Cat colors


The main reasons that can explain why a cat does not grow hair they are: the presence of parasites, the development of skin diseases, allergies, stress or the change of the mantle. To determine the exact cause, it is essential to pay attention to the rest of the symptoms and go to the veterinarian. And is that if there is something that seems attractive to us of the felines is its beautiful fur. Whether short or long, unicolor, spotted or striped, the cat's hair is so beautiful that it seems incredible that it is groomed mostly with its own saliva.

Sometimes, trimming the cat's hair becomes necessary, due to the high temperatures or to perform some medical treatment, at other times, a disease is the culprit of the hair loss. Upon overcoming these events, comes the impending question "Why doesn't my cat grow hair?"In the following article we talk a little about this process. Keep reading!

Can a cat's hair be cut?

Before talking about how your cat should grow hair, or if it really grows, it is first necessary to know under what circumstances it will lose that hair. Apart from the usual molt, which everyone with a cat recognizes in the strands left in the home furniture, there are reasons why the cat will also lose part of its fur. Among them are the occasions when cat hair should be trimmed. What are these occasions? When it is necessary to make a medical exam or place a way for some treatment, among other health reasons. In these cases, only the area in which the test is to be performed or the treatment is shaved.

It is also possible that, due to the high temperatures, it is necessary to trim the fur a bit to cool the cat. If you find yourself in the need to do this, remember not to leave your skin exposed, as it is as sensitive to the sun's rays as human skin and could burn. Shave only the torso, keeping the fur of the extremities, the tail and of course the head, the feline hairdresser will advise you as to the amount to be cut.

Another reason to shave certain areas is that when combing you find a impossible undo knot, these knots, if you neglect them, can cause very painful skin wounds, infections, etc.

Whether it is because of the temperature, a treatment or a knot, it is most advisable that the haircut be done by a veterinarian or, as we have already mentioned, a specialized feline hairdresser.

Fur change

As with other mammals, homemade cats they change their hair according to the seasons, to stay cooler in spring and summer, and warmer when winter comes. This type of molt is completely normal, so that your house is not filled with loose hairs, we recommend you get used to the cat from a very young age to be brushed.


This is when the problems begin. When hair loss is not due to a change, there is a problem. Dermatophytosis, commonly known astub, is a type of mycosis that affects the cat's epidermis due to fungal infection.

When the cat suffers from ringworm, the itching in the body is very intense, especially in the face, ears and extremities. This itching despairs the animal and leads him to scratch and even bite frequently, which causes the loss of fur and skin wounds.

Do cats grow hair?

If your cat has suffered any of the problems mentioned above and lost part of its fur in the process, it is normal that when you start with the appropriate treatment you will be anxious about how long it will take to recover its coat. However, this varies from one cat to another, and especially depending on the type of problem you have experienced.

To give you an idea about the times, in a normal situation of change, which occurs especially between summer and spring and is more noticeable in felines that go outside than in those that remain indoors, the change of coat can take between 2 and 3 weeks. And when we talk about the change, we mean the total fall of the strands to move and the beginning of the growth of the new strands, which obviously requires more time to match the rest of the fur.

In the situations described above, where not only the fur but also the skin are affected, the process takes a little longer after the cause has disappeared. When the medical and psychological recovery has been completed, the hair should grow completely between the first and third month. That is effectively cats grow fur. Thus, when asked "if I shave my cat will grow hair?", The answer is also yes.

Now, if after this time you do not see an improvement in the mantle, then you must return to the veterinarian. There may be a hormonal problem, or the alopecia suffered is for a cause other than that diagnosed.

Why does my Persian cat not grow hair?

The Persian cat is one of the most popular in the world for its beautiful and abundant fur. Therefore, when adopting a puppy and seeing that its mantle does not grow, it is not surprising that tutors wonder what is happening. Well, the most common causes that explain why a Persian cat does not grow hair are the following:

The cat is mongrel

If the Persian cat is the result of a crossing with another breed of short or medium hair, it may happen that the mantle has characteristics of both parents, showing the texture of Persian hair and the length of the shorter-haired cat, for example.

To check if your cat is pure or mestizo Persian, check our Persian cat breed file. And if it is finally a mongrel cat, remember to adapt the hair care to your type of coat, it sure is just as beautiful or more!

Is it a Persian or exotic shorthair cat?

When they are puppies, it is normal to confuse both races because they have very similar physical characteristics. However, as they grow, the Persian cat develops an abundant mantle, while the exotic shows a short and dense palage, or average length, but not long. Thus, if your "Persian" cat begins to reach adulthood, it is totally healthy, it is not mestizo but still it does not grow its hair, could it really be an exotic with short hair?

