Are Black Cat Whiskers Rare – The Fascinating Answer!

How often do you see a cat with black whiskers? White whiskers? Depending on the type of cat breeds you’re used to seeing, you might think that cats have whisker colors that are more popular than others. If you feel like you’ve only ever seen white cat whiskers, you might think that black cat whiskers are rarer than other colors. But, are black cat whiskers rare?

Black cat whiskers are not rare. A cat’s whiskers can lighten or darken as they age. Cat whiskers can come in all colors. Cats can appear with both black and white whiskers at the same time. 

Sorry to burst your bubble, but you haven’t stumbled upon gold if you adopt a cat (or if a cat adopts you) with black whiskers. Cat whisker colors can change, which may be surprising, so your cat may have both black and white whiskers during its lifetime. Let’s chat a little about what cat whisker color means. 

What Does A Black Whisker On A Cat Mean

Black cat whiskers don’t necessarily have a specific meaning, other than probably coordinating with your cat’s fur color throughout most of its life.

But that’s not it. If your cat has white whiskers for most of its life, and the whiskers turn black, there could be two reasons:

  • Your cat might just have a black whisker! Just like the hair on your head, cat whiskers grow out of a hair follicle. 
  • If your cat always had white whiskers, for example, and they turn black, your cat might just be getting older. It’s not something any of us want to think about, but it’s a fact of cats getting older.

Sudden black whiskers aren’t anything that should cause you any alarm, but it might change your furry friend’s look!

Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers Turning Black

Black whiskers may mean your cat is getting older.

As cats age, their whiskers might change color. It probably won’t be something that happens overnight, but their whiskers do change. 

Black whiskers don’t just mean that your cat is now a senior cat. It could also mean that your cat is just moving out of the kitten stage too. Its whiskers darken with age, but it doesn’t mean you’re getting so much closer to having to say goodbye to one of your best friends. 

Isn’t it surprising that cat whiskers can change colors so easily? Now, if only my hair would dye itself like that!

What Determines Cat Whisker Color

Fur color most often determines cat whisker color.

You probably haven’t seen an all-black cat with white whiskers, right? If a cat is entirely black – or completely white, for that matter – the whiskers on the cat will probably be black too. I don’t think I’ve seen a black cat with white whiskers, at least.

All cats don’t have one colored whisker through. My mackerel tabby has whiskers that are mostly black, but halfway down, they turn into a vibrant tan color. Her whiskers almost look like they have been dyed, and now the roots are growing in! Cool, right?

Just like cat fur, you’ll find a variety of colors in cat whiskers.

Whiskers may also turn black as your cat gets older, though. If your cat always had light or white whiskers, their whiskers may turn black. As you might be able to see, cat whiskers don’t always follow the same patterns.

Age Whisker Color
Kitten White
Adult Cat Black
Senior Cat White or Black

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers

Cat whiskers aren’t just cute and get a little bit curly with the humidity; they help your cat with things like navigation and balance, among other things.

Your cat uses its whiskers for many different things:

  • Navigation – Whiskers allow your cat to navigate its environment. 
  • Balance – Your cat’s whiskers help it balance and walk. Your cat’s tail helps with balance too.
  • Spatial awareness – A few whiskers help a cat know if it can fit inside specific spaces.
  • Marking – If your cat rubs its whiskers again your hands, it’s because your cat is marking you with its scent.

No matter the color of your cat’s whiskers, your cat’s whiskers are essential, so don’t ever go giving your cat a haircut!

Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Long

You might think that your cat has long whiskers, but they’re supposed to be long! 

Well, they’re supposed to be as long as your cat is wide. Your cat, that’s arguably a little chunky will have relatively long whiskers. If you have a skinny cat, its whiskers will be shorter. You might also notice that a kitten has pretty short whiskers, but they’ll also get longer as your kitten begins to grow. Sometimes, you can even tell if your kitten is about to have a growth spurt if its whiskers seem too long!

Cat whiskers can be a droopy too. I’ve noticed that my long-haired cats have finer whiskers that hang slightly. My short-haired cats have courser whiskers that stick straight out. Fur type and fur length might also decide what your cat’s whiskers will look like. 

At What Age Do Cat Whiskers Turn White

Just like with humans, your cat’s whiskers might turn white as it gets older. Since many cats live for so long, this won’t be something that will happen any time soon. Your cat’s whiskers might not turn white until it is well after ten years old.

This, however, is only if your cat had dark whiskers all its life. Your cat could have been born with white whiskers too, so it won’t be a matter of waiting for your cat’s whiskers to change color.

As you can see, it’s hard to say for sure what color your cat’s whiskers are, if they will stay that color, or when they will change color. 

Why Did My Cat’s Whiskers Turn White

Your cat’s whiskers may begin to turn white as your cat gets older.

Even if you had a cat with black whiskers all its life, you might notice that your cat’s whiskers are turning white. But don’t worry! This doesn’t mean that there’s suddenly something seriously wrong with your feline friend.

As cats age, their whiskers may turn white. Remember that I said cat whiskers are like human hair in a lot of ways? Your hair gets gray when you get older, which is the same thing as what happens to your cat. Your cat is getting its “gray hair,” which may turn out to be pure white instead.

Will My Cat’s Whiskers Fall Out

Cat whiskers will naturally shed throughout your cat’s life, but you should never cut your cat’s whiskers off.

You might find cat whiskers around your house every now and then, and there’s nothing wrong with that. Cat whiskers fall out from time to time, but your cat’s whiskers will eventually grow back. It may take a few months, but the whiskers will come back.

It would be best if you never clipped or cut your cat’s whiskers. Your cat uses its whiskers for many different things like we already discussed, and even though they may seem long, they’re supposed to be. Cutting your cat’s whiskers may make it disorientated or unable to do the same things it always did. 

If you want some solid answers on the color of cat whiskers, you’ll have to be the one to find these answers for sure. Cat whiskers are like human hair in many ways, so cat whiskers can start as one color and lighten or darken with age. Whiskers are connected to follicles that tell the whisker what color to be. Don’t be too surprised if your cat looks slightly different from its kitten pictures after a few years!


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