Your cat becomes nervous at the approach of meals? He has a habit of putting his food on the ground before eating it? Even if he avoids eating and / or drinking as much as possible? He may be suffering from mustache fatigue! Mustache fatigue: a real disease?
As you know, mustaches, also called vibrisses, are absolutely indispensable to our feline friends. They allow them first of all to find their bearings in space, especially at night. And for good reason, they can detect movements in the air and thus determine the size and shape of nearby obstacles, which allows cats to move easily in any type of space, including restricted. Their mustaches help them measure the width of the passages.
But the whiskers of cats are also essential for hunting, and therefore feed. Indeed, it is thanks to them that they can detect by far the contours of their prey, which allows them to kill them in the most effective way. If the whiskers of felines are so powerful, it is because they each have a sensory organ at their end, which sends messages to the brain and the nervous system of cats. This body is indeed responsible for transmitting a lot of information on the environment surrounding felines.
Thus, whiskers are physically hypersensitive and the slightest information overload can be complicated to manage for the animal. This is called mustache fatigue. This fatigue occurs especially when the cat is forced to rub his whiskers against the edges of his bowl of water or food, for example, to drink or eat. This can cause a very uncomfortable feeling, even a considerable embarrassment, generating a lot of stress. Thus, mustache fatigue is not what could be called a disease, but rather anxiety caused by the repeated contact of whiskers against surfaces.
Signs of mustache fatigue
Very often, the food problems that cats experience are explained by the fatigue of whiskers. But, this disorder is not well known, the owners generally think that their feline is simply capricious, even a little crazy. But if, at mealtime, your cat exhibits one or more of the following behaviors, mustache fatigue may be the cause: With his paws, he drops food from his bowl on the floor before eating it. Likewise with water. He gently takes the food from his bowl and drops it on the floor to eat it. He refuses to eat if the bowl is not full to the brim. The cat leaves food in his bowl but always seems to be hungry.
He only eats what is in the center of the bowl. He puts food everywhere around his lunchbox when he eats. The cat hesitates before eating: he stands without moving near his bowl or goes around it several times. He seems almost afraid to approach it. He is aggressive with other pets during meals.
How to prevent mustache fatigue in cats?
To prevent your cat from being fatigued by whiskers, it’s simple: just replace your bowls of water and food deep and narrow with bowls or bowls wide and shallow (type plate plate). Thus, your hairball will not be forced to rub its whiskers against the edges to feed, thus avoiding unnecessary stress.
In addition, prefer stainless steel bowls. Indeed, these are less likely to harbor bacteria than plastic bowls. In addition, cats generally hate the smell of plastic, and some are even allergic to it. Even after changing the bowls of your cat, the latter still seems uncomfortable at mealtimes and refuses to eat? In this case, a visit to the veterinarian is required.