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Do Cat’s Whiskers Grow Back? How Long Does It Take?

cat whiskers

A cat’s whiskers will eventually grow back if they fall out or are ripped out. However, it takes quite a while for this to occur. Without their whiskers, a cat will be distorted and may have a hard time navigating. Cats use their whiskers more often than you might think. Therefore, if they all suddenly disappeared, the cat would be at a significant disadvantage.

Fortunately, a cat’s lost whiskers won’t be gone forever. However, it will take about 6 weeks to 3 months for them to grow back. They won’t be at their complete length, but at this point, they will be long enough to be functional.

For this reason, we never recommend cutting your cat’s whiskers. It is not necessary and causes far more problems than it may fix.


What Happens If a Cat’s Whiskers Get Cut Off?

If a cat’s whiskers become cut off, they will be disoriented and unable to navigate as well as they could before. Your cat uses their whiskers to help them get around their environment.

A cat’s whiskers are attached to powerful nerve endings. They are fine-tuned and constantly send messages to your cat’s brain. Your cat actually has whiskers in a variety of places, not just on the front of their face.

They use their whiskers as feelers, helping them gather information about their surroundings. These whiskers can even tell differences in air currents, enabling the cat to pick up on movement and avoid attacks. These whiskers also detect prey movement, which helps cats hunt successfully.

If you cut your cat’s whiskers, you would take this early detection system away from them. Not only would this limit a cat’s ability to get around, but they would also become quite confused. They would have trouble hunting and be easier to sneak up on. They would also have difficulty jumping because their whiskers assist with that task.

You’d basically be taking away one of their major senses. Without that sense, your cat would be lost for quite a while.

close up of cat whiskers
Image Credit: Annette Meyer, Pixabay

Will Broken Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

Yes, though it may take a while. If a whisker only broke a little bit, it might still be functional. Functional whiskers should still provide your cat with the information that they need, even if they aren’t the complete length.

However, if the whisker broke all the way, you’ll probably end up with a confused cat for at least a few weeks. It can take as long as 3 months for a whisker to grow back.

Will It Hurt a Cat If You Cut Their Whiskers?

No, the whiskers themselves don’t have nerves in them. They’re just attached to nerves in the cat’s face. For this reason, cutting the whiskers shouldn’t cause pain.

However, just because it isn’t directly painful doesn’t mean that it is harmless. You shouldn’t cut your cat’s whiskers due to the problems that it may cause in the future. The whiskers are a cat’s essential navigation tools. Without them, your cat will be quite lost.

cat face
Image Credit: Alexas_Fotos, Pixabay

Is It Bad for a Cat to Lose a Whisker?

It may be, though it depends on the reason. Many cats shed their whiskers, like the rest of their fur. Eventually, the whiskers get old and need to fall off to allow new whiskers to grow in their place. This is completely natural and shouldn’t be an issue.

However, cats that suddenly start losing many whiskers may have an underlying issue. Thyroid conditions can cause cats to lose excess fur, which may also translate to lost whiskers.

Some skin infections can also cause fur and whisker loss.

Generally, this is seen most commonly in kittens, which have less robust immune systems than adults. Ringworm, for instance, can cause excessive whisker loss and is most common in younger felines.

Therefore, you may want to visit a vet if you suddenly notice your feline losing more whiskers than normal. They may need to be treated for an underlying condition. Cats rarely show any symptoms for their illnesses, so you may only notice excessive whisker loss right before things get serious.



Cats need their whiskers. While they do grow back, it takes a rather long time. Therefore, cats can suffer from mobility issues while waiting for them to come back. For this reason, you should never cut your cat’s whiskers. Even felines with long hair do not need their whiskers cut.

If your cat begins to lose whiskers, they are likely just shedding them. This is common in all cats because their whiskers need to be shed just like any other type of fur. However, it can also be a sign of an underlying illness if it gets particularly severe.

Featured Image Credit by: Annette Meyer, Pixabay

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