Do animals go grey in old age?

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?
2 people like this
4 responses
@wickedangel (1637)
• 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.....
8 Mar 08
I was thinking mostly of mammals, as others do not have fur/hair and I did think apes and monkeys might be the most obvious. I don't think I have ever seen a cat with grey hair and I have met some very old cats.
1 person likes this
• Dominican Republic
8 Mar 08
Well I admit that I'm most certainly not the 'font of all knowledge' so I will bow down to your experience with cats - I'm a dog person so.... Anyway, I hope you get some more replies soon :)
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@ronaldinu (12445)
• Malta
27 Sep 08
My rough collie had more white hairs on his muzzle in his old age. My uncle has horses and if my perception is right, they do get white hairs in old age too.
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27 Sep 08
I think I may have seen horses with some white hairs around their faces
@Winter08 (441)
• Canada
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.
1 person likes this
10 Mar 08
Thanks for that information. At least I know the answer now in relation to farm animals and domestic pets.
@kids91911 (4366)
• United States
8 Mar 08
Yes I do believe that every animal get gray hair when they grow old.