A very unusual litter of kittens were recently born at Llandogo, where one of the residents had kindly taken in a stray black cat.
Though she was fond of this stray, who she named Georgie, the lady could not keep her as she did not get on with her own cat.
Forest of Dean Cats Protection were called in and, two days before someone was due to collect Georgie, she gave birth to a litter of six kittens in the middle of the kitchen floor.
The kittens were born with an unusual overcoat of white/grey fur over their true colours. Four of them only had this on their hips and back legs, but two were completely covered in this fur, with their little black ears sticking out.
Gradually, over the weeks, the overcoats disappeared and revealed two black kittens, three torties and one tabby.
The overcoat had never been seen before on a litter of kittens, so Sara Ford, Forest of Dean Cats Protection co-ordinator, consulted Maggie Roberts, head vet at Cats Protection HQ in Sussex.
Maggie and her colleagues had never seen disappearing overcoats on kittens before, but they did some research and found a phenomenon called ‘fever coat’, which can develop if the mother has had a fever during pregnancy or through stress, which might be the answer as Georgie was a stray.
Black kittens are always worst affected, as proved to be the case in this litter. All of the kittens and their mother are now re-homed and doing well.