Whiskers are a crucial part of a cat’s navigational system, serving as built-in GPS tools. These long, stiff folicles are quite unique and can process a lot of information. They can detect changes in air currents, helping them sense when something is nearby. They can help cats navigate and help them determine if they can fit through certain areas. Cats cannot focus on an object until they are at least 12 inches away from its face, so whiskers help with the disadvantage. Your cat’s whiskers can also indicate what kind of mood they’re in! So, you can see just how purposeful and unique these tiny sensors are.
However, what happens when a cat loses their whiskers? There are several reasons why a cat may lose their whiskers:
1. Infection: Skin infections are often responsible for hair loss in cats. If your cat has an infection close to or in the whisker follicles, it can cause them to fall out, break off, or change. Often, other signs of infection include oozing, flakiness, redness, crusting, and inflammation. Your vet will need to determine the underlying cause of the infection. They may take samples of the affected area or run further testing. Once the condition reveals itself, your vet will prescribe the medications necessary to treat the ailment.
2. Feline Acne: Feline acne is a result of too much keratin and sebaceous gland overactivity. If the production is high, it can cause these glands to get blocked. Your cat will then develop what you might notice as blackheads on the chin and lip area. While acne in itself might not cause whisker loss, secondary infections can. Most whisker loss will happen because of excessive itching or trauma to the area. This issue can be resolved with treatment from your veterinarian.
3. Physical Damage: If a cat has been involved in a fight, it can cause damage to multiple parts of the body, including the whiskers. Even if they’re engaging in rough play, and it’s all in good fun, it may break off whiskers or cause other trauma. The good thing is, in most cases, the whiskers will grow back without any issue whatsoever.
4. Allergies: Allergic reactions can cause cats to break out and develop skin irritation, rashes, and sometimes ear and skin infections. Constant rubbing or scratching can result in broken or fragmented whiskers. If you suspect an allergy, get in touch with your veterinarian for further evaluation.
It is important to note that whiskers naturally shed like regular fur shedding. However, if you notice whiskers coming out in bulk or it seems as if they’ve been cut, it’s best to get your cat to your vet right away for an evaluation. They will have all of the resources to get to the bottom of the issue.
If a cat no longer possesses these inbuilt GPS tools, it can affect their lives. These sprouts are helpful for hunting, communicating, and understanding their environment. They absolutely require these stiff follicles to judge their surroundings. You should never, under any circumstances, cut a cat’s whiskers. If you have any issue with your cat’s whiskers, get them to your vet right away for professional guidance. It could be one of the four reasons we have mentioned here, all of which will require appropriate treatment.
In conclusion, whiskers are an essential part of a cat’s life, and their loss can be detrimental to a cat’s well-being. It is crucial to seek veterinary attention if your cat is experiencing any issues with their whiskers, and to avoid cutting them at all costs. By taking care of your cat’s whiskers, you can help them navigate their environment with ease and comfort.