cat’s whisker health If you are a cat owner who pays close attention to the activities of your cat, then you will agree with me that our furry friends exhibit some fascinating behavior from time to time. Some of these fascinating feline behaviors are interesting but sometimes questionable. One of these weird feline behaviors is our cats eating their whiskers when they fall out.
This act leaves cat owners curious and concerned about the reasons behind their feline friends eating their whiskers and the possible dangers that may arise from the whisker’s consumption, thereby threatening the cat’s health. So why do cats eat their whiskers when they fall out?
There are several reasons cats eat their whiskers when they fall out, and we’ll address that in this article.
Why do cats eat their whiskers when they fall out
A cat suffering from sickness and diseases that cause the loss of its whiskers will likely eat them when they fall out. Also, medical issues(PICA) relating to a cat’s mental health are another critical factor influencing cats to eat their whiskers when they fall out. Cat owners need to ensure their feline pets enjoy sound health physically, mentally, and in all ramifications.
Grooming is a usual way of life for cats, but in some cases, they could excitedly or out of stress over-groom. Over-grooming in cats is another culprit that may cause your cat to eat its whiskers when they fall out.
Behavioral problems can also trigger your cat to eat its whiskers. Behavioral issues that lead to stress and anxiety in cats can lead to whiskers loss of cats, thereby influencing cats to eat their whiskers when they fall out.
What Are Cat Whiskers Made Of?
Cat whiskers are Keratin. Keratin is protein fiber. Nails and hair contain it. Keratin whiskers are stronger than cat hair. The whiskers of cats have no muscles or blood. Cat whiskers have a Proprioceptor, which detects vibration, making them vital to their sensory system.
Whiskers are vibrissae. Cat whiskers act as radar in the dark, helping them navigate. They are long and look somewhat like an antenna.
What Causes The Cat Whiskers To Fall Out?
Caring cat owners are curious to find out what causes their cats’ whiskers to fall Out. Some several reasons or circumstances that can cause cat whiskers to fall out. Feline acne is one of the critical causes of cat whiskers falling out.
Cat acne is caused by excessive keratine synthesis and sebaceous gland activity. Cats develop comedones (blackheads) that can cause whisker loss.
Environmental allergies, dietary allergies, and parasite allergies also cause cat whiskers to fall out. Cats lose their whiskers to scratch their faces when these allergies cause irritation and inflammation.
Our pets can lose whiskers due to bacterial and fungal skin diseases. A cat’s whiskers may come out with its coat if it gets a facial skin illness.
Furthermore, physical damage is another popular culprit of cat whiskers falling out. Bodily injury resulting from cat fights can lead to the removal of a cat’s whiskers. Physical Accidents can also cause the whiskers of cats to fall out. Cat owners are advised to pay close attention to their cats, especially the ones allowed to roam outdoors.
Can Kitten Or Adult Cat’s whiskers Grow Back If Pulled Out Or Cut?
Yes, kitten or adult cat whiskers can grow back if pulled out or cut off. The whiskers of our feline pets are similar to hair in terms of their ability to re-grow.
A healthy kitten or adult cat without mange or alopecia can regrow its whiskers after being removed. Healthy cats shed whiskers naturally, so there’s no need to worry.
Though kittens and adult cats’ whiskers can grow back if they fall out, are pulled out, or are cut off, cat owners should only intentionally pull out or cut their pets’ whiskers if a veterinarian recommends it for health reasons. Without whiskers, cats become disoriented and can’t do their daily activities.
It is important to note that there is no fixed duration for cat whiskers to re-grow back. Usually, cat whiskers re-grow back in months, depending on the cat’s breed, health status, and diet.
How To prevent Whiskers Loss In Cats
A cat-friendly balanced diet is one of the best strategies to avoid whisker loss in cats. A balanced diet helps cats have healthy whiskers. Cat owners should work with vets to feed their cats a varied diet.
Cat owners should also monitor their cats’ environment to prevent whisker loss. Stress and worry from environmental changes can cause cats to lose whiskers. Cat owners should keep their pets safe and comfortable.
Regular vet checkups should detect and treat any underlying illness that could cause cat whisker loss. Cat owners can also give their cats dietary supplements that promote the healthy growth of the cat whiskers.
Do Cats Feel Pain If You Cut Their Whiskers?
Generally, cats will not feel pain if you cut their whiskers because it does not have nerves. However, if the whiskers are forcefully pulled out, it will hurt the cat because they have hair follicles at the base with nerves.
Even though cats will not feel pain if you cut their whiskers, it is essential to note that cutting off your cat whiskers can put them in trauma because, without the whiskers, cats will be disoriented and confused as the whiskers are essential for cats to sense their environment.
Why Do Mother Cats Chew Off Their Kittens Whiskers?
Many cat owners wonder why mother cats chew off their kittens’ whiskers. The most common reason is excessive grooming. Every observant cat owner will agree that mother cats are in the habit of grooming their kittens. Sometimes this grooming by the mother cats gets out of hand, and they end up with the whiskers of their kitten in their mouth. Most of the time, this excessive grooming happens unintentionally, as the mother cat intends to pass their scent onto their kittens and clean them up.
In some cases, mother cats chew off their kittens’ whiskers as a form of discipline to exert dominance and control, especially when kittens misbehave. Stress and anxiety also influence mother cats to chew the whiskers of their kittens. Sometimes mother cats chew their kitten’s whiskers as a way of bonding together.
The whiskers are undoubtedly essential and highly functional in the daily living of cats; cat owners should consult a qualified veterinarian first if cats eat their whiskers when they fall out before taking any other steps to guarantee the safety and wellness of their lovely feline pets. It is also advisable for cat owners to vigilant of their cat’s activities to ensure that they don’t accidentally damage their whiskers, as the whiskers serve as radar that helps cats to navigate their surroundings effectively. Without the whiskers, cats are primarily disoriented and confused.