Do Tabby Cats Get Darker With Age? The Surprising Answer

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

It’s believed that tabby cats tend to get darker as they age. However, there isn’t a lot of scientific evidence to support this claim. Some people say that their tabby cat’s fur became darker over time, while others say that their cat’s fur remained the same color.




Tabby cats are recognizable for their distinctive markings, which usually consist of dark stripes against a lighter background. The tabby pattern is actually a natural mutation that can occur in any breed of cat, but it is particularly common in domestic shorthair cats.

Interestingly, although tabby cats may appear to be one solid color when they are young, their coat typically becomes darker and more complex as they age. This is due to the fact that the darker pigment cells produce more melanin, which gradually overpowers the lighter cells.

As a result, older tabby cats often have richer and more striking colors than their younger counterparts. While this may be surprising to some cat owners, it is actually quite common in the animal kingdom; many species o animals, including dogs, horses, and birds, experience a similar darkening of their fur or feathers as they age.


The Science Behind the Darkening Coat


So what exactly causes this darkening effect in tabby cats? As we mentioned before, it is due to an increase in melanin production. Melanin is a pigment that gives color to the skin, hair, and eyes, and it is produced by cells called melanocytes. In cats (as well as other animals), there are two types of melanocytes: melanocytes, which produce black or brown pigments, and pheomelanocytes, which produce red or yellow pigments.


2. What the experts say


As any cat lover knows, cats come in a variety of colors and patterns. One of the most popular patterns is tabby, which is characterized by dark stripes on a light background. While many tabby cats tend to be brown or gray, some can also be orange or black.

Some people believe that tabby cats get darker with age. However, there is no scientific evidence to support this claim. Instead, it is more likely that the appearance of a tabby cat’s coat simply changes as the animal matures.

For example, kittens often have lighter coats than adults, and their stripes may be less distinct. Likewise, an adult cat’s coat may appear darker or more muted due to the accumulation of dirt and oil. So while a tabby cat’s coat may appear to darken with age, this is probably just an illusion.


What people say


There’s a lot of misinformation circulating about tabby cats and their coat colors. Some people believe that tabby cats get darker as they age, but this is not true. The color of a tabby cat’s coat is determined by its genes, and it will stay the same throughout its life. However, some tabby cats may appear to get darker due to the misrepresentation of their coat colors in photographs.

The camera’s flash can cause the underlying red tones in a tabby’s fur to appear more pronounced, making the cat appear darker than it actually is. So, if you’re wondering whether your tabby cat’s coat will darken with age, the answer is no. Your cat’s fur will stay the same color.


The bottom line


There is no scientific evidence to support the claim that tabby cats get darker with age. However, it is common for these animals to have darker coats as they mature. This is due to the fact that their fur becomes stained with dirt and oil over time. If you own a tabby cat, be sure to brush him regularly to help keep his coat looking its best.

[su_box title=”Affiliate Disclosure”]This website is supported by its readers. Please assume that all links are affiliate links. If you make a purchase from one of the links we will make a commission from Amazon. Thank you.[/su_box]

About the author

Latest posts