Whisker Fatigue In Cats

Whiska Fatigue

Photo by Martin.que


Whisker Fatigue In Cats

Cats’ whiskers are known for being highly sensitive. Whiskers are a key way your cat perceives the world around them, helping them judge width, notice air currents, or detect objects, among many other functions. Your cat’s whiskers are constantly sending messages to their brain, giving your cat a steady stream of information. It’s this constant barrage of information that can result in your cat experiencing whisker fatigue.

What is whisker fatigue?

Whisker fatigue happens when the touch receptors connected to your cat’s whiskers become overwhelmed and your cat’s brain receives too much stimulation.

Some feline vets doubt the validity of whisker fatigue, suggesting that there may be other outlying causes for the cat’s stress. However, many vets accept that whisker fatigue in cats manifests as stress, anxiety, and discomfort.

Signs of whisker fatigue

Cats with whisker fatigue generally show symptoms such as:

● stress

● agitation

● restlessness

● discomfort

● loss of appetite

● being ill-tempered

● rubbing the sides of their face on the floor

● confusion

● aggression

If your cat is showing any of the above signs, make an appointment with your vet. Whisker fatigue can often be tricky to diagnose and they may need to eliminate other potential illnesses first. Your vet may want to run tests, including taking blood, urine, X-rays, and ultrasounds.

How to prevent and avoid whisker fatigue

While it might seem like a good idea to prevent whisker fatigue by trimming your cat’s whiskers, they are a vital part of how they perceive and respond to the world around them. Their whiskers form an essential part of their ability to process and take in information. A better solution is to avoid whisker fatigue by ensuring your cat doesn’t get unnecessarily stressed by an information overload.

Changing your cat’s water and food bowls

Whisker fatigue often occurs during meal time, when your cat’s whiskers brush repeatedly against the side of the food or water bowls. To avoid this, choose shallow bowls and fill them so your cat can easily lap water or eat food without their whiskers coming into contact with the rims. You could even opt to swap their food bowl out for a flat plate, just make sure to avoid any surfaces that rub your cat’s whiskers.

Whisker fatigue might seem like an obscure ailment, but it’s easy to prevent and cats that suffer from it generally return to normal fairly quickly after the cause has been eliminated. You can find more information about caring for your cat on our petcare blog.


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