Fever Coat in Cats

As cat owners, we often marvel at the beautiful and diverse coat colors and patterns our feline friends possess. However, occasionally, we may notice a peculiar change in a cat’s coat known as “fever coat.” Related: Why Has My Cats Fur Gone Lumpy?

What is Fever Coat?

Fever coat, also known as stress fur or ghost tiger cat, is a condition in which a cat’s fur changes significantly due to a temporary change in pigmentation and are not skin problem. This condition occurs when a pregnant cat suffers from high fever, great stress or certain medications. These coats will eventually change to actual pigmentation after birth. Kittens born with fever coats tend to have silver, red/brown or cream coats, which change within a few months to a year after the kitten is born.

Kitten Fever Cats: What Do They Look Like?

The most obvious symptom of a fevered coat is a change in the colour and texture of the cat’s coat. The fur may appear spotted, faded or lighter than expected for the breed or pattern. Some kittens will develop colour spots, some back stripes, irregular patterns.

Before and After Fever Coat Cat

Little Bain was born with the lightest of coats, but this adorable kitten turned out to be a tiger-spotted cat.
As he grew up, his stripes began to show.

Does Fever Coat Have Any Negative Effects?

Nope, not at all! Fever coat in cats is purely a pigmentation issue, so there will be no lingering problems after their coats change colors. Despite the “fever” in the name indicating possible harmful effects, there won’t be any health issues or genetic abnormalities or anything else of the kind. Really, the only potential negative is if you prefer the kitten’s original coat more than the one to which it changed.

Other Causes of Coat Color Change that You Need to Be Aware Of?

While fever fur is one of the causes of kitten fur discolouration, there are other possible causes that are worth noting:


Vitiligo is a skin condition that can affect cats, just like it does in humans. It occurs when the cells responsible for producing melanin, the pigment that gives color to the skin, fur, and eyes, are destroyed. As a result, patches of white or lighter-colored fur may appear on the cat’s coat. The extent and distribution of these white patches can vary and can develop at any age.

Nutritional deficiencies

A well-balanced and nutritious diet is crucial for maintaining a cat’s overall health, including the health of their coat. Nutritional deficiencies, particularly in essential nutrients like proteins, vitamins, and minerals, can lead to changes in the fur’s texture and color. For example, a deficiency in certain amino acids or essential fatty acids might cause the coat to become dry, dull, or prone to discoloration.

Health problems

Various underlying health issues can manifest as changes in a cat’s coat color and texture. For instance, certain hormonal imbalances, thyroid problems, liver disease, and even some skin infections can cause fur discoloration. In such cases, the color change is often accompanied by other noticeable symptoms, such as hair loss, itching, or inflammation.


Fever coat in cats is a fascinating phenomenon that occurs during a cat’s prenatal development as a result of stress, illness, or fever experienced by the mother cat. While it can be surprising to witness a sudden change in a cat’s coat color and pattern, fever coat is not harmful and does not require any specific treatment. It is merely a temporary cosmetic alteration that will eventually be replaced by the cat’s natural coat as it matures. If you have any concerns about your cat’s health or coat, it is always best to seek professional advice from a veterinarian.