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Cat whiskers are also called vibrissa. They serve not only as a noble decoration of the fluffy muzzle, but also as a kind of radar that allows cats to navigate and to convey emotions. Some owners notice that the cat lose whiskers and they turn significantly thin. As a rule, the owners know little about the causes of this. But it is very important to be able to distinguish which condition is normal and in what situations it is necessary to sound the alarm and take your pet to the veterinary clinic. There is a number of pathologies that are accompanied by the loss of vibriss.
The Functional Significance of Whiskers in Cats
The cat’s whiskers are a tactile organ, which is located not only on the muzzle, but also in certain places throughout the body, on the ankles and paw pads. Vibrissas have a wide range of purposes, they perform the following functions:
- Help cats navigate in the surrounding space;
- With their help cats easily avoid obstacles without bumping into them;
- With these whiskers the cat assesses the area, as well as wind speed and wind force;
- Using its whiskers a cat detects on which side the object is moving or the sound is heard;
- They also serve to determine weather conditions;
- Serve as the organ of vision in blind individuals.
The lack of whiskers significantly complicates the life of the pet. If the animal walks free on the street, then without whiskers it is very dangerous for the health and even the life of the cat. It will be difficult for the animal to assess the surrounding world, other individuals, to carry the image of outdoor activities.
The Causes of Whickers Loss
You should not immediately panic if cat loses whiskers. First of all, when noticing this phenomenon, observe the behavior, the general condition of the pet, and whether the new vibriss grows in place of the lost one. In most cases, the loss of the whickers is not associated with any disease or abnormality in the body. Some pets lose them as a result of fighting with other individuals, others are too curious to come too close to the fire and burn their whiskers.
Pay attention!It is normal for cats to change whiskers. Vibriss can fall out at any time, regardless of the molting period of the individual.
In some cases, a cat is losing whiskers due to development of health problems. These reasons include the following:
- hypothyroidism-a disease associated with increased activity of the thyroid gland;
- infections of bacterial etiology;
- the presence of parasites in the body;
- diabetes of any type;
- allergic reaction;
- metabolic disorder.
Symptoms of Deviations
If the cat is losing whiskers on one side, you can identify a specific disease by its associated symptoms. For example, when hypothyroidism, there is a significant deterioration in the appearance of wool. Cat becomes too active and nervous. Pet is often hungry and eats a lot but still loses weight. There is a constant thirst. In rare cases, vomiting and diarrhea may occur. If the lack of vibrissas is accompanied by scratching of the muzzle and wounds on the face, then this is a clear sign of parasites. When the pet has problems with the intestine, it is possible to suspect diabetes (most often diagnosed in adults and old individuals). Allergic reaction is manifested by the loss of vibrissae and wool, the presence of itching, increased salivation, redness of the mucous membranes, oozing secret from the eyes. Failure in metabolic processes is often accompanied by an increase in temperature, heart rate fluctuations.
Methods of Treatment
When the owner has found that his/her pet is losing whiskers, it is necessary to assess the general condition of the animal. It should be noted that for some breeds broken whiskers are quite common. In most cases, it is noted among the sphinxes. If the loss of vibris is accompanied by associated symptoms, you should visit a veterinarian. The earlier the disease is diagnosed, the easier the treatment starts. The purpose of therapy is to stop the loss of vibrissae, to eliminate the associated symptoms and to cure the underlying disease. When you apply to the veterinary clinic, a vet will perform examinations and tests. Based on the obtained results, effective treatment is determined. The owner should feed the cat properly feed, carry out preventive measures to combat parasites and carry on regular inspection at the veterinarian.
Proper care and nutrition will allow the cat to recover in a short time, a healthy pet will delight the owner and all households.