Do Cats Whiskers Grow Back and return to normal when they Are damaged?

Do cats whiskers grow back if they have been damaged in some way, and does this affect the life of the cat in general? 

Do Cats Whiskers Grow Back?

Cats whiskers grow back, as long as the follicles that the whiskers grow from, are not damaged. Normally, it takes up to 3 months for a cat’s whiskers to grow back, to the length, to be functional. 

Cat’s whiskers, long or short, curly or straight, are a notable part of the cat’s face. It is impossible to imagine a cat without whiskers.

whiskers on a cat including eyebrow whiskers
Lovely whiskers kitty!

When Do Cats Whiskers Grow Back?

Normally, cat’s whiskers grow in again during the next shed/regrowth cycle.

There are certain factors that may affect how fast kitty’s whiskers grow back after being damaged, including the cat’s diet, health issues, and the breed of the cat.

The older a cat is, the longer it takes for whiskers to grow. Most senior cats have their whiskers back in a few months. 

Shed – Regrowth Cycle Of Cats’ whiskers

Cats’ whiskers grow through a natural cycle similar to other hairs on their body.

Individual whiskers are replaced approximately every 2-3 months as part of a continuous growth process.

A cat’s whiskers are made of keratin, the same tough protein that makes up hair and nails.

Each whisker grows from a follicle in the skin in three phases – growth, regression, and resting.

In the growth phase, the whisker elongates at a rate of about 1 millimeter per week. It will continue growing for 2-3 months until reaching its mature length.

Then, it enters the regression phase where growth slows and stops.

The whisker remains in place during the resting phase until it is naturally shed.

A new whisker then begins emerging from the same follicle to replace it.

This cycle of growth, regression, resting and shedding happens independently for each whisker so they are continuously being replaced over time.

More For You: Why are my cats whiskers bent?

Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back If Pulled Out?

First, it is important to note that it is hard to pull cat’s whiskers out because they are rooted deep under the cat’s skin.

Therefore, pulling them out can be very painful for your kitty. This may cause a serious infection and lead to serious health consequences. 

Nevertheless, whiskers will most likely grow back if they are pulled out.

It is also important to keep in mind though, that pulling whiskers out can cause damage to the roots, and hairs may grow irregularly. 

do cats whiskers grow back

Can The Whiskers Of Sick Cats Grow Back?

Sick cats may suffer from abnormal whiskers loss that is usually caused by allergy problems or certain skin disorders, such as dermatitis for example.

Whisker loss can also be because of fungal and bacterial infections that leads to whiskers loss by not allowing them to grow back.

Just like humans, felines also can suffer from alopecia – a health condition characterized by whiskers and fur loss. Alopecia in cats, is actually the most common reason why whiskers never grow back. 

If you noticed that your cat is losing an excessive amount of their whiskers, or the loss of whiskers is accompanied by fur loss, it is better to take the cat to the vet to get it checked.

Do Kitten Whiskers Grow Back?

very long whiskers on a healthy cat
Healthy whiskers on a healthy kitty!

Yes, most likely the whiskers of your young kitty will come back in a few weeks unless the follicles are damaged.

If your kitten’s whiskers do not grow back after several months, or your kitty keeps losing them, it may indicate health issues, such as allergies, alopecia, and bacterial or fungal infections.

In this case, you should get your pet checked by a veterinarian. 

What Happens If You Cut Off Cat’s Whiskers?

British cat with long curved whiskers
Look at my lovely whiskers!

All kitties (including indoor cats) rely on the sensory input from their whiskers, so I understand how stressful it is for the cat to cut the whiskers.

Whiskers are actually much more important for felines than many people think. Here is what will happen to my cat if its whiskers are cut off: 

  • My cat will lose its sixth sense. Whiskers are connected deep into your feline’s nervous and muscular system. By using them, a cat receives information about its surroundings and navigates the world.

    Thus, it is possible to say that a cat without whiskers loses the sense of direction and cannot maneuver its body properly.

    This will lead to disorientation and dizziness.
  • I won’t be able to understand my cat’s mood.  By looking at my kitty’s whiskers, I can understand more about its mood and wellbeing in general.

    According to a study conducted by the University of Melbourne, droopy and relaxed whiskers that point out to the sides of the feline’s face indicate that your kitty is calm and relaxed, while whiskers pinned back indicate that a pet is scared.

    By watching my cat’s whiskers I know when my cat is happy, angry, scared, or excited.
  • My cat will lose its ability to feel the wind. With the help of whiskers, cats also feel and detect changes in the air currents.

    I always thought that this function was not important for my indoor kitty, but it actually is. For example, it will help the cat feel if I suddenly moved a piece of furniture in a dark room. 
  • My kitty will not be able to hunt. I was surprised to find out that cats have whiskers behind their front legs too.

    Unlike the whiskers on the cat’s face, they assist the cat in hunting and help it grab prey when vision is low.

With all that being said, cutting off cats’ whiskers is a very bad idea, and there is no reason for doing that at all.

Cats whiskers are more important than many people and cat owners think they are, and without them, a cat will feel disoriented, helpless, and confused. 

Does Losing A Cat’s Whiskers Hurt Them?

Cats’ whiskers are similar to human hair, so it is not painful for a cat to lose them.

It is absolutely normal for a feline to shed whiskers, just like it sheds its fur.

Shedding whiskers is a natural process because whiskers go through a regular cycle of growth, dormancy, and shedding.

Normally, a cat loses its whiskers when the whisker has reached its maturity.

Cats will sometimes bite the whiskers of other cats.

Cats can lose several whiskers at the same time, so you have nothing to worry about. 

vector - two cats reading in bed
I did a whisker check this morning dear. All looking good!

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