Why Is My Tuxedo Cat Turning Brown? (Should I Be Worried?)

A Tuxedo can with brown fur laying on a cream sofa

If you’re the owner of a tuxedo cat, you may have noticed that your feline friend’s black and white coat seems to be gradually turning brown and you may have wondered “why is my Tuxedo cat turning brown?”. This is an entirely normal process that all cats undergo as they age.

While the exact reason why this happens is still unknown, there are a few theories out there. In this article, we’ll explore some of the possible explanations for why tuxedo cats turn brown as they get older.

We’ll also take a look at what you can do to help keep your cat’s coat looking its best. So if you’re curious about why your cat’s fur is changing colour, read on!

The most common causes of Tuxedo cats turning brown are; sun exposure, Tyrosine Deficiency, old age, and illness. Whilst this can be a natural process, you should seek advice from a vet if you have any concerns.

You May Also Be Interested in This Article: Tuxedo Cats: Everything You Need To Know About These Amazing Cats!

Why Is My Tuxedo Cat Turning Brown? What Are The Main Causes?

You may have noticed your Tuxedo cat turning brown or red. This process is known as rusting. Here are the main reasons black fur will change colour:

Sun Exposure:

Sun exposure is a significant factor for cat’s that spend time outside and has been known to cause cats, especially black ones, to turn brown as the sun alters their coat colour over time. Like us, if we spend too much time in the sun, our hair will lighten. This same process happens when dark coloured cats spend too long in the sun.

Tyrosine Deficiency:

An experiment in the Journal Of Nutrition revealed that cats with less Tyrosine in their diet developed reddish-brown fur.

A lack of Tyrosine, an amino acid responsible for the production of melanin, can also cause cats to turn brown. This deficiency is most common in Siamese and Himalayan cats but can affect any cat breed. 

As a result, these cats may start to lose the pigment in their fur, making them appear much lighter. This is not a dangerous condition, and the colour change caused by tyrosine deficiency will be temporary once your cat starts receiving regular doses of this nutrient through its diet or supplements. This is why if you feed your cat any homemade food or try supplementing them yourself, make sure that there’s Tyrosine present as it’s an essential amino acid for cats.

Old Age:

As our furry friends get older, their coat changes just like ours do, and the black pigment in their fur begins to fade away. This is a completely natural process that happens to all cats as they age, and there’s no natural way to stop it from happening.

Copper Deficiency:

A copper deficiency can also lead to a cat’s fur turning brown. This is most commonly seen in Siamese and Burmese cats, but any breed of cat can be affected.

If your cat has a copper deficiency, you may notice that their coat starts to fade from black to a light brown or reddish-brown colour.


If your cat is ill, it’s possible that its fur may start turning brown as a result. One example of this would be feline leukaemia which can affect cats at any age and lead to lighter patches on their coat where the cancerous cells are present. However, other illnesses might cause your cat’s fur to turn brown, so if you notice any changes, then it might be worth bringing them in for a check-up.

What Can You Do To Help Keep Your Cat’s Coat Looking Its Best?

There are a few things that you can do to help keep your cat’s coat looking its best, even if it is gradually changing colour.

Keeping Your Cat Indoors

Keeping your cat indoors will help protect them from the sun’s harmful rays and reduce their chances of developing tyrosine deficiency. If you do allow your cat to go outside, make sure that they always have access to a shady spot where they can rest, as this could prevent any changes in fur colour due to sun exposure.

Brushing Your Cat Regularly

Regularly brushing your cat’s coat will help distribute their natural oils evenly and keep their fur looking healthy. This is especially important if your cat has a light-coloured coat, as the lack of pigment can make them more susceptible to skin problems.

Feeding Your Cat A Nutritious Diet

A nutritious diet is essential for keeping your cat healthy, both inside and out. Ensure that your cat’s food contains all of the nutrients they need, including Tyrosine, if they are at risk of deficiency. You can also give them supplements to ensure they’re getting enough of this nutrient.


Your cat’s fur may start to turn brown as they age, but this is a natural process that happens to all cats. Tyrosine deficiency is the most common reason for this change in fur colour, but a copper deficiency or illness can also cause it.

There are several things you can do to help keep their coat looking its best, including keeping them indoors, brushing them regularly, and feeding them a nutritious diet. In addition, if you notice any changes in your cat’s fur colour, it might be worth bringing them in for a check-up to rule out any potential health problems. Thank you for reading!

Do you have a brown tuxedo cat? Share your story in the comments below!


Rochelle is a self-claimed crazy cat lady and proud cat mum to Owlie! She has owned, rescued, and fostered cats throughout her whole life. Rochelle created Cats On My Mind as a hub for likeminded cat parents to get all the information they will ever need to give their fur babies their best life!

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