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Whisker Fatigue: What is it and how it affects your cat’s health?

The Amazing Cat Whiskers!

Studies have concluded that your cat’s whiskers can be a direct correlation to their eating behavior and overall health. Feline whiskers act as high-powered antennae that pull signals into the brain and nervous system. They are an extension of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nerves, automatically responding to the internal and external environments without conscious control (like pupils constricting in response to bright light). Whiskers are extremely sensitive, rooted deep in the skin, with a generous supply of nerves and blood around them.

What Do Whiskers Do for Cats?

Whiskers have many benefits to a cat. They are filled with sensory collecting nerves that collect information about objects, vibrations, and wind currents around the cat. They are helpful tools in guiding cats through darkness to hunt, measuring small spaces before they enter, and are an integral part of their communication system. The whisking indicate feelings to the outside world. For example, if their whiskers are relaxed and sticking out sideways, they are calm, pushed forward, they are excited and alert, flattened against their cheeks, angry or scared.

Whiskers are not just on your cats face, you can find the thick hairs protruding from the cheeks, above their eyes, their chins, and from the backs of their front legs. It is very important to never cut the whiskers of a cat, they may become disoriented, dizzy and confused, since they are not receiving navigation signals. 

What is Feline Whisker Fatigue?

So now that we know how important whiskers are to your cats whole world lets talk whisker fatigue.  Whisker Fatigue may be thought of as an information overload that stresses out your cat. Cats inadvertently finds stimulation in the most common and ever-present situations, like at their food or water bowl. If their whiskers touch the sides of the bowl every time they dip their head to eat or drink, this can cause whisker fatigue. Because the whiskers are an extension to the nervous systems then we must relate the qi (chi) or energy lines of the cat are also being disrupted, this could result in a gastrointestinal upset. Your cat’s behavior at their food or water bowl will tip you off that they are stressed.

Signs of Whisker Fatigue:

  • Pacing in front of the bowls

  • Being reluctant to eat but appearing to be hungry

  • Pawing at food and knocking it to the floor before eating it

  • Acting aggressively toward other animals around food

What to do:

  • Feed them from a flat plate

  • Allow a drinking fountain or large water bowl

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2 thoughts on “Whisker Fatigue: What is it and how it affects your cat’s health?”

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