Cats do shed their whiskers on a regular basis. Is your cat itching, compulsively grooming or shaking his head side to side frequently? Whisker roots are covered in blood vessels and nerve receptors. How your cat’s whiskers are positioned can also be a great way to understand how your cat is feeling. Have a quick inspection of your cat’s face. I used to see whiskers around the house from time to time. Their ability to balance is provided by a structure in their inner ear, much like it does in most mammals. Cats are very inquisitive, and therefore may break the vibrissa when studying the world around them (often the whiskers are burnt when playing close to the flame). The top two rows can move independently from the bottom two rows. One wound up with no whiskers on one side, neatly nibbled off. Cats “trim” their own whiskers- they do not need guidance from humans ! Likewise, cat fur and cat nails are also made of keratin. Whiskers are an important part of your cat’s anatomy. Parasites such as fleas, lice, mites, ticks, etc., can make your fluffy friend … One of my fosters have all his whiskers broken on one side. After doing some reading, it seems as though liev may have chewed/licked them off, and/or yuri may have rubbed them off. Next to roughhousing, shedding is the most common reason why cats lose their whiskers and are the reason why fairly sedentary cats still lose their whiskers. Pet is often hungry and eats a lot but still loses weight. When whiskers are lost, cats can become avoidant, and would rather hide to lessen their feelings of disorientation. The most common reason why your cat loses whiskers is through breaking. Skin infection is a common culprit and will require a trip to the vet for diagnosis and medication. These steps are also helpful for cats that have lost a lot of whiskers for whatever reason, be it stress or illness: Is there a way to prevent your cat from breaking its whiskers? However, there are things you can do to lessen the chances of unnecessary breakage. Much like cutting hair, there are no pain receptors on the shaft, or the length of the whisker, and breaking whiskers causes no pain on the part of the cat. As long as your cat isn’t exhibiting any other symptoms of poor health, like a lack of appetite, sluggishness, aggressiveness, and avoidance, then your kitten is perfectly healthy. Oddly enough, we had one cat who liked to nip the “eyebrow” whiskers off one of our other cats. They help judging distances and size, detecting objects and other animals from a considerable distance (even in the dark). Pet is often hungry and eats a lot but still loses weight. It’s natural to assume that your cat would want as much room as possible. It is often caused by other reasons, like poor diet or sickness. Just as humans shed their hair and eyelashes, so too do cats lose their whiskers every now and again. Just like human hairs, cat whiskers can get a bit scraggly, or even break at times, so a cat may lose them in order to grow fresh, undamaged whiskers. Her breed is a seal linx point so she has many whiskers; Cat whiskers have an important role for the cat's body: In addition, cats have thicker hairs that look like whiskers above the eyes and on the back of. If they are curious or are on the hunt, they’ll press them slightly forward. Because of the placement of their touch receptors, you may think that cats use their whiskers to balance. Cat losing whiskers on one side. Yes, actually. If you choose to cut them, try to leave at least a few long ones so your cat still gets the benefits of having whiskers :), New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast. c) Many animals have whiskers that serve important sensory functions, but the ‘natural ruler’ claim seems to be made only about cats. Cats have the ability to heal themselves from physical injury. I'm experienced in all cat health-related matters, behavioral issues, grooming techniques, and general pet care. Cats have four rows of whiskers placed horizontally on either side of their face arranged 12 to a row for a total of 24. To solve this issue, the trick to make sure that your cat’s food bowl doesn’t brush against its whiskers. If it isn't, i'll look into it. This is not because whiskers are used for balance, but because the lack of whiskers are disorienting to cats. If your cat’s lost one or two whiskers recently, and you only really noticed in the first place because you found these whiskers around your house, in terms of whiskers falling out, your cat’s definitely normal. Something causing the … Like your extended hand, cats use their whiskers to make sure they don’t bump into objects, and to feel out objects to get where they need to go. Most of the broken whiskers are one on side and My cat has broken off his whiskers. Whiskers are connected to sensitive facial nerves, and help cats to navigate their environments and to keep their equilibrium. For example, a blow to the cheek can cause the whiskers of that cheek to fall off, as the hair follicles located in that area repair themselves from damage. I remember when my brother was little he hated his cat so he cut her whiskers off, they grew back - so don't worry - your cat will be fine. If the cat is losing whiskers on one side, you can identify a specific disease by