General Question

gailcalled's avatar

Is it normal for some of a cat's eyebrow whiskers to break off?

Asked by gailcalled (52824 points ) February 9th, 2009

Milo arrived here with symmetrical long bristly eyebrows; now one eye has more than the other. Is that OK? Will they grow back?

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11 Answers

marinelife's avatar

They are part of the cat’s protective boundary for determining things to be wary of and what places his body will fit in. There are lots of ways he could have lost them. They should grow back fine.

Blondesjon's avatar

It’s not a good thing.

whiskers are eyes, ears, nose, and throat on a cat

amanderveen's avatar

It could be that Milo just shed a few, since that does happen on occasion. There are any number of possible innocent causes. Did he get into any scuffles lately? Was he sniffing too near a candle? It could even be a simple dermatitis or something. If he keeps losing them, you might want to have a vet just check him out. Although it could be something serious, that isn’t the most likely explanation. Is there a huge difference between the two sides?

Darwin's avatar

Oddly enough, we had one cat who liked to nip the “eyebrow” whiskers off one of our other cats. She wasn’t very even in her pruning, either, so her victim went around looking a bit lopsided. OTOH, we have an orange cat with 3 black whiskers on one side. All of his other whiskers are white. It often looks a bit strange.

Cats use their whiskers in a variety of ways to gather information about the world around them. They are slightly handicapped if whiskerless but seem to adapt. They also do shed whiskers naturally from time to time. Milo’s may grow back just fine, but if they don’t, or if they continue to disappear I would ask the vet to take a look.

Tantigirl's avatar

In my experience with kitties, yup, it is normal.

Jeruba's avatar

My husband has an envelope marked “kitty whiskers” that was on his desk when I moved in. (One of the most endearing of my first discoveries about him.) We’d add to it whenever one of ours shed a choice whisker someplace where we could find it. They always grew back.

We are catless now, but we have little mementoes of 9 beloved pets in that envelope.

asmonet's avatar

Totally normal. Even with solitary cats, they break off sometimes just like you shed eyebrows and eyelashes. Nothing to worry about. :)

I think it’s adorable how much you fuss over Milo, he’s clearly in a fantastic home.

imhellokitty's avatar

Maybe it’s cuz you threw Milo outside when it was cold and snowy?????

jfrederick's avatar

my cat had some allergies and was scratching constantly – she scratched her eyebrow whiskers off, but they grew back. she is fine.

gailcalled's avatar

@All; Thank you for the mostly reassuring answers. Milo does get into odd contortions and gyrations when stuck on isolated islands of grass outside in order to avoid the icy and snowy spots, it is true.

He just came galloping to the outside door due to 6 white-tailed deer grazing about 500 feet away. I opened the slider a crack and he was inside without measuring the width of opening. He seems to have the usual long and thick whiskers on sides of mouth. I just don’t want my daughter to get mad at me. (Altho I am more terrified of Milo’s wrath.)

@Jeruba. I have little baby curls from my kids in a similar envelop. Maybe I’ll start adding a whisker or two

@Imhellokitty; I hope your memory’s better than M’s.

@Asmonet; He does have the perfect castle. Due to economic restraints, the one purchase I made this month was a new scratching posts and some sisal replacements. Sometimes when I catch sight of myself in a mirror, I feel like Dobby.

asmonet's avatar

@gailcalled: Fantastic. :)

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