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My friend adopted a sweet white kitten at 8 weeks old. The baby is now 6 months old. My friend woke up yesterday morning to see a black stripe forming on the side of its body!
The cat was adopted from a shelter and they do not have any information about her parents.
Can cats change colors? What's the prognosis? Will it continue?
She really does not care what color it is, and will keep it of course even if turned green...:D
But we are curious about this... thoughts welcome!
 

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With noses, necks, feet, the answer is related to body temperature, which can impact fur color as cats develop. More generally, temperature can change the vibrancy or shade of existing colors.

I don't really know about emergent stripes on the body though, thats probably something different. And white cats are, I believe, somewhat genetically unusual, so that could be playing into it somehow.
 

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I've read that some breeds of cats like siamese start out white and then develop their adult colors as they mature. Just like ArtNJ said- it is dependent on temperature and usually involves the tips. What color is your friend's cat? I've never heard of dark stripes appearing on the mid-body so that is a new one!
 

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That sounds more like some sort of dirt or stain, not a fur change color. Try washing it with some Dawn dish soap on a wet wash cloth.
 

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Pointed cats (such as Siamese, Ragdolls, etc.) change color as they mature, but an actual stripe would be odd. As doodlebug suggested, I'd first make sure it isn't dirt. If not, then is this truly a stripe, or just a bit of black coloring or a black patch on the side of her body? And do you know what breed the cat is? My Muffs (a Ragdoll) was almost all white when I adopted her, with just a bit of grey around her eyes/nose. By the time she was 8 months, her face was much darker and she developed several black patches on her body, which had never been there before. Those black patches remain today. I don't have "before" and "after" pictures of the patches on her side, but I do for her face.

Below is a picture of Muffs taken on her first day home, followed by a picture taken about 8 or 9 months later. You can see how much darker her coloring is:



 

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Our cats have had a black line on them a few times from the bicycle chains. We keep our bikes in the basement during the winter.

My Siamese has gotten very dark since her baby hood as has my mix. Both were much whiter as babies.
 

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That is odd. This is sudden?? Stupid question but has she tired washing it off?? Maybe it's soot or something else? I've never seen anything like that before - especially if it was very sudden.
 

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It looks like a smudge of something to me! Maybe the kitten got under the bed, a refrigerator, or??
First test, is try cleaning the stripe! There are specially formulated kitten shampoos out there, that won't irritate his/her fur, just try cleaning the stripe first! Don't have to shampoo the whole kitten!:p:D
 

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Well this is definitely interesting! I wonder if it could somehow be related to what is called a 'Fever Coat'??
Please keep us posted!:)
Sharon
 

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I know white cats have some interesting coat characteristics that can cause changes, mostly on their heads/faces. One of mine was born with gray smudges on the top of his head, which mostly faded when he finished growing. Now they reappear once in a while, usually as just a few gray hairs. I suppose it's possible for the opposite to happen! Very interesting to see what happens with this kitten!
 

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I have a Tortie Point Siamese who was solid white when she was a kitten. I haven't ever seen a cat become striped, but I would be curious to see a zebra cat! :D
 

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The first white cat I had was an odd-eyed longhaired Manx. As a kitten of 12 weeks, he had a thumb print smudge of dark grey on the top of his head. This disappeared by about his fourth month. Apparently its fairly common with white cats to have this "smudge" on top of the head, but I haven't heard or seen a stripe as your cat has. It does look like he's leaned against something dirty.
 

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my horse changed colors as he grew up. When he was born,he was a dun/reddish color. as he got older he was a dun/brown color. then his fur turned into grey. :p that's his current color :)
 

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Long stretch from a cat but one of my boys (human baby) was born with black hair. Then it all fell off and came in light blond. Years later the hair turned into brown and has been ever since.
 
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