There are many reasons why cats lose their whiskers, and you are probably concerned about whether your cat’s whiskers will grow back. This can be a concern for cat owners all around.
Whiskers can grow back with time. But it depends on the health of the cat. Cats that are well can expect to have whiskers grow back in 2-3 months. A cat may not see whisker regrowth if some underlying illnesses and diseases are not treated.
We’ll discuss whether whiskers can grow back. We will also discuss some steps that you can take to prevent your cat’s whiskers from falling out.
Cat Whiskers Do Grow Back
A cat’s whiskers do grow back.
Whiskers are like hair and grow back after shedding. While whiskers grow back, the cause of them falling out determines the length of time it takes for them to grow back.
Indoor Cats Whiskers Grow Back Faster Than Outdoor Cats
The growth of a cat’s whiskers depends on its condition and health.
The whiskers on an indoor cat are more likely to grow back faster than an outdoor cat. Indoor cats are typically well-maintained and groomed.
There is less chance that an indoor cat is exposed to a harsh environment, unlike the outdoor cat that is more susceptible to contracting skin rashes that can affect its whiskers.
Reasons Whisker Loss Can Occur
There are numerous reasons that whisker loss can occur. Some are environmental, while others have to do with illness. The cat’s breed may also be a determining factor.
Cats Are At Risk Outdoors
Cats that enjoy the outdoors or even have a moment to be outside if it is an indoor cat are at risk of picking up parasites and other bugs.
These critters hide in the fur, which can agitate the layer of skin just underneath. This alone can cause a cat’s whiskers to fall out.
Illness Causes Whisker Loss
Illness and disease affect everyone and everything, cats included.
Cats can contract multiple viruses and bacteria that cause whisker loss. Unfortunately, these causes need antibodies or some cure to heal a cat before it can possibly grow its whiskers again. This can be an easy fix.
Breed Determines Whisker Loss
Ironically, the breed of a cat can determine whether whiskers will be lost or not or experience breakage.
While most cats do have whiskers, a select few either do not have whiskers or have whiskers that break or are naturally short. One known breed without whiskers is the hairless sphinx cat.
Fighting & Abuse Cause Whisker Loss
Catfights can lead to whisker loss.
This kind of trauma usually happens amongst stray cats when setting territorial boundaries. Indoor cats that are aggressive may experience whisker loss as well. Physical abuse, sad as it may be, can also lead to the loss of whiskers.
Cats Shed Whiskers Naturally
Keep in mind that cats do naturally shed as they age.
Cats shed seasonally to acclimate with changing weather. Whisker loss is part of the process, and there is no way to determine just how frequently whiskers are lost or when it will happen.
If a cat’s whiskers are broken, the whiskers will grow back and potentially be longer than it was prior to breakage. Whiskers grow at a quicker rate for younger cats. For older cats, it may take longer for whiskers to grow back fully.
Can Whisker Loss Be Permanent?
Whisker loss can be permanent if the whisker follicle itself is damaged beyond repair. Cats can experience folliculitis; a compromised immune system causes folliculitis, and the cat has the potential to develop bacterial infections where the whiskers once grew. Folliculitis on cats is identified by red, pus-filled bumps that appear on the cat’s face.
Cats may paw and scratch at the itchy and irritated area as well.
Two illnesses can lead a cat to develop folliculitis.
- Miliary dermatitis
- Feline immunodeficiency virus
Miliary dermatitis is identified by bumps that appear at the base of a hair follicle. This disease is a direct result of allergies a cat may have. These bumps become red once agitated and can lead to open sores on the surface of the skin.
Feline immunodeficiency virus is another underlying disease that compromises the overall health of a cat that causes irreparable damage to whisker follicles. FIV is caused by smaller retroviruses that are essentially transmitted from one infected cat to another. The virus acts similarly as HIV does to a human, causing a variety of physical deterioration to occur, including damage to the whisker follicles on a cats face.
The latter illness is contracted through catfighting which is typical among outdoor cats. It can be passed to indoor cats as well if there is contact with an infected cat.
How To Prevent Whisker Loss
There are a couple of ways to help prevent whisker loss. Consider the cause of why the cat whiskers are falling out in the first place. Is the cause something that can be taken care of at home?
If the underlying issue is parasites such as fleas and ticks, pet stores offer treatments and cures that show results almost immediately. If parasitic activity is severe, it may take appropriate treatments some time to start showing results. Taking your cat to the veterinarian is an option as well.
Cats lose whiskers because of fighting with other cats. Remove your cat from environments that influence catfights. Physical abuse may involve the removal of cat whiskers. If abuse is present, remove the cat from the environment and contact a local vet to have your cat checked out.
Take note of your cat pawing at its whiskers in certain surroundings and during specific times. There is a possibility that allergies play a part in your feline’s whisker loss. A veterinarian can test your cat for allergies and recommend remedies to decrease the frequency of flare-ups.
An inadequate diet can affect a cat’s whiskers and cause them to break. There are key vitamins and minerals that are required as part of a cat’s diet to maintain good health and nourishment. Ensuring a proper diet can aid whisker regrowth.
Should You Trim Your Cats Whiskers?
The decision to groom cat whiskers is left to the owner. It is understandable to want to trim a cat’s whiskers, especially if they are growing long. Since whiskers play a vital role in a cat’s genetics and environment, it is probably best to leave the whiskers to do what they do best to help a cat feel secure and aware of its surroundings.
Why Are Cat Whiskers Important?
Cat whiskers grow back given a little time.
Whiskers offer cats a sense of expression and act as a radar as well. Whiskers also offer a sense of direction for cats as well. They are sensors to help the cat maneuver around in dark areas and judge space. Whiskers can also detect the presence of other predators around them. Cats tend to be more frightened without the help of their whiskers.
Keep in mind that routine checkups with a veterinarian can determine underlying illnesses and diseases that could be affecting whisker regrowth.
Proper treatment of cats that have fallen victim to parasites and other insects can help reduce whisker loss. Keep cats away from environments that influence fighting and abuse.
Refrain from trimming cat whiskers during the grooming process. Diet plays a key role in the longevity of cat whiskers as well so make sure they are receiving adequate and appropriate nutrients.
If you detect that your cat has been exposed to other severely sick felines, contact your local veterinarian for appropriate medical treatment. Remember, whiskers will fall out but as long as your cat’s health is in good standing, they will grow back.