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Why Do Cats Whiskers Change Color? They Are A Strange Mixture Of Black And White!

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Why do cats whiskers change color. Cats whiskers change color because of these two different factors.

Firstly, a kitten’s whiskers are usually white (unless you have a Bombay kitten and their whiskers are black) As the kitten gets older the whiskers often turn black. The whiskers can also turn black well before the cat becomes a senior.

This is quite normal. It is also quite normal if they remain completely white into old age and even for the life of the cat.

Secondly, genetics play a major role in the whisker color and if and when they turn black. The genetics will depend on your cat however we know that some cat breeds, for example, the Bombay breed of cat has black whiskers throughout their life.

cat with strong, healthy white whiskers
Uniformly white whiskers!

Why Do Cats Whiskers Go Black?

Why whiskers turn black, is simply due to genetics, some have black whiskers, while others have white whiskers.

As a cat ages the color of the whiskers usually change from white to black. There is no particular age that this happens. It is unique in all cats.

Some cats keep their white whiskers into old age. As you can see, there is no set answer to this question and no right or wrong.

There is no functional reason for this color change. The change in color doesn’t alter the function of the whisker in any way.

Related Whisker Reading: Does your cat have long whiskers? The meaning of long whiskers!

Why Does My Cat Have Black And White Whiskers?

Kitty’s whiskers are either black or white.

It is common for a cats to have both white and black whiskers. Whiskers darken in most cats over time and they change color from white to black . They don’t just all change at once.

There is nothing wrong with this happening if this is a concern for you.

Your cat may even have just one black eyebrow whisker. This black whisker serves the same function as the whiskers on the side of the face.

By the way, black cats can have white whiskers.

black-cat-with-white-whiskers
A black cat with white whiskers.

Do Cats Whiskers Go Grey?

Cat’s gray whiskers are probably dark whiskers or black whiskers that appear to be gray. The shades of black are subjective so it depends on how you see the whisker and it could look more grey in appearance than black.

It would be easy to surmise that cats whiskers go gray as they age and certainly whiskers do become darker with age however the fact that some cats retain white whiskers into old age somewhat debunks this theory.

More Whisker Reading: Are you wondering why your cat has some bent whiskers? Why Are They Like That?

Are Cats Whiskers Always White?

The coat of cats can be of varying colors as we know but whiskers are white or black – predominantly white. The color of cats whiskers don’t contain any melanin unlike the cat’s fur.

When researching this topic it appears that in the early stage of whisker development there may be access to surrounding pigment, however by the time the whisker is forming above the skin that is no longer happening. Aside from this basic answer it appears that this is not an area that has the questions answered by scientific research.

As mentioned genetics play a role in whisker color. This site has some interesting easy to digest facts about cat genetics.

White whiskers are the most common color however some cats do have black whiskers. Some cats have a mixture of black and white whiskers.

Do Cats Whiskers Change With Age ?

kitten-with-white-whiskers-peering-from-behind-a-rock
We can see you and your lovely whiskers kitty!

While most people think of cat’s whiskers as being static, they actually do change over the course of a cat’s life. For example, kittens have thinner whiskers than adults, and senior cats may have bristly or sparse whiskers.

As a cats age and mature into adulthood, its whiskers may also become longer and thicker.

Cats may lose some of their whiskers as they get older.

What Color Should Cats Whiskers Be?

Cats whiskers are different colors. Often a black cat will have black whiskers but not always. A black cat’s whiskers can be white.

The Bombay cat has black whiskers as a kitten and into adulthood. Pure black cat’s fur and black whiskers from kittenhood to adulthood are features belong to the Bombay cat.

Looking at the images below you can see the whiskers are clearly black as a young cat and into adulthood.

A Bombay kitten with black whiskers
Adorable Bombay kitten with black whiskers!
why do cats whiskers change color?
Adult Bombay cat with black whiskers!

Can Cat’s Whiskers Turn White?

Whiskers are shed just as the fur of a cat is shed. We simply see the fur as there is so much more of it. You may or may not come across shed whiskers.

It is normal for whiskers to shed. A cat whisker is a hair shaft that we already know is sensitive. It connects to the muscle around the muzzle and eye brow area, hence the crazy cat whiskers we sometime see above the eye.

When they get ready to shed a whisker the whisker often turns white or gray.

And More Whisker Reading: Have your cat’s whiskers been damaged? Uh oh! Will the whiskers grow back?

Why Do Cats Whiskers Change Color?

  1. Genetics – all cats are different
  2. The age of the cat – whiskers darken with age (mostly)
two cats reading in bed - a cartoon drawing
White whiskers in this family. I have noticed a couple of grays dear!

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