An essential component of a cat’s anatomy, whiskers enable cats to measure distances and comprehend the size of things to aid in navigation, particularly at night. They are sensory organs that can also track motion, making them ideal for seeing prey or potential threat.
Some cat breeds have substantially longer whiskers than others, as you may have seen.
Large long-haired cat breeds are more likely to have long whiskers than other types, with Maine Coons now holding the record for the longest whiskers ever measured.
But there are some more strong competitors as well.
And in this interesting article about cats and their whiskers, we will look at the top 5 breeds that have long whiskers and navigate through some interesting questions about whiskers – like – why do some cats have long whiskers and others don’t?
What Cat Breeds Have Long Whiskers?
Without any further ado, let us first jump right into the list of the top 5 cat breeds that have long whiskers:
Cat Breed Number 5 – Siberian Cat
The medium to a big semi-longhair breed known as Siberian cats—also known as Siberian Forest cats or Moscow Longhairs—has males that weigh between 15 and 20 pounds and females that are only marginally smaller.
This type is currently thought to be the ancestor of all long-haired breeds because of its long, thick coat, which was created to keep them warm in Russia’s chilly environment.
Particularly, the Siberian and Norwegian Forest Cats have many characteristics, hence it seems to reason that both of these cats have long whiskers.
Cat breeds like the Siberian, which have extraordinarily thick and lengthy coats, have whiskers that are even thicker and rougher than what is generally seen since they are thicker and coarser than the rest of the hair that makes up your cat’s coat.
As a result, they could stand out more than cats with thin, curled whiskers, like the Devon Rex, giving the impression of greater length.
Cat Breed Number 4 – Persian Cat
Persian cats average 12 pounds in weight, making them much larger than most other cats although not being by any means the largest. In addition, they look considerably larger than they actually are due to their extraordinarily long and thick coats.
It’s interesting to note that a cat’s whiskers are the same length as their body, regardless of whether this width results from their actual bone structure or is simply an optical illusion.
This is also true in the case of Persians with their plush fur coats, which give the impression that they are larger than they actually are. In contrast to most other cat breeds, Persians frequently have longer whiskers.
Cat Breed Number 3 – Ragdoll Cat
In comparison to lesser short-haired cat varieties, ragdoll cats are another huge type with a gorgeous, luxurious coat, thus they are also prone to have longer whiskers.
Ragdoll males can weigh up to 20lbs, making them much bigger than female Ragdolls. It is also more common to notice longer whiskers on male ragdoll cats than on female ragdoll cats because of this.
The most laid-back cats, Ragdolls are renowned for having a demeanor that is very relaxed. As a result of giving off a definite impression of a floppy ragdoll, they were given the term “ragdoll.”
However, this could also have an impact on the length of their whiskers, or at least how long we perceive them to be.
Cats’ whiskers are at their longest when they are at ease and satisfied because they are calm and like to extend out in that direction.
If your cat is fearful or furious, on the other hand, its whiskers will push back and flatten against its cheeks, or if it is alert, it will be pushed forward.
Understanding your cat’s body language is helpful for figuring out how they’re feeling. You may do this in conjunction with looking at where their ears and tail are perched.
The fact that Ragdolls also seem to have such long whiskers, meanwhile, may possibly partially be explained by this. We frequently notice that they have the longest-looking whiskers due to their perpetually laid-back and extremely relaxed disposition most of the time.
Interesting Read: What Does The Position Of Your Cat’s Whiskers Mean?
Cat Breed Number 2 – Norwegian Forest Cat
Now, this is one of the cat breeds with really long whiskers – the Norwegian forest cat is a big breed and their physical size demands longer whiskers.
In fact, these cats are only slightly smaller than the Maine Coon – which is the breed with the longest cat whiskers known and recorded to date.
In fact, it is not uncommon for most cat enthusiasts and even cat parents to get confused between these two breeds of large, fluffy cats.
To endure the bitter Scandinavian winters, these cats must be huge. They will be more protected from the cold if they have greater mass. They also have such thick, water-resistant coats for this reason.
They can walk in the snow without getting drenched to the bone, which keeps them healthy even in the worst weather.
The average weight of a male Norwegian Forest Cat is 12 to 20 pounds, whilst a female is a little bit smaller, weighing 9 to 18 pounds. They may grow up to a height of 12 inches, and their typical length is 12 to 18 inches.
These measurements might not seem all that spectacular, but when you consider that the typical housecat weighs between 9 and 11 pounds and is between 9 and 10 inches tall, it starts to put the Norwegian Forest Cat’s measurements into correct perspective.
And these big numbers of their sizes are precisely what gives the Norwegian Forest Cats such long whiskers when compared to a lot of the other commonly found smaller breeds of cats.
Did You Know?
Many individuals think that these cats were utilized aboard Viking ships to manage the rat problem. Given that they would have a ready-made food source and minimal competition for it, it makes reasonable that they might grow to gigantic sizes if that is the case. We also find it hard to believe that Vikings would accept a tiny wee cat as their representative.
Cat Breed Number 1 – Maine Coon
And finally, we come to the breed of cat that have the world record for having the longest whiskers measured to date – the majestic Maine Coon.
A Maine Coon named Missi now holds the record for the cat with the longest whiskers in the world. In December 2005, Missi’s whiskers were 7.5 inches in length.
Together with her owner Kaija Kyllonen, Missi resides in Finland. Maine Coons often have considerably longer whiskers than other breeds, despite Missi holding the world record for having the longest whiskers of any cat.
Given that Maine Coons are the largest breed of domestic cat, this should come as no surprise.
They are cats with long tails and limbs that may easily reach lengths of over 3.2 feet and weigh over an astounding 24 pounds! It seems logical that their whiskers are enormous given the rest of their size.
Additionally, whiskers are generated from a specific variety of mammalian hair that has roots that are three times deeper, longer, coarser, and thicker than ordinary hair.
Again, it makes sense that these enormous fluff balls have the longest whiskers around because Maine Coons are distinguished by their long, thick fur coats.
Interesting Read: Why Do My Cat’s Whiskers Keep Breaking Off?
Why Do Some Cats Have Long Whiskers?
Now that we have seen the top 5 breeds of cats with long whiskers, we come on to our next question of curiosity – what makes some cats have long whiskers, while others are short?
Here are 2 major reasons that determine the length of a cat’s whiskers:
The Length Of Whiskers Is Proportional To The Width Of The Cat
A general rule of thumb with respect to the length of whiskers in cats is that the whiskers of a cat will be as long as the cat’s body is wide.
This simply means that if your cat is physically wide, then it is bound to have longer whiskers. The reason behind this is also simple.
The functionality of a cat’s whiskers is understood by knowing that the whiskers are essentially a sensory mechanism. This means that a cat will navigate the world around it with the help of its whiskers.
A cat’s whiskers are an essential component of its anatomy, assisting it in judging distances and determining