Family cat who became an Internet sensation dies aged 19

Scrappy passed away yesterday.
Scrappy passed away yesterday.

A cat which made headlines world wide because of his colour-changing fur has died at the age of 19.

Scrappy the cat, from Morley, became a huge internet sensation after being born jet black, but 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 more rare 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.

Scrappy had more than 250,000 followers on Facebook and Instagram, and became the talk of national tabloids.

Scrappy was pure black until he reached seven years of age...

Scrappy was pure black until he reached seven years of age...

His owner, builder David Platt, always said he was from Yorkshire but kept his exact location a secret in case someone tried to steal Scrappy after he became an online phenomenon.

A message was posted on his Facebook page saying that Scrappy had passed away on Monday afternoon, and that his family were ‘heartbroken’.

David, of Denham Avenue in Morley, said: “He’s been up and down for a week 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.

Scrappy celebrating his 19th birthday with owner David Platt.

Scrappy celebrating his 19th birthday with owner David Platt.

“My partner put his picture on the internet and that’s how he became famous.

“People walking past would stop in the street and ask if they could take a photo.

“We have two other cats but at 19, he has lasted longer than any other pet.”

David, 46, bought Scrappy in 1997 when he was a black kitten.

But at the age of seven he baffled vets when his fur began to change and they initially thought he had suffered a stroke.

As TV stations and newspapers across the world got wind of his unique condition, they clambered to speak with David.

He 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.

Scrappy has now been laid to rest in David’s garden, for which he is now looking at buying a headstone.