Why is my cat's fur changing colour?


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Cat expert Celia Haddon explains why the colour of cat fur may appear to change over time...

Q) George, my black cat, is about nine years old. His fur colour seems to be changing from black to a brownish colour. Is this normal or am I imagining it? Your Cat reader.

CELIA SAYS: One way to check if you are just imagining the colour change is to look back on some photos from a year or more ago. Sometimes, if a cat has spent a lot of time in the sun, the fur lightens slightly. But if the fur looks very different, ask yourself if you have changed his diet for an inferior one? Cats with black fur require a higher concentration of dietary tyrosine, an amino acid found in protein, to turn their hair into a dark black. If they don’t get enough of this, their fur turns reddish, though the diet is fine in all other respects. It would also be wise to consult your vet about any serious colour change. There are diseases that can affect fur colour. The fur in cats that have adrenal problems, for example, may turn from black to red-brown, but there are usually other symptoms including hair loss and sickness. Older black cats sometimes show more white hairs in their coat, but the fur doesn’t turn brown.

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