When cat owners notice grey whiskers in their fluffy friends, the first thought that comes to their mind is that their cat is ill or is getting older. But in fact, grey hair in cats is not only with because of these two reasons. Grey hair in cats does not mean advanced age at all.
Silvery hair in your kitty can be a side effect of heredity or age. For example, black cats go grey in their early youth. If a black cat is related to grey or smoky coloured cats, then an animal could experience one-, two- or even three colour changes. Black kittens get their colour only when they are almost one-year-old. Until then their colour might vary from brown to ashen.
There are a number of other reasons why your cat goes grey, and the reasons are not related to the age of your kitty. A cat can go grey because of the change in seasons or temperature. For example, the fur of a Burmese, Siamese or Himalayan cat darkens during cold seasons, while during summer the fur of these breeds gets another shade as it fades in the sun. However, in this situation we cannot say that a cat goes grey, as the colour of their fur changes back over time.
Some cat owners confuse grey hair in their cat with a change in the pattern of the fur. A certain set of genes is responsible for that, and can be activated in adult cats. Hairs that have turned white might look like gray ones, but in fact they are not, as pigment is found in them.
Reasons why your cat goes grey
Cat owners can notice pieces of grey hair in their cat after diseases or surgery in the past. A cat can also go gray because the animal suffers from an allergy.
A diet that is low in amino acids, copper and macro elements can be the reason why your cat goes grey. These chemical elements are responsible for the production of melanin, and a lack of it can result in not only grey hair in cats, but it is also very important for the general condition of the fur and its colour.
Like humans, cats go grey because of strong emotions or grief. Relocation or separation from their owner can be a reason why a cat goes grey.
Over time, the colour of fur in cats changes. However, it is difficult to identify the exact timing, as heredity also plays a role. Some cats go grey when they are only 3-5 years old, while others can be proud of the amazing colour of their fur until their last days. Statistically, data says that a cat owner should not worry if their cat goes grey at the age of 8-12 years old.
Contrary to popular belief grey hair in cats does not mean a serious illness or changes in behaviour. Most likely, a hereditary predisposition is the reason why the colour of their fur has changed. However, if you have also noticed other changes e.g. in eating habits, behaviour, or your kitty looks unhealthy, then you should contact your vet to discuss your concerns.