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Is my cat going gray??

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
My mother pointed out to me today that Zorro looks like he's a very old cat. He used to be completely black on his back and part of his legs, but now his whole coat is flecked with white hairs. (it was the first time she's seen Zorro in over a month) He looks like a 17 year old cat that it starting to go gray.
What would make his coat do this? I know he's been under a little more stress than usual the last few months, but it still seems a little weird that he would start turning white.
Has anyone else heard of anything like this?? His life expectancy is only 3-5 years (he's 2 now). Could it be that he's just getting old and his hair is just naturally turning gray, or is this something I should be worried about?
post #2 of 13
My cat has a few grey hairs and I figure it's just because she's getting older. She now has her winter coat though so it's not so noticeable. I personally think it's completely normal.
post #3 of 13
I've noticed grey hairs on our geriatric guy, Oberon. He's grey anyway, but there are different light grey hairs sticking out that he didn't have when he was younger.
post #4 of 13
Are the white hairs longer than the rest of him? They might be guard hairs, though I don't know why they would wait until now to grow in. Cats do go grey as they get older, but I wouldn't expect to see that in a 2 year old cat. Is he currently on any medications?
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Some of the white hair are longer(like on his legs and sides), but the other ones are short. (There are some white hairs on his ears, parts of his face, throughout his back and tail, and there are a couple of 'patches' of white hair that are starting to grow in).
The longer hairs are probably his guard hairs then. He still hasn't grown in all of his adult teeth and still have some milk teeth, so the white ones on his legs are probably just those then.

As for medication, he is on clavamox right now(He has been on it for 14 days, and will be on it for another 10) and he just got of prednisone about half a month ago(which he was on for a little over a month)
post #6 of 13
Why is his life expectancy only 3-5 years?
post #7 of 13
Thread Starter 
We found him in a ditch when he was just a tiny kitten (the vet said about 2 1/2 weeks old). He was literally skin and bones, coated from head to toe in fleas, anemic (due to the fleas), had a few ticks, he had a major case of worms, and had coccidia. No vet in the area really thought he would make it, and he was on the edge for months. He finally got better and put some weight on, but the vet said that since he was so ill and mal-nutished during the point in his life where he needed to be healthy the most, that he probably wouldn't live very long, but that we might be surprised. He was going great from 9 months to a year old (it took him that long to fully recover), but after that he started to go slowly downhill again. In May, the vet said that he probably only has another year or two left by the looks of things.
He's already been under anesthetic 5 times so far (4 of those times being this year), and been on so much/ many types of medications that I can't even count them. His teeth (baby teeth) didn't even start growning in until he was 6 months old (and still havn't fallen out), and when they finally did, only a few came in. The vet pulled out 6 that were impacted into the bone, hoping it would allow room for his adult teeth to grow in, but it didn't help any. His first adult tooth(upper right canine) came in when he was 8 months old, and he had four molars come in when he was a little over a year (one of which was pulled, and another which is going to have to be pulled soon). He has 'parrot mouth' so his teeth rot since he can't close his mouth all the way (he also drools like crazy and can't clean himself).
He also has intravertebral disk disease which was diagnosed a few months ago.
Sorry this is kind of long and winded. My poor little man has alot of problems.
Here's a picture of him from the other day (we took him for a car ride, lol. He absolutely loves to go in the car)
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by gothicangel69 View Post
We found him in a ditch when he was just a tiny kitten (the vet said about 2 1/2 weeks old). He was literally skin and bones, coated from head to toe in fleas, anemic (due to the fleas), had a few ticks, he had a major case of worms, and had coccidia. No vet in the area really thought he would make it, and he was on the edge for months. He finally got better and put some weight on, but the vet said that since he was so ill and mal-nutished during the point in his life where he needed to be healthy the most, that he probably wouldn't live very long, but that we might be surprised. He was going great from 9 months to a year old (it took him that long to fully recover), but after that he started to go slowly downhill again. In May, the vet said that he probably only has another year or two left by the looks of things.
He's already been under anesthetic 5 times so far (4 of those times being this year), and been on so much/ many types of medications that I can't even count them. His teeth (baby teeth) didn't even start growning in until he was 6 months old (and still havn't fallen out), and when they finally did, only a few came in. The vet pulled out 6 that were impacted into the bone, hoping it would allow room for his adult teeth to grow in, but it didn't help any. His first adult tooth(upper right canine) came in when he was 8 months old, and he had four molars come in when he was a little over a year (one of which was pulled, and another which is going to have to be pulled soon). He has 'parrot mouth' so his teeth rot since he can't close his mouth all the way (he also drools like crazy and can't clean himself).
He also has intravertebral disk disease which was diagnosed a few months ago.
Sorry this is kind of long and winded. My poor little man has alot of problems.
Here's a picture of him from the other day (we took him for a car ride, lol. He absolutely loves to go in the car)
I wish I could help He's a beautiful cat though, just lovely
post #9 of 13
My cat which has the same coat color/pattern as yours has those white hairs too. I noticed they are longer too on him, but he is healthy so i think its normal.
post #10 of 13
Good luck with him. He sure is a handsome boy.
post #11 of 13
You know, I wonder, since he's been so late developing if that's just his natural coat. I don't remember what it's called - sable, maybe? - with the black fur and flecks of white?

He sure is a sweetie. I hope he outlives everyone's expectations.
post #12 of 13
even with all of his medical problems, I don't think his rough start in life should ahev anything to do with how long he's going to live. My first foster was a 2 week old kitten who we found with his sister in a wheelbarrow in a shed. The mother had abandoned them, and they were so cold we thought the sister was dead, and we thought Finny was on his way out too. The sister died the next morning, but Finny pulled through and I bottle fed him til he was old enough to be weaned, and adopted him out. He's about a year old now, but is as normal as any other cat, and is expected to live a full life. I'd be willing to bet your kitty makes it past the 3-5 years your vet predicted.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
I was starting to think is if maybe that was just his natural coat starting to come in as well. I know now that the longer hairs are completely normal, but maybe the white patches of short hair comming in around one of his shoulders is just a regular coat pattern that just hadn't grown in yet.

I'm not to optimistic about his chances of living past 4. I've already almost had to put him down once so right now I'm in the mindset of knowing that he could have to go any day now so that if something happens and he does need to be put down, it won't be a complete shock (When the vet told me I might have to put him down a few months ago, it was such a shock. I completely wasn't expecting it and I wasn't the same for weeks) His vet said that either if his disks keep collapsing, or if next time one collapses the medication won't work, he may need to be put down. Not to mention something could go wrong during one of his surgeries.
I try not to bum myself out, but I just don't want to have someone tell me that I need to put him down one day, and it be a complete shock to me.
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