I have an adopted ginger tabby male cat who was found somewhere and his age was estimated by the shelter to be about 4 years old.

You may notice that when your cat was young, their whiskers were white. As a cat ages, their whiskers can begin to change color. (Source)

Well, he has just got his first black whisker. I'm wondering if it can be an indication of his true age?

  • Can't say for sure but I don't think there's any way to be 100% certain or pinpoint even just an estimated age. Just look at humans, some start having their first gray hairs at mid-20s, while others won't see any at 40+ (without resorting to coloring).
    – Mario
    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:20
  • I know it can not be 100% certain, but I thought that might give some indication of the age, to either corroborate or undermine the age estimated by the shelter.
    – supermario
    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:24
  • I'm not certain, maybe that's indeed the case, therefore I only wrote it as a comment. :)
    – Mario
    Jul 26, 2018 at 9:25
  • 1
    I believe the operative word in that quote is CAN. They don't necessarily change. My previous cat, who was predominantly ginger, had pure white whiskers his entire life, past age 14. Of my current cats (both predominantly black), both have a mix of black and white whiskers and have since I adopted them at ~3 months, that come back the same color when shed.
    – Allison C
    Jul 26, 2018 at 14:40
  • I checked whiskers of my cat very carefully. He is 9 and he has exactly one black whisker. This doesn't prove anything of course, just another data point if anybody is curious.
    – ck1987pd
    Jun 22, 2021 at 5:11

1 Answer 1


Color of whiskers isn't set in stone, nor is their transition.

Some cats start black, other cats start white (one of our current cats has black whiskers at age 1, the others have white whiskers at age 1). I've had a cat who kept white whiskers to the day she died (age 21).

There's likely no guaranteed answer here, only an average approximation.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.