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Why Does My Black Cat Have White Hairs?

Why Does My Black Cat Have White Hairs?

There are many reasons to keep a black cat as a pet lover. Some cultures consider black cats as good luck magnets. For a long time, British captains left black-furred cats in ships to protect their sailors. There is also a part of the British population that believes women with black cats have more luck finding love. People are also said to have good fortune anytime black cats cross their path. Even if you think those are mere superstitions, the striking look of yellow eyes amidst black fur is something you can’t deny.

This gorgeous look tends to fade away when they grow white hairs. The same black cat that leaves an out-of-the-box look on your sofa now appears uncomely to the sight. No doubt, this could be pretty disheartening for a big-time cat lover.  In this article, we will discuss the common culprits and possible remedies to the problem. Let’s get started.

Black and white cat

Why Does My Black Cat Have White Hairs?

Wherever the white hairs are located on your cat, the causes are mostly age- and health-related. So, how does each of these come to play? 

1. Metabolism Disorders

Metabolism is as much a problem in cats as with humans. When your cat ingests any food, drink, or medication, the metabolic process breaks those substances into forms the body can absorb for energy and nutrients. However, when the body can no longer perform this function optimally, it is only a matter of time before the substances accumulate to a toxic level. 

Medically, metabolism disorders are often associated with pregnancy, aging, and genetic formation. Whatever the cause may be, one of the symptoms to watch out for is the growth of white furs on your cat’s skin. However, other effects include obesity and pelvic injuries. Usually, health conditions like this may take time to show symptoms. Thus, it would help if you always took your cat to a veterinary clinic for a check-up. If your black cat suddenly starts growing white hairs, metabolism disorder is a top factor you need to consider.

2. Stress and Anxiety

Have you ever wondered why several young men grow gray hairs today? Normally, no one should have more than a few strands of gray hairs until they hit 60. Tables have turned the other way today. Research-wise, there are more reports of hair whitening stress and anxiety than other causes. Similarly, a black-haired cat turning white may be due to stress and anxiety. While there are no detailed explanations on the pathological root, there are predictions that stress inhibits how cats produce pigment. Medically, this results in the death of pigment cells. Because of this, your cat’s furs absorb less melanin and finally start turning white or gray.

Black and white cat

3. Poor Diet

You’ve probably heard people say, “good food is good health.” Much of what causes diseases is related to the foods we eat and those we do not eat. Similarly, your cat’s diet is key to staying healthy. Too much dry food often inhibits the growth of pigment cells. Water is a significant part of your cat’s diet. Continuous dehydration may turn out an enemy for your cat’s hair. 

4. Old Age

Old age spares no one, not even animals. One of the clear signs you may notice as your friend advances in age is that her fur starts becoming white. However, the color change is usually in phases. It begins with the graying process, where the black furs lighten up to gray. That said, this is not limited to black cats alone. However, the sharp color contrast makes it more glaring in black cats. Even other animals possess the same trait. 

So, before you hurry to a veterinary clinic to get medications, you may need to check how old your cat has grown. If she has been on Mother Earth for quite a while, there are chances that the white hairs are badges for her ripe old age. However, white hair growths that are age-related are usually over the whole skin. It won’t just be on the chest or underneath as with the health-triggered variants.

5. Genetics

As with humans, cats pick up several traits and health disorders from their genetic makeup. If you feed your cat with a healthy diet, she is young, full of life, and has no metabolism disorders; you might need to do some background study on her genes. Although genetics plays out on every brand, age seems to be a major catalyst to the process. The older your cat, the more predisposed she gets to hair whitening, especially on the muzzle and the feet. 

Furthermore, scientific research proves that the effects of genetics on different cat breeds are different. For instance, Kanaani cats are mostly blue, black, and dark brown, but they grow their genetic colors on the tip of the spine. If you seem not to get valid answers to the question, “Why does my cat have white hair” check the genetics. Generally, black cats are more predisposed to grow white and gray furs.

Black cat

What Should I Do If My Black Cat Has White Hairs?

Now that we’ve identified the causes let’s wrap it up with how to fix the problem. Here are seven ideas.

1. Check for Symptoms

The first step to fixing the problem is to understudy the symptoms. Thankfully, most of the signs are what a regular cat owner can diagnose. Your top concerns here are the location of the white hair and the degree of the spread. A gene-related color change is usually around the muzzle or the feet and doesn’t significantly spread to other parts. However, if it is due to old age, the white hair steadily spreads from several points to other parts of the skin. 

Furthermore, check for underlying health conditions, like constipation and dehydration. If your cat shows any related symptoms, it would be best to increase her water intake. By and large, checking the surrounding symptoms and underlying conditions can give insights into the root cause and the possible way out.

2. Review Her Diet

Next, review the diet. I will recommend adding a potent dietary supplement to her food. There are quite a handful of brands available in veterinary clinics and pharmacies. But, your best bet to make the right pick is to talk to your veterinary doctor. When s/he finally makes a prescription, ensure you abide by the recommended dosage.

3. Increase Water Intake

Generally, water aids healthy living in animals. Plus, proper hydration helps pigment cells to absorb sufficient melanin from the body. If your cat’s hair changes colors because of dehydration, increasing her water intake will help alleviate the problem. An option is to serve her meals with more water. However, cats tend to drink more when multiple freshwater sources are available. That way, they can drink from different places each time. An excellent option is to make a faucet drip to the floor in bits to form a cat water fountain. Alternatively, you can use ice cubes as they finally dissolve into a continuous flow of water streams. To add flavors, you can mix some juice with flavor water.

However, if you are using a cat water fountain, ensure to keep sharp eyes on the water level, so it doesn’t turn out to be a pool.

Black cat

4. Over-the-counter Products

In cases where the color change is due to a nutrient deficiency, supplementation may help you remedy the problem. Clinical studies have proven certain over-the-counter supplements beneficial for treating conditions like this. A good option for remedying white hair growth on a black cat is wheat bran. Animal nutritionists describe it as one of the richest sources of natural fiber. You can get it from any local feed store around you. Add one tablespoon to your cat’s food twice daily. Otherwise, mix two tablespoons of her food at once. Whichever option you pick, do not exceed two tablespoons in 24 hours. Alternatively, get a canned pumpkin. It is another rich source of fiber with scientific backing. The dosage is the same as with wheat bran.

However, if you don’t know your onions with cats, it is best to consult a veterinarian first. I’m sure doing hit and miss with your friend’s health is not something you want. Also, consulting a veterinarian will help you curb the spread in good time.

5. Be More Friendly

There are chances of freaking out on your cat when her skin-kissed black furs start turning white, especially if black is your choice pet color. Regardless of the cause of the problem, becoming hostile or cold to her will not make things any better. True friends stick through. If you notice she’s becoming more anxious and restless recently, you may need to take her to your veterinarian. Similarly, if the white hair strands are due to her age, you don’t have to make her feel horrible for living to a ripe old age. As time permits, play and enjoy good times together.

6. Consult a Veterinarian

Finally, prioritize the expertise of your veterinarian. Whether for humans or animals, there are limits to how you can do trial and error. Diagnosis and treatment are way easier when you consult a veterinarian. Even if you are an experienced cat keeper, your best may not be good enough when there are underlying health conditions or a genetic disorder. Also, ensure you are prompt with your visit to the clinic. The color conversion is pretty easy at the early stages. Plus, underlying conditions like pelvic injuries and other metabolism disorders require quick diagnosis and treatment. Take every prescription faithfully.

Final Thoughts

As an owner, you should hold full responsibility for your cat’s health. If you suddenly notice the growth of white fur on your black cat, take your time to figure out the cause. Common culprits are metabolism disorders, stress and anxiety, old age, poor diet, and genetic makeup. Afterward, review which solutions would make good fits and apply them. The proper order is to check for symptoms, review your cat’s diet, increase her water intake, check out for over-the-counter supplements, be friendlier, and consult a veterinarian. I hope you found this helpful?