its associated symptoms. But rather than feel out objects, whiskers pick up air currents. In most cats, there are a dozen whiskers on each side of the cheek, placed in rows of 4, with 24 whiskers in total. If we think about it, what have we been doing right before we let our cat rub against our hands, ankles, calves, etc., possibly many cleaning ingredients for example. Why are my cat’s whiskers falling out? I have seen cats scratch them off in cases where they were experience itchiness in the area, either due to insect bite or allergy. If the cat goes outside, it will greatly jeopardize the cat's safety. Why is my cat losing so many whiskers. If you believe that your environment isn’t to blame for your cat’s stress, it may be best to have them checked by your vet. Because of their sensitivity, whiskers can give a lot of tactile information to cats. Whiskers Regularly Fall Out and Are Replaced Whiskers fall out just like hair and this is a natural process; the … There can be several reasons for a cat losing whiskers and most times its normal and not harmful. https://www.seniorcatwellness.com/cats-whiskers-keep-breaking-off Cat whiskers are made of keratin, which is also what makes up human hair and nails, as well as feathers, horns, and claws. Noticing how your cat’s whiskers are positioned, along with noticing the rest of your cat’s body, can provide a valuable insight as to your cat’s emotional state. Infestation by parasites. (couple on the other side look broken). Objects that can harm your cat’s skin, like ventilators, toxic chemicals, and rat traps should also be kept away from a cat’s reach. There is still a lot we don’t know about how they function, and what exactly their limits are when it comes to providing tactile information. Think about the last time you were in the dark, and you extended your hand. If you find that your cat is losing his or her whiskers while these other symptoms are present, it may be time to visit your vet: A cat losing hair — also called alopecia in cats — can be complete or partial and happens in felines for a variety of reasons, the most common of which is skin allergies, experts say. Could have to do with her being tortoiseshell. This often happens due to paying rough. Pets with access to the street can fight with street cats. The breeder sent me photos of her when she was younger and she had all of her whiskers, but when I picked her up she had a lot of broken whiskers. This often happens to cats that are fed meals in small bowls, or bowls with high sides. A Cat's Eye Protection The whiskers above the eyes help when the cat is … Generally, a cat has 24 whiskers on his face, 12 on each side. And new ones grow to replace the shed ones. This is the second time his whiskers break but last time, if i remember correctly, they broke on both sides and not as short as this time. There are people who claim that changing their cat’s food bowls have solved its appetite issues. Other than the more prominent set on their cheeks, cats also have whiskers in the corners of their mouth, their nose, chin, eyebrows, and the back of their front legs. Because of disorientation, a loss of whiskers can also cause a change in behavior for many cats. Cats that are nervous or upset will pin the whiskers back toward the face. It doesn't seem to cause my cat any problems, but she may just not have much opportunity to … Like any hair, they fall out and regrow. A cat has broken whiskers on one side or both sides due to the following reasons: 1. Cat becomes too active and nervous. Whiskers are one of a cat’s most identifiable features. While it may seem like a small thing at first blush, tactile sensation can encompass a lot of areas in the way a cat lives its life. While trimming whiskers are bad for cats, the whiskers break off on their own naturally, all the time. He was treated over the course of the past year (about 8 months or so) with surgery and. If the lack of vibrissas is accompanied by scratching of the muzzle and wounds on the face, then this is a clear sign of parasites. That happened with two of my cats. Additionally, young cats will also play rougher and explore their surroundings more often, leading to more broken whiskers. On the muzzle, there are four rows of whiskers on each side. If your senior cat is suddenly losing their whiskers, look for other symptoms of illness, and contact your vet. This allows information picked up by whiskers to be sent straight to the brain, giving the cat its lightning fast reflexes. Do not worry, the damaged ones will grow again; 2. If the cat is losing whiskers on one side, you can identify a specific disease by its associated symptoms. However, there have been disputes about this fact in the scientific community. You may notice whiskers along the fur that your cat sheds. Even an indoor cat can find itself stuck because the whiskers help the cat calculate whether or not they can fit into an area. Cats will naturally replace their whiskers, whether through shedding or through breaking. This includes their diet, energy levels, and any physical symptoms of poor health, like whisker loss. Cats’ whiskers go through growth, dormancy and shedding phases just like the rest of their fur, and so this shedding of the odd whisker on occasion is totally normal and