Categories: skin conditions

Vitiligo transformed this tuxedo cat to a mottled white

Vitiligo has transformed this sweet looking tuxedo cat from a standard black-and-white coat to one which is nearly all white with a mottled black pattern. It is an ongoing process. Vitiligo occurs in humans as well and the fact that you can see its effect in this cat’s coat tells us that a cat’s coat is mirrored on her skin. This is why hairless cats have a ‘coat pattern’.

Please click on the images for larger versions.

Elli - elli.vitiligo. Photo: Nicole Böhm
Elli - elli.vitiligo. Photo: Nicole Böhm
Elli - elli.vitiligo. Photo: Nicole Böhm
Elli - elli.vitiligo. Photo: Nicole Böhm

Vitiligo is a long-term skin condition. It affects areas of the skin which lose their normal pigment. In a cat this then affects the coat. Apparently, pigment cells in the skin are destroyed in certain parts of the body. The cause is unknown. Some believe that it is due to an autoimmune condition. The body’s defence system attacks certain cells within the body. It’s not painful but is sometimes linked to other medical conditions.

In this cat’s case (her name is ‘elli.vitiligo’ on Instagram – Elli for short I guess!) there appears to be no associated medical conditions so it’s simply a question of her appearance changing quite dramatically.

Elli lives in Heidelberg, Germany with her owner, Nicole Böhm. Elli was rescued with another kitten at a farm in 2016. Quite quickly her coat changed. It all started with a tiny white spot on her flank in April 2017. Within two years her appearance was transformed.


Lass uns ein bisschen spielen!
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Posted by Elli on Saturday, February 23, 2019

Nicole has turned Elli into a celebrity cat the social media website Instagram. Elli has 6000 followers. The condition in domestic cats is becoming more well-known perhaps in part because of another celebrity cat with the same condition which I wrote about some time ago. His name was Scrappy. He was originally black but turned into a fantastic looking mottled black-and-white. He died on 3rd April 2017.

The most famous person to suffer from this condition was Michael Jackson who is famous now for his alleged paedophilia.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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