Showing posts with label pigmentation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label pigmentation. Show all posts

Saturday 27 May 2023

My cats mouth is "spotty" and looks strange to me. I'm concerned.

The picture comes from again - a good source of questions about cat appearance and behavior. The problem stated in the title is one which crops up from time to time on the Internet. It can look a little concerning because cat owners expect the inside of their cat's mouth to be pink because the mucous membrane there is normally evenly pink. 

Pigmentation in the mucous membrane of a cat's mouth
Pigmentation in the mucous membrane of a cat's mouth. Image:

But sometimes the cells of the mucous membrane can be black because of the production of melanin which is the same pigment which colours the hair strands. It's all perfectly normal. They look a bit like freckles inside the mouth. This is not a health problem in any shape or form. Sometimes there are large blotches of black mucous membrane and sometimes you might see little dots of pigmentation along the gum line. No problem.

It is nice that the owner of this cat who posted the picture on the website is asking if other people are concerned about the appearance of her cat which she must love and care for well.

On a slightly different topic, it seems that the interior of his mouth is pretty healthy too! Sometimes you see some quite bad inflammation of the gums due to gum disease which in turn is due to calculus building up around the gum line. 

Tragedy as female cat suffers catastrophic reaction to general anesthetic.

This contains bacteria which causes the inflammation. It is very hard, as we all know, to clean a cat's teeth! That's why they end up going to the veterinarian for teeth cleaning which, you might already know, carries a health risk because they have to anaesthetise the cat and there is an approx. 1 in 400 chance of the anaesthetic damaging the cat's brain which can render them blind and even kill them (click the link above for a tragic example).

Friday 30 December 2022

Cat develops a dead straight blonde fur line on her black fur overnight. Why?

This is the question on Binx has (overnight) developed a dead straight line of blonde on her back. Any ideas?

Black cat with blonde stripe on her back
Black cat with blonde stripe on her back which developed rapidly. Image: u/FyldeCoast on

There is obviously no certainty that I am correct. It is a kind of guess based on little to go on. If you have a better idea please comment. It would be great if you did 😃.

RELATED: 2 examples of feline vitiligo (leukoderma).

This is my answer

It looks like it could be vitiligo. It is harmless. Antibodies attack the melanocytes (pigment producing cells in the skin in the hair follicle bulb). The melanocytes are destroyed and no longer produce melanin, a dark pigment producing black fur. This leads to fur without pigment in a localised area. The hair strands in that are just keratin and therefore semi-transparent having the appearance of being off-white. The white area may expand. Sometimes cats with vitiligo turn from black to white! Studies indicate that changes in the immune system are responsible for the condition and that both underlying genetics and environmental triggers are involved. Now you'll tell me some bleach dripped onto her back 😊.

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