Meet Ego. He's a Chocolate Lynx Point Ragdoll cat from Australia that now lives in Hong Kong with Ian.
Ian wrote to Floppycats.com and said, "My 2 year old baby is fading. Kis “points” were very dark. Then he moulted and shed a lot of hair (middle of summer). But now his points are being and not dark chocolate brown. He is otherwise healthy and happy and eating etc. The vet couldnt find anything wrong, No fleas or diseases. He scratched under his chin but not a lot. Any help most welcomed."
So I forwarded his message to Dr. Jenn, who replied: "Theres probably some dilute gene in his pedigree coming through. They continue to shade for up to 3 years. Jenn"
Then I asked Ian to please forward photos.
When Jenn saw the photos, she replied, "Hmm- thats really dramatic. Did he mention what hes feeding? Jenn."
Ian got a lot of responses from various folks on our Yahoo! Group and others:
"Its is probably hormone related or stress related.....Cats can shed extra and change color also from heat and weather."
"He might have a low grade fever"
Ian is looking for additional suggestions if anyone can help! Please leave a comment below for Ian!
Here are more details.
He came from Australia in June where its winter - when it is 10 C (50F) there. His new owner had him for a month in June but he attacked her resident matriarch excessively so that's why she decided to find him a new home. He was in an animal shelter for a few days before Ian got him. They also neutered him at that time and vaccinated him (routine procedure). So it looked like this:
Breeder in Australia -> quarantine --> 1st HK carer and home --> Animal Shelter --> Ian (final and forever home).
I adopted him in the middle of July and he was fine for a month. Then in the middle of August he started to shed hair.
In Hong Kong, the summer really hots up in July and August to 33/34 C (91.4F/93.2F).
He started shedding a *lot* of hair (carpets covered in it). He lost loads of hair around his neck and was scratching and that's why Ian thought frontline would be good for him (and the other 2 - though they have never had a problem with fleas). I took him to the vet a week after that and the vet gave him the all clear health wise but suggested changing his food to "hypoallergenic". He didn't really like that at all!
Ian took him to the vet a week later (as he was getting even paler) and they could find no pests or spot any sign of ill health - only his fur was wrong. That's when Ian changed his food to another hypo allergenic type.
He has vomited some large fur balls - one was 3" long and another about 4" long. They were white, matted fur. Ian put him on fur ball temptations which also has a Vit B12 supplement in it.
He seems to have lost his "ruff" and a lot of hair around his neck and face. This fur went very "hard" and wirey but is growing back now and is very fluffy. His coat has taken on a beige appearance though his "points" are more gray than chocolate brown.
The two little ones do fight quite roughly and Ian also wonders if that has anything to do with his hair loss (from the trauma - though they are both clipped and there is never any blood or visible soreness even)
Since then he seems to have grown some fur back and his body is darker (beige instead of white). His ears still look "naked" and he has lost his ruff. Other than that he is happy, eating, drinking, sleeping and generally playful (well a lot playful really!). His "sister" Cha is 1 1/2 and they chase around the house playing tag, playing ball and fighting. They are really close and have started grooming each other which is so sweet.
Ian hopes the cool weather brings some resolution to this. His breeder says he will get darker and stay darker when he gets to the age of 4.
Ian is not so bothered about his colour but rather his health. He wants him to be healthy and strong and live forever since he loves him immensely.
Thoughts? Ideas? More Questions? Please leave a comment below for Ian!