Does it feed correctly?

A nutritional deficiency, or poor diet in omega 3 fatty acids, can be reflected in the quality of the mantle, showing a dull, poor and rough coat. In this way, if your Persian cat has hair with these characteristics, try changing its diet for a higher quality food, or specially designed for this breed, and see if it improves.

Skin diseases or parasites

As with other breeds and mongrel cats that lose their hair and do not grow back, the most common causes of this condition are those mentioned in the previous sections, related to health problems. So yes your Persian cat does not grow hair by areas, check your skin carefully and go to the vet. And if the fall is general, consider the possibility of the change.

If you want to read more articles similar to Why does my cat not grow hair?We recommend that you enter our Hair Care section.

Cat colors: what fur colors can cats have?

Basically when it comes to the colors of cats, cats are black unless they have inherited the orange masking gene linked to sex, in which case they are red, explains Miller. By red, we refer to what is commonly called orange.

“The hundreds of colors and patterns shown in domestic cat coats are produced due to modifying factors that include both genes and polygenes, which change these two basic colors, ”he says, giving an example of the diluted gene, which changes the cat's colors from black. to blue (commonly called gray) and red to cream.

Polygenes, genes that require many others of their kind for their effects to be observable, then determine whether the color tone of the coat will be a dark blue, blue or light blue or a pale blue, she explains. These hereditary polygenes are controlled by selective breeding in pedigree breeds. If you have studied cats for a long time, you probably know that calico and hawksbills, those with black and red fur, are female. This is because The orange gene is transmitted on the X-linked sex chromosome. Because men are XY with only one X chromosome, they can only be black or red (or variations of each due to modifying factors).

As females are XX, they can be black and red. “This is how we get the striking female hawksbill, which have black coats with touches of red. If the diluted factor is inherited, the cat will be a blue cream. "If a cat also inherits the white spotting factor, then this female can be a mixture and a white bicolor, or a calico tricolor cat with large black and red areas in a white coat," says Miller.

Colorful pattern in tabby cat

When it comes to cat colors and fur patterns, here is an amazing fact: all cats are attentive. "The fact that they show their brindle pattern or not depends on whether the cat has inherited the dominant agouti gene or the recessive non-recessive solid color gene," Explain. “However, even solid red cats will show a tabby pattern because the sex-linked chromosome is not affected by the non-agouti gene. “Solid-colored kittens will sometimes show their underlying tabby pattern when they are young before their kitty coat and adult coat are deployed. Also, when a adult cat With a solid layer is under sunlight, its underlying tabby pattern can often be seen weakly ». The striped pattern includes the characteristic "M" mark on its fronts and four basic types:

  • The classic tabby, Also called tabbies with spots, they have a combination of stripes, swirls, spots and what looks like a porthole on the sides of their bodies.
  • The marked tabby They have bands on each hair shaft with a lighter color at the base, which creates an iridescent mottled appearance but no streaks on the body. The abyssinian and Somalis are this kind of tabbies.
  • The mackerel tabbies they have continuous vertical stripes on both sides of their bodies and a dark column line that extends from the shoulders to the tail.
  • The spotted tabby They are just that. The size of the spots and the space between them vary. The ocicats have large spots on the fingerprint, the Egyptian maus have spots of varying shapes and sizes of high contrast and high contrast, and the bengalis they have spots on the rosette, according to Miller, “but randomly raised cats often have a broken mackerel or classic stripes that give a spotted appearance. "
  • There is also a pattern called patched tabby. Miller explains that they are cats with any of the four tabby patterns, but that they also show additional red patches due to their inherited orange gene linked to sex.

Cat colors: Pointy pattern

Here is another interesting point about the colors of cats: The restricted dot pattern gene gives Siamese and related breeds their pointed pattern, or a light-colored body with darker colors on the extremities. The gene must be transported in both the male and the female so that any of the kittens is indicated.

“The gene is sensitive to temperature, which causes the color to be limited to the coldest extremities of the body: the face, the ears, the legs, The tail and the testicles, ”explains Miller. “It is part of the albino series and modifies the color tone so that it appears black with a dark brown seal on a light beige body. The genetic mutation, the chocolate color, and its diluted version, lilac, were also observed in the first Siamese cats. ” Tonkinese cats, which are a mixture of Siamese and Burmese, have a more subtle dot contrast called mink coloring.

