Why do Cat Whiskers Fall out? - All Possible Reasons
If your cat behaves in a different way or does something you have never seen it do before it will certainly surprise you. This is why it is good to inquire about the subject and consult our veterinarian if something really worries us. One thing that surprises many people who live with cats is to find whiskers on the floor or their bed or see that they fail when brushing their cat.
As we want you to know your pet better in order to coexist more efficiently and enjoy your pet to the fullest, at oneHOWTO we'd like to give you the answer to your question. Keep on reading if you want to know why cat whiskers fall out.
What exactly are cat whiskers?
These hairs are called vibrissae and are found throughout a feline's body, but we can find them in greater quantity on the sides of their snout. Vibrissae are hairs like those of the rest of the body but are much thicker, harder and may be mainly white or black (they are usually white on the muzzle or mouth area and those on the rest of the body can bicolor).
The whiskers, or or muzzle vibrissae, usually measure the exact same as the width of the cat's body and are used to measure the space and unconsciously calculate if they can go through that area well or, on the other hand, it's too narrow. In the same way, they are also used as sensors to know if they will hit an object or to perceive other animals' movements around them. All of this is thanks to the fact that at the base of the vibrissae there are many nerve endings that are very sensitive and communicate all of this information to the animal's brain, depending on the pressure they feel.
In addition, these facial hairs also serve to express their mood. If their whiskers are relaxed, a little down and some straight to the sides, it is a sign that they are also relaxed, or at least they are calm. But if they put them forward, backward or far down so that they stick on the snout it means that they are alert, scared or angry.
Commonly, cats have between 16 and 24 whiskers in total, between the two sides of the muzzle, and are evenly distributed between two sides in two or three rows each.
Why do my cat's whiskers fall out? - All reasons
As we have seen, whiskers are a type of hair that is found throughout the body of your feline companion but it is mainly visible in greater numbers on the sides of their nose. So, really, the main reasons why a cat's whiskers drop are the same as those that fall off the rest of the fur, such as whiskers found above the eyes:
Normal hair cycle and molt
Domestic cats can change a couple of times a year, when the weather changes from warm to cold and vice versa to increase or reduce their coat of fur. But they can also molt because the heating is always on in the house they are living in and that makes the cat's body believe that it is warm or the reverse with the air conditioning. The point is that some vibrissae will fall when it is very hot and they have to renew their coat.
In addition, the natural hair cycle is exactly the same in the case of the muzzle vibrations: they are born, grow, mature and fall.
Stress and anxiety
This is one of the main causes for a cat's whiskers falling off and can be identified, among other sings and symptoms, with excessive hair loss as well as losing their whiskers Therefore, if you see that your feline partner has too much hair and also thick hairs on his muzzle and has behaviors such as being very anxious, running and mewing much more than usual and hiding, he may be suffering from anxiety and stress. Consult your veterinarian to find the best solution for you.
Skin allergies and external parasites
Another major cause for your cat's whiskers to fall is that he/she has skin allergies, some type of dermatitis in cats or has external parasites such as fleas, lice or ticks.
In both cases, your cat will feel great itching and discomfort, to the point that it scratches a lot in the most affected area and this causes its fur and the vibrissae to fall out excessively. The vet will have to examine the cat closely to diagnose him/her properly and then prescribe the best treatment for allergy in cats or the best way to deworm your cat depending on the type of parasite, degree of infestation and general health of your pet.
Do cat's whiskers grow back?
Undoubtedly, this is one of the questions that are still frequently heard regarding these cat hairs. Those owners who see the cat's whiskers fall, and especially if he/she drops a great amount, wonder if its whiskers will come out again or not.
If this happens you can stay calm because the answer is YES the cats' whiskers grow back. If they have fallen due to its normal cycle, the whiskers will take no time to grow back to their original length, if it is due to illnesses such as the stress or an allergy, until this problem is not solved they will not begin to grow again, but once it is solved we will see them growing again around the snout .
What happens if you cut off a cat's whiskers?
Can you cut a cat's whiskers? Certain people may think that a cat with long and irregular whiskers doesn't look good and decide to cut or trim their whiskers to give the cat a more aesthetic look. On the other hand, there are those who would never do such a thing, as they think that, being that whiskers are thicker and harder than regular hair, they contain nerves inside and, therefore, cutting them can cause pain, damage and bleeding to the cat.
The truth is that whiskers are the same as the rest of the body of the animal and these have no nerves in their interior, so trimming them will not cause pain or bleeding. But this does not mean that cutting a cat's whiskers goes unnoticed or is even good for cats or any of the other vibrissae they have around their body.
In fact, it is bad to cut cats' whiskers since what happens by making them shorter is that the animal loses its ability to guide and orient itself properly in its surroundings and will find it difficult to detect things closely, as they don't have such a good eyesight when it comes to short distances as they do with long distance sight. All this will easily make your very clumsy and will cause crashes, stress, falls and other accidents that can be avoided simply by leaving their whiskers in place. Therefore, we do NOT recommend cutting off cat whiskers under any circumstances.
Myths about cat whiskers
As we have seen, the vibrissae on both the muzzle and the rest of the feline body are very important and special. Besides the doubts that we have already solved in this article, turns out that there are many more on the subject of cat whiskers, and many of them are in fact false beliefs:
- Cats feel the pain and bleed if you cut off their whiskers.
- They can not grow them back after they fall, tear or are cut.
- Nothing happens if you cut them off, the animal does not suffer and nothing happens to it.
- They lose the ability to fall on their feet when they jump or fall from a certain height.
- Cats with trimmed whiskers do not leave the house.
- If people cut their whiskers they will surely come home after they leave.
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