Color-pointed cat breeds, like Ragdoll cats, are known for their beautiful and distinctive coat colors. However, it is important to note that these cats can undergo color changes that might appear striking. While color changes can occur naturally in some cases, it is crucial not to overlook the underlying cause, as it could be an indication of an underlying health issue. Keeping a watchful eye on your feline companion’s coat alterations can help ensure their well-being and provide timely care if needed.
Why Do Cats Change Color?
Several factors can cause a cat to change color. The pigment production in fur can increase or decrease, adjusting the shade and density of color in fur as it grows.
The most significant impact on fur color is temperature. When your cat is warm, the pigments that cause fur colors to decrease, and fur will change to lighter shades.
Time of year will be one of the biggest drivers of temperature change – and, therefore, a change in your cat’s fur color. A winter coat can look more colorful as the cat’s body is cooler.
While not common, some dietary factors can affect hair color. A deficiency in amino acids can turn black fur into a reddish color. At the same time, a lack of copper or zinc can also cause the color to fade.
Some environmental factors can impact your cat’s fur color, such as exposure to chlorine around a pool or a lot of sunlight.
Sometimes cats with a fever can have their fur change color because their internal temperature is spiking.
Inflammations and infections can also raise a kitty’s body temperature, changing its fur color.
Cats can suffer from stress, and just like in humans, that can have the physiological effect of raising the body temperature. Do you know how humans go grey with stress? It’s like that with kitties, but just a lighter fur shade.
Certain skin problems can cause a cat’s fur to change color because that part of the body is warmer.
You might assume that losing weight means a cooler kitty. Actually, it can increase blood flow to the muscular tissue, raising the temperature and changing the fur color.
If you have to shave your kitty, their fur will likely grow back a darker shade. Shaving them cools them down, which means the pigmentation increases.
Don’t Ignore Color Changes
While it’s usually OK for your cat’s fur color to change, don’t ignore it if you can’t pinpoint the reason. If the environment temperature hasn’t changed, look for other symptoms, as your cat may have a fever, inflammation, or skin issue that needs treatment.
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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,