The characteristics of the fur of cats are determined by their genetics, and our friends at Catademy will tell us how exactly. It is that their genes are responsible for the coloration, pattern, length, and texture of feline fur.
Sometimes we can see a change in the color of the coat and the question arises: how can this change happen? Keep reading, which in this article we will explain.
Aging affects the hair of felines just like that of humans
This is a common change as we age: the advent of gray hair. This mark of aging may be a timely reminder of never taking for granted the unconditional love we receive from our pets.
The skin temperature can induce a change of color in the fur of cats
This is the case for oriental races such as the Himalayas and the Siamese. Himalayan kittens are born with almost creamy fur, while Siamese kittens are born white. As they begin to grow, areas of dark hair begin to appear in their coats according to the temperature of the skin at different points of their anatomy.
Thus, in warmer areas such as the neck and body, their fur remains lighter. In other areas where the skin is colder – the tail, legs, face, and ears – the hair becomes darker.
Also, the ambient temperature can play a role in the color of the fur. Therefore, your points may darken or become lighter depending on the season.
It is important to note that a change in the color of the coat in these breeds can also indicate that you are sick and that you have a higher temperature than normal.
Black fur may turn reddish-brown if the cat does not eat meat
It is important to know that, to maintain a dark black coat and in ideal conditions, kittens will need a good supply of the amino acid tyrosine.
The reason for this requirement is that tyrosine is necessary for the formation of eumelanin, the pigment responsible for the black color in the coat.
Thus, if there is a tyrosine deficiency, the coat will undergo discoloration and will change from black to a reddish or rusty orange color. Keep in mind that tyrosine deficiency is caused by the lack of nutrition of animal proteins (meat or fish).
Copper deficiency in the diet can also induce changes in cat fur
Although not common, a copper deficiency can cause depigmentation of the colored layers, which causes a black cat’s fur to turn brown.
This mineral is necessary to convert the amino acid tyrosine into the melanin pigment. Also, copper has many other functions. For example, it is a component of several enzymes and participates in the absorption and transport of iron.
Dietary sources of copper include the liver and some grains, but pet foods are usually supplemented with copper to ensure that pets get everything they need.
The fur of cats can change color due to medical conditions
It is important to rule out the presence of failures in the metabolism or absorption of tyrosine in black cats – who receive a balanced diet – whose coat has changed color.
It is necessary to note that certain health conditions may interfere with the metabolism of tyrosine; In these cases, black fur may turn brown.
An example to mention is liver disease since it is in this organ that phenylalanine is converted into tyrosine. Additionally, thyroid and kidney problems have also been implicated as a cause of a change in coat color.
Without a doubt, when changing the coat of cats it is appropriate to consult your veterinarian. We cannot stop the aging process, but we can know why your fur may be changing color.