What is Whisker Fatigue?
Whisker fatigue is a condition caused by the overstimulation of whiskers, often found in cats whose whiskers have excessive contact with objects such as food and water bowls. Though some question whether this is a real problem, it's hard to ignore the signs. Before we get into detection and prevention, let's better understand the purpose of whiskers and what causes whisker fatigue.
Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?
Whiskers act as a sense for cats, to help assess their environment and surroundings. A cat will brush their whiskers against objects to detect location, size and texture. This practice is often helpful for a cat trying to determine whether or not they can fit into a tight space, or when exploring a new area. Whiskers can also pick up changes in the air, which is highly effective in sensing approaching danger. Needless to say, cats whiskers are very sensitive!
What Are The Causes of Whisker Fatigue?
Given how sensitive whiskers are to touch and changes in the environment, constant contact with objects can cause whisker fatigue. Small, deep food and water bowls are often the culprit. For a cat, having the wrong food/water bowls means burying its face and whiskers within the bowl for extended periods during mealtime. This can make it very stressful for a cat to eat.
What Are Common Signs Your Cat Has Whisker Fatigue?
If a cat is experiencing whisker fatigue, mealtime can become stressful. The signs displayed are commonly seen during cat feedings. Your cat may exhibit one or all the below signs.
- Pawing food out of the food bowl onto the ground to eat.
- Little to no appetite. Food left in the bowl uneaten.
- Change in behavior during mealtime. An unhappy cat.
How Can I Prevent Whisker Fatigue?
Mealtime should be stress-free! Preventing whisker fatigue during mealtime is critical to ensuring your cat can eat normally.
For whisker-happy cats we recommend the Zoe Cat Bowl and matching Melina Cat Bowl, shallow and wide food and water bowls for easy eating. Available in two versatile colours, these minimalist designs will be a beautiful addition to your home.