Understanding Whisker Fatigue In Cats
Cats’ whiskers are thick hair that droop from their cheeks, their paws, their chins, and the backs of their forelegs. They are packed with sensory nerves that capture information about things, movements, and wind patterns around them. They help cats hunt in the dark and are an important part of their communication mechanism.
Causes Of Whisker Fatigue
Whisker fatigue is a problem caused by cats sticking their faces in food bowls that brush against their whiskers. This rubbing of the whiskers creates a lot of discomfort and distress in certain cats.
Signs Of Whisker Fatigue
If your cat displays some of the following activities during meal times, the problem could be whisker fatigue:
- Paws or draws food out of the tray before picking from the floor
- Makes a big mess of food on the floor
- Leaves food in the bowl but still looks starving
- Feeds from the middle of the bowl only.
- Hesitates before feeding – sits by the bowl or paces around.
- Demands that the cup should be full to the peak when it is not empty
- Act violently towards other animals during meals
How Can You Prevent Whisker Fatigue?
The most frequent source of whisker fatigue is the size and structure of a cat’s water bowl. When the bowl is too deep or too narrow, your cat is compelled to rub her whiskers against the surface of the dish. For certain cats, this can be overwhelming, upsetting, and sometimes painful.
If you don’t want this to happen, make sure you put your cat’s water in a low-sided bowl, or get your cat a drinking fountain. You’ll know it works when your cat avoids being too stressful or annoying with their food and water dishes.
When To Visit A Veterinarian?
If you’ve found symptoms of whisker fatigue, it’s certainly worth consulting to your vet at your cat’s next regular examination. If the symptoms of your cat are followed by weight loss, GI discomfort, aggressiveness, or other behavioral changes, call the vet immediately. Any changes in appetite also needs to be inspected closely. They may be evidence of something serious with your cat, such as pain, sickness, or failing health.