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Young kitten losing most of his whiskers overnight?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

My mother brought a young male kitten home. We already have a fully grown female cat and not surprisingly, she did not like the new kitten.

 

The kitten used to have very long, beautiful whiskers on its upper lip. This morning my mother asked me if I have trimmed the whiskers on the kitten. I thought this was a very strange question but when I looked at the kitten, I realized that most of its whiskers indeed were missing. They looked like they have been trimmed-off and only 1/6 inch was left sticking out from the base.

The kitten has never left the apartment or even its room, it lives locked up in isolation because we are trying to keep it away from the female cat.

However, the two do meet each-other from time to time - normally when the adult cat sneaks in the room to investigate.

 

 

I'd like to ask you people:

 

  1. Is it possible for a kitten to lose most of its whiskers on both sides at once while leaving small 1/6 in remnants of each whisker intact? If yes, what could be the cause?
  2. Is it possible that the kitten somehow sucked its whiskers in its mouth and then chew them off? I don't think that this small creature even has teeth that are developed enough to do that.
  3. Is it possible that the kitten kind of ground-off its own whiskers with its rough tongue?
  4. Is it possible that our grown-up cat has chewed-off the small kitten's whiskers?
  5. Is it possible that the kitten has accidentally cut off its whiskers while eating from a cup that has sharp edges? (not likely because I haven't seen such cups around, but with a moron of a woman like my mother, you never know)
  6. Has anyone here experienced anything like that before???
  7. Is it a common thing for young kittens to lose their whiskers as some phase in their growth or something? Sounds very unlikely to me.

 

 

I am very worried.

How long will it take for the whiskers to grow back to normal size?

post #2 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by Surviver View Post

My mother brought a young male kitten home. We already have a fully grown female cat and not surprisingly, she did not like the new kitten.

The kitten used to have very long, beautiful whiskers on its upper lip. This morning my mother asked me if I have trimmed the whiskers on the kitten. I thought this was a very strange question but when I looked at the kitten, I realized that most of its whiskers indeed were missing. They looked like they have been trimmed-off and only 1/6 inch was left sticking out from the base.
The kitten has never left the apartment or even its room, it lives locked up in isolation because we are trying to keep it away from the female cat.


I'd like to ask you people:
  1. Is it possible for a kitten to lose most of its whiskers on both sides at once while leaving small 1/6 in remnants of each whisker intact? If yes, what could be the cause?
  2. Is it possible that the kitten somehow sucked its whiskers in its mouth and then chew them off? I don't think that it even has teeth that are developed enough to do that.
  3. is it possible that the kitten kind of ground-off its own whiskers with its rough tongue?
  4. Is it possible that our grown-up cat has chewed-off the small kitten's whiskers?
  5. Is it possible that the kitten has accidentally cut off its whiskers while eating from a cup that has sharp edges? (not likely because I haven't seen such cups around, but with a moron of a woman like my mother, you never know)
  6. Has anyone here experienced anything like that before???
  7. Is it a common thing for young kittens to lose their whiskers as some phase in their growth or something? Sounds very unlikely to me.


I am very worried because the kitten became very anxious and nervous after this happened and i do know that the whiskers are a very important sensory organ in a cat's anatomy.
How long will it take for the whiskers to grow back to normal size?

Hi there! Welcome to TCS. I'd like to start out by saying, I have never realized this in any of my cats before (having owned cats for fifteen years). This is quite worrisome and in my opinion, deserves a vet visit as soon as possible. Try even calling your vet just to ask if this is something to worry about. This article: http://www.petplace.com/cats/structure-and-function-of-the-whiskers-in-cats/page1.aspx might help answer some of your questions, but as I said before, I don't have much experience with this! Just want to send some good vibes for you, your fully grown female kitty and your new baby kitten. vibes.gifvibes.gif Bless your heart for taking in this sweet kitten!
post #3 of 15
Kittens get into stuff. He probably stuck them somewhere that cut them off. As long as they look cut and aren't falling out at the root it's probably not a health problem.

