You have probably noticed some cats who were clearly supposed to be black change their fur, and soon they end up with spots of reddish-brown or even spots of lighter gray. Also, you may have seen Oriental-breed cats with darker fur on their sides and back, even on their faces, tails, or feet. Or maybe you’ve noticed that your own cat has changed its fur coat and that it is different than it used to be.
When it comes to this kind of changes, most people think that it is a result of older age, but there are also other factors that cause a cat’s fur to change color.
1. Nutrition plays a role in cat colors
If your cat’s diet is deficient in the amino acid tyrosine, it can cause a change in its hair color. For example, black cats fur can turn into reddish. The reason for it is because of the fact that tyrosine is needed to make melanin, the dark pigment in cat fur. So, if a cat doesn’t get enough tyrosine in his diet, his ebony fur may fade.
Another thing that can cause black furred cats to lighter is a copper deficiency and zinc excess. So, if you’ve noticed a huge change in your cat’s fur, it might be a good idea to visit your vet.
2. Temperature can affect cat colors
What most people don’t know is that when it comes to Oriental cats, the color of cat’ hair is determined by the temperature of their skin. Usually, the skin is cooler at the body’s extremities — feet, tail, and ears/face. That is why they have white or cream-colored bodies and darker “points.”
Another similar effect has the temperature in the cat’s environment.
3. Sun can change the color of cat fur
We, humans, use the sun to soak in some Vitamin D, and that results in a darker skin color. But, cats also like to sit in the sun. Even though we get darker, some cats tend to get lighter. Dark-colored cats can get bleached in the sun.
4. Cat colors can change with age
It’s pretty much inevitable. Hair color always changes with age. Just like us, cats also get older, and then they start getting gray hairs. But it’s harder to notice the gray hairs unless your cat is dark in color.