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Do cats shed whiskers? Is it normal?

The adorable faces of our cats would not be the same without those characteristic long whiskers that adorn their muzzles. Have you ever wondered if they have any function or if they complement their beauty? Do cats shed whiskers? Or maybe just as they shed their fur, they also shed their whiskers all the time? If you just realized you don’t know anything about your cat’s whiskers, don’t worry; I’ll share fascinating details with you.

Do cats shed whiskers? Is it normal if my cat’s whiskers fall out?

As cats shed their fur to repair their coat and stay healthy, so do their whiskers. As you read it, cats also shed their whiskers, although not as often as their fur. You may have found one or two of your cat’s whiskers on the floor occasionally, although this is rare because it doesn’t happen often and usually goes unnoticed. Your cat sheds its whiskers, one by one, when it has completed its cycle and is dehydrated and weak, making way for a new one to grow.

do cats shed whiskers - is it normal

Unlike fur, whiskers don’t have shedding seasons. They fall off when they need to be renewed. They take about 3 months to grow to a good size for your cat, and if you’re wondering why, I’ll tell you later why whiskers are helpful for your fluffy pet.

Do cat whiskers have any function?

Yes, your cat’s whiskers have essential functions for your cat’s daily life. Without them, the most straightforward tasks would become complicated.

Something you probably didn’t imagine is that your cat not only has whiskers on his cute cheeks, oh no, he also has whiskers above his eyes, which you might mistake for cat eyebrows, on his chin, around his ears, on his upper lip, and there’s more, on the forelegs too. Your cat may not have whiskers on all of these parts, as the patterns depend on the breed, but it is entirely normal if it does.

Visual support

Did you know that cats only have good vision in the dark? If space is well-lit, we could say that cats see blurry, not to mention their close-up vision, because cats cannot focus well on something less than 12 inches away.

When they have prey between their paws, it’s not their eyes that help them keep everything under control, but their carpal whiskers, located on the back of their paws, are in direct contact with the prey. Their whiskers help them detect any movement or even the position of the prey.


Did you know that a blind cat could walk without problems because its whiskers help it to locate itself spatially? Yes, incredible as it may seem, whiskers help them orient themselves and are essential for how a cat senses the world.

Whiskers are deep-rooted and have nerve endings that send messages to the brain. Any vibrations they detect are converted into information about your cat’s environment, helping him notice even the slightest change.

The whiskers help it sense everything from a change in wind currents to the movement of a nearby animal, its approximate location, and essential information such as its size and the speed at which it is approaching.

do cats shed whiskers - navigation

Another interesting fact is that whiskers give them an idea of their body proportion. If their face and whiskers fit in a small space, their body, in theory, should also pass since the length of their whiskers should be equal to the width of their body. Of course, this doesn’t apply to obese cats.


Have you ever wondered how cats walk on narrow surfaces or how they always land on their feet? They have built-in balance sensors! Both the tail and whiskers tell them where and in what position their limbs are, helping them to maintain a perfect balance.

Mood translator

Cats use their bodies to communicate with others, so we must learn how to read their body language. The position of the whiskers can tell a lot about their mood. For example, if the cat is happy and relaxed, its whiskers remain still and straight. If the cat is focused, its whiskers will be slightly tilted forward, while if it is nervous or angry, it will be flat against the face.

Why do cats lose whiskers?

There are occasions when cats lose whiskers at an accelerated rate, leaving bald patches on their body. Since whisker shedding is minimal and only one hair at a time, it indicates a problem directly affecting your cat.


Allergies are often one of the most common causes of hair loss because when they occur topically, they tend to irritate the cat’s skin, causing burning or itching, which will cause your cat to scratch or rub. The constant friction causes the whiskers to break, damage, or even fall off.

Cats can be allergic to certain foods or some component of their kibble, to parasites, for example, flea saliva. They also present environmental allergies, the most complicated to prevent and treat. An example could be the pollen that is present in the air.

If your cat has allergic reactions, you should take him to the vet to detect the precise allergen. Don’t underestimate it. Remember that the consequences can be severe depending on your cat’s allergy level.


Very similar to allergies, skin infections also cause the cat to scratch constantly, hurting its skin and whiskers, but not only that, bacterial and fungal infections sometimes damage the skin tissue from the inside, causing nasty wounds. A prevalent example is ringworm, a fungal infection that causes crusty skin and hair loss.

Physical Damage

When you have more than one cat, and they like to play rough, it is possible that they get hurt, perhaps by a scratch or a strong bite, causing damage to the whiskers. If we are talking about cats that go outside, it’s frequent that they come back home with a wound made by a stray animal, causing them to lose several whiskers.

do cats shed whiskers - physical damage

Feline Acne

Cats have many sebaceous glands that sometimes produce too much natural oil, clogging the skin pores. When this happens, cats develop feline acne, just like in human teenagers. The problem comes when the pimple becomes infected, weakening the follicles in your cat’s whiskers and causing them to fall out prematurely.

Do cats shed whiskers? Conclusions

Whiskers are an essential part of your cat’s body. They give him a good look, help him navigate without stumbling when his vision isn’t the best, and allow him to have an extraordinary balance. If your cat is losing whiskers rapidly, it is best to take him to the vet to rule out any problems, such as allergies or feline acne.

Now you know why cats lose whiskers and what you can do about it, so don’t forget to keep an eye on your furry friend! After all, cats are still a mystery, and their behavior is something we will never fully understand. However, by providing them with the necessary care and attention, we can at least try to ensure they are happy and healthy!

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