Our feline friends come in all shapes and sizes. However, cute whiskers are one thing that every cat has in common. They’re much more than decorative (and adorable) long hairs sprouting from Fluffy’s furry face. Your furry pal’s whiskers are essential for all sorts of daily functions. Read on as your local veterinarian talks about these important sensory tools.
W hiskers Help Your Cat Navigate Her Environment
Your furry pal’s whiskers are rooted more deeply into the skin than her normal hairs, and they are surrounded by super-sensitive nerve endings. This is what makes those whiskers extremely sensitive. You may be surprised to learn that whiskers are found on more areas of the body than that cute face. They also sprout from Fluffy’s chin, ears, eyebrow area, and even her legs.
Your cat uses her whiskers to determine the size, location, and texture of objects in her environment. She can also use them to detect changes in air currents. All of this sensory information helps your kitty get a clear picture of her surroundings, even if it’s pitch black around her. Fluffy also uses this information to sort out 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 tail.) When the whiskers are relaxed and pointing sideways away from the face area, as they are most of the time, it means your cat is content.
Try to get a good look at your feline friend’s whiskers the next time she hears a strange sound or the bark of a neighbor’s pooch. They will probably look a bit different than usual.
Whiskers Should Never Be Trimmed
Cats do shed whiskers sometimes. However, you should never attempt to cut or trim them yourself. If you did, you would be removing crucial sensory information that your cat needs. Your furball could experience dizziness, confusion, and disorientation. It would be like somebody removing your sense of touch or sight—you wouldn’t like it, either.
Does your kitty need veterinary care? That’s where we come in. Make an appointment at the office today.
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