Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back? (All You Need to Know)

Just like any mammals, cats are covered with hair. They have even hair distribution around their bodies. 

What stands out on the cat’s body? It’s their whiskers! The most sensitive part of their body that helps them detect objects around them even without touching them. 

These cat whiskers are coarser and thicker compared to the regular hair that cats have in their body. It serves as the cat’s radar sensor, communicates emotions, and is a cat’s protector.

Cat whiskers are only broken out from the hair follicles but are not found all over their body. It is located above their eyes, chin, forelegs, near their ears, and above the upper lip.

Technically, it’s hair. Just like hair, it grows back. If trimmed or cut, these whiskers still grow back as long as the follicle isn’t damaged beyond their body’s ability to repair it. 

However, your cat may feel disoriented and might have problems moving around. For cats, cutting their whiskers is similar to chopping off the ends of the human fingers.

There are instances where your cats lose their whiskers. Some of them are because of the following:

  • Your kids at home are playing with your cats, and they cut the whiskers for fun.
  • You accidentally burned your cat’s whiskers.
  • You think it’s a lucky charm. That’s why you cut it off, hoping that you’ll get the chance of winning a lottery.
  • Your cat groomer decides to cut-off entirely as part of facial trimming.

Cat whiskers periodically shed and will regrow again on the next cycle. It is their body’s way of getting rid of dead skin and hair. 

Apart from it, there are also medical conditions that keep their whiskers shed off. Other factors also include stress from moving into one place or another, getting a new pet, or having allergies.

Here are some facts of what will happen to your cat’s whiskers if it is cut, pulled out, or burned.

Do Cut Cat Whiskers Grow Back?

Sometimes, we are used to getting our cats trimmed or groomed. And their facial trimming might involve cutting their whiskers.

If you cut your cat’s whiskers, it will grow back eventually. But your cat will be troubled to move around once you cut their whiskers. They can manage to grow it back, but it’ll be more difficult. Also, they would lose much of their sensory perception.

Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back If Pulled Out?

It’s unnatural for cats to get their whiskers pulled out. This may cause infection, especially if there’s an exposed nerve. 

It will be difficult for whiskers to be removed since they are rooted deep under your cat’s skin. If it does, it can be so painful for them.

Nevertheless, cat whiskers still grow back even if it is pulled out. However, if the damage occurs until the root, then hairs might grow irregularly. 

It will also take time for your cat to find its way around your house until its whiskers grow back. One thing is sure; it’s never a good idea to take them away.

Do Cat’s Whiskers Grow Back If Burned?

Your cats can be so playful that sometimes they get beyond their limits. Sometimes they would tend to be around candles, fires, etc., which gets them burned.

But cats will still grow back their whiskers even if they are singed. Whiskers will be replaced all the time. However, it will just take some time.

How Long Will It Take For A Cat’s Whiskers To Grow Back?

There are different instances where your cat loses its whiskers. It might cause distress to your cat. But rest assured that they will continue to grow as long as your cat is healthy.

Cat’s whiskers sometimes naturally shed off. It is just normal in order to replace a new one.

They grow a certain length and live a specific time before it falls off. If accidentally cut or trimmed, it will still regrow. 

In addition to that, long-haired cats like Persian, Himalayan, Main Coon, etc., often get a routine hair grooming. Part of facial trimming is cutting off the lengths of their whiskers. But it is impossible to grow a full set of whiskers too soon.

It will take the cat’s whiskers for about two to three months to fully grow back. But it will need a long time, especially for older cats. And for sickly ones, their whiskers might not grow back at all.

Also, the length of your cat’s whiskers may vary depending on the cat’s breed and size. For larger cats, it usually is to have longer whiskers. On the other hand, a small cat breed or with less hair has shorter whiskers.

Different factors affect the growth of a cat’s whiskers, such as – diet, breed, and other health issues.

If you have noticed that your cat’s whiskers are not growing back after a couple of months, it could be an indication of several health conditions. Thus, it is crucial to monitor their behavior and ask your veterinarian for a piece of expert advice.

What Happens If You Accidentally Cut A Cat’s Whiskers?

Cat’s whiskers are distributed symmetrically. It has 24 whiskers on its muzzles, 12 on each side. If you accidentally cut those, it may significantly harm the cat’s function, especially if the hair follicle is damaged – the sac that keeps whiskers.

It will be difficult for cats to move in the dark without whiskers. Since they are nocturnal animals, the whiskers help them sense the objects around them without touching them. 

This will create stress to cats the moment they frequently contact the surface. It also detects movements in their environment as well as the location of it.

Also, a cut whisker will no longer make cats locate their prey accurately. These whiskers can sense even the tiniest air vibration from the movements of their prey.

Since there are two whiskers on each side of their nose, it will be easier for them to know if the space is wide enough to pass through. Their whiskers found at the back of their paws help them in climbing trees.

Thus, without it, the cat may have difficulty knowing its position, especially when moving around.

In other words, cats without whiskers are prone to accidents or injury. They will feel insecure and disoriented. Since it helps your cat express emotions, losing it is hard for you to know if they are excited, startled, angry, etc.

cat whiskers

Does Cutting A Cat’s Whiskers Hurt Them?

Cat whisker’s nerve ending is on its hair’s root and not on itself. Therefore, cutting your cat’s whiskers will not hurt them. But plucking it does.

They are deeply rooted in their skin, more profound than the fur. It carries nerve impulses to the brain, which means plucking it can hurt them.

Moving on, even if the cutting itself is not painful, the results of doing it can bring discomfort to your cat. It may cause emotional distress and lose some of their navigational skills and instincts.

Can I Cut Off My Cat’s Whiskers?

If you’re asking if it’s possible to cut your cat’s whiskers, the answer is yes. You can cut it. But cutting it off is a big no. It will only bring your cats in trouble.

Your cat’s whiskers don’t need to be trimmed or groomed. Although it grows back after, it is not recommended to do. You don’t need to cut them off, for it will naturally shed off. 

However, there is a medical need that will require you to remove your cat’s whiskers. Some of this includes – abscess, folliculitis, and other skin infections that need to be cleaned and treated. Take note that this has to be done by your veterinarian and not by yourself only.

Apart from those circumstances, there’s a big reason why your cats have whiskers. And that is why you should not cut it off the way you wanted it.

If you want to read more about this topic, check out our article just about that: Can You Trim Cat Whiskers?

Here are the following reasons why you should not cut off your cat’s whiskers:

It Expresses Emotion

Your cat’s whiskers will tell you and other animals how they are feeling. There is a complex set of muscles around your cat’s face that moves the whiskers back and forth.

If your cat’s whiskers remain still, it means that they are calm and relaxed. If it presses slightly forward, it means that they are a bit curious and on a hunt. 

If they are afraid or upset, their whiskers move back toward their face.

It Is Their Navigating Tools

Imagine cutting off your cat’s whiskers. If it’s a human, it’s like they’re getting blind.

They act as touch receptors and provide them with athletic ability. Whiskers are also known as vibrissae, which are connected to their muscular and nervous system. 

Thus, it assists them in detecting any movements or changes within their surroundings.

It also allows them to feel their enemies coming their way due to the air currents’ changes. Their whiskers also help them grab their prey in a close range if their eyesight is not strong enough.


Now, you probably know for sure why it is never a great idea to cut your cat’s whiskers. 

Your cat’s whisker plays a vital role in their animal life. It’s like human hair that also serves certain functions aside from making you look good.

Just like in cats, their whiskers are more than just adding to their cuteness or loveliness. It works more than that.

They like fingerprints, and each cat has unique whiskers. There are some cat breeds, such as Sphinx, who have little to no whiskers. And also, they are thicker three times than their regular hair.

Imagine cutting, pulling out, or getting their whiskers burned. It’s somehow like putting the life of your feline at risk. You make them uncomfortable.

Whiskers are their sixth sense. Once you remove it, you also cut off their sense of sight and touch. In short, you immobilized your cat.

The fact that it will still grow back does not necessarily conclude that you can attempt to manipulate your cat’s whiskers. Your cats will never be cats without their whiskers. Thus, their whiskers should be left untouched. 

As pet owners, it’s your responsibility to take good care of their whiskers. Do not let your cats wander outside. And get accidentally cut their whiskers by some naughty kids.

When grooming, never include their whiskers in trimming or plucking. Let them shed off naturally.

If you have noticed an irregular shedding off it, you may call your veterinarian as soon as possible.


Image credits – Photo by Eleanor on Unsplash, Canva

[1] Whiskers – Wikipedia

[2] Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? – WebMD

Share on: