'I'm Still Surprised': Cat Develops Rare Condition Also Found in Humans That Changes Her Appearance

Odette Odendaal
Mar 22, 2019
05:06 P.M.

A cat in Germany got diagnosed with a rare skin condition after her owner noticed her changing fur color.


Three years ago Nicole Böhm’s path crossed with two kittens in desperate need of rescue. Since getting a kitten was already on her mind and with them needing medical care Nicole couldn’t resist.

"They were in a desolate condition with mites and infections in their ears. It hurt me to see them suffer, so I took both home," she told Love Meow.

Nicole rescued the black-and-white kitten siblings aged around four months, but it wasn’t until they got to their first birthday that she started noticing a change in Elli’s fur. "It was just a little white spot on her back. I didn't know why, so I took her to the vet," she said.


Stunned, the vet told Nicole Elli has vitiligo - characterized by the loss of pigmentation in patches of skin/fur all over the body; it is also very rare in cats.

On Elli, the effects are quite striking. Given a clean bill of health, the condition sometimes linked to other medical issues are not relevant to Elli and is otherwise completely healthy. Her sibling remained completely normal.


In the weeks that followed, Elli’s coat pattern kept on changing and resulted in a dramatic and mesmerizing physical transformation.

But she was still the same Elli she’s always been as Nicole added, "Her personality is the same as ever. It doesn't matter to her. She is as cute and lovely and as playful as the first day."


Vitiligo can develop in cats as they get older. Vets are unable to predict which cats are likely to get the condition or why it occurs.

It is also a condition shared with humans, causing patches of pale, white skin to develop due to the lack of melanin. Mostly found on areas exposed to the sun, it affects one in 100 people in the UK.


Biggie the cat and Elli not only share rare conditions but have a few other things in common too. A Reddit user rbend shared the rare occurrence in Biggie, a stray cat the family adopted years earlier.

Biggie used to have the bluest pair of eyes, but early in 2015, the right eye started changing color. Over the course of a year, the one eye gradually turned from blue to emerald green.

The vets couldn’t find anything wrong after doing a range of tests, as an adult cat’s change in eye color could point to a serious medical condition.

Biggie the cat. |Source: Imgur/rbend

Biggie the cat. |Source: Imgur/rbend


"They said it's nothing. I guess it's something that happens with age. I'm not completely sure why it changed, but vets have never been worried about it," rbend wrote.

However, Biggie is a happy, healthy and affectionate cat and seem to suffer no side effects because of the change. Intrigued by the cause, rbend consulted two vets in hopes of finding a reason, but so far, no luck.

At least the two cats still looked liked felines, one dog whose physical appearance also changed, was not so lucky as he ended up looking like a completely different animal.

Please fill in your e-mail so we can share with you our top stories!
By subscribing, you agree to our Privacy Policy
Related posts

After Old Man’s Death, Son Returns to His House and Hears Sounds from Abandoned Garage — Story of the Day

March 19, 2022

Sting's Daughter Mickey Sumner Has a Special Needs Child with an Unclear Diagnosis

February 15, 2022

Veteran Loads His Old Truck with Food Every Night, Never Misses a Day for over 20 Years

May 02, 2022

Homeless Man Finds Old Couch in Dumpster, Turns Cushion over and Sees a Large Zipper — Story of the Day

February 26, 2022

20 Years after Newborn Daughter’s Death, Man Hears, ‘Dad, I Finally Found You’ – Story of the Day

March 05, 2022

Mom Takes Newborn Baby Daughter into Her Arms, Realizes She Has Red Eyes

April 27, 2022

5-Year-Old Brother Carries His Little Sister's Coffin to Say Goodbye to Her Forever

April 17, 2022

Stepson Mocked by Adoptive Parents & Their Children Finds Letters They Hid from Him – Story of the Day

March 12, 2022

Elderly Couple Is Led by a Cat to a Black Bag, Sees a Tiny Hand Hanging from Inside — Story of the Day

May 10, 2022

Woman Sees Wealthy Neighbor Looking for Food in Trash Cans — Story of the Day

March 05, 2022

Woman Lost Her Cat and 11 Years Later Gets a Call from the Shelter

February 09, 2022

Old Lady Promises Each of Her 5 Grandkids a $2M Inheritance, in the End No One Gets It — Story of the Day

February 16, 2022

Man Finds Abandoned Stroller with a Newborn Baby in the Subway, Years Later the Mother Appears – Story of the Day

March 02, 2022

After Millionaire Husband’s Death, Old Widow Is Forced to Live In Dirty Old Trailer – Story of the Day

May 22, 2022