not a problem-but if your cat seems to be losing a lot of whiskers within a short space of time and their faces don’t look like they are replacing them, something may be amiss. A relaxed cat will doze or half-close its eyes. I have noticed this over the past 6 months and it seems to be on the left side. Fighting with other cats can also be a cause for whisker loss, especially if the damage is to the face, which is often the case with cat fights. Whiskers also fulfill a host of other vital functions. In short, whiskers enable cats to gauge and make sense of their environment. They serve more purpose than mere aesthetics, though. Cat losing whiskers on one side. As it is an important sensory organ, the lack of whiskers may have the equivalent of a lost limb. On the other hand, stress can also be related to something other than your cat’s health, like a noisy environment, an addition to the household, or losing someone in the household. Your…. Grooming, trimming or cutting off a cat’s whiskers is a big no-no. She has not been near anything with a flame, childre, or other pets. Make sure that there aren’t spaces where it would be hard for a cat to get out of, as well as sharp objects. Other symptoms include increased drinking and urination, increased activity, vomiting, diarrhea, and muscle wasting. There is a constant thirst. Stress is often just the symptom of the problem, as well. Unfortunately, if the cat is overweight that whisker function isn't always accurate. Cats, on the other hand, can keep their stealth by feeling out air instead of objects. The sensitivity of whiskers to air currents is one reason why cats sometimes seem to stare at invisible things. Removing their whiskers can be understandably confusing to their sense of touch. This can also start a vicious cycle, as stress can lead to the further loss of whiskers. Let’s start off with why cats typically lose their whiskers, then we’ll get into what quantity and frequency is normal for them to shed and whether something may actually be wrong. However, there are two main functions that scientists can agree on: tactile sense, and body language. He has about 5 long whiskers on the other side still, but i'm worried that there is something wrong. August 12, 2018 at 3:03 am. To do this, make sure that your surroundings are comfortable for your pet. On the other hand, there is a good reason to believe that cats use their whiskers to determine the size of an opening. We will be focusing on kittens and cats losing whiskers where we will look at the abnormal or excessive loss and not the normal shedding. I'm Richard, the lead writer for Senior Cat Wellness. A cat has approximately 8 to 12 of these whiskers on each side of their face, arranged in horizontal rows that fan out sideways on each side of the upper lip, plus some tufts of shorter whiskers above their eyes, on their chin, and even on the back of their forelegs, just above the paw! Likewise, this is how blind cats can still move about the world seemingly without difficulty. Here are some things that cat whiskers can do when it comes to tactile sensation. Just noticed tonight that our cat's whiskers appear to be "broken" off on one side of her face. What vets can agree on, however, is that a lack of appetite often hints at a serious health issue and requires a deep investigation. ttedechat_4266393787_o cats kittens cat kitten. A cat’s (whether Fexlix domestica, or Lion) whiskers are there for a reason- mainly to gauge width. Now i just looked at him and that one whisker is gone, too. He is the proud owner of 5 adult cats (all adopted strays), including a senior cat who is now 20. elderly cat is suffering from poor health. And if her twin chews them off her, they will grow back. It will be disoriented and thrown off balance. Our older kitten (liev) rather aggressively grooms our younger kitten (yuri). For your cat to express fondness for you physically…, Space requirements for cats aren't what they might seem. One of the popular anecdotes about cat whiskers is that cats use them to gauge the size of an opening to see if they can fit. To cat owners, however, broken whiskers can be a worrying sign. For example, when hypothyroidism, there is a significant deterioration in the appearance of wool. The whiskers on this side are all different length but all are rather short, some less than 16th of an inch. A cat has approximately 8 to 12 of these whiskers on each side of their face, arranged in horizontal rows that fan out sideways on each side of the upper lip, plus some tufts of shorter whiskers above their eyes, on their chin, and even on the back of their forelegs, just above the paw! As cats break their whiskers all the time, is it okay if a cat’s whiskers get trimmed? You may notice an uptick in lost whiskers in young cats, specifically in cats about 11 weeks old. If your cat has only lost a few whiskers and seems to be healthy otherwise, then it's not likely that he's sick. In other words, whiskers stay the same length if a cat’s width changes. Whiskers continue to be an active field of research in the scientific community. The story is different, however, if your has lost quite a number of whiskers in a short period of time – not just one or two. 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