What is a Fever Coat?

Cats are mysterious and magical creatures. Once seen as symbols of divinity in ancient Egypt and used as familiars by spooky Salem witches, these fluff balls have always had a tie to the supernatural. With this, it’s not surprising that some magical kittens can change colour. Some kitties are born with a different coloured coat than the one their genetics would normally produce. Gradually the coat colour changes, and although this is more of an act of science and gene expression than spellcasting, we think it’s pretty interesting all the same. So let’s dive into fever coat kittens and unpack what exactly a fever coat is.

What is a Fever Coat in a Kitten?

A fever coat, also known as a stress coat is very rare, and is when a kitten is born with a different coloured coat than the one its genetics should have produced. When a kitten is still in the womb, the pigmentation of its fur is very sensitive to heat. So if the mother was to have a fever whilst the kitten was developing the pigmentation for its coat due to an illness or prolonged or severe stress, the fur of the kitten can change its colour. 

Typically a fever coat presents in a striking smoky colour, that is darker at the roots and lighter at the tips. The tips are most commonly a white or silver colour, but can also be cream or reddish. 

A fever coat looks a little like frosted tips, so if your cat’s coat is appearing this way and they haven’t been to a 90s hairdresser recently then you may have yourself a fever coat kitten! Fever coats can occur in any coloured kitten, for example, a black cat may have smoky white tips and an orange cat may have more of a creamy-coloured fur tip.

What Causes a Fever Coat?

A fever coat occurs when the colour of the heat-sensitive fur of the in vitro kitten is altered due to the mother’s body temperature being too high. This can be caused by anything that would raise a mother cat’s temperature including a fever related to an infection or virus, prolonged stress, health conditions, and side effects of certain medications. If you have a nursing mummy cat and you notice that they have a fever, you should have them assessed by their vet as soon as possible to prevent any complications for them and their litter. 

How Long Does a Fever Coat Last?

Fever coat kittens are truly unique and beautiful, so you may be wondering how long this spooktacular phenomenon may last. Although the coat of a fever coat kitten didn’t fully develop as normal within the womb, the genes for the specific coat colour are still in their DNA. Therefore, eventually, their coat will turn to the intended colour. This usually takes around 4-8 months where gradually their frosted tips will be replaced by their natural fur colour.  

Types of Fever Coat

Fever coats can present in three different ways:

All-Over Colour Fever Coat

This type of fever coat kitten is the most common and is when the entire coat will take on the lighter-coloured appearance. They may look entirely white, silver, cream or red however you may be able to see their natural colour towards the root.

Patchy Fever Coat

A patchy fever coat kitten will have patches of their normal fur colour and patches of the lighter fever coat. For example, their head may be their natural colour whereas their back may be their fever coat colour. These fever coats make it easy for you to know what coloured kitty they’ll be growing into.

Dorsal Striped Fever Coat

This type of fever coat kitten is the most rare and appears with long stripes of fever coat along their back that run parallel to each other. For example, a black cat may have some zebra-style white stripes along their spine, talk about unique!

If My Kitten Has a Fever Coat, Will It Affect Their Health?

Although a fever coat may sound alarming, it is purely aesthetic and has no implications on a kitten’s health. Gradually fever coats do fade and you’ll be left with one healthy and naturally adorable kitty-cat. Make sure to take plenty of piccies whilst they’re young and have their fever coat as this phenomenon is very rare!

Feeding a Fever Coat Kitten The Scrumbles Way

If you’ve got a magical fever coat kitten on your hands, like all new pawrents you’ll want to make sure they are eating a highly-nutritious cat food to ensure they’re getting all the essential vitamins and minerals that they need to grow into happy and thriving adult cats.

At Scrumbles, we’re made about cat health and only use the best high-quality natural ingredients to give your kitten all they need to grow big and strong without the added artificial fluff that some brands use to bulk up their meals.

Our Chicken Dry Kitten Food contains a whopping 77% human-quality chicken to satisfy the obligate carnivore within and is void of any artificial additives or unnecessary added salt and sugar.

Scrumbles Dry Kitten food

We also add gut-loving probiotics to our dry kitten food to soothe tummy upsets which are common in young kittens and promote pretty poops for an easy clean up at the kitty litter.

Packed in eco-friendly packaging, and with a Scrumbles brand commitment to reducing our carbon pawprint, choosing Scrumbles is a way to align your values with a trusted brand that wants the best for you, your floof and your planet.

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