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All About Your Cat's Whiskers

October 1, 2020

Whiskers are one thing that every cat has in common, regardless of shape or size. And your cat’s whiskers are important. They’re much more than decorative hairs! Learn more about Fluffy’s whiskers below as your local veterinarian tells you more about these important sensory organs. 

Whiskers Help Your Cat Navigate Her Environment

Fluffy’s whiskers are rooted more deeply into her skin than the normal hairs, and there is a follicle full of nerves at the base of each whisker. That’s why they’re so sensitive! And believe it or not, whiskers are found on more areas of the body than the nose. They also sprout from the chin, ears, eyebrow area, and even your cat’s legs.

Cats use the whiskers to determine the location, size, and texture of objects in the environment, and a cat can also detect changes in air currents using the whiskers. That lets your cat get an idea of her surroundings, even when it’s completely dark. Your cat’s whiskers also help her determine whether or not she can fit into tight spaces—the whiskers along the nose are about the length of her body’s width. Who knew? 

Whiskers Can Clue You In on Fluffy’s Mood

You can get an idea of what your cat is feeling simply by looking at the whiskers. When they’re pulled back across the face, your cat is probably feeling alarmed or threatened. (You’ll probably also see wide eyes, raised ears, and a puffy tail.) When the whiskers are relaxed and pointing out away from the face, it means your cat is content. That’s how you’ll see your cat’s whiskers look most of the time. 

When your cat hears a strange sound or the bark of a neighbor’s dog, take note of the whisker position. You very well might see it change! 

Whiskers Should Never Be Trimmed

Cats do shed whiskers sometimes. That’s no reason to cut or trim them yourself, though. If you do, you’re getting rid of essential sensory information that your cat requires. A cat could experience dizziness, confusion, and disorientation. It’s as if someone suddenly removed your sense of touch or sight—you wouldn’t like it very much, either.

Does your cat need an appointment? We can help. Call the office today to get started.

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