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Cat Behavior | PetsWeekly

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Whisker stress is a very real problem in many domestic cats around the world. I know what you’re thinking, “Whisker stress? Good Lord, what can my cat possibly have to be stressed about?” The fact is that we’ve taken a wild creature and domesticated it (or rather the cats have decided it’s to their advantage to self-domesticate for their food supply). Either way, a cat’s whiskers are finely honed tools used to identify, hunt and navigate in their world. 

To understand why whisker stress is a "thing", you must understand the importance of a cat’s whiskers. (Don't forget to also read about a dog's Vibrissae and the ways dogs use their whiskers). 

Here's a look at Whisker Stress and why you should at least have a basic knowledge of it if you share your life with a cat.

Whisker Stress is when a cat attempts to eat and his whiskers touch the edges of the bowl. This can be upsetting to many cats and result in some serious mental and physical disorders.

Here are symptoms of whisker stress in cats:

  • Dropping food on floor
  • Refusing to eat
  • Discomfort 
  • Acting aggressively towards other pets (or you) during feeding time
  • Pacing around the bowl and appearing irritated before eating
  • “Fishing” food from bowl with paw

These are all signs that your cat may be experiencing whisker stress. But don’t be worried - we have several ways you can help your cat overcome whisker stress. In fact, it's so simple, you need only swap out your cat's bowl for one that doesn't cause whisker stress! 

Dr. Catsby has designed a bowl specifically for this issue. You’ll notice it features flatter feeding surface with gently inclined sides that will help your cat avoid touching the sides of the bowl with their whiskers. 

There are several bowls on the market that are purrfect for your cat to eat from. We really like the fact that Dr Catsby’s bowl is made from stainless steel - not only does it look elegant, but a stainless steel finish protects against wash-proof bacteria, which makes for a cleaner surface and decreases the chance of feline acne.


We can place it up high (for our cats who prefer to eat from a taller surface) or we can keep it down low. The rubber mat makes sure the bowl doesn't slip around and it makes feeding and clean-up a breeze.


We think that Dr. Catsby's bowl is stylish, easy to clean and successfully helps cats avoid whisker stress. But remember, no matter which type of bowl or platter you choose, be sure your cats are comfortable using it. (Other choices may include Modapet Bowls that is made from that is made from BPA-free plastic or WetNoz Ultra Fat Cat Dish.)

Read more about ways you can eliminate whisker stress in your cats and 5 Things You Should Know about Cat Whiskers.

Note: We received a bowl from Dr. Catsby for review. This has not impacted our review or our thoughts about the bowl in any way. We use affiliate links where possible.

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Author: stacymantle
About the Author

Stacy Mantle is a freelance writer who currently resides in the southwestern deserts of Arizona with a few dogs, several cats, and a very understanding husband. She is a regular contributor to Pet Age Magazine, Catster, Animal Behavior College, and of course, PetsWeekly. Many of her stories and articles have been translated into several languages, and now reach an international audience. She is also the author of a bestselling urban fantasy/thriller, Shepherd's Moon; a humor book entitled, Conquering the Food Chain: Living Amongst Animals (Without Becoming One), and a line of Educational Activity Books for children.

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