Leeds colour-change cat Scrappy dies aged 19
A cat which made headlines around the world because of his colour-changing fur has died at the age of 19.
Scrappy the cat, from Morley, became an internet sensation after being born jet black, but then began turning white.
It is thought that the ageing tom cat had suffered from vitiligo – a condition which affects around one per cent of humans and is even rarer in cats.
Caused by a lack of melanin, it usually causes white patches to appear on the skin.
By the age of seven, his fur began to turn a marble-like white colour.
Scrappy had more than 250,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, and became the talk of national newspapers.
His owner, builder David Platt, always said he was from Yorkshire but had, until now, kept his exact location a secret in case someone had tried to steal Scrappy. A message was posted on his Facebook page saying that Scrappy had died and his family were ‘heartbroken’.
David, of Denham Avenue, said: “He’s been up and down for weeks so we were expecting it, after speaking to the vets we realised the time had come. Everybody was drawn to his uniqueness, people said he was one in a billion.”
David, 46, bought Scrappy in 1997 as a black kitten. At the age of seven he baffled vets when his fur began to change and they initially thought he had suffered a stroke.
As media outlets across the world got wind of his unique condition, they clambered to speak with David. Scrappy even became the face of the pet section of Amazon - the online shopping company - while a vitiligo research centre in Florida had shown interest in Scrappy to find if they could learn from his condition.