Felis ISSN 2398-2950

Hair color changes: temperature induced

Synonym(s): Acromelanism

Contributor(s): Ian Mason, David Scarff

Introduction

  • Changes in hair color seen with changing skin temperature.

Pathogenesis

Etiology

  • In cats with pointed haircoats the distal extremities are darker in color than the main body color.
  • Points arise through a temperature-dependent mechanism present in Siamese, Balinese, Birman and Himalayan cats.

Pathophysiology

  • A temperature-dependent oxidative enzyme converts melanin precursors to melanin.
  • With higher temperatures the hair is lighter in color.
  • Kittens are lighter in color, as are cats kept indoors or in a tropical environment.
  • Inflammation results in a lighter haircoat.
  • Shaving results in a darker haircoat due to the poorer peripheral circulation and because the skin is colder.

Diagnosis

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Treatment

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Prevention

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Outcomes

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers


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