Animals with white fur are idealised in fairy tales and cartoons in which they are mystified as rarities baring magical powers. White-furred animals are also often associated with wealth and decadence, with many of the rich and famous seen adorned in pure white fur garments or cuddling up to a fluffy white pet. Many different types of animals have white fur as a matter of course, while for some it is an anomaly of nature.
When most people think about animals with white fur, polar bears are usually the first thing that comes to mind. However, polar bears' fur is in fact transparent. Each hair shaft is pigment-free and hollow, allowing it to reflect the light around them which is the white of the snow, ice and sun. In zoo environments, polar bears have turned green due to algae growing within their hollow hair shafts.
White Fur Rabbit Breeds
Some rabbits have short fur and others have long fur but Rex breeds of rabbits have a dense, white velvety-like fur in both. Several breeds of rabbits have white fur including the Britannia Petite, Californian, Blance de Hotot, Florida White, Angora, Himalayan and New Zealand. However many rabbits have coats in shades including black, grey, chocolate, ginger and tortoise shell.
White Fur Dog Breeds
For those wanting a white dog, there are several breeds from which to choose that have a solid white coat. The beautiful, friendly American Eskimo or Spitz comes in toy, miniature and standard sizes. The petite Maltese breed has a long, silky white coat. Jack Russells are a small dog with a short coat and are available in solid white as well black and tan. Other solid white breeds include Mucuchies, Akbash, Poodle, Pyrenean Mountain Dog and Bichon Frise.
White Fur Cat Breeds
There are long and shorthair cat breeds with solid white coats including the Persian, American Shorthair, Siberian, Oriental Longhair, Maine Coon and Norwegian Forest Cat. A genetic oddity, cats with white fur are often prone to deafness, usually have odd-coloured eyes and are more susceptible to sunburn than coloured cats.
Albinos are rare and lack colouration due to an absence of melanin production in their eyes, skin and hair. Albinism can effect all vertebrates, including humans, occurring approximately one out of every 10,000 births. Without the camouflage provided by their coats, albino animals have a low rate or survival in the wild. White tigers, white bison and white alligators and crocodiles are all examples of a mutating gene producing white animals.