Our feline buddies come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. However, those cute whiskers are one thing that every cat has in common. They’re much more than decorative long hairs sprouting from Fluffy’s snout, too—kitty whiskers are essential for all sorts of daily functions. Read on as your local veterinarian tells you more about these important (and adorable) sensory tools.
W hiskers Help Your Cat Navigate Her Environment
Fluffy’s whiskers are rooted more deeply into the skin than her normal hairs are, and there is a follicle full of nerves at the base of each one. This makes them super sensitive. You might be surprised to learn that whiskers are found on more areas of the body than the nose. They also sprout from Fluffy’s chin, ears, eyebrows, and even the forelegs.
Your feline pal uses her whiskers to determine the location, size, and texture of objects in her environment, and she can use them to detect changes in air currents. All of this sensory information helps Fluffy get a clear picture of her surroundings, even if it’s pitch black. Your kitty also uses this information to determine whether or not she can fit into tight spaces, as the whiskers along the nose are about the length of her body’s width.
Whiskers Can Clue You In on Fluffy’s Mood
Did you know that your cat’s whiskers can give you some insight into how she’s feeling? When the whiskers are pulled back tightly across the face, your cat is feeling alarmed or threatened. (This whisker position might be accompanied by wide eyes, raised ears, and a puffed out tail.) When your furry pal’s whiskers are relaxed and pointing sideways away from the face area, as they are most of the time, it means she is content.
Try to get a good look at your pet’s whiskers the next time she hears a strange sound or the bark of a neighbor’s dog. They’ll probably move from their normal position a bit.
Whiskers Should Never Ever Be Trimmed
Cats do shed their whiskers occasionally, but you should never attempt to cut or trim them yourself. If you do, you’ll be removing crucial sensory information that your cat needs, and she could experience dizziness, confusion, and disorientation. It would be like losing your sense of touch or sight—you wouldn’t like it very much, either.
Does your pet need veterinary care? That’s where we come in. Make an appointment at the office today.