Cat Whisker Fatigue: What It Is, the Signs, and How to Prevent

What is cat whisker fatigue?

Whisker what? It sounds made up, but is actually a real medical condition.

Cat whisker fatigue – also called whisker stress – is a term veterinarians use to describe the sensory overload cats feel when their whiskers repeatedly touch a surface.

What causes whisker fatigue?

Eating from a bowl that is too deep is the most frequent cause of whisker fatigue. As a cat's sensitive whiskers rub against the sides of a deep bowl, it begins to hurt.  

In the past, a cat pawing food out of the bowl to eat off the floor may have been dismissed as “cats being cats”. But, now we know that is a symptom of whisker fatigue.

What are the signs of whisker fatigue?

• Approaching the food bowl with caution, acting hungry, but also nervous
• Dropping food out of the bowl to eat off the ground
• Making a big mess around the bowl while eating or drinking
• Leaving food in the bowl but continuing to act hungry
• Refusing to eat food left at the bottom of the bowl
• Acting aggressively toward other pets or people in the home around mealtime

We designed Americat stainless steel cat bowls specifically for cats’ sensitive whiskers. Our wide, low-profile design allows cats' whiskers to remain above the bowl while they eat or drink. See Bella's little whiskers above the bowl!

Cat eating from whisker friendly bowl

We have been touched to hear from customers whose cats are eating straight from their bowls for the first time ever. We believe the bowls our cats eat from are just as important as what they eat!

Keep your cats comfortable during mealtime by giving them whisker friendly cat bowls.


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