If you’re a cat owner, you may already be familiar with the many different details associated with a cat: you have great personalities, you sometimes like to display questionable behavior (um, try to eat duct tape), and. . . shedding their whiskers? Sometimes it comes as a bit of a surprise to find a mustache around the house, and you can even scratch your head and think, “Wait, what?” But luckily, that’s completely normal – to a certain extent.
To find out more about why cats can shed their whiskers and when this can be a cause for concern, POPSUGAR contacted two veterinary experts.
Is it normal for cats to shed their whiskers?
Pet owners may be relieved to know that it is perfectly normal for a cat to shed its whiskers. However, they won’t shed their whiskers as often as they could shed their fur. “”[Cat whiskers] is occasionally shed as part of regular hair growth and cycling, “explained Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC, DABT.” It is not common, but it happens occasionally and is not in the same frequency as fur. ”
Melissa Brandley, DVM, Veterinary Solutions at Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health noted that it is important to remember that while cats normally shed their whiskers, they do not all do so at the same time and are not seasonal. “A healthy cat has a single mustache shed every few months,” said Dr. Brandley. “At any point in time, individual whiskers are in different phases of the scaling cycle.”
When is whisker shedding a cause for concern?
While whisker shedding is normal, pet owners need to know that it can be something more serious if it is excessive or if it occurs with other skin or health issues. For example, Dr. Brandley, that a visit to the vet is recommended if multiple whiskers are shedding at the same time, or if whisker shedding is associated with skin lesions, hair loss, crusts, or flaky skin. “These signs could indicate an infection, an allergy or, less commonly, a more serious skin condition,” warned Dr. Brandley.