Everything You Need to Know About Your Cat’s Whiskers | Dr. Elsey's
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Everything You Need to Know About Your Cat’s Whiskers

A defining characteristic of our furry companions, whiskers serve a multitude of important purposes aside from just adding to your pet’s cuteness. As it turns out, whiskers are a vital multifunctional tool for your cat’s sensory input and are needed to help them interact with their environment. From a built-in tape measure to night-vision goggles, whiskers are an essential part of your feline’s genetic makeup. 

What Are Whiskers?

While they might just look like extra long hairs on your cat’s face, whiskers are a lot more than they appear to be. Whiskers aren’t just hair follicles — they’re attached to your pet’s nervous and muscular systems. The hair itself is loaded with nerves, with an extra-sensitive tip called a proprioceptor, making for the optimal sensory tool. Whiskers are basically a sixth sense for our feline friends and allow them to sense more in their environment than we can through vibrations from their whiskers.

Where Are Your Cat’s Whiskers?

The longer hairs around your cat’s little nose are visible, but cats actually have whiskers in other areas of their body as well. These little sensory whiskers are also above their eyes like eyebrows, in their ears, along their jaw and on their front legs. This allows for your cat to be able to sense prey, judge the size of small spaces and detect changes in the air all through these magic little hairs.

How Do You Care For Your Cat’s Whiskers?

There’s one main rule for caring for your furry friend’s whiskers — don’t cut them! Some believe it can physically hurt your pet if you snip their whiskers, and above all, it would be like cutting off one of their senses. Cutting whiskers would leave your cat disoriented and confused, so leave this vital part of them alone to ensure comfort in their surroundings

What Can You Learn About Your Cat Based on Whiskers?

Surprisingly, you can tell a lot about your cat’s mood based on the status of their whiskers! In a normal, relaxed state, your fur baby’s whiskers will be slightly droopy. When they’re feeling aggressive or threatened, they’ll be tensed up and pointing out to the sides. When your pet’s whiskers are pointing slightly forward, your cat could be feeling friendly or curious about their surroundings. 

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