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Rare condition changes colour of kitten’s coat

Black and white cat lies on a bed cat-wow
© elli.vitiligo. Instagram

It’s a very rare condition of humans and even rarer of cats, but when vitiligo strikes it’s striking and beautiful. 

By Nick Whittle

Published on the 19/02/2019, 12:00, Updated on the 08/02/2021, 13:51

It was during a visit to a local farm that German girl Nicole spotted two poorly cats cowering in the corner of a barn. 

Both cats were strays. They were infested with fleas and mites, and both looked malnourished. Nicole rushed the cats to a local vet to be looked after, and she had already decided to take one of them for herself.  

A special cat

Nicole called her new cat Elli: a black cat with a patch of white fur on her chest that gave her the appearance of wearing a tuxedo. Nicole continued to care for Ellie and nursed her back to health. 

From the start, Nicole was delighted with her new cat. ‘She was very playful and sometimes acted more like a dog than a cat,’ she said.

As Elli approached her first birthday, Nicole noticed how the pattern of her fur had begun to change; nothing dramatic, just a small white patch of fur that previously had been black. 

It wasn't there at the beginning. I thought it was lint and tried to remove it,’ Nicole told Love Meow, ‘but it turned out to be her fur’.

As the white fur begin to spread in blotches Nicole asked a vet for advice about what might be causing the change, and was told that the cat probably had vitiligo. 

Vitiligo is an uncommon skin condition that causes skin to lose its natural pigment. Of an animal with fur this loss of skin pigment affects the colour of the fur. 

Since the early days the pattern of Elli’s coat has changed several times and continues to change. 

She is so cute and her fur continues to change every day,’ Nicole told Love Meow.

Now three years old Elli is as healthy and as happy as any other cat. 


A post shared by Elli (@elli.vitiligo) on


A post shared by Elli (@elli.vitiligo) on


A post shared by Elli (@elli.vitiligo) on