After a rainstorm in Auckland, New Zealand one evening, a woman saw a tiny soaking wet kitten blindly crawling alone down a sidewalk. After determining that the kitten didn’t belong to any of her neighbors, the woman took him home.
The day-old kitten, who she named Bruce, was so tiny and fragile, his eyes were still closed. Through warmth and love, Bruce bonded with his owners and grew stronger. He eventually opened a pair of startlingly blue eyes.
But what surprised his new owner the most were the changes Bruce’s fur was going through. The kitten, who was a light gray to start with, began to grow darker fur on his face, paws, and the points of his ears.
As he grew, his blue eyes changed to a yellow-green and the darker fur continued to spread until this once gray kitten had become all black. But what caused Bruce to change color the way he did?
According to vets, the fuzzy gray fur he was born with is called a ‘fever coat.’ Fever Coat is a condition that occurs when a pregnant cat falls sick due to an infection, or if the cat is stressed during pregnancy. It can also occur when cats are put on medication by their owners without knowing that their pets are pregnant. This condition causes fur that appears lighter at birth but gradually darkens in the first months of a kitten’s life.
Fever Coat appears in kittens because the pigments have not been properly deposited in the fur. This causes parts of the fur to appear silver-grey, cream or reddish as a result. It remains present for up to 6-8 months in newborn kittens but eventually fades away. Bruce’s coat was completely black by the time he was about four months old.
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