Kitties come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. However, our adorable feline pals all have one thing in common. Whiskers! These cute little antennae are much more than decorative long hairs. In fact, your pet’s whiskers are essential for all sorts of daily functions. In this article, a local veterinarian tells you more about these important sensory tools.
Your furry little friend’s whiskers are rooted more deeply into the skin than her normal hairs are. Plus, there is a follicle full of nerves at the base of each whisker. This makes whiskers extremely sensitive.
Fluffy’s facial whiskers are the most obvious, but kitties also have whiskers in other areas. They also sprout from your pet’s chin, ears, eyebrow area, and even the forelegs.
Y our feline pal uses her whiskers to determine the location, size, and texture of objects in her environment. She can also use them to detect small changes in air currents. All of this sensory information helps your cat understand and evaluate her surroundings, even in the dark Fluffy also uses this information to determine whether or not she can fit into tight spaces. The whiskers along the nose are about the length of her body’s width. (This sometimes backfires for fat cats, but that’s another topic.)
Did you know that Fluffy’s whiskers can give you some insight into her current kitty mood? When her whiskers are pulled back tightly across the face, your cat is probably feeling alarmed, angry, or threatened. (This whisker position might be accompanied by wide eyes, raised ears, hissing, growling, and/or a puffed tail.) When Fluffy’s whiskers are relaxed and pointing sideways away from the face area, it means your feline overlord is content.
Try to get a good look at your cat’s whiskers the next time she hears a strange sound or the bark of a neighbor’s dog. They’ll probably move a bit from their normal position.
Cats do shed their whiskers occasionally. Never attempt to cut or trim them yourself. If you do, you’re removing crucial sensory information. Your cat really needs those whiskers! She could experience dizziness, confusion, and disorientation without them It would be like someone suddenly removing your sense of touch or sight—you wouldn’t like it, either.
Does your cat need veterinary care? Call us today!