Is It Normal for Cats to Lose Their Whiskers?

Alan Huett/CC-BY-2.0

It is normal for a cat to lose and regrow whiskers as a result of natural shedding. However, there are common diseases of the whiskers that can cause abnormal shedding, including bacterial infections, mange, burns, trauma due to stress or injury and genetic hair follicle dysplasia.

Whiskers are touch receptors anchored within a cat’s body, well below the shorter top coat. The long, stiff hairs transmit sensory information to the muscles and the nervous system, helping the cat detect and respond to surrounding stimuli. The whiskers are located on either side of the cat’s nose and above the eyes, but whiskers are also present on the jaw and on the back of the front legs.