Both whisker fatigue and whisker stress are easily avoidable.
As a doting cat mom or dad, you might’ve heard the terms ‘whisker fatigue’ or ‘whisker stress’ from feline experts at some point. But what do they actually mean? And perhaps, most importunately, how do they affect your precious cat, and what can you do about it?
However, before I tell you everything there’s is to know about whisker fatigue and whisker stress, here’s a quick question for you.
Do you think minuscule mustache-like hair is so crucial that it can cause a medical condition?
Well, the short answer is yes. However, the condition is neither widely known nor severe. You can address the problem simply by getting a whisker relief bowl for your cat.
We will discuss what whisker fatigue is and see how a whisker relief bowl can solve the problem. Also, I’ll try to answer all the questions revolving around whiskers.
Read on to know about your cat‘s wonderful whiskers and the need for whisker relief bowls.
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Understanding Whisker Relief Bowls – What is Whisker Fatigue?
To understand what whisker fatigue is, we first have to know the function of whiskers in cats. Whiskers are lengthier, thicker, and quite more sensitive than the usual fur hair. They go three times deeper into the skin than fur hair and attach to the nerves to aid the vision of a cat.
Let’s understand how whiskers can aid in the vision. Cat ancestors have developed an amazing low-light vision. Also, their eyes can detect a change from one frame to another 70 times in a minute, far better than human eyes. Despite having an incredible vision that makes them great hunters, their eyes can’t focus on the objects that are closer than about 30 centimeters. That’s where whiskers play a big part.
As you can see in this YouTube video by BBC Earth, the cat’s whiskers get activated and sense the presence of an object when it comes close to the face. The base of the whiskers make them straighten in a fraction of a second and the cat makes the final blow with the paws.
But whiskers are not just for hunting. They also help cats in getting super sensory details in general so that their autonomic system can work properly when required. For example, whiskers can help cats in identifying the wind direction and crawling through narrow space.
Understanding whisker fatigue
All in all, whiskers are quite crucial to cats. They are so important that a cat won’t be able to perform her usual activity without them.
Now that we know what whiskers do, it’s easier to understand what whisker fatigue is. Whisker fatigue can be defined as information overload on highly sensitive whiskers that can make cats feel severely uncomfortable.
We will discuss the causes of stress fatigue in the upcoming section.
What Are the Causes of Whisker Fatigue in Cats?
A cat’s brain interprets the signals sensed by the whiskers. However, its brain can’t distinguish between unnecessary signals and necessary ones. For example, when we try to listen to a particular sound we can tell our brain what background sounds to consider as noise and what sound to focus on.
When a cat tries to eat or drink from a narrow, deep bowl, his whisker brushes with the sides of the dish. This will happen every time your cat will try to dip his head into the bowl to eat or sip and may cause whisker fatigue.
Another question that arises here is how to tell if a cat is feeling stressed due to whisker fatigue. If your cat seems fine around her food and water bowls, your cat is just doing fine and there’s nothing to worry about. There are some signs your cat will show that will tip you off on whisker fatigue problem.
If your cat is suffering from whisker fatigue, he will seem hungry around the food bowl but will be hesitant to eat. Other signs include pacing around the bowls, aggression, pawing at water or food, or toppling over the bowl to eat or drink from it. If you see any of these signs in your cat, you may want to check for whisker fatigue.
Let’s be clear.
Whisker fatigue is not a disease.
So your kitty doesn’t have to go for any medication or treatment. It’s just a condition caused by repetitive brushing of whiskers with bowls. Although, your cat will be malnourished if he either skips or doesn’t eat all his meals. And that can adversely affect your cat’s health and over all well-being.
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How Do You Stop Whiskers from Fatigue?
There’s only one solution to whisker fatigue. Replace your cat’s food and water bowls. Whisker relief water and food bowls for cats are widely available for sale. And they are not expensive.
Whisker relief bowls are wide and shallow, the way a cat’s whiskers won’t brush with the surface of it. Cat bowl manufacturers have started making bowls like this because whisker fatigue is normal with cats if traditional shallow bowls are used; no brand would want their customers to be unsatisfied with their product.
Felines usually prefer running water over stagnant water. This is because of the fact that still water are more likely to be contaminated than running water. It’s an innate behavior inherited from their ancestors that lived in the wild. This also explains why cats will drink flowing water from the tap when get a chance.
That being said, if you can replace your cat’s water bowl with a water fountain, that will eliminate whisker fatigue and your kitty will thank you for getting him flowing water. However, I understand if you’re not willing to get a water fountain because that can’t fit in everyone’s budget. It’s a luxury and not a necessity.
Water fountains, in addition, solve the problem of cat toppling over the water bowl and eliminate the need for splash-proof water bowls. Some cats like to play with water present in the bowl because of the shiny, reflective, and tangible surface while some feel incumbent to spread the water on the surface and drink.
What Happens if I Trim My Cat’s Whiskers?
Instead of getting a new whisker relief bowl, can I not just trim your cat’s whiskers or cut them? I understand if such an easy way to tackle the problem came to your mind, but it’s a big No. You should not trim or cut whiskers.
Cutting or trimming a cat’s whiskers is like amputating their limb or take away their vision partially. Cutting their whiskers is similar to declawing a cat, in a nutshell.
Do Kitty Whiskers Grow Back?
Yes, they do. If cat whiskers are accidentally cut, it will grow back. Cat whiskers are like other hair, shedding and regrowing. However, cat whisker density doesn’t reduce with the age of a cat. Cats have whiskers above eyes and on ankles as well. Again, this doesn’t ever mean you should trim or cut whiskers. If a kid accidentally cuts them, don’t worry, it will regrow.
If your cat seems uncomfortable around her food or water and hesitant to eat it due to whisker fatigue, whisker relief bowls can surely help. Never cut whiskers. Appreciate them, and be proud of your cat for its impeccable hunting skills.
Your turn – Does your cat need a whisker relief bowl?
Are you a cat mom and dad? Have you had any experience with whisker fatigue? What did you do?
What do you think of the idea of using a whisker relief bowl?
Please leave a message and join the conversation.
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