meaning of coat color and pattern change

meownomania

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Hi! I’ve had my cat snap for about 3 months now, he use to be feral/stray and is estimated to be around 2ish years old. I’ve recently noticed that the stripes/patterns on his coat have become a lot more noticeable and certain parts of his coat have become much darker. Before he was almost purly cream and white but now he has tabby patterns on the cream and it almost gets red in some parts! Does anyone know what might have caused this or is it just something that happens in cats? It was just interesting to me so i was wondering if there was an explanation!
 
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meownomania

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Hi! I’ve had my cat snap for about 3 months now, he use to be feral/stray and is estimated to be around 2ish years old. I’ve recently noticed that the stripes/patterns on his coat have become a lot more noticeable and certain parts of his coat have become much darker. Before he was almost purly cream and white but now he has tabby patterns on the cream and it almost gets red in some parts! Does anyone know what might have caused this or is it just something that happens in cats? It was just interesting to me so i was wondering if there was an explanation!
before
 

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Kris107

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If you had a picture, it'd be better, but my guess is he's color pointed. Prob some type of lynx point. Pointed cats get darker in areas where their body is colder. Typically the extremities but as they age, usually more of their body too.
 
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meownomania

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If you had a picture, it'd be better, but my guess is he's color pointed. Prob some type of lynx point. Pointed cats get darker in areas where their body is colder. Typically the extremities but as they age, usually more of their body too.
i attached some photos!
 

Kris107

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What is his history? Was he an adolescent in his "lighter" pictures and now is adult? Sometimes the colors do become more defined as they get older.
 

Margret

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Was he emaciated when you got him? A long time ago I had a black domestic long hair named Velvet who got into the trash can and ate the string that had been tied around a Thanksgiving turkey. The first we knew about it was when she started turning white and losing weight. The vet couldn't find anything on X-rays so he did exploratory surgery. The string had gotten stretched out in her intestines and had cut through - she had a perforated intestine. The vet cleaned the filth out and sewed the intestinal wall closed and then closed the incision, but she got peritonitis. It was difficult but I managed to nurse her through the peritonitis and she lived a full life span.

My point, however, is that the reason her fur started to turn white is that she was starving. Her body was desperate for calories and it scavenged the melatonin from the roots of her fur. So if Snap was starving when you got him, as so many strays are, the darker fur color now may just mean that he's finally getting adequate nutrition and it's taken a while for the fur to grow in enough for you to notice the change. Velvet looked very strange when her fur was growing in black again - more noticeable because she was a long hair and the color contrast was so large.
 
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meownomania

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What is his history? Was he an adolescent in his "lighter" pictures and now is adult? Sometimes the colors do become more defined as they get older.
i don’t really know! he was a stray, we took him to the vet when we first caught him and they said he was estimated to be 2 years old, then over the next three months we had him his color and pattern changed a bit!
 
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meownomania

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Was he emaciated when you got him? A long time ago I had a black domestic long hair named Velvet who got into the trash can and ate the string that had been tied around a Thanksgiving turkey. The first we knew about it was when she started turning white and losing weight. The vet couldn't find anything on X-rays so he did exploratory surgery. The string had gotten stretched out in her intestines and had cut through - she had a perforated intestine. The vet cleaned the filth out and sewed the intestinal wall closed and then closed the incision, but she got peritonitis. It was difficult but I managed to nurse her through the peritonitis and she lived a full life span.

My point, however, is that the reason her fur started to turn white is that she was starving. Her body was desperate for calories and it scavenged the melatonin from the roots of her fur. So if Snap was starving when you got him, as so many strays are, the darker fur color now may just mean that he's finally getting adequate nutrition and it's taken a while for the fur to grow in enough for you to notice the change. Velvet looked very strange when her fur was growing in black again - more noticeable because she was a long hair and the color contrast was so large.
that definitely would make sense, i definitely think he was underfed when we first got him and he’s already a small cat!
 

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i don’t really know! he was a stray, we took him to the vet when we first caught him and they said he was estimated to be 2 years old, then over the next three months we had him his color and pattern changed a bit!
Adolescence runs from around 6 months to about 2 years in cats, so that's likely part of it.

The important thing is that it doesn't really natter why it's happening; none of the possible causes are dangerous (no one's heard of fur patterns becoming more distinct because a cat has cancer, for instance). I know you weren't asking because you were worried; I just want to verify that there's no reason you should be worried. The important things are that Snap has a human who loves him and you have a beautiful cat who loves you. Congratulations.
 
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iPappy

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he was neutered under my care about a month ago.
As Margret Margret said, it's not life threatening at all so if we never know, no harm done. If the coat color was washing out due to lack of nutrients, this would make sense and Snap is incredibly lucky to have you.
I've noticed changes in coat colors/pigments after spaying or neutering. But most of the time, the coat color gets a bit more washed out vs. more intense.
 
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