Why Are My Cats Whiskers Falling Out?

Any cat owner is well aware that cats can shed a lot of fur. Vacuuming and sweeping is a routine chore in any cat home. In your own cleaning you may have chanced upon a shed whisker once or twice. It’s perfectly normal for your cat to shed whiskers, just as it’s perfectly normal for your cat to shed fur. However, if there’s suddenly an uptake in the number of whiskers you’re finding or if it looks like your cat is suddenly missing whiskers, that might be cause for concern.

Cat shelves can also increase the walking area of a small space, making a tight hallway a little less stressful. The easiest way to prevent acne in your cat is to use only stainless steel or ceramic food/water bowls (as opposed to plastic) and to clean them frequently.

Is it normal for my cat's whiskers to fall out?

It’s perfectly normal for your cat to shed whiskers, just as it’s perfectly normal for your cat to shed fur. However, if there’s suddenly an uptake in the number of whiskers you’re finding or if it looks like your cat is suddenly missing whiskers, that might be cause for concern.

How often should Cats lose whiskers?

A cat’s whiskers naturally grow, shed, and regrow. They are continually being replaced, but your cat will only usually shed one or two at a time. As such, it is unlikely that you will ever even notice your cat shedding a whisker. If you see one on a couch or the floor, you may not register that it is a whisker.

What happens when cats lose their whiskers?

A cat with cut whiskers will become disoriented and scared. “If you cut them, that’s like blindfolding someone, taking away one of their ways of identifying what’s in their environment,” says veterinarian Jane Brunt.

What can I do about my cats whiskers shedding?

While some shedding or breakage is normal, cat whiskers do not need to be trimmed or groomed and Kornreich advises pet owners against cutting them. Cat whiskers are similar to human hair and have no nerves so it is not painful to cut them.

If you just found out that your cat is missing whiskers on one side (or when theyve broken off or appeared shorter) theres no need to panic! Before you jump to conclusions, lets take a look at the possible reasons why cats suddenly lose whiskers.

The whiskers are so sensitive that they give a cat enough information to create a three-dimensional map of its surroundings while hunting. But when a cat is losing multiple whiskers above the eye or next to the nose and the hairs are not growing back (or worse, even more of them start to disappear over time) this could be worth investigating.

If youve been checking a few weeks and the whiskers dont seem to be growing back, a trip to the vet might be in order.

Whereas they have special roles of sensing, feeling, and expressing mood and they have deeply embedded hair follicles with lots of nerves, cat whiskers (vibrissae or tactile hairs) are made up of keratin just like any other hairs.

We will be focusing on kittens and cats losing whiskers where we will look at the abnormal or excessive loss and not the normal shedding. Regular fights can not only cause injuries but the loss of fur but also whiskers which may break off or get plucked (be missing).

Allergic reactions can result in itchiness making your feline friend to scratch or lick the affected area. Parasites such as fleas, lice, mites, ticks, etc., can make your fluffy friend itch, lick, causing sores as well as bald spots. Fungal infection such as ringworm can result in vibrissae loss if they affect areas where they grow.

Other skin conditions such as dermatitis can lead to fur loss and if the affected area has tactile hairs, the all be lost. Deficiencies of some minerals, vitamins or nutrients may contribute to feline alopecia where even the whiskers will be affected.

Is it normal for a cats whiskers to fall out? It started with one whisker on the living room carpet. Then two more popped up on my bed. I was more than slightly alarmed.

I didnt know this before, but cats whiskers are hair : theyre constantly growing, shedding and re-growing. It starts to look a bit unhealthy if you let it grow too long, but ripping it all out will leave it bare.

If you find that your cat is losing his or her whiskers while these other symptoms are present, it may be time to visit your vet: If you still arent sure if your cats whisker loss is normal, take them in to the vet, just to be safe.

What Are Whiskers, Anyway?

Whiskers, or ‘vibrissae’ are a highly specialized type of fur. For cats, whiskers serve three purposes:

Allergies

Cats can have allergies just like we can have allergies. Unlike us and our hay fever, though, cats manifest their allergic flare ups with skin ailments. Cats can be allergic to things in their environment such as pollen and parasites or, more rarely, they can have a food allergy. If your cat has a history of allergies and is suffering from a flare up you may start to notice red, itchy skin. You may also start to notice that your cat’s hair is beginning to fall out. If you cat’s flare up happens to be in an area near her whiskers, she may start to drop those as well.

Infections

Bacterial and fungal infections can also compromise the integrity of the skin similar to what happens with an allergy flare up. If your vet suspects your cat is losing her whiskers because of a skin infection, they will want to prescribe medications to help treat it. Ringworm, which actually isn’t a worm at all but a fungal infection, is more commonly seen in kittens but it is not out of the realm of possibility for an adult cat to become infected with ringworm.

Trauma

Cats that roam freely outside or that live with other pets may at some point in their life get into a scrape with another animal or housemate. Depending on the wound locations and whether there are any accompanying infections, you may see whisker loss. Preventing your cat from wandering outside unsupervised can help prevent trauma inflicted by a wild animal. Even if your pets at home aren’t the best of friends, there are things you can do to make life less stressful. Ensuring there are plenty of resources (i.e. water bowls, litter boxes, sleeping areas, toys, and scratching surfaces/cat furniture) can help prevent fights that stem from resource guarding. Placing scratch pads and more vertical climbing surfaces/cat shelves in areas of high traffic (such as hallways) can allow your cat to more appropriately get out their stress by scratching on the pad and not their housemate. Cat shelves can also increase the walking area of a small space, making a tight hallway a little less stressful.

