Unusual coloration and hard scabs on back

MedioLitro

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This seems more related to grooming than health, so I'll post it here. My cat was the same shade of gray for most of her life, however starting a few years ago the grey patch on her back started becoming brown. The color of her head and tail is her original color and has never changed, as you can see in the first two images. Along with the discoloration, I often see wetted bits of fur stuck together (see image 3), usually on the center of her back. Underneath this general area are hard and rough spots that I assume to be scabs, however because of her thick fur I can't get a good look. I'm not concerned about the color, she's my baby and I could care less what shade she is, I'm just worried about those scabs and whether or not they're causing her discomfort. I'm assuming the wetted parts are from her grooming herself, and she probably overgrooms that particular area because of the hard growths there, but that's just a guess. I noticed the discoloration, the wet spots and the growths at around the same time, which makes me think they're all related, but again I don't know. I've heard that old age and sunlight can cause fur to brown (she's 14 and spends a lot of time outside), however since it's only occurring on her back I don't think that's the cause. Please let me know if you've noticed similar things with your cats, I just want my baby to be happy and comfortable. Thank you so much!
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StanAndAlf

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I had an old cat, who was a rescue and got severe separation anxiety. He used to over groom something horrid, pulling out patches of fur to the point he looked like he had mange. I knew his old owners, and he never did this as younger cat. I took him to the vet, and he was diagnosed with OCD (caused by severe anxiety of moving around from home to home so many times). I was given some hormone regulators and he stopped pulling his fur, which was great.

Definitely not trying to scare you, and it is likely your issue is something completely different, just my experience.

Is she up to date with flea and tick treatment?

Does she seem more stressed than usual? If she does stress, a Feliway diffuser can help.
 

Kieka

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Have you seen a vet?

Discolored fur can be just aging, but I lean towards a medical issue with everything else you mention. She is long hair, how often do you brush or bathe her? I wouldn't be surprised if she is having trouble grooming which is leading to a build up of oils causing scabs and impacting the hair growth. But there could be underlying arthritis causing grooming issues if that is right. You really should see a vet if you haven't for a full work up.
 

Willowy

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The brown fur is dead fur that hasn't been groomed out. So, yeah, something is preventing her from being able to groom her back. Maybe she gained too much weight, has arthritis, has a dental problem, or that area is too sensitive. You can help her by combing her regularly, if she allows it. And definitely see what the vet says about the scabbing.
 
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