Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

This article has links to products and services we recommend, which we may make commission from.

Cats are graceful creatures. They can move silently, leap gigantic distances with little effort, and every movement they make seems filled with finesse. Did you know that their whiskers are a large part of why they are so agile and hyper aware?

» You might also like Why Do Cats Have Tails or Can Cats Eat Popcorn?

Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

If you’re a cat owner, you’re going to want to know all about those cat whiskers, especially, do cat whiskers grow back after they’ve fallen out, because they are absolutely imperative to your cat’s wellbeing.

The answer to the questions about whether cat whiskers grow back is yes. In most cases, you don’t need to worry about your cat if he’s lost a whisker or two. This is generally part of the life cycle of cats. However, you should continue reading to find out more and learn why it’s important for your cat’s health.

Do Cats Need Whiskers?

Black and white cat on the counter

Most of us would guess that their eyes and legs help them in these endeavors, but there are a few other parts of their body involved in the mix as well.

One of the most important of these is something that many people wouldn’t expect: whiskers.

Yes, whiskers. The seemingly useful and innocuous face hairs are iconic to cats and are incredibly useful. Those whiskers actually help them out a lot.

Since they are so useful, you might be worried about your cat’s whiskers, and rightfully so. What effect would it have on your cat if they lost a whisker or two? Do cat whiskers grow back?

In this article, we seek to answer that question and give you a definitive answer to whether cat whiskers grow back.

What Are Cat Whiskers?

Whiskers are the hair-like structures on all mammals that are used to feel and explore the environment. In fact, there is only one complete group of mammals that no longer have whiskers, and that is human primates or us.

A close up of cat whiskers

Aside from humans, whiskers – also known as vibrissae – are found on all mammals. Dogs, cats, rabbits, rodents, and even horses have whiskers.

Whiskers are often considered an evolutionary adaptation from a time when forests were a lot more widespread, and touch was a necessary sense for survival.

Whiskers consist of a specialized hair that is coiled in a spiral formation, and they are incredibly sensitive to touch, temperature and pressure.

They can also conduct electrical impulses that enable mammals to communicate with each other. Additionally, whiskers serve as a balance organ and are used to maintain balance while moving.

Cats can use their whiskers to hunt by feeling the movement of prey in front of them, in fact, when a cat is concentrating on hunting, their whiskers will move forward in the direction of their prey.

What Do Cats Use Them For?

Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

Whiskers are extremely sensitive organs that are used to feel their surroundings. Cats are skilled at detecting a wide range of sounds and scents from distances through their whiskers.

Once a cat feels the movement of an object beneath its feet, they are ready to pounce and catch its prey.

The reason they can do this is that whiskers act like their sense of touch. They feel the earth, the movement of leaves, vibrations that occur, and even the wind blowing.

The whiskers themselves can be motile, meaning that they move independently, in some species or are moved with a specific purpose.

A cat with long whiskers

For example, cats are terrestrial hunters, so when they have their eyes on prey, their whiskers will move forward to maximize concentration on the hunt, whereas seals are marine hunters and use them more for feeling vibrations in the water.

Cats can also use their whiskers to explore their surroundings, such as to learn and understand their environment. As with many animals, cats are a cautious and agile species.

Many cats love exploring trees or structures around where they live. These places offer abundant food sources, but they also are a source of danger for a cat.

For example, snakes use camouflage which the cats might not see, but whiskers will be able to feel that something isn’t right and allow the cat to scarper.  

Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

Whiskers do grow back in cats. When a cat is a kitten, they grow whiskers and as they get older and larger, they begin to shed them. This can be disconcerting for owners.

A cat with long whiskers laying down

It may seem as though their cat is sick if their whiskers fall out, but it is just their natural cycle of life.

They will grow them back, and the shedding period is usually only a month or two long. However, we should think of whiskers as more like human hair follicles, since they are both living to some degree.

Being alive means that the body will replace what has been lost, which is true for both hair and whiskers. As such, whiskers will continue to grow back throughout a cat’s life, unless something forces them to stop.

Several factors affect how fast a cat’s whiskers grow back, including the health of the cat, the diet the cat is on, and the climate of the location where the cat lives.

In addition, several diseases can affect the growth of whiskers, including feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline leukemia (FeLV).

cat hissing


We hope you have gained a deeper understanding of what cats’ whiskers are and how they help them out in their daily lives. We also hope to have answered the key question: do cat whiskers grow back?

The answer is yes, whiskers do grow back in cats. They just need to be shed like any other hair in your cat’s body.

The length and type of cat whiskers that your cat has is completely natural and can change over their lifetime.

If you have not had a good look at your cat’s whiskers recently, now is a good time to take a closer look. You may be pleasantly surprised to see that your cat’s whiskers are just fine!

Stock up on Cat Supplies

Our favorite place to buy pet supplies online is Amazon because you can Subscribe & Save to automatically reorder everything you need at a great discount.
Meow Mix Dry Food (save ~$9) Purina Fancy Feast Pack (save ~$18) Fresh Step Litter (save 5%)
Shop Cat Deals | Shop New Arrivals | Shop Amazon Best Sellers



Like this? We’d love to hear from you on our Facebook page! If you’re hungry for more, follow us on Pinterest so you never miss a thing.

cat whiskers

Leave a Reply