How To Save Your Cat From Whisker Fatigue

Whisker fatigue may sound ridiculous and laughable, but it’s a real thing that actually affects many cats. Most humans have never heard of it, and some who have, believe that it’s an issue made up by pet bowl companies to market their product—it’s not.

Our whiskers are thick, long, ultra-sensitive hairs located at the sides of our face. At the end of each whisker is a sensory receptor called a proprioceptor, which sends signals directly to our brain and central nervous system. These sensors detect movements and vibrations around us, allowing us to effectively navigate through our surroundings, even in the dark. They also help us easily gauge size and distance, which is why on top of being amazing climbers and jumpers, we’re also excellent escape artists. They’re the main reason behind our superb ability to steer clear of predators as well as hunt prey.

Whiskers are vital to our survival, so if they get damaged or fatigued by frequent contact with a surface such as the sides of a food or water bowl during mealtimes, it can cause extreme stress and discomfort.


If you notice your cat exhibiting any of the following behavior during mealtimes, their bowls could be causing them to experience whisker fatigue:

  • Uses their paws to pull food out of the bowl and eats it off the floor
  • Tries to turn their food bowl over so the food would spill on the floor
  • Leaves food in the bowl but still acts hungry
  • Only eats the food at the center of the bowl
  • Always leaves a huge mess on the floor
  • Stands by the bowl and paces around it before hesitantly eating
  • Cries for food even when you’ve already put food inside their bowl
  • Acts aggressively towards other pets in the household during mealtimes


Since deep bowls are very uncomfortable for us cats, make sure that you choose a wide and shallow food and water bowl for your cat—preferably one with sloping sides and made of stainless steel, glass or ceramic. Stainless steel, glass and ceramic bowls are less likely to develop cracks or miniscule holes where food can get trapped and bacteria can accumulate, unlike plastic food bowls. They’re all easier to clean, too, and definitely durable.

Here are 5 whisker-friendly food bowls you might want to check out:

  • Dr. Catsby Cat Food Bowl


  • Designed to prevent whisker fatigue
  • Made with kitchen grade, high quality stainless steel
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Non-skid
  • Helps prevent feline acne
  • Prevents bacterial buildup
  • Food grade silicone non-slip mat included
  • Necoichi Raised Cat Food Bowl

Necoichi Raised Cat Food Bowl (Cat)
List Price: $16.99
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  • Elevated design prevents backflow of food
  • Makes mealtime more comfortable
  • Food stays centered
  • Dishwasher-safe
  • Microwave-safe
  • Lead and cadmium free
  • Spill-free bowl (made with subtle inner lip)
  • Premium Raised Cat Food or Water Bowl 


  • Veterinarian recommended height
  • Wide and shallow to reduce whisker stress
  • Holds up to 2 cups of cat food
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Made of porcelain
  • Wide 4.5” base prevents tipping
  • FelliP Oblik Pet Bowl-Lordly Puss


  • Dishwasher safe
  • Non-slip base
  • Made from non-toxic, acrylic material and top quality stainless steel
  • Removable bowl for easy cleaning
  • Shallow bowl for stress-free dining
  • PetFusion Premium Brushed Stainless Steel Bowl


  • Shallow and wide dish helps prevent whisker fatigue
  • Made of high-grade stainless steel
  • Corrosion-resistant
  • Extended outer rim for easy lifting and cleaning
  • Dishwasher safe

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