Why Do Cats Lose Whiskers – Everything To Know About The Cat Whiskers!
Have you been wondering why do cats lose whiskers because you suddenly started to find more of them around the house and over objects? Well, the situation can be alarming and you need to act soon by understanding if your cat is shedding or losing whiskers. For the help that you will need for this, continue to read below.
Little something about the cat whiskers
Cats have certain special furs on different parts of their body that are called Whiskers or Vibrissae. These furs are embedded in their skin deeper than any other fur or hair and are a dense meeting point of numerous blood vessels and sensory nerves. These unique characteristics of the whiskers make them super sensitive and are the reason behind the important purpose they serve:
- Providing sensory inputs to the cat by touch responses
- Supporting the proprioception senses of cats and helping them to maintain balance
- Helping the spatial judgment capabilities of cats to allow them to move easily
Natural falling off the cat whiskers
A lot of you may have wondered that “do cats shed whiskers” upon finding whiskers on the house mat while cleaning. Yes, cats do shed whiskers and that is a normal process. This happens because of the morphological character of these hairs.
The whiskers are composed of keratin compound which is constituted by the dead cells of our body. This imparts a certain period of dormancy to the whiskers that come after growth and is followed by shedding. Thus, even the whiskers tend to shed automatically when the shedding period of body hair arrives
This whole process can be understood as the normal process of whiskers being shed and it only involves the loss of very few numbers of whiskers that you may not even notice. Thus, you don’t need to worry about your cat shedding whiskers normally even though these hairs have a very important role for felines. These whiskers re-grow quickly enough within a few weeks only.
Natural shedding of whiskers happens quite often in the kittens and young cats that start from the age of about 11 weeks. You may find your kitten having more than enough whiskers damaged but that is mostly the result of them being involved in rough playing around and that’s about it. Any serious damage will get visible to you itself and we are going to explain how next.
Major reasons behind cats losing their whiskers abnormally
Whiskers of cats growing in all the different parts of the bodies of cats like face, chin, wrist, forelegs, eyes, etc. are prone to shedding alike. On the same note, they are also prone to severe shedding which is also called Whiskers loss. In such cases, the whiskers appear cut off, broken, severely thinned, or even accompanied with baldness and fur loss.
Now that you know the answer to “do cats lose their whiskers”, let us give you some of the major reasons why this happens:
Your cat has allergies!
Allergies are not a thing with us only and the cats can have allergies too that get manifested in different ways though. Cats can be allergic to many things like pollen, food, or various parasites. Mostly, it’s various skin issues that occur with the cats when they get any allergy flare-ups.
You may see flaky and red patches on the skin of your cat due to any allergic reaction and the hair on that part will also fall as a result. A similar issue happens with the whiskers if the skin around the cat’s mouth gets flared up. Cats tend to lick and scratch the area where they have gotten the allergy and that directly leads to the spread of infection to the mouth area.
Your cat has gotten an infection!
Cats are also prone to various fungal and bacterial infections that they may catch upon coming in contact with other animals or unhygienic surfaces. Skin ailments again are the primary result of such infections in cats and are followed by the loss of hair from different areas including the whiskers too. Ringworms are a major problem in cats and they can lead to major hair loss.
Your cat has gotten parasite infestation!
The fur of cats are sometimes the safe havens for a lot of parasites to thrive and some of them like ticks, mites, lice, fleas, etc. may be stuck in the fur that later becomes the reason for why do cats lose whiskers. These parasites cause cats to feel itchy and they end up licking that area which further leads to bald spots and sores in the affected areas.
Your cat went into a fight!
If your cat is roaming around outside more often, there are high chances of it getting involved in fights with wild cats or other animals. Fights may also happen with the other pets within the house itself. With fights come injuries and those can lead to hair loss in the affected areas including leading to the cat losing whiskers.
Your cat may have gotten acne!
Who would think that acne can be a problem with animals and cats are an example of that in this case? Acne can be seen to break out mostly on the chin area in cats and that leads to whisker loss when the acne becomes severe and starts spreading around. Once the skin around the mouth is inflamed, whiskers loosen out and fall.
Your cat may be suffering from hormonal abnormalities!
Cats can also undergo hormonal disorders which emanate as a result of various diseases that cats undergo like hyperthyroidism, etc. The main issue that occurs in cats when they have hormonal problems is Alopecia which causes damage to the body's hair. Whiskers also get affected by such hormonal issues and may start to fall off sooner than time.
Your cat has poor health!
Alopecia in felines is also a result of poor health caused by the lack of essential nutrients like vitamins and minerals in the diet being given to them. This weakens the body hair of cats from the inside and led them to fall off. Thus, the answer to do cats lose their whiskers may also be found in the nutritionally insufficient diet of the cats as well as other health issues like obesity.
Your cat may be suffering from any mental ailment!
When cats suffer from mental disorders like stress, anxiety, or depression, they tend to over-groom or barber their coat. Such situations may get aggravated into the cats scabbing themselves hard enough to damage the fur and even the vibrissae too. Nervous disorders can also be the reason behind this.
Tips on preventing and treating whisker loss in cats
You can use these tips if your cat lost whisker too and help the situation:
This was all about helping you understand why do cats lose whiskers, how it is different from cat shedding whiskers, and what can be done to deal with whiskers loss. If the situation gets messier and you feel confused, we suggest you immediately see a vet rather than taking the matter in your hand.