Siamese cats were named after the ancient kingdom of Siam, where they originated. "These cats were a sensation when they were first imported to England in the mid-19th century," says Miller. “When the Siamese first arrived in the United States in the early 1900s, they quickly became popular as pets, which led to the spread of the recessive pattern of restricted points throughout the country. "It is still hidden in the genotype of many randomly raised cats and litter surfaces when both the father and the mother are carriers of the gene."

Shaded cat color

Another thing to keep in mind when we talk about cat colors? Shading, which is characterized by the color at the ends of the hair with a pure white base coat. Three types of cats with shade include: chinchilla, shadow and smoke, each one is distinguished by the extent of shading in individual hairs.

In chinchillas, only the tip of the guardian's hair or the outer layer is colored. With the shaded pattern, a quarter of the guard hair farther from the cat's body exhibits the color. In the smoke pattern, half of the guard hair farthest from the cat's body shows the color. When a cat with smoke patterns is still, the fur pattern may appear solid, but when the cat is moving or caressing it, you can see the white bottom layer.

Bicolor and Tricolor Pattern

With the colors of cats, people love to talk about bicolor cats, which are white and of any other color. The cat can have a small spot, even a single patch of white, or it can be mostly white with a little of the other color. The color area in bicolor cats can also have any of the tabby patterns.

«Bicolor and tricolor patterns are created by the dominant incomplete white spotting gene»says Miller. «Polygenes helps determine the amount of white in the cat's coat. Black bicolor cats with only a small amount of white, such as a "bib", white legs and perhaps a white "facial glow" are the "tuxedo" cats. The other end is an almost entirely white body with color only on the tail and perhaps one or two spots on the head or body. This is known as the "Van" pattern that refers to the cats found in the area of ​​Lake Van in Turkey centuries ago.

Calicos are white females with large solid areas of black and red spots, as well as other colors such as blues and creams. They can have a little white, a lot of white or anything else.

Cat colors and personalities

Surveys were conducted where respondents were asked to choose the color category that best represents their cat and to answer questions about the cat's colors and the behavior of their cats. The results seemed to confirm the reputation that calicos are combative and unpredictable.

In another survey, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and California State University, East Bay, asked 189 cat owners to assign the terms: active, distant, bold, calm, friendly, intolerant, shy, stubborn, tolerant and trainable. to five different colors of cat: red, tricolor, white, black and bicolor. The results showed that respondents were more likely to attribute sympathy to orange cats, intolerance to three-color cats and distant attitude to white cats.

Keep in mind that these were surveys of human perceptions, not scientific studies that controlled other possible influencers of personality, such as sex and coat length. Calicos and cakes are feminine, which could play a more important role in personality than the color of the fur. In general, it is believed that long-haired cats are docile, while short-haired cats claim to be energetic.

I have two domestic cats with long red striped hair that come from the same litter. Some of my friends can't tell them apart, and one cat could work as double for the other. But when it comes to personalities, the two could not be more opposite. One greets everyone who comes to our house, the other has enough love just for me and my husband.

More studies are needed before we can conclude that the colors of cats influence personality.

Patterns of eye colors

Another interesting point to consider when it comes to cat colors are cat eye colors. All kittens are born with blue eyes. At approximately 6 to 8 weeks of age, "your potential final eye color begins to become apparent," says Miller. "Full brightness is not achieved until a cat reaches maturity." Total maturity can take between one and two years, depending on the breed of cat. "There are only three basic eye colors," says Miller. "But nevertheless, The color of the eyes of domestic cats is surprising and varied. Interestingly, the bright coppery color of a Persian, the deep golden eyes of an abyssinian or Bombay and the emerald green eyes of a Russian blue are derived from the same gene. It is through years of selective reproduction that this extreme eye color spectrum has been perfected in the races. Randomly raised cats usually have a greenish-green or hazel eye color, however, a colony of cats that roam freely as a result of the reproduction of natural lines will often develop golden or lemon-yellow eye color. ”

Some cat eye colors are linked to colors or fur patterns. For example, white cats may have blue, yellow, golden or strange eyes. "Any cat that has inherited the spotted paw factor may have a strange eye color: a blue eye and a golden, yellow or greenish eye", says Miller. Cats with the restricted dot color pattern, such as Siamese, have blue eyes due to a gene that is linked to albinism. Tonkinese often have aqua eyes. "Tonkinese showing the deepest colors of Burmese (saber, blue, champagne or platinum) will have a golden or green color," says Miller.

Why do cats' eyes have so many colors?

But, What makes a cat's eyes the color they are? Does it have to do with race? What about the color of the cat's skin? And why do kittens' eyes change color as they age?

Most importantly, is there a health problem related to certain eye colors in our cats?

These are just some of the questions we are going to answer today in For cats. Read on to learn more about the wonderful world of cat eye colors, and why we should take note.

