Cats' whiskers are actually very important to them. For example, whiskers can sense danger, and tell a cat that he is too large to fit through a space. Cats depend on their whiskers for much of their sensory information. If your cat's whiskers are damaged, take a few steps to protect your cat as they grow back. Here's how to treat whisker damage in cats:
- Do not trim the whiskers. Even if they have singed or broken ends, do not trim your cat's whiskers for him. They need to grow back in naturally, even if they look a little rough as they do. Trim his fur around the whiskers, if you must due to damage in the area, but leave his whiskers alone.
- Keep your cat inside. Cats' whiskers tell them whether they can fit through a space, and if you let your cat outside with damaged whiskers, he may get stuck somewhere and be unable to return home to you. Keep your cat inside the house for his own safety until his whiskers have regrown.
- Keep your cat away from flames. Open flames can singe your cat's whiskers if he gets to close to them. If your cat likes to investigate your candles, keep him out of the room if you wish to light candles. If your cat gets too close to the stovetop, try putting washcloths sprayed with pet deterrent on your counter to keep your cat from jumping up near the stove, or keep your cat out of the room when the stove is on.
- Protect your cat from what damaged his whiskers. Figure out how your cat's whiskers were damaged, and protect him from this action. If kids are playing too roughly or pulling on his whiskers, teach them how to play nicely with your cat, or simply keep your cat away from the kids. If your cat's whiskers were damaged in a fight with another animal, you may want to consider keeping him indoors even after his whiskers have re-grown.
- Leave the furniture where it is. Until your cat's whiskers re-grow, avoid the rearranging furniture in your home or taking your cat to new places. Keep his home environment as constant as possible so he won't have to navigate through unfamiliar obstacles without the use of his whiskers.
Whiskers do grow back, just like hair, but it will take a while. Until your cat's whiskers regain their prior length, he is still in danger of getting stuck in places, and may be visibly upset at the loss of sensory information. There's not much that you can do as far as treating whisker damage in cats other than preventing future damage and making his home life as constant as possible until they regrow.