Don’t worry if you’ve never heard of whisker fatigue. It isn’t necessarily a well-known disease. However, for some cats, it has a negative effect on their everyday lives.
What Whisker Fatigue is?
Cats have thick whiskers that protrude from their noses, behind their eyes, chins, and the backs of their front legs. Sensory collecting nerves abound in them. It gathers information about the cat’s surroundings, such as objects, movements, and wind currents. They help cats hunt in the dark and play an important role in their communication system.
When something rubs up a cat’s sensitive whiskers, like a food or water bowl on a regular basis, it may cause whisker fatigue. It causes discomfort and even pain, as well as tension when eating and drinking.
Whisker receptors are primarily activated by a cat’s autonomic system, which consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves. These nerves respond to the internal and external environment without conscious control. Cats will voluntarily “turn on” the sensory focus of their whiskers in the exact location they want (pupils constricting in response to bright light, for example).
Whisker exhaustion can be thought of as a knowledge overload that causes your cat to become stressed. Whisker hairs are so responsive, They send signals from the sensory organs at the base of your cat’s whiskers to her brain. So, any time she comes into contact with an object or senses movement, even if it’s only a tiny shift in the air current or a gentle brush against her face.
Whisker exhaustion is not a disease (and no link to any illness}, and frequent interaction with food and water bowls tends to cause it. A depressed cat, on the other hand, is unhappy. If she refuses to eat or drink, she may become malnourished and/or dehydrated.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat Whisker Fatigue?
The following are symptoms that your cat may be suffering from whisker fatigue:
1. Pawing at or removing food from the bowl to eat it on the floor
2. When eating or drinking, making a huge mess around the dish.
3. Leaving food in the bowl when acting hungry.
4. Trying to approach the bowl of food with caution, behaving as if he or she wants to eat but nervously walking around first
5. Demanding that the food bowl be kept filled to the brim at all times; refusing to eat if the bowl is not full.
6. During mealtimes, behaving aggressively against other pets or people in the house.
What Can Be Done to Prevent Whisker Fatigue?
It’s as simple as replacing your cat’s food and water bowls to avoid or stop stress-related whisker exhaustion at feeding time. Provide a flat surface or a wide-enough bowl for cat food so her whiskers don’t hit the bowl’s edges. Use a paper plate as a food tray.
Most cats prefer to drink from a lipless, big flowing water stream. Pet parents should ideally have an automatic, freshwater supply for their cats. It includes a cat water fountain, which cats prefer, to an icky, stale bowl of water.
Some cat parents assume that trimming their cats’ whiskers is another option, but this is a no-no. Trimming whiskers muffs their expressions dims their senses, and generally confuse and annoy cats. You should not trim cat whiskers.
Should You Take Your Cat to The Veterinary for Symptoms of Whisker Fatigue?
In most cases, simple changes to how you feed your cat and the dish you use will eliminate any signs of whisker fatigue. If you’ve made the required adjustments and your cat always seems worried about feeding, call the Cat Hospital. It can ensure there aren’t any more serious issues at hand.
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