Melanocytes in cat eyes

The amount of melanocytes in your cat's eyes is what determines your eye color. Melanocytes produce melanin, which also affects the color of your cat's fur.

Then, the more melanin, the darker your cat's eyes and skin will be. However, melanin affects the eyes and skin differently.

There is no correlation between the color of a cat's skin and the color of its eyes, which means that just because you have a darker fur cat does not mean that your eyes will also be darker.

Cats with blue eyes

As mentioned earlier, the amount of melanin in your cat's eyes is what will lead to her eye color. But did you know that it is possible not to have melanin in the iris? That's right, a cat with blue eyes is simply a cat without melanin in its irises.

Actually, the eyes of a blue-eyed cat are clear, but the light that is reflected around the rounded edges of your pigment-free irises is what causes the blue color we see.

This means that a white cat with blue eyes has no melanin in her hair or in her iris. However, a gray cat with blue eyes has a bit of melanin in its fur, but still has no melanin in its eyes.

Did you know that all Balinese have blue eyes?

The skin color generally has nothing to do with the color of the eyes, but the only exception to the rule is with white cats. It has been concluded that white cats are more likely to have blue eyes.

And although you won't find a cat with red eyes, you have to know that a blue-eyed cat will glow red when there is light in them. On the other hand, cats with orange, gold or yellow eyes are more likely to glow green in light.

Cats with copper-colored eyes

You may be surprised to know that although cat eye colors vary incredibly, you will not find a cat with brown or black eyes.

While you may think that you have seen a cat with brown eyes, what you will probably look at is a cat with dark copper eyes or even deep orange eyes.

This means that, despite the amount of melanin in your cat's iris, the darker cat's eye color will be copper.

Cats with green eyes

Most cat lovers can agree that a cat with green eyes is awesome. Green eyes are similar to blue in the way they contain very little melanin.

Since different genes control the amount of melanin in a cat's fur in front of a cat's eyes. You can find a white cat with green eyes, a gray cat with green eyes or a brown or black cat with green eyes.

Cat's eye colors vary, and green eyes are just one of the beautiful combinations of eye color in our feline friends.

Cats with yellow or orange eyes

As mentioned earlier, Cat's eye colors depend on the amount of melanin in their irises. However, the level of activity in the melanocytes will determine the intensity of the color.

This means that a cat with yellow eyes can have a brighter look than another cat with yellow eyes, and a cat with orange eyes can be a cat with a stronger melanocytic activity.

And as we mentioned since there is no correlation between skin color and eye color in cats, a black cat with yellow eyes is totally possible.

In fact, yellow cat eyes and amber cat eyes are incredibly common, and famous black cats have been represented throughout history with this impressive and radiant look.

There is a correlation in the amount of activity of melanocytes and the intensity of eye color in purebred cats. These cats have been bred specifically for certain physical characteristics.

Many times these physical characteristics include the color of the eyes, and for this reason, you can find a purebred cat with a more intense eye color than what you would find in a mongrel cat.

Cats with two eye colors - Feline heterochromia

A strange-eyed cat, as they are often mentioned, are cats that have two different levels of melanin activity in their irises.

A cat with heterochromia will usually have a blue eye, that is, an eye without melanin and another eye that is green, yellow, orange or copper.

Known as complete heterochromia, this condition is most often found in white cats, however, it can affect all types of cats, regardless of skin color or breed, as long as they have a gene known as the spotted gene. White.

The white spotted gene is a gene that affects the amount of melanin in cats. This gene can also affect the color of the cat's fur and even cause albinism, which is when there is absolutely no pigment in the fur or eyes.

How to differentiate an Albino cat from a white cat with blue eyes?

If the color of the eyes and the coat are controlled by melanin, and the total absence of melanin correlates with albinism, you may wonder if a white cat with blue eyes is an albino cat.

It is not always easy to tell the difference between an albino cat and a white cat with blue eyes.

However, the eyes of a true albino cat are going to be a very pale blue and sometimes they can even have a pinkish hue. Due to the lack of melanin and, therefore, pigmentation in the iris of an albino cat, they are very sensitive to light.

While they don't have other known health problems, if you own an albino cat, keep in mind that sunlight could damage your very sensitive eyes.

What color can black cats have eyes?

While we know that different genes control the color of the skin versus the color of the eyes in cats, black cats often have darker eyes.

A black cat with orange eyes is very common. While a mainly black cat may also have yellow or copper eyes.

The color of cat eyes in most black cats will be yellow or orange, although it is not impossible to find a black cat with blue eyes.

