CATS 101: WHAT IS WHISKER FATIGUE?
We’ve all heard the old adage to never cut or trim a cat’s whiskers.
It’s true, you never want to mess with them! And it’s because they’re important sensory organs – called proprioceptors – that shoot messages to the brain and nervous system, allowing your cat to understand their surroundings and respond quickly to perceived changes or threats.
Whiskers give cats their stalking power! They are able to navigate confidently through a dark room – constantly feeling for walls, furniture and picking up on tiny directional changes in the air...it’s really pretty awesome!
But when it comes to the day-to-day life of a cat, their whiskers are so sensitive that they can easily get overworked or fatigued by unnecessary friction. One of the most common instances of this is during feeding time. If you use a regular bowl, his whiskers are very likely going to make contact with the sides and bottom of the dish, which can turn eating into a really stressful situation!
SIGNS OF WHISKER FATIGUE:
- Leaving food in the bowl
- Only eatting from the center of the bowl
- Playing with her food
- Pulling or pawing food out the bowl before chowing down on the floor or table
- Standing or pacing around the bowl before starting to eat
- Showing signs of hesitation even if they are hungry
- Acting aggressively towards other animals in the house during mealtime
HOW TO MAKE DINNER ENJOYABLE AGAIN:
- Don’t assume it’s the food they have a problem with – test their regular food on a plate to see if their preference changes
- If so, transition to a low, shallow bowl for food (we love Dr. Catsby’s Bowl)
- Remember the same thing can happen with a water dish, so try using a wide bowl