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Cat With Black Whiskers – Is Your Furry Friend Getting Older?

Cat With Black Whiskers – Is Your Furry Friend Getting Older?

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Our felines never cease to amaze me. They have a bunch of quirks, and a fascinating one is that their whiskers can undergo a color change! Yes, you heard that right!

A cat with typically white whiskers can start getting black whiskers, while a cat with typically black whiskers (such as a Bombay cat) can start getting white whiskers!

The change in whisker color is associated with a cat’s aging. As humans age, we experience a hair color change, and our furry friends can experience a whisker color change!

Cats With Black Whiskers

Cat With Black Whiskers looking at camera

The most typical color of whiskers by far is white. However, black whiskers can also be observed, making them not common but not rare either.

Black whiskers are entirely normal, and if you pay close attention to your cat’s whiskers, you might find one or two black whiskers hiding among the other white whiskers!

However, if you own a Bombay cat (which has a section in this article!), all of its whiskers will be completely black!

What Do Black Whiskers Mean?

Age is a factor that affects the color of a cat’s whiskers. Your cat will naturally age, and as your cat ages, you might start noticing one or two whiskers turning gray and black.

The whiskers will not change color in a day or two but rather gradually.

When Does A Cat Start Getting Black Whiskers?

The change in whisker color from white to black can happen as your cat grows from a kitten to an adult cat! On the other hand, it can also occur as your cat approaches old age.

An elderly cat’s whiskers may contain a significant number of black whiskers if you look closely. On the other hand, some cats reach old age and do not develop a single white whisker!

As you can see, there is no particular rule about the age at which a cat can start getting white whiskers; it differs from one cat to another!

Shouldn’t All Cats Have All White Whiskers?

Cat With Black Whiskers

Although most domestic cats have white whiskers, there is no rule that every cat’s whiskers should be white.

Solid black cats, such as the Bombay cat, have all-black whiskers, and that’s a standard whisker color for them!

However, solid black cats are not so common, so it’s understandable why some people think that all cats have white whiskers.

How Is A Cat’s Whisker Color Determined?

The color of a cat’s whiskers depends on the cat’s breed and age.

All other cats typically have white whiskers, but full black cats have only black ones. 

Age also plays a massive role in whisker color; as a cat with white whiskers ages, it may start getting black whiskers; and as black cat ages, it may begin to get white whiskers.

How exactly pigment deposition in whiskers works has yet to be fully discovered. It’s a bit of a mystery, you could say.

We know that white whiskers are white due to the lack of melanin (a group of pigments) in the whisker itself. Some say that white whiskers never receive melanin, while others say they do but don’t retain it when they emerge from the top skin layer.

So the question arises, how do black cats have their whiskers pigmented black while other cats don’t? We will have to wait for someone to conduct scientific research to tell us the real answer!

Why Does My Cat Have One Black Whisker?

Meet Kai; he also has only one black whisker!

This is nothing out of the ordinary. It can be that your cat has just left kittenhood behind and started growing into an adult cat!

It can also be that that one black whisker is the first of many! Cats don’t experience a sudden change in whisker color from white to black, but rather a gradual one.

Can A Whisker Be Half-White Half-Black?

orange cat with Half-White Half-Black wisker
Photo from: @cattywampusone

Of course!

When it comes to whisker color combinations, as you can see, there are no limits; a cat can have

• all whiskers white or black,

• half of whiskers white and the other half black,

• have only one white or black whisker,

• have whiskers that are each half-white half-black!

Bombay Cat – A Cat With All Black Whiskers

You probably already know about the Bombay cat – a sleek, shorthaired beauty. I must mention that solid black coats are very rare sights in the cat world, so Bombay cats are extraordinary!

Another interesting trait is that even their whiskers are black! All Bombay cats have black whiskers, but as they become older, they may start to grow one or two white ones as well.

A breeder named Nikki Horner developed these cats by crossing Burmese and American Shorthair cats in 1965. Bombay cats are famous for their glossy, solid, black coats and copper or green eyes.

Famous for their dark whiskers and piercing eyes, these cats also make excellent pets, as they’re very intelligent, social, and loving!

Suggested: Bombay Cat Vs. Black Cat: Close, But Not Quite The Same

Changes Of Cats’ Whiskers Throughout Life

If you’re wondering, Will my cat have the same whiskers all their life?, the answer is No!

A cat’s fur and whiskers change throughout a cat’s life. This is entirely normal, and the same happens to humans, right? Adult cats have much thicker whiskers than kittens, while senior cats have longer, more sparse whiskers.

Shedding and regrowing of the whiskers is also a completely natural process! The whiskers that regrow can be of a different color than the remaining ones, which does not indicate anything wrong with a cat’s health.

Although not all cats will have a noticeable whisker color change, if you observe your cat’s whiskers turning another color, do not be worried; it simply means your cat is aging!

Suggested: Do Cats Have Eyelashes? Everything You Need To Know

Does The Color Of Whiskers Matter?

close shot of Cat's Black Whiskers

A cat most definitely does not care what color its whiskers are, considering there is no connection between functionality and the color of the whiskers.

The length, number, and color of cat’s whiskers make no difference in how the whiskers function, so the most important thing is that a cat’s whiskers are all in place and healthy!

Whiskers are an important part of a cat’s body; together with a cat’s tail, they support the cat’s balance and sensory perception. 

No matter the cat breed, the cat’s upper lip, chin, eyebrow whiskers, as well as the whiskers around the eyes and ears, provide crucial information about the world around them, no matter what their color is.

Can I Dye My Cat’s Whiskers?

If you think that your kitty’s white, long whiskers would look good in another color, such as dark brown or black, I’m letting you know that it is a bad idea to dye them.

Please refrain from dying, cutting, or even touching your cat’s whiskers.

A cat’s whiskers, otherwise known as vibrissae, may look like a bunch of stiff hairs pointing outwards, but their role is very important.

The brain receives signals from each whisker, which is incredibly sensitive and finely tuned, and related to the muscle and neurological systems. The cat receives essential information from its sensory input, such as the size of items it meets and the distance between one object and another.

Therefore if you modify, cut or damage your cat’s whiskers, a cat might have trouble with orientation and sensory perception. Therefore, refrain from doing anything with a cat’s whiskers; just let them be!

Suggested: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Long? 10 Amazing Facts

In Conclusion

cat with green eyes

If you pay close attention to the color of your cat’s whiskers, you might be able to observe one or two black whiskers! Cat’s whiskers turning black is nothing out of the ordinary!

Even though the mechanism behind whisker pigmentation and how whiskers can change color in young cats, as well as older cats is still a bit of a mystery, it’s still a fascinating topic!

I hope you’ve learned something new and have gathered a few fun whisker facts to share with your friends!

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