Why Don’t Cats Turn Gray with Age, But Dogs Do?

Greying gray cat

Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

The truth is that the muzzle of a cat does sometimes turn gray in old age (I have seen it first hand) and a study concluded that dog muzzles turn gray due to stress and anxiety (and I presume in old age although there is an overlap here).

The point is that the question in the title is incorrect. The study that I have referred to concerns dogs. That’s because dogs are far more often chosen for studies of this sort because they are easier to handle.

However, cat owners will notice that their elderly cat might have turned gray around the muzzle although it seems to me that the graying is less extensive than in dogs.

The question that I have is how much of the graying is due to stress and how much due to old age. You could argue that old age and increased stress might go together.

The fact that stress causes hairs to go gray in dogs and possibly in cats tells us that ‘pets’ are not that dissimilar to us in many respects. There is not much more to say really.

Click on this link to read about stress and dogs (or pets generally).

5 thoughts on “Why Don’t Cats Turn Gray with Age, But Dogs Do?”

  1. Cats age more gracefully than dogs. They slow down and spend even more time asleep. Maybe this graceful slowing reduces the stress on their metabolism and it has the energy to keep maintaining the fur. Dogs still seem to want walkies well into old age, but old cats are part way towards perfecting suspended animation!

  2. Thank you, yes he was very handsome, and his personality has been unequaled since. He was my first true love, as far as cats go. It’s hard to talk about how he made every moment around him bright and happy. He opened my eyes to how cats can really be if you let them.

  3. One has to look closer, more carefully and for a longer period of time at any cat to see changes to them with age. As with most things in life, it’s a matter of degree, but my black cat Pete showed a change in pigment in his whiskers and also his ears and chest tuft.

    • Pete is a very handsome cat. His shiny coat looks so exotic. I love black kitties. With white whiskers he looks even more amazing. πŸΎπŸ’œπŸ’œ


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