This cat's coat changed color

"It hurt to see them suffer, so I took both."

The kittens were incredibly beautiful with black and white fur and had wonderful personalities. That's why Nicole decided to name them ‘Elli’ and ‘Rosie’. With much love and care, the sisters were breastfed and quickly became two strong and healthy kittens.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

One day, the woman noticed something strange in Elli's fur. There, where once his fur was strong black, few spots of white hair had appeared.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

Since then, its appearance began to change as more patches continued to form throughout its fur. Unsure and frightened by Elli's condition, Nicole took her to the vet to find out what could be causing these marks.

“He had a tuxedo coat like his sister. Nothing unusual. The change began about a year after birth. It was just a small white spot on the back. I didn't know why, so I took her to the vet. ”

Elli was diagnosed with vitiligo, a rare condition that causes a loss of pigmentation, leading to white spots on the skin and hair. Although sometimes related to other medical problems, Elli was completely healthy.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

Vitiligo occurs when skin / fur patches lose their pigment. This rare condition affects 0.5-2% of the general population in humans and is even more uncommon in animals, since all animals, from the cat to the horse, can develop this condition.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

But what started as a few white spots on Elli's body soon became something uniquely beautiful.

During the following months, white spots continued to form throughout their tuxedo fur. Nicole watched as the black parts of Elli's fur slowly began to turn white.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

“I was surprised. I'm still surprised. ”

A year after Nicole discovered the first white patch, Elli had won many more spots like snowflakes all over her fur.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

The condition did not cause any physical damage to Elli, but only gave it more unique characteristics and added more adorablity.

“His personality is the same as always. It doesn't matter to her. She is as pretty and charming and as playful as the first day. ”

Elli's sister, whose fur hasn't changed at all, still treats her exactly the same as always.

What matters most, of course, is that Elli is healthy and happy.

Instagram / elli.vitiligo

Nicole said Elli's fur continues to bleach, but suspects that some black marks, such as those on her face, will remain.

"Her change continues to happen every day, and I love her more and more."

For the genetics

One of the most common reasons for the change in color is the genetics of the pussycat. For example, there are many cat breeds in which the color of small is different from the color of adult.

There are races that are genetically programmed in such a way that the color changes according to the ambient temperature, as is the case with the cat Siamese.

Color change in Siamese cats

The Siamese breed has a gene that produces melanin (gives hair color) depending on body temperature.

To understand us, the gene stops painting color when the average temperature of cats is exceeded (38-39.2 C). This absence of color (that is, white cat) causes several curiosities to occur:

    Siamese cats that are some> By age

Another common factor is that the changes take place with age, specifically they tend to be in two periods:

  • When the cat stops being a baby. Many cats experience changes in the fur up to 5-6 months.
  • When the cat is very old. Among some of the things that can happen, one that does not involve health problems is the appearance of gray hair.

For the environment

There are many external factors They can influence the cat's fur and its color changes. For example, cats that are frequently bathed or have access to the pools (although they do not get in, but do lie where there is chlorinated water) may experience changes produced by products with which they are in constant contact. The temperature and the sun are other environmental factors that modify the color of the hair of the pussycat.

For the Sun

The sun also influences. A cat that has plenty of sun can end up with a lighter hair tone than the original. In black cats that usually results in having more reddish or brown hair. The sun affects the hair structure (as happens to people), and high sun exposure can also cause dry hair and make it weaker.

For food

As in everything, and as it happens to most living beings, cat feeding is essential. If the cat does not consume the nutrients it needs, it will be more likely to develop abnormalities, diseases, etc.

The hair color change puede ser indicador de la falta de algún nutriente o elemento vital. El veterinario será el que determine el diagnóstico.

El doctor Serge Martinod apunta en este artículo que “la dieta deficiente en el aminoácido tirosina y/o fenilalanina hace que el color del cabello cambie de negro a rojizo, a causa de una reducción del pigmento melanina”.

Por problemas de salud

El cambio del color del pelo puede significar que hay un tema de salud que está fallando, en esos casos el cambio suele ser más brusco.

Como siempre, el profesional veterinario es el único que puede determinar la causa y el procedimiento a seguir.

Algunos de los más comunes son:

Por vitíligo y alopecia

El vitíligo es un cambio de pigmentación en el pelo y en la piel del gato. Como tal, no debe ser siempre un problema de salud, pero muchas veces está relacionado con lupus y uveítis. Con lo que conviene tenerlo en cuenta, especialmente cuando se produce de golpe.

La alopecia areata, localizada en zonas concretas del cuerpo, también pueden conllevar cambios de color del pelaje en esas zonas afectadas.