Did you know that even cats can get freckles? In most cases, red fur noses and lucky cats are affected by the dark spots on the nose. These are pigment spots that are usually harmless. How the spots develop and when you should go to the vet as a precaution, read below.
Strictly speaking, the term "freckles" is misleading for the dark spots on the cat's skin. Because unlike humans, the swabs are created independently of sunlight. But what about the freckles in cats?
What are freckles in cats?
The freckles in cats are called in the jargon "Lentigo" or in the majority "Lentigines". These are pigment spots. This means that instead of the dark swabs more cells are present, the pigments, so dyes produce. These cells are called "melanocytes" and the dye they produce "melanin". The pigmented spots are flat and clearly differentiated from the surrounding skin. They are either black or brown. Likewise, the blobs on the cat skin are best with liver spots and birthmarks, even if they look like freckles.
How do the pigment spots on the cat skin develop?
The pigmented spots are not caused by sunlight and are not amplified by it. However, the predisposition to freckles in both cats and humans appears to be genetically determined. Especially cats that have red fur, get over time more and more swabs on the skin. This can affect both red-haired cats with and without spotting as well as tortoiseshell and lucky cats. In rare cases, the spots in silver-colored and cream-colored fur noses can be observed.
The freckles are probably the first thing you notice on the nose or lips of your cat. But the swabs also appear on other skin areas, for example:
● In the oral cavity
● Inside the ears
● On the eyelids and the edges of the eyes
● Under the paws.
The predisposition to the birthmarks already carry cat babies in themselves, but often the pigmented spots are noticed later. In old age, the dark blobs increase - as in human age spots.
Tip: Even if the freckles in cats are not caused by sunlight, you should protect especially fair-skinned fur noses from excessive sunlight. For sunburn get our velvet paws in exactly the same way as we humans.
Are freckles in cats a cause for concern?
The short answer is no. If they are actually moles or freckles in cats, they are just as harmless as in humans. Your velvet paw has no pain because of it and probably does not know that it has pigment spots. However, the dark blobs can be dangerous if there are fewer benign lesions in between.
Dark patches on the skin: When your cat needs to go to the vet
If the pigment spots do not lie flat on the skin, but stand out from the skin surface, they can be so-called melanomas. These are tumors on the skin that can be both benign and malignant. To determine this, you should go with your cat to the vet and have her examined. A vet visit is also advised if the spots appear reddened or your cat is unusually sensitive to touch in those spots - these can be symptoms of painful inflammation.
Attention: Melanoma can be given to all cats, not just redheaded animals. Stubentiger with dark fur are even more frequently affected, experts say.
Otherwise, as soon as your cat behaves differently than usual or you find something strange, you better go with her to the vet. If everything is alright, you can rest assured. If the dark spots are actually skin cancer or disease-related rashes, the sooner the disease is treated, the better the chances of recovery.