While whiskers are important to kitties, it's not really a huge deal. They'll grow back. Has he been to the vet for de-worming, testing, and shots? If he hasn't gone yet, he should soon, and you can ask the vet then. Or at his next appointment. Not an emergency.
post #4 of 15
This is going to sound very paranoid, but: Do you think your anyone in your house could have cut the kitten's whiskers off?
post #5 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakhandsforme View Post

This is going to sound very paranoid, but: Do you think your anyone in your house could have cut the kitten's whiskers off?


yeah.gif Exactly what I was thinking!!

 

It seems highly unlikely that the whiskers on both sides are "trimmed" so evenly due to wear and tear, breakage, or some sort of weird illness that leaves 1/16" of whiskers on each side.

 

I'm going to join paranoid smile.gif speakhandsforme and put it out there--I lean towards some human that has access to the kitten cutting them off. I would go through the list of people that have access to the little fella in your home, or come to visit, including anyone, regardless of age (unless they are too young to wield a pair of scissors).

 

Maybe a picture would help assess what is going on?

 

Oh! Your adult kitty and the kitten can get along if you do very slow introductions over time. We can help if you want to know what to do. rub.gif In my experience kittens are much faster and easier to introduce to an adult cat than adult to adult kitties--but it takes a bit of time.

post #6 of 15

one time my cat burned off her whiskers because she wanted to sniff the flame on the stove. I think it could also happen with light bulbs.

post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Is it possible for a kitten to burn his whiskers on a clothing iron?

He lives in the room where my mother irons the clothes.

Thing is that he still has a few long whiskers left. If it was the iron, then I think all of his whiskers should have burned off. Also, is it really possible for a kitten to get so close to a hot object like a bulb or a clothing iron? Wouldn't the heat back him off before he has the chance to burn himself?

post #8 of 15
Kittens don't have enough life experience to know what's dangerous yet frown.gif. Please be very careful with anything in his area that's hot or otherwise dangerous.
post #9 of 15
I'm not sure if the iron is the culprit, but please keep tje hot iron away from the kitty. He's bored at times in his room and exploring everything. A hot iron could really hurt him.
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by speakhandsforme View Post

Do you think anyone in your house could have cut the kitten's whiskers off?


Yes, I do suspect that somebody might have done this.

But I didn't want to direct the discussion to this, because I was hoping that there were other possible explanations.

Plus suspicions must be proven before taking any actions. So, for now I will keep searching for alternative answers.

 

All I know is that if it was a person who cut the kitten's whiskers off, then they must have taken their time and cut each whisker individually, because the remaining cut off whiskers have slightly different lengths. A single cut with scissors would have looked like a straight and even line, I guess.

post #11 of 15
I have heard of adult cats biting off the whiskers of a kitten. I would bet it is very rare, though.
post #12 of 15
He probably just got into something or your adult chewed on them. When my Delilah was younger her sister played with her so rough she had no whiskers. The vet was never concerned about it though. I don't remember how long it took for them to grow back but they eventually will.
post #13 of 15
Thread Starter 

I did some research on forums and I found out a few stories that were similar to mine.

 

Some owners say that their cats fight to the point where they snap their whiskers off. I have seen my adult cat hitting the kitten's face with her paw.

Other stories tell of adult cats that are playing mother on young kittens and chewing their whiskers off.

 

With all that said, I still don't know for sure what did this to my kitten.

I just hope that it was done by the adult cat and not by a person.


Edited by Surviver - 9/27/12 at 9:35am
post #14 of 15
How many people do you live with?
post #15 of 15

I recently fostered four abandoned kittens for a local shelter. They were extremely malnourished and infested with fleas and worms when I got them. After about three or four weeks of TLC two of them started exhibiting the same phenomenon that you are describing. At first I thought they were chewing each others whiskers but when I took them to the vet for checkups I was informed that it was a result of their previous malnourishment. Like human hair or fingernails growth is affected by diet and the layers that grew in while malnourished were brittle and fragile and cause the whiskers to break off at exactly that point. This is not a cause of concern as long as the kitten is healthy and eating well now. They will just grow back normally. 

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