VCA Animal Hospitals

Why Does My Cat . . . Not Show Her Age?

- Provided by

While most dogs start to show their advanced age by the gradual graying of their snouts and paws, it seems that the majority of older cats somehow hang onto that kittenish glow.

According to Dr. Marcus G. Brown, DVM, of the Capital Cat Clinic in Arlington, Va., some felines do go gray, but it typically happens much later than it does in dogs — and not as intensely.

“It is felt that cats may have more melanocytes [cells that produce pigment in skin and hair] than dogs,” Dr. Brown says. “Cats are very old when they gray, usually around the age of 17.”

And the amount of gray hair doesn't reflect how active or healthy your kitty is — it's only related to melanin, Dr. Brown adds.

So How Do Cats Show Their Age?

“You can see it in their eyes to some degree,” Dr. Brown explains. “There is a normal graying of the lens called nuclear sclerosis, which does not affect vision.”

Another visual sign of aging in cats with kidney disease and other diseases is a decrease in muscle mass, while a less visible sign of normal feline aging is hearing loss.

“They also sleep more and more soundly,” Dr. Brown says.

In other words, maybe senior kitties benefit from all that beauty sleep.


General Practice

We have over 540 animal hospitals in 41 states that are staffed by more than 2,000 fully qualified, dedicated and compassionate veterinarians, with more than 200 being board-certified specialists. The nationwide VCA family of general practice hospitals give your pet the very best in medical care, providing a full range of general medical and surgical services as well as specialized treatments*: Wellness, Spay/neuter, Advanced diagnostic services (MRI/CT Scan), Internal medicine, Oncology, Ophthalmology, Dermatology, Cardiology, Neurology, Boarding, Grooming

*services may vary by location.

Our family of pet hospitals stands out by delivering the greatest resources in order provide the highest quality care available for your pets. By maintaining the highest standards of pet health care available anywhere, we emphasize prevention as well as healing. We provide continuing education programs to our doctors and staff and promote the open exchange of professional knowledge and expertise. And finally, we have established a consistent program of procedures and techniques, proven to be the most effective in keeping pets healthy.

Find a VCA General Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Specialty Care

Sometimes sick or injured pets need the care of a veterinary medical specialist. When that happens, VCA specialty hospitals work closely with the general practitioner veterinarians who refer cases to us in order to provide seamless veterinary care to your pet. When your pet is facing any kind of serious illness or injury, our specialty referral hospitals will provide the compassionate and expert care your beloved pet needs.

Our goal is to make sure that when you and your pet are in need that you have access to board certified specialists who are up to date on the very latest developments in their field. In our state of the art hospitals, our specialists also have access to the most sophisticated diagnostic and treatment tools and techniques from ultrasonography and endoscopy to CAT scans and even MRI.

We have twenty-eight specialty hospitals across the US so there may be one near you. Our specialized services include: cardiology, critical care, dentistry, dermatology, internal medicine, neurology, oncology, ophthalmology, radiology and surgery.

Find a VCA Specialty Care Animal Hospital near you:


See all VCA Animal Hospitals >


Emergency Care

In case of emergency, please call us immediately. If it is after hours, check with a local animal hospital emergency clinic.