Why Are My Cats Whiskers Turning Black? What to Do?

If you’ve ever seen a cat with black whiskers, you know that this can be a problem. Cat’s whiskers are one of the most visible features of a cat. They can be important for navigation and catching prey. 

Unfortunately, many cats experience a problem with their whiskers turning black.

Why Are My Cats Whiskers Turning Black

Cat’s whiskers are a very important part of their anatomy. When they start turning black, it can signify something wrong. There are many possible causes for whiskers turning black, but the most common is a health issue. Here are some common causes of cat’s whiskers turning black:

  • genetic condition
  • changes in the environment
  • malnutrition
  • oxidation and melanin accumulation
  • feline leukemia virus (FeLV)
  • diabetes
  • infection
  • allergies
  • getting older
  • sun exposure

Genetic Condition

Whiskers are a common sign of a genetic condition. Cats with this condition have problems producing the pigment melanin, which causes their whiskers to turn black. 

This condition is called melanism due to a cat’s DNA problem. There are several different types of melanism, but all of them cause cats to have black whiskers.

Other symptoms of this condition include problems with vision and hearing and coat color abnormalities. If you notice that your cat’s whiskers are turning black, it’s important to take her to the vet for an examination. 

Melanism can be treated through various methods, but it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian first to ensure that treatment is appropriate for your cat and won’t cause any additional health problems.

Changes in the Environment

Whiskers are important for cats because they help the animals locate and catch prey. If the whiskers turn black, it may be a sign that the environment is unhealthy for your cat. 

Changes in the air quality, including pollution and chemicals, can cause your cat’s whiskers to turn black. These pollutants can damage the cells that makeup hair, nails, and skin. 

When these cells are damaged, they produce an enzyme that causes the black pigment to form.


Many cats not getting enough food or proper nutrition may start to lose their hair, and their whiskers may turn black. This is because the lack of food can cause a cat’s body to stop producing hair and whiskers.

A cat’s whiskers help it feel around in its environment, so if they’re not working properly, the cat may become more susceptible to predators or other dangers. 

Feed your cat regularly and ensure access to plenty of water so it can stay healthy and have all its whiskers!

Oxidation and Melanin Accumulation

Oxidation is a process that occurs when the body’s cells produce oxygen radicals. These radicals can damage cells and tissues, leading to health problems like cancer. 

Melanin is a pigment found in hair, skin, and other body parts. It gives these tissues their color. When melanin accumulates in areas like the whiskers, it can cause them to turn black due to oxidative damage.

Feline Leukemia Virus (FeLV)

It’s not just humans that can develop leukemia. Cats can, too, and they’re just as susceptible to FeLV as we are. 

If your cat has black whiskers, it might be time to check them out with a veterinarian. 

Black whiskers are a common sign of FeLV infection in cats, indicating that the virus attacks the cells that make up the whiskers. FeLV can cause permanent hair loss and blindness in cats if left untreated.


Diabetes can damage the nerves that control whiskers. This can lead to a lack of sensation in the whiskers, which may cause them to turn black

The condition is typically seen in cats between the ages of 2 and 6. But it can also be seen in older cats. There is no known cure for diabetes-related whisker loss, but treatment may help prolong the life of the affected whiskers.


Black whiskers can be a sign of an existing infection or the result of a new infection that has progressed to the point where whiskers are affected. 

Many infections can affect black whiskers, including feline leukemia and feline herpes virus. 

The presence of black whiskers doesn’t always mean that your cat is infected with a particular disease. However, it could simply be a sign that your cat is in some sort of distress. 

Suppose you notice black whiskers on your cat and don’t know what’s causing them. In that case, it’s best to take him to the veterinarian for an evaluation.


Allergies are one of the most common causes of black whiskers in cats. Allergens can come from various sources, including dust mites, feathers, plants, and other animals. 

When your cat’s allergies act together, they can cause the thickening and discoloration of the whiskers.

If you’re noticing that your cat’s whiskers are turning black and their eyes are itchy, there’s a good chance that they have an allergy to something. 

Check their environment for potential allergens and try to reduce or eliminate them from your cat’s life as much as possible. If that doesn’t work, talk to your veterinarian about possible treatments.

Cats Get Older

As cats get older, their whiskers may start to turn black. This is due to the natural aging process and can occur in both male and female cats. 

Whiskers are sensitive tactile organs that play an important role in detecting movement and temperature. 

As they grow older, the whiskers may become less flexible and start to rub against each other, which can cause them to turn black. This process may be irreversible in some cases, and whiskers may eventually fall out altogether.

Sun Exposure

Some cats may have black whiskers due to exposure to the sun. The pigment in the fur melanin will be converted to black by the sun’s rays.

Cats with dark furs, such as tabbies and calicos, are more likely to develop these markings. A cat’s natural inclination is to avoid the sun, so they often seek shelter or stay in the shade when it’s shining. 

When cats are out in the sunlight, they are at risk for many skin problems, including hyperpigmentation or melanoma.

What to Do When Your Cats Whiskers Turning Black

If you notice your cat’s whiskers turning black and becoming brittle, it is important to take action as soon as possible. Here are some tips on what to do:

  1. Check with your veterinarian to rule out any underlying medical issues.
  2. If there are no underlying medical issues, then you may need to begin treatment with a topical cream or spray intended for use on cats.
  3. If the whiskers are not responding to treatment, then you may need to have them removed surgically.
  4. Be sure to keep an eye on the condition of your cat’s whiskers so that, if necessary, you can take appropriate action right away.

Home Remedies for Black Cat Whiskers

There are many home remedies for black cat whiskers that you can try, including:

  • Vinegar solution. Make a solution of 2 tablespoons white vinegar and 1 cup water, and pour it onto the whiskers. Let it sit for a few minutes, then rinse the cat’s face with cold water.
  • Baking soda. Wet your black cat’s whiskers with the baking soda solution, then scrub them gently with a cloth. Be sure to rinse off the baking soda solution before letting your cat go outside.
  • Onion juice. Take a large onion and cut off the top. Cut the onion in half so that you have two equal pieces. Peel the skin off one piece of the onion and then slice it into thin strips. Cut the strips into small bits and place them into a blender or food processor. Add some water if needed to make a smooth paste. Apply the paste to your cat’s whiskers every day for several weeks until they disappear.
  • Garlic cloves. Peel the garlic cloves and place them in a small bowl. Fill the bowl with warm water and let the garlic soak for 10 minutes. Drain the water and extract the garlic cloves. Apply the garlic to your black cat’s whiskers using a q-tip or cotton ball. Repeat every day until the whiskers have grown back to their original length.
  • Olive oil. Simply apply a small amount to the whiskers and massage them into the skin. You can also use a cotton ball or Q-tip to apply the oil if desired. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing it with warm water.
  • Neem oil. To use neem oil as a home remedy, mix 2 tablespoons of neem oil with 1 cup of water and apply the solution to the whiskers using a cotton ball or cloth. Repeat once or twice a week until the whiskers are gone.
  • Almond oil. Almond oil is one of the most common remedies for black cat whiskers because it helps keep them hydrated and soft. To do this remedy, simply apply almond oil to your whiskers twice a day.
  • Jojoba oil. To do this, apply a few drops of jojoba oil to the tips of the black cat’s whiskers once a day. You can also make a soothing cream or ointment from equal parts jojoba oil and coconut milk and apply it to the cat’s whiskers each evening before bed.
  • Grapefruit seed extract. To do it, mix 1 teaspoon of grapefruit seed extract with 3 tablespoons of water and apply to the whiskers once a day.
  • Vaseline. Apply a thin layer of Vaseline to each whisker and wait 10 minutes. Then, carefully remove the whiskers from the object they got stuck on.


Cat’s whiskers can turn black for many reasons. The most common cause is a change in the cat’s environment, such as moving to a new home or changing weather conditions. 

If you notice your cat’s whiskers turning black, it is important to take action and see a veterinarian. While this may seem like a minor issue, it could be a sign of an underlying health problem that requires treatment. 

If you take care of your cat’s health and keep an eye on their whiskers, they should stay healthy and white.

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