Cats can shed a lot of fur at different periods of the year, and some even shed all year. Did you know that cats may shed or lose their whiskers as well? Whisker loss can be caused by a variety of factors, going from “it’s nothing to worry about” to “we should consult with our veterinarian.” But how do you know which is which? Hopefully, this article will help you understand the causes of whisker loss and when it’s necessary to seek medical assistance for your cat.
What are Whiskers?
Even while it may not appear so, a cat’s whiskers, like the rest of their fur, are simply hair. They can also shed whiskers the same way they shed their coat, as I explained earlier. It makes sense because whiskers, like human hair, grow and fall out for a variety of reasons. It’s worth noting that as your cat gets older, he won’t lose his whiskers, but you may notice them greying or being lighter.
Whiskers serve a purpose other than being attractive. Cats measure the size of a space with their whiskers, such as the inside of a box. Whiskers aid in balance and can even assist a cat in “to see” up close. The difference between human hair, fur, and whiskers is that a cat’s whiskers are uncomfortable to have cut, thus this is something you should never do. When a cat’s whiskers fall out naturally, though, it is completely painless.
Normal Whisker Loss
Don’t be scared if you notice a few whiskers strewn about the home; this is quite natural and healthy. Your cat will lose a few whiskers now and again to allow for the growth of new, healthy, and strong whiskers. Cat whiskers, like human hair, can get scraggly or even break, thus a cat may remove them in order to develop new, undamaged whiskers. If you’ve never seen a cat whisker before, it can seem strange, but don’t worry – finding cat whiskers is said to bring good luck!
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Abnormal Whisker Loss
There are many reasons why your cat’s whiskers may fall out unnaturally. If your cat suffers from allergies or other skin conditions such as dermatitis, you may observe a big loss of whiskers as well as their regular fur. Infections could also be a problem. Whisker loss can be caused by bacterial and fungal illnesses, particularly those that affect a cat’s face. Feline acne, which is most commonly seen around a cat’s lips and chin and can alter his whiskers, is another one you may not be aware of.
Alopecia, a disorder that causes severe hair loss in cats, is also a possibility. Alopecia can also result in the loss of fur and beards. The cat’s fur may not grow back at all, or it may grow back in odd patches, depending on the severity of the illness.
Fighting with other cats can result in whisker loss, particularly if the harm is on the face, which is common in cat fights. Our cat’s face swelled up on one side last year, and he lost a lot of whiskers. Alopecia, a disorder that causes severe hair loss in cats, is also a possibility. Alopecia can also result in the loss of fur and beards. The cat’s fur may not grow back at all, or it may grow back in odd patches, depending on the severity of the illness.
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Fighting with other cats can result in whisker loss, particularly if the harm is on the face, which is common in cat fights. Our cat’s face swelled up on one side last year, and he lost a lot of whiskers. Rushed him to the veterinarian, where it was discovered that he had been in a cat fight and had a puncture wound on the side of his face that had abscessed. He needed to get a small procedure performed in the office right away.
To be on the safe side, if you find that your cat is losing more than a few whiskers, you should have them checked out by a veterinarian. Overall, the best thing you can do is to provide your cat a clean, safe home environment. Consider an indoor-only lifestyle if fighting with stray cats is a regular occurrence. Feed your cat high-quality cat food and keep fresh water on hand at all times. These things will go a long way toward helping your cat be healthy and happy.
Remember that a cat’s whiskers, like hair, break, become damaged, and finally shed to make way for new, shiny ones. Not every whisker loss is made equal, so if you spot a few, stray whiskers lying around, don’t fret. Just keep an eye on things to make sure it’s nothing serious.
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