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Cat Behavior Product Reviews

How to Identify Whisker Stress in Cats

whisker stress

Whisker stress is a very real problem in many domestic cats around the world. I know what you’re thinking, “Whisker stress? Good Lord, how can my cat possibly be stressed about whiskers?”

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 (we talk more about vibrissae here if you’re curious about how whiskers work).  Here’s a look at Whisker Stress and why you should at least have a basic knowledge of this issue if you share your life with a cat.

The fact is that we’ve taken a wild creature and domesticated it (or rather the cats have decided that it’s mutually beneficial to self-domesticate in exchange for a regular food supply). This impacts how they eat, what they eat and most especially, how they drink. Whiskers touching the side of bowls is not only unnatural, it can impact your cat’s health.

What is Whisker Stress?

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 some common 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!

Disclaimer: We have received product samples to review, however our opinions are our own and we are under no obligation to the vendor. We use affiliate links when possible, which means we may receive a small percentage of a sale. Thanks for using them to help us continue our ability to bring you quality content and keep our pets fed!

Bowls to Reduce 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.

Dr Catsby

There are several bowls on the market that are purrfect for your cat to eat from. We love 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. This makes for a cleaner surface and decreases the chance of feline acne.

whisker stress bowl

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.

nonslip bowl

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 include Modapet Bowls that are made from BPA-free plastic, as well as 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.

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