoint Ragdoll cat, loved by His family!
Shelby a Seal Tortie Bicolor Ragdoll cat loved by Joel and Tammy
Shelby, a Seal Tortie Bicolor Ragdoll cat, loved by Joel and Tammy
Shelby at 4 months and 2 years

Blue Transitions

Sam Dallas Winchester of Rags2Riches 8 mos old Blue Mitted loved by Theresa collage photo
Sam Dallas Winchester of Rags2Riches – 8 mos old Blue Mitted loved by Theresa
Ragdoll Cat Jeffrey at 2 months and 18 moths old Blue Mitted with a blaze color pointed cats
Ragdoll Cat Jeffrey at 2 months and 18 months old (Blue Mitted with a blaze) loved by Stacey

Are you thinking of adopting a Ragdoll kitten? You might enjoy our book, A Ragdoll Kitten Care Guide.

Website | + posts

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

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  1. Wow! Super fascinating info about the color changes. And the before/after pics are quite helpful. I had no idea. Science is certainly amazing. Thanks for your always helpful explanations.


  2. I have two siblings that are half ragdoll and half tabby, both approximately two years old. Louis, the brother, had looked lighter orange and creamy. I really thought it was my imagination! Them being floppy and cuddly now makes sense after what I’ve been reading about them. I love them dearly!

  3. Great information! I have two (red) colorpoints – one is definitely a cream point (Giovanni) and Armani likely is as well although it’s hard to know whether he is a cream or a flame point. I’d love to share pictures with you. I see your email above so I’ll send a few to you. Thanks for sharing – it’s hard to find good side by sides of the changes that happen within many colorpointed cats.

  4. They’re all such beauties! 🙂

  5. Jeanne Ganiere Rasmussen says:

    Beautiful photos of color transitions in these Ragdolls, some are very dramatic that I would not have predicted. My Simon, a blue eyed white, did not transition, other than having a faint tinge of yellow on the bridge of his nose that is barely noticeable.

  6. I have a seal point lynx kitten who has changed so much! I’d love for you to see her! How can I submit pictures to you?

  7. When my late baby Gandalf the Grey was older we would get him the lion cut in the Summer months. As his coat grew back in, every other year his back would shift between being all white to almost all greyand then back to almost all white the following year. My lil kaleidoscope! He was a blue mitted boy.

    Great article Jenny, very informative & oh all those precious colorful fluffy snuggly babies!! <3 <3

  8. a Smörgåsbord of beautiful cats!! wow, they are all so gorgeous.

  9. SUPER PAWESOME & INFORMATIVE POST, Jenny!! It is ABSOLUTELY FASCINATING about the color transitioning with the Ragdoll breed! SOOOO AMAZING!!! LURVE the GREAT EDUCATION about it and the pics are fabulous!!! 🙂 <3

    Great job with this one, hon! Truly! 🙂 <3

    Big hugs & lots of love!

    Patti & Miss Pink Sugarbelle 🙂 <3

    1. yes, this is one of my favorite posts – thank goodness for readers who made it happen =)

      1. Floppycatters’ lurve for their kittehs is limitless! FC-ers are da best!!! 🙂 <3

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