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Why do cats need whiskers?

by Twila on November 29, 2015

At some point in your life you had to ask yourself, what’s the purpose of Ms. Kitty’s whiskers? Or may be you figured it serves no purpose at all, Either way  I just hope you’ve never made the mistake of clipping of your cat’s whiskers. Continue reading to learn what your cat needs them for.

Anatomy

A misconception that people have of whiskers is they think it’s similar to human hair but whiskers aka vibrissae are really touch receptors. These stiff hairs are embedded deep within your cat’s body and are attached to their muscular and nervous system. Your cat’s whiskers alerts them to their surrounding, kind or like a radar.

Cats also have whiskers above their eyes, jaw line, and back legs.

No Cutting Zone

Cutting your cat’s whiskers are a huge no no! Resist the urge of trimming  or straighten them, some kitties have curly ones. Without their radar, your cat will become very disoriented and scared. If you have accidently cut them already, whiskers do grew back.

tip: whiskers shed naturally, no need for trimming.

At night

When its dark cats use their stiff hairs to measure distance when attempting to crawl in small spaces. They can also detect the breeze of rapid movement of smaller objects/animals. Cats can also feel change in weather.

Knowing your cat’s mood

Whiskers can also be a helpful tool to know what mood she/he is in.

  • Whiskers barely moving- content/resting
  • Whiskers pointing forward- excited/playing/chasing prey
  • Whiskers bunched up- scared

 

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