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Black Kitten Changing Colour? (What Now? Temporary?)

If your black kitten is changing color you may be wondering if this is normal or if you should be concerned.

Is it normal for a black kitten to change color?

It’s normal for a black cat to change color. When a black cat is born their fur is usually pure black for its first year of life. After 12 to 18 months though, it may start to change. They could develop a rusty or coppery tint to their fur, which is much more prominent in the sun. Silver or white hair could develop as well, scattered randomly throughout their coat.

So, now you know that it is normal, in most cases. But, in general, do most cats change color? Could the sun affect your cat’s color? What color will a black cat make? Keep reading for these answers, and so much more…

Will a grey kitten turn black?

Black kitten changing colour?

Black kitten.

It is very unlikely that a smokey grey kitten’s fur will turn black once they grow up. This is because their fur is already a diluted shade of black. However, some kittens are born in a very dark shade of grey. Their fur is so dark that you can actually see the black in it, so it’s common for those kittens to end up turning black.

If your kitten is a paler grey then they will most likely stay that shade, as most cats stay pretty close in color to how they were born. 

What color kittens will a black cat have?

Each cat carries a single gene on the X chromosome for its coat color. There are 2 color variants that the gene could be, which are orange or black. Each color can be diluted, so a black cat can have kittens that range from dark black to pale grey.

That being said, male cats only have one X chromosome while females have 2. If a black male cat mates with an orange female cat then there is a chance that the cat could have some white or paler tones, especially on its underside.

Color schemes are also different between male and female cats. A male cat will have black fur with various markings and tones. Things are a little more complicated for females because they can have both black and orange X chromosomes, creating an unpredictable mixture.

Can your cat’s undercoat change?

Some black cats even get a lighter patch or undercoat after they hit the one year mark. If your kitten’s becoming a cat then it is likely you may notice some of these changes. A black cat’s fur can be very fascinating.

What color of cats have the best personality?

Back in 2012, researchers from Berkley surveyed 189 cat owners to find out more about cat personalities. Garfield fans came out on top, as orange cats were ranked the friendliest. They also found out that tortoiseshell cats were the snobbiest with the worst attitude, while all white cats were the most aloof of the species.

Top 10 Cat Breeds

Some cat owners may disagree with these rankings though. Do they stand true for your cats?

Do kittens generally change their color?

While most cats are born with their color scheme, some breeds slightly change color in their coats as they start to mature. Siamese and Persian cats are two breeds that often change color after their first year. Siamese cats often start pale and grow into their dark spots. Where a Persian cat’s shades could change.

Some kittens are born with markings or stripes that end up fading as they grow up. This occurs most often in cats with a reddish or smokey colored coat. These ghost markings are usually a sign that the kitten has a bit of tabby in them. However, the other traits of a tabby aren’t likely to appear.

Could a color change also be a bad sign?

While it’s normal for some kittens to change shades or colors as they grow up, it’s important to keep an eye on them. Some color changes could be an indicator of a health problem. When a patch of fur changes color it usually means that the skin underneath has changed color.

Sometimes when this occurs it is just a change in pigmentation, but other problems other times may be a sign of a more serious problem. A change of color could be a sign of a cancerous tumor, thyroid disease, or a kidney problem.

Could licking cause a fur color change?

Another reason there may be a patch of fur that changed color is that the cat has been licking that area consistently. The cat’s saliva can often give the fur a reddish tint.

If your cat is overlicking an area it could be a sign that they are in pain. If you notice a change in color to a patch of your cat’s fur always consult your vet.

Can the sun affect your cat’s color?

Does your cat spend a lot of time outdoors? If so then it’s normal for a bit of a fur color change. Just like a human’s hair lightens when they spend a lot of time outside, a dark cat’s fur could get bleached from the sun. This is why your cat may look lighter in the summer than they do in the winter.

You’re not the only one getting free highlights from the sun.

What is the rarest cat color?

Chocolate brown cats are the rarest color to see. It takes specific genes to create a cat who has this luscious brown coat. For a cat to get the chocolate coloration, they need to have two recessive alleles. However, most cats that carry these recessive alleles end up being black. 

The chocolate brown fur is actually a dilution of black, which is why many cats with the same genes end up being black. Depending on where you are from, some regions will refer to the cinnamon shade as Lilac (not to be confused with purple). 

What is a fever coat?

Have you ever seen a kitten that was born smokey grey, but then their fur turned black within a few months? This is known as fever coat, it occurs in kittens when pigments in their fur haven’t been properly deposited. Kittens with fever coats are normally grey, silver, cream, or reddish.

A fever coat doesn’t mean your kitten is ill. When a fever coat occurs it’s because the mother cat was sick or had an infection while pregnant. A cat who experiences a lot of stress during pregnancy could also pass a fever coat on to her kittens.

Another way it is passed on is if the cat was taking certain medications before the owner found out they were pregnant.  

Could your cat change color as it gets older?

As humans start to age, we notice our hairs begin to turn white. Does the same thing happen to our cats? Our feline friends aren’t much different than us after all. As cats get older, strands of their fur start to change silver too.

This happens gradually, and you’ll likely only notice them popping up if your cat has a dark coat. Siamese cats do things a little differently and their coats actually begin to darken as they age. They are born pale and then get darker as they grow.  

Lindsey Browlingdon