Here is a little tidbit on the whisker thing:
Cat Whiskers are Super Sensitive
A catís whiskers are super sensitive. In fact, the catís whiskers are so superbly programmed that if they move even 1/2000th of the width of a human hair, a signal is triggered and sent to the catís brain. Cat experts think this could be the reason for a domestic catís need to always have their chow bowl filled to the top.When the food level is too low, a cat is forced to put her face down into the bowl causing her whiskers to brush up against the sides. This whisker stress might cause discomfort for your cat and may explain why she is so adamant to have herbowl always filled.