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Himalayan cat losing color - help, help, help

post #1 of 9
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 08, 2008 11:19 pm Post subject: my himalayan is losing his color - help, help, help \tAdd User to Ignore List Reply with quote Edit/Delete this post Report Post Delete this post

We need some help really badly. Our cream point himalayan kitty (11 mos old) is losing his point colors on his feet. His tail cream color is also getting faded. His ears are cheeks are still very creamy, which is great.

He's healthy, eats well (have been eating more more than usual over the past 2 months...late growth spurt apparently), and very active.

Does any one know if this is normal? I'm beginning to get very worry. Is this just a normal cycle for a Himalayan to lose his points and then regain them later? I really hope this is not a healthy issues. Help...

post #2 of 9
Call a breeder or call *your* breeder or ask a vet...?
post #3 of 9
I've never really heard of this before, but cream points are pretty light. It may be just a coat change - from season or kitten/adult. Point color usually gets darker - not lighter.

I'd contact the breeder if you can and have a check up with your vet for some blood work. Seems strange if everything else is normal (food, litter pan, etc.)
post #4 of 9
Isn't point colour party controlled by heat? So if it's really hot where you are now I guess the points could get paler.

I.e the ears, tail and feet are colder than the central body on a cat which is why they get the full colour.
post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thanks, Saggav and everyone. I believe you are right about the temperature sensitivity. Here in the midwest, it's really hot during the summer. It's our 1st summer with our Himalayan, so we're learning.

We're glad to hear that it's natural and nothing deleterious to his health.

Thanks again!!!
post #6 of 9
I live in the midwest and I've never heard any complaints about the tempature and point color in himis or raggys. I'm not sure if it really plays that much part in color changes.
post #7 of 9
I've heard about pointed cats changing colours abit with the seasons but that was more in the other direction. I.e pointed indoor/outdoor cats getting a little darker on their main body in the winter.

I don't know anyone who's had their cat go paler, but then again I live in Scotland..
post #8 of 9
As a former Himmy breeder, I have to say I've never heard of one getting lighter...only darker! Correctly stated, the points darken because of the coolness of the extremeties, and with hormones.....a male cat will darken each coat change until he is neutered....I've seen some stud male seal points who were almost black! But I've never heard of one getting lighter.....that's weirded me out for some reason.
post #9 of 9
Pigment production in colourpoint cats is dependent upon the temperature of the skin surface and just under the skin where melanin (pigment) production takes place. Normally no seasonal lightening of colour is detected, as slowing of the metabolic rate, and thus skin temperature, due to aging (and neutering) results in production of more pigment year on year rather than less, climate is a much smaller factor and while a cold climate will result in darkening of the coat, it would be highly unusual to see the coat becoming paler.

A Siamese cat for example CAN grow lighter fur where there once was dark fur - often spay surgery leaves the fur growing back dark as the fur is shaved and that area exposed to cooler air - but in most cases this grows out and becomes lighter again given time, once fur grows back the skin is warmer again and pigment production stops.

A very high external or internal body temperature for a period of time can disrupt pigment production in any cat (hence the term 'fever coat' to describe temporary greying or paling of normal colour, because one of the causes is running a fever) but moreso in colourpoint cats, because the enzyme needed to make pigment is more unstable and will become inactive at a much lower temperature than in a non-colourpoint. Having said that, the skin of a longhair such as a Himalayan would be less prone to experiencing fluctuation in external temperature, as the thick fur insulates and traps a larger layer of warm air against the skin all year round. Also the extremities (legs, tail and mask) are more likely to darken as a result of being cold and far less likely to overheat due to running a fever as a result of illness.

Another factor that can affect pigment production is nutrition, if the amino acid 'building blocks' for melanin pigments are lacking in the diet then coat colour can suffer, but this is NOT going to be the case for your kitty, as it is a pale cat and not heavily pigmented so doesn't need a big reserve of those amino acids to create pigment, solid black cats are usually the ones to suffer pigmentation problems as a result of poor diet as they need to make a lot of dark pigment.

I am coming into this discussion very late, but the first thing I would do is consult a vet to make sure the cat doesn't have a high temperature or any illness, and contact the breeder to check whether s/he has any experience of this in the parents. Although I have detailed a couple of possible reasons, what you are experiencing is quite an unusual situation, and I am just someone with an interest in biochemistry, not a vet, and not able to say what has caused colour loss in your precious furball

I hope your kitty is OK
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