do cat whiskers grow back if burned

Do Cats Whiskers Grow Back If Burned?

Yes, the damaged whiskers will fall off and grow back as part of your cat’s hair’s natural shedding and regrowth cycle.

This means the damaged whisker itself won’t heal and grow but it will be replaced by a new whisker as time goes on.

However, if the follicle of the whisker has been damaged then the whiskers may not regrow. 

Do Burnt Whiskers Grow Back?

Yes, a cat’s burnt whiskers will grow back but it is a slow process so don’t expect changes overnight.

It can take a couple of months for the new whiskers to grow. 

The whisker hairs are coarser and thicker than other hair but they are still hair so will shed and grow back just as normal hair does. 

As the whiskers are an important sensory tool for cats they should never be cut or trimmed, even if they have been damaged accidentally cutting or trimming the damaged whiskers won’t help the situation. 

How Long Does It Take For Burnt Whiskers To Grow Back?

Cat whiskers can take anything from 1 month to 3 months to grow back.

The average growth rate is approximately 3mm per month but the regrowth speed varies for each individual cat.

There are a number of factors including the cat’s breed, age, and health that can impact the regrowth time.

cats whiskers

Unfortunately, there is no way of speeding up the process. 

In general, it takes longer for older cats to regrow their whiskers.

The regrowth cycle is periodic and sometimes cats that are sick or stressed won’t regrow their whiskers at all.

If your cat is old or unwell, this will likely have an impact on how long it takes the damaged whiskers to grow back. 

As long as your cat is healthy and enjoys a balanced diet then the whiskers should shed and grow back as normal.

It may feel like the whiskers are taking a while to grow but be patient.

The regrowth time for whiskers is the same regardless of whether the whisker has been damaged, cut, or burnt. 

If the whiskers have not grown back after a couple of months, it could be an indication of a health condition so speak to your veterinarian about this. 


Ask a Vet

If you are worried that your cat’s whiskers have not grown after a couple of months we recommend you speak with a vet ASAP. JustAnswer allows you to talk in real-time to veterinary experts for a small fee.


What to do if your cat has burnt its whiskers?

If the tips of the whiskers have been singed but there are no burns on your cat’s face and no other injuries then there is not much you need to do.

Simply ensure you remove the heat source that burnt the whiskers in the first place to prevent it from happening again and keep a close eye on your cat’s health and behaviour after the incident.

It’s important not to trim the burnt whiskers as this can make the situation worse. 

cats whiskers

Even though the whiskers have been damaged at the ends, they will still be helping your cat gather and process sensory information.

Cutting or trimming the whisker is unnecessary, just keep a close eye on your cat’s behaviour to ensure they are coping with the damaged whiskers.  

If the burn has reached your cat’s skin then you should contact your vet for advice and take your cat in for a check-up.

You can also flush the burnt area with cool water, the best way to do this is by placing a wet cloth on the burn and pouring fresh cool water over the cloth frequently.

After around 20 minutes you can remove the cloth and pat the area dry.

Then apply aloe vera gel onto the burn to help soothe and heal the area. 

If you are worried your cat has experienced second or third-degree burns then take them to the vet as soon as possible for treatment.

Burns are painful and your cat may require pain medication, antibiotics, and even IV fluids as a result of bad burns. 

Does it hurt if a cat burns their whiskers?

Yes, burning their whiskers can be a painful experience for cats. The extent of the burn impacts how much it hurts. 

Just as if a human burns their hair, it will become more painful as the hair burns closer to the face and scalp.

cat getting dangerously close to a candle

In addition to the physical pain of burning the whisker and potentially burning some of their face, cats also experience other side effects of burning their whiskers. 

As the whiskers play an important sensory role for cats, burning them results in the pain and discomfort of being disoriented and unsure as they move around the home. 

How will burnt whiskers impact your cat’s behaviour?

A cat with damaged whiskers will likely behave differently than they did before the whiskers were damaged, even if they were not physically hurt by the incident.

Disorientation, confusion, and reduced balance can all be caused by cut or damaged whiskers.

A cat may explore less and feel more anxious as a result of badly burnt whiskers. 

This is because cat’s whiskers play an important role in the day to day lives of cats:

Firstly, a cat’s whiskers act as touch receptors and are used to help with navigation.

The whiskers allow cats to detect movement or changes in their surroundings allowing them to move around quickly and confidently.

maine coon

With damaged whiskers, you may notice your cat is less confident, more insecure and a bit disorientated. 

Secondly, the whiskers help cats know which gaps they can fit through and which ones are too tight, without whiskers a cat could misjudge this and get stuck.

Cats can feel less safe and less confident when their whiskers are damaged. 

Thirdly, burnt whiskers can impact your cat’s sense of smell.

This can result in them eating more than usual as scent plays an important role in determining how much food they need to consume.

The impact on their sense of smell may also mean they are less aware of what is happening around them. 

Finally, cats use their whiskers to let other cats know how they are feeling. The positioning of the whiskers is part of their communication. 

If their whiskers are positioned back toward their face, it is a sign they are upset or afraid while if the whiskers are positioned forward it is a sign they are hunting or curious about something.

If you have multiple cats, you may notice them being more vocal or getting into a few more scraps than usual

How to stop your cat from burning it’s whiskers?

cat laying by fire

Cats are curious but they tend to quickly learn what to avoid.

With that said, accidents happen and it’s up to us to remove the risk to the best of our ability. 

  • Never light candles with your cats around. Only light candles when you can be sure the candle is in a place your cat cannot get access to. 
  • Be careful when using a space heater, always make sure you are in the room and move your cat away if they get too close. Cat’s love warmth and can get too close causing their fur and whiskers to singe. 
  • Always use a fireguard if you have an open fire in your home and keep your cat away from your barbecue/ fire pit when you’re using it too.
  • Keep your cat away from the stove when you are using the kitchen.

If you are using a stove, have an open fire, have a candle lit, etc. don’t leave the heat source unattended in the room as your cat may use this as an opportunity to investigate.