If you love being around cats, you might have noticed that their fur can sometimes change color for reasons that don’t seem immediately obvious. This is fascinating, but it can also be a little bit frightening if you have a favorite cat that suddenly starts changing color and you don’t know what is happening. As it turns out, your cat’s fur can change color for a number of different reasons. A lot of it has to do with the particular breed of cat in question, as well as things like body temperature and even the seasons of the year.
Certain Breeds Tend to Change Color More Frequently
It’s true that certain breeds of cats have a tendency to change color more frequently than other breeds. Those that are most often affected include Siamese and Himalayan cats. Their fur often changes color because the pigment of their skin underneath the fur is changing. More often than not, this happens as the cats get older. That is precisely why you see a lot of cats, especially where these breeds are concerned, whose coat color changes a great deal from the time that the cat is very young until it grows into adulthood. As previously mentioned, this is something that can also be seen with other breeds, although it isn’t quite as prevalent as it is with the two aforementioned breeds of cats. In addition to changing color as they grow into adults, they also have a tendency to change color as they age well after they have reached adulthood. It’s also worth noting that the infamous black cat, the one that is the subject of so much superstition and lore, also tends to change color as it grows older. While black cats do indeed maintain their black fur color for the majority of their lives, many of them tend to become more red than black as they grow into old age. If you see an older cat running around that is chestnut or liver-colored, there’s a better than average chance that the same cat was as black as the night when it was younger.
Too Much Sun Can Change the Color of Your Cat’s Fur
You might also be interested to know that spending too much time in the sun can change the color of your cat’s fur, essentially bleaching it. This is far different from the types of color changes that you see as a cat naturally ages. A cat that has been spending too much time in the sun often looks similar to a pair of acid washed jeans in its appearance. As such, their hair color starts becoming lighter and lighter over time. The exact same thing happens when they have a lack of an important mineral called tyrosine in their diet. If you have a cat that looks like their hair has been bleached and they spend a great deal of time outdoors, it may be time to start regulating their time outside, effectively keeping them inside the house for longer periods of time each day. However, if you’re experiencing the same thing with a cat that spends the majority of his or her time indoors, it’s probably because the cat is lacking the mineral tyrosine and needs to have its diet changed in order to make the necessary adjustments.
Some Cats Get Darker During the Winter
Remember how it was previously mentioned that seasonal changes can also affect the color of your cat’s fur? You might be interested to know that in some breeds, cats tend to get darker during the winter because of the colder climate. Again, it has everything to do with the way the pigment of the skin is affected underneath the fur. When cats are experiencing a colder climate, their bodies react in much the same way that a human body reacts in extreme cold. Blood is shunted away from extremities like the paws and the tip of the tail in order to keep the vital organs warm enough to function properly. That is precisely why you sometimes see your cat’s paws or the end of their tail getting darker when it starts getting colder outside. This is especially true if your cat has a tendency to spend quite a lot of time outdoors or if you live in a climate that experiences rather extreme cold temperatures during the winter months. It’s even more pronounced if you just happen to have a cat that is more likely to change color because of outside circumstances, such as a Siamese or Himalayan cat.
Last but not least, the color of your cat’s fur can also be directly impacted by hormone imbalances. If your cat starts changing color very suddenly, this is likely the cause. If you notice this, it’s important that you get your cat seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible, as you need to identify the cause for the hormone imbalance and then understand what can be done to correct it. Hormone imbalances can affect your cat’s overall health, not just the color of his fur. In addition, it’s crucial to get to the bottom of things in order to understand if it is a simple hormone imbalance that can be corrected with medication or if there is something more serious that is causing the imbalance, such as a tumor.
As you can see, there are a number of reasons that your cats might be changing color. One or two of them pose a potential cause for concern but in most cases, it simply means that your cat is growing and aging normally or that he is responding to a different climate. While many cat owners never notice the subtle changes that happen in their cat’s fur, others pick up on it right away. Still others are shocked to learn that the fluffy white kitten that they fell in love with eventually grew up to have a dark gray coat that was almost black in certain places. If you think that’s shocking, imagine choosing a black cat because you have a love for these misunderstood creatures, only to have them turn red in their old age.