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Has your cat appeared to be more unusually stressed? Does he/she hesitate to eat food from the food bowl or tray even though they are clearly hungry? These could be signs that your feline friend is suffering from a condition known as whisker fatigue.While some vets believe that whisker fatigue is not really a legitimate condition in cats that require attention and treatment, the result of it – stress and even aggressive behavior – is in fact, a real cause for concern. So, if your cat has been showing these signs, it’s better to get it checked as soon as possible.What is whisker fatigue?
Whisker fatigue is a condition in which the whiskers of a cat are overloaded with sensory information, which in turn, leads to increased stress. Your cat’s whiskers are not just there to make them look cuter than they already are. They are extremely sensitive, enabling cats to use them as sensory receptors. In short, whiskers help cats to be aware of and navigate their surroundings.So, when the whiskers come in contact with objects too often, or even if they only detect movements, they can easily perceive these and send it to the brain. This includes even things which may seem insignificant like a slight difference in air current or a light brush against your cat’s face.When your cat’s whiskers sense these changes and touches way more often than they should, an overload of information is sent to the brain, resulting in your cat being stressed, anxious and tired.If your cat is down with whisker fatigue, he/she may exhibit behavior like constant meowing and backing away from the food tray when you try to feed them, pacing around their food instead of actually eating it, and getting agitated and aggressive whenever they are near the food tray. This is because they tend to brush their whiskers against their food trays while eating, and this has become the most common cause of whisker fatigue.Preventing whisker fatigue
Since whisker fatigue is becoming common knowledge among cat owners and those in the feline care industry, it is not very difficult to prevent your cat from developing it. There are lots of trusted brands that sell whisker-friendly feeding bowls and trays for cats. This means that they are designed in such a way that they are shallower and have a wider opening, allowing the cat plenty of space while eating so his/her whiskers will not touch the bowl or tray.You can even use plates and saucers that you already have at home instead of buying new feeding trays. They essentially have the same design and provide the same solution.