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Does Your Cat Have Whisker Fatigue?

Learn if your cat might have whisker fatigue.

If you've never heard of whisker fatigue, don't worry. It's not necessarily a widely known condition. But for some cats, it does negatively impact daily life.

What Is Feline Whisker Fatigue?

Cats' whiskers are thick hairs that protrude from a cat's cheeks, above their eyes, their chins, and from the backs of their front legs. They are filled with sensory collecting nerves that collect information about objects, vibrations, and wind currents around the cat. They aid cats to hunt in the dark and are an integral part of their communication system.

Whisker fatigue happens to some cats when their sensitive whiskers are routinely being brushed up against something such as food or water bowls. It causes discomfort and even pain, and it makes eating and drinking stressful.

What Are the Signs of Whisker Fatigue in Cats?

The signs that your cat may be suffering from whisker fatigue include:

  • Pawing at or pulling food out of the bowl to eat it on the ground.
  • Making a big mess around the bowl while eating or drinking.
  • Leaving food in the bowl but continuing to act hungry.
  • Approaching the food bowl with caution, acting as though he or she wants to eat but pacing around nervously first.
  • Constantly demanding that the food bowl is kept full to the top; refusing to eat when the bowl is not full.
  • Acting aggressively toward other pets or people in the home around mealtimes.


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Cats may show these signs for other reasons as well, but if you are seeing some of them in your cat, you may wish to pursue the idea that whisker fatigue could be the culprit.

How Can You Fight Feline Whisker Fatigue?

Dr. Catsby's Bowl for Whisker Relief

Choosing shallow, wide bowls that allow your cat to get food and water out without his whiskers making contact with its sides can end whisker fatigue.

We recommend these bowls: Dr. Catsby's Bowl for Whisker Relief. In addition to being good for fighting whisker fatigue, they are stainless steel, so bacteria finds it harder to grow on their surface. Also, bad odors and tastes are less likely to cling to them. They also come with a non-slip mat, so they stay put when you set them down.


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