Do animals go grey in old age?
By Ruth Belena
March 8, 2008 9:27am CST
I have just seen an old dog with a lot of grey hairs in his black fur. I wondered if any other animals go grey as they get old, besides ourselves and our dogs? I think it would only be domestic species or captive animals as in the wild most mammals do not survive long enough to reach old age. I think I can remember seeing an old captive bear in a zoo with grey hairs on his snout. Can you think of any other examples of animals going grey?
• Dominican Republic
8 Mar 08
I believe all animals that have fur go grey with old age - for example monkeys do - we all know about cats and dogs doing it! Birds may change the colour of their feathers but I don't know if they actually go 'grey'. Some fish also change colour as they get older but again not necessarily 'grey'. Dolphins and other mammals don't really (unless they have whiskers, then they do! such as seals). I could be wrong, of course.....
10 Mar 08
I grew up on a farm and, unfortunately, most animals were not able to remain there into old age. However, my Dad had two horses that he kept until they were into their mid twenties. In their old age, they had quite a bit of grey around their mouths with some scattered through their coats. And we had one milk cow that developed grey in the same areas. A friend of mine had a cat well into her 18th year who had grey around the mouth/nose with a very few in her coat. The most noticeable indicator of her age was her gauntness.