Rare Condition Causes Cat’s Fur to Go From Black to Almost Completely White in Just One Year

Vitiligo, a condition that causes the loss of skin color in blotches, affects around 1% of humans and is even rarer in animals. Elli, one of the few known cats suffering from Vitiligo, was born with a mostly black coat, but just one year after being diagnosed with this mysterious condition, her fur is almost completely white.

Nicole, the cat’s owner, found Elli and her sister on a farm in Germany, when they were only four-month kittens. They were both in poor shape and in desperate need of medical attention, so Nicole adopted them and nursed them back to health. Both cats were black with white spots on their chests, which made them look like they were wearing fur tuxedos, but one day, Elli’s tux started losing its color. It was just a tiny white spot at first, but as months went by, her black coat turned into a black and white mosaic.

Photo: elli.vitiligo/Instagram

“It wasn’t there at the beginning. I thought it was lint and tried to remove it, but it turned out to be her fur,” Nicole told Love Meow about the first time she noticed the changes to Elli’s fur.


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Over the next few months, more small white spots appeared on the cat’s black coat, so Nicole took her to the vet to find out what was going on. She was surprised to learn that Elli was suffering from Vitiligo, a very rare condition that causes discoloration of the skin and fur. Luckily, the effect is purely aesthetic, so it doesn’t bother the cat one bit.

A year after Nicole noticed the first white spot on Elli’s fur, her once black coat is now predominantly white, with gray and dark spots. It’s still changing every day though, so her owner set up an Instagram page for Elli, where she documents her transformation.

“She is so cute and her fur continues to change every day,” Nicole said.

Despite the radical change of color, Elli is a healthy, happy and very playful pet.

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