If you have more than one cat you have probably noticed that sometimes one of the cats will chew the whiskers of another cat. What makes cats chew other cat’s whiskers.
Why Do Cats Bite Off Other Cats Whiskers?
1. Asserting Dominance Over The Other Cat
Whiskers are an important part of a cat’s anatomy. Not only do they help the cat to navigate their environment, but they also play a role in communicating with cats.
When a cat bites off another cat’s whiskers, they are sending a clear message that they are the boss. This behavior is most often seen in intact males who are trying to establish their dominance over other cats in the area. In addition to biting off whiskers, cats may also pull them out as a way to assert their dominance.
However, even spayed or neutered cats can display this type of behavior if they feel threatened or are trying to assert their position in the hierarchy of their home.
This behavior is often seen where there are multiple cats in the same household.
While it may seem like a harmless way to settle disputes, biting and pulling out whiskers can cause pain and suffering for the victim. As such, it is important to discourage this behavior if you see it happening between your cats.
If your cat is biting off the whiskers of other cats in your home, it is important to provide them with plenty of vertical space (such as cat trees or perches, or cat shelves) so that they can feel safe and secure.
2. Cats Fighting With Each Other
When two cats are fighting, the whiskers often end up becoming collateral damage and are bitten or pulled out altogether.
Cats use their whiskers to communicate with other cats. For example, a cat that is feeling threatened may stiffen its whiskers, while a relaxed cat will have softer, more relaxed whiskers.
Related: What happens when cats whiskers have fallen out or are pulled out?
3. Cats Grooming Each Other
When cats groom each other, they are doing much more than just keeping their fur clean. They are also strengthening the bonds between them and exchanging essential scents. In addition, grooming helps to remove any debris that may have gotten tangled in their coat.
For cats with long whiskers, this can be a particularly delicate process. As a result, it’s not uncommon for cats to gently bite off the tips of the cat’s whiskers when grooming another cat.
While this may seem like an act of aggression, it’s just a sign of affection. So, if you see your cat chewing on another cat’s whiskers, there’s no need to worry – they’re just taking care of their friend.
Cats are fastidious groomers, and they often use their teeth to remove tangles from their fur. However, cats also use grooming as a way to bond with other members of their social group.
When cats groom each other, they are sharing scent information and strengthen their relationships. In some cases, excessive grooming may be exhibited and a cat may bite off the whiskers of another cat as a form of social dominance.
4. The Cats Are Playing
When kittens are young, they learn how to hunt and kill prey by playing with their littermates. This play mimics the real-life situation of stalking and pouncing on prey. This also includes trying to capture each other’s whiskers and tails.
Whiskers are an easy target because they are long and thin, making them easy to grab and hold onto.
Biting and pulling on another cat’s whiskers is commonplace when learning how to interact and play with other kittens/cats.
While you may not want your cat to bite off another cat’s whiskers, it is important to provide them with plenty of toys and playtime so that they can burn off excess energy in a constructive way.
5. Mother Cats Do Chew Their Kittens Whiskers
A mother cat will sometimes chew the whiskers of her offspring.
It has been suggested that a mother cat chews the kitten’s whiskers to stop kittens from wandering away from the litter and also to increase room when feeding. It is often pretty crowded when all kittens are feeding at the same time.
Chewing on kitten’s whiskers also helps the mother cat keep her kittens clean – which is important for both hygiene and keeping predators at bay (kittens with dirty fur are more likely to be targeted).
Chewing on whiskers may also help mother cats ensure that their kittens are getting enough to eat. Kittens need lots of energy to grow, and nursing can be tiring for mother cats.
By nibbling on their kittens’ whiskers, a mother cat can stimulate them to keep eating – which helps them get the nutrients they need to thrive.
Mans Moustache Goes Missing In His Sleep – It Was The Cat’s Fault!
This is a very funny story I came across online. I have included a link to the original story.
My ex had a wonderful full English-type handlebar mustache that curled up at the
ends. He was very vain about it and always groomed it very carefully,
using only the best mustache wax, etc. After we had had Twinkie for about
four months he woke up one morning minus half of his mustache.
We couldn’t figure out what had happened, we searched the bed, the floorLink To The Story
around the bed, and could find nary a hair. Resignedly he shaved off the
other half and proceeded to regrow his mustache. He finally got it back
to its luxurious original and was again very proud of it. We both woke
up one morning to find Twinkie sitting on his chest happily chewing away
on his mustache. Needless to say, he changed his mustache wax.
We may think it is is strange behavior for an adult cats to engage in whisker chewing but in the main it is nothing to worry about.
However as pet owners, if you are concerned about this behavior always consult your local vet.