What are whiskers for?

The whiskers finely tuned sensors that are used by cats to help them navigate the world. Like the antennae seen in insects, they provide additional information about the surroundings. Whiskers are believed to have evolved because they aid with hunting during night time. If needed, a cat can completely close her eyes to protect them and hunt with only the senses of smell and touch.The whiskers are so sensitive that they give a cat enough information to create a three-dimensional map of its surroundings while hunting. This map is used to determine where the prey is exactly upon contact, which helps the cat deliver a fatal bite.

Why do they fall off?

Most of the time, it does not indicate anything terrible. Whiskers, like any other sort of hair, or supposed to fall out every so often. Under normal conditions, a new hair will grow to replace the old one in a few weeks.But when a cat is losing multiple whiskers above the eye or next to the nose and the hairs are not growing back (or worse, even more of them start to disappear over time) this could be worth investigating.Cat’s tend to lose more whiskers when they are stressed. But there are many other health-related issues that can cause hairs to fall out at a faster rate. For one, a common problem seen is found within the skin or the coat. For instance, fleas and ticks are known to cause hair loss. But things like allergies and hormonal problems can contribute to the problem as well.

How often do cat whiskers fall out?

A cat will lose a few whiskers every so often. They usually fall out in groups of two or three. If a whole bunch of whiskers has fallen out in a short time period, this might be worth getting checked out by your vet.

Do cat’s whiskers fall out?

Whereas they have special roles of sensing, feeling, and expressing mood and they have deeply embedded hair follicles with lots of nerves, cat whiskers (vibrissae or tactile hairs) are made up of keratin just like any other hairs.Therefore, it is normal for them to be shed (fall out) once their dormancy period is over. Animal hair goes through the growth phase, dormancy, and shedding. When the shedding comes, even vibrissae will fall off.However, normal shedding will involve very few and it may not even easy to notice they are missing. Also, aging does not cause fewer whiskers in cats.Therefore, is it normal for felines to shed these hairs. However, it should not be excessive as this will be a point that something is off.You do not want this pet to lose whiskers since they are important and have a purpose or functions. What happens when this animal loses its whiskers are the same things we saw while looking on why these tactile hairs should never be trimmed or cut.We will be focusing on kittens and cats losing whiskers where we will look at the abnormal or excessive loss and not the normal shedding.

Why are my cat’s whiskers falling out?

It is possible for a cat to lose whiskers on one side or both sides of their face as well as lose those behind their forelegs just below the wrist, those on their chin, or even those on top of their eyes.Furthermore, it is possible for them to appear to be broken or cut off and the loss can be moderate or severe, and sometimes there may be fur loss too resulting in baldness on the affected area.If your cat’s whiskers keep falling out, there could be several reasons why this happens. Some of the common reasons include:

1. Regular fights

Regular fights can not only cause injuries but the loss of fur but also whiskers which may break off or get plucked (be missing).You will notice injuries, scratches, swellings, and so in case, your cats fight often. Separating them and neutering may help. If they fight with stray or feral cats, consider cat-proofing your home.

2. Allergies

Allergic reactions can result in itchiness making your feline friend to scratch or lick the affected area. If this goes on for a long time, it is possible for bald spots or alopecia to result.Consider antihistamine and other medication for allergies as well as avoiding the various allergens you may be knowing.

3. Infestation by parasites

Parasites such as fleas, lice, mites, ticks, etc., can make your fluffy friend itch, lick, causing sores as well as bald spots. There are various over the counter and prescription medication for various parasites.

4. Fungal infections and other skin conditions

Fungal infection such as ringworm can result in vibrissae loss if they affect areas where they grow. Antifungals, medicated baths, oral medications, ointments, and creams may be recommended to deal with fungal infections.Other skin conditions such as dermatitis can lead to fur loss and if the affected area has tactile hairs, the all be lost. Also, growths, severe injuries, scarring from abscesses, and so on can be a cause.

5. A severe case of feline acne

If it is severe and it affects areas which have whiskers especially the chin and cheek areas, it is possible for your feline friend to lose them as well as fur. There are various home remedies for cat acne as well as treatments your vet may recommend.

6. Hormonal disorder

Hormonal disorders and imbalances can cause alopecia. For instance, those that result in hyperthyroidism can cause alopecia which will also affect all body hairs.

7. Nutritional deficiencies and poor health

Deficiencies of some minerals, vitamins or nutrients may contribute to feline alopecia where even the whiskers will be affected.

8. Stress and nervous disorders

Extreme stress and nervous disorders such as overgrooming or barbering may be a reason why your cat may be missing its fur including vibrissae. Scabbing may also be noted.

Is This Type Of Whisker Loss Healthy?

A few whiskers falling out now and then won’t do your cat any harm. In fact, it’s good and means that your cat is regenerating whiskers as they grow out.Picture a grass lawn. It starts to look a bit unhealthy if you let it grow too long, but ripping it all out will leave it bare. Cats shed their whiskers two or three at a time, so there’s always a certain amount present. This natural biological function ‘keeps the grass trimmed’, so to speak.

Caring For Your Cat’s Whiskers

If you find that your cat is losing his or her whiskers while these other symptoms are present, it may be time to visit your vet:Because cat’s whiskers are actually special hairs, whisker loss can occur along with other