Does fur colour change?

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
MissMillie
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:36 am

Does fur colour change?

Post by MissMillie » Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:44 am

I'm just about to take on a new kitten (haven't had a kitten for over 25 years!).
I am looking at a silver tabby mixed breed - (similar to the whiskers cat) - do kittens keep their colours/patterns or do they change or fade as they get older?

alanc
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 801
Joined: Mon Oct 19, 2015 6:52 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: West Oxfordshire

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by alanc » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:25 am

From my limited experience, the patterns stay the same, but coloring can change. My two grey Maine Coon kittens had a distinct brown tinge appear as they reached about 15 months age.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1542
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by Ruth B » Mon Jun 26, 2017 7:40 am

While I have never actually seen it except in photos I have heard that some kittens can get a 'fever coat'. It normally happens in kittens that are born to an unwell mother, so is probably more common among the rescues than the good breeders. From what I understand it occurs at birth and then after a few weeks the kittens true colours start to show through, such as a smoky gray kitten at birth turning into a normal black kitten when they are a few weeks old (Buyers beware of kittens with 'unusual colouring' that are highly priced and only shown as very young kittens in internet adverts). I'm not sure quite what age they turn to their normal colouring, but certainly by the 12 weeks at which they should be homed they should have their normal coats. Of course there are also other changes that can occur in a cats coat, black can develop a brown tinge, fur can become paler, my own tabby's markings have become more distinct as the brown has become paler as she has aged particularly around the muzzle, and the black stripes have kept their darkness.

Patterns normally seem to stay the same although they do alter a little to adapt to the adult body. I also know of one kitten that appeared black at birth but then developed a few small white markings as he got older.

I guess like humans whose hair colour changes with age, a cats fur patterns and colour do as well, but the basics will stay the same.

User avatar
mr_frisky
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:32 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Surrey

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by mr_frisky » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:02 am

My Kitty's colouring got darker (on her face particularly) as she got older.

Below at a few weeks:
18033250_10211149272181118_7776136782007735258_n.jpg
...and on my avatar a couple of years ago.

User avatar
Lilith
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 3647
Joined: Sat Dec 20, 2014 8:00 pm
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: West Yorks

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by Lilith » Mon Jun 26, 2017 9:13 am

Aww the lovely Kitty!

That's a classic Siamese coat development - Siamese (and all 'pointed' coats) are affected by temperature; it's warm in the womb so the kittens are born creamy-white but in a few weeks are showing their points. As the cat ages the point colour spreads to the rest of the coat. Breeders used to try to keep Siamese as warm as possible to keep that lovely contrast of pale coat and deeper points, but I think the darkening goes on regardless - and you still have a most beautiful cat :D

User avatar
mr_frisky
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 226
Joined: Thu Mar 20, 2014 10:32 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Surrey

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by mr_frisky » Mon Jun 26, 2017 6:03 pm

Thanks, Lilith. I didn't know about Siamese and temperature.

User avatar
Ruth B
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1542
Joined: Wed Jun 15, 2016 11:31 am
No. of cats in household: 3
Location: Wolverhampton

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by Ruth B » Tue Jun 27, 2017 7:52 am

A friend of ours has a female chocolate point Ragdoll, when she was spayed the shaved area grew back dark brown as that area was cold due to the lack of fur. It took several months for it to fade to its normal pale colour.

vanilla
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 157
Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 9:43 am

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by vanilla » Thu Jun 29, 2017 10:22 am

My brown tabby had a light brown line inbetween two black lines when he was a kitten. When he grew up the light brown line had gone and he had a solid black line down his back. I think fur markings will slightly change when the cat grows up.

MissMillie
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 2
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2017 3:36 am

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by MissMillie » Sun Jul 02, 2017 6:44 am

Here is a picture, when I blow into his fur, it all appears white at the roots, that's why I wonder if he will end up all white with no grey?
Attachments
IMG_0248.JPG
IMG_0248.JPG (47.67 KiB) Viewed 2992 times

booktigger
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 2274
Joined: Thu Mar 13, 2014 1:36 pm

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by booktigger » Sun Jul 02, 2017 7:00 am

Most tabby cats have lighter hair at the roots, and because of the tabby markings, tend to have at least two colours on each hair. Generally with tabbies, the stripes become more obvious when they grow, and the fuzziness goes.

LittlePenBigHeart
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 143
Joined: Sat May 07, 2016 9:07 pm

Re: Does fur colour change?

Post by LittlePenBigHeart » Sun Jul 02, 2017 8:16 am

Yes, it definitely can change. Our two youngest started life with the most incredible colouring and patterning - a sort of smokey grey with white tips and black at the bottom. They were stunning. As they got older (they're 1 now), they've become simply black cats. However, the majority of cats stay pretty much exactly the same. If you have a tabby kitten, for example, it's generally got the same pattern and colour at the end of its life as it had at the beginning.

Post Reply