Have you ever wondered why your cat’s whiskers are so long? Do they do anything special? You’ll be surprised at how much these long, thin hairs play a massive role in your cat’s life.
Cat’s whiskers were designed to help them survive in the wild. These long stiff hair-like appendages are not like the whiskers found on a human’s face. Instead, whiskers are used to evaluate their situation, using sensors to determine movement, the location of the sound, find food, and detect danger. These whiskers need to be long enough to safely guide them and navigate their environment.
Whiskers are used to help determine location, depth perception, and so much more. However, if a cat’s whiskers are too short. They wouldn’t be helpful when detecting or sizing up spaces, other animals, and so much more.
In this article, we’ll take a look at a more in-depth view of how your cat uses its whiskers. Whether you can cut them, and so much more, so keep reading.
Why Are Cats Whiskers So Long?
Cat’s whiskers grow to be proportionate to the size of the cat’s body. The bigger cat you have, the longer their whiskers are. Whiskers do not match the height of your cat’s body but its width.
This is to help your feline friends nowhere their bodies can fit and where they cannot.
When a cat is exploring their environment, they will often attempt to squeeze into small spaces to explore, hide, or hunt.
Without the aid of their whiskers, they might end up getting stuck or injured.
Can Cats Wiskers be too Short?
Unless your cat suffers from a medical condition or their whiskers have been cut, they should never be too short. Cats’ whiskers will grow with their body, as they get bigger, making them the perfect size to aid them in all types of situations, only stopping once your cat has finished growing.
Do Cat Whiskers Get Longer if They Gain Weight?
Although whiskers will get longer as your cat grows and reaches adulthood. They will not continue growing if your cat gains weight.
Obesity is not normally a condition found in the wild, and by design, cats’ whiskers grow to match their genetic makeup. Unfortunately, this means your furry friend may not be able to rely on their whiskers as much as they should if they are overweight.
Can I Cut My Cats Whiskers?
You should never cut a cat’s whiskers for any reason. Whiskers are imperative for cats to safely jump, navigate through the dark, and detect danger. In addition, without their whiskers, they can be off-balance and put under an ample amount of stress.
While there is never a good reason to trim down your cat’s whiskers. This is not painful, and they will grow back. But the side effects will last for many weeks while they wait for their return.
Why Cats Need Their Long Whiskers
Although we have touched on this topic a little bit, we wanted to provide more details regarding the importance of a cat’s whiskers and why they should be long.
Protects Their Eyes
Like a human’s eyelashes, a cat’s long whiskers can protect its eyes. However, for a cat, these long hairs quickly detect when danger is coming towards them, and they can then close their eyes to avoid injury.
Whiskers Show Emotion
Cats can show emotion through the motion and position of their whiskers. You will notice that your kitten’s whiskers are the longest when they are happy and relaxed.
When the whiskers are drawn back against their face, your cat is either scared or angry, and forward-facing whiskers indicate your cat is inquisitive and curious.
Whiskers Help Cats Hunt
Your cat’s whiskers are designed to help them hunt for food and track down prey. The sensors in these long, tough hairs can detect movement and vibration occurring all around them, making it easy to locate their next meal.
Does the Length of a Cats Whiskers Indicate their Age?
While there are many ways to get an idea of how old an animal is, such as teeth size and deterioration, whiskers are not a reliable source for providing an age for your cat.
Your cat’s whiskers will grow with them until they are fully matured and then stop. Because they do not continue to grow as your cate ages, you cannot determine how old they are in this manner.
Where are Cats Whiskers Located?
We all know that cats have whiskers growing on both sides of their face and above their eyes, but did you know they have long whiskers in other places? Twenty-four of them, to be exact. These can be found over their eyes, near their ears, above the upper lip, on the chin, and on the forelegs.
The longest whiskers are often positioned on their muzzle, with the ones above the eyes and upper lips closely following behind.
Why Do Some Cats Have Shorte or No Whiskers?
There are many instances where cats might have shorter whiskers than normal or even no whiskers at all. This is frequently related to an illness or injury. Here are a few of the situations that might cause your cat’s whiskers to fall out, become brittle and break, or not grow at all.
If your cat has allergies, you might notice flare-ups around its face, close to its whiskers. If these flare-ups are bad enough and close enough to the hair follicles, they may end up falling out.
Many people are unaware that acne is a common issue in cats, with many cases showing up around the chin and cheek areas. This skin condition can cause whiskers to fall out.
A list of fungal and bacterial infections can cause your cat’s whiskers to fall out.
Whether it is something like ringworm or an infection after a catfight, without proper treatment and first aid, this will lead to the loss of fur and whiskers around the infected location.
Long whiskers are extremely important to your feline friend’s physical, mental, and emotional health. In addition, whiskers are necessary for successful hunting, balancing, and safety.
You must never damage your cat’s whiskers, being extra careful when grooming or playing with your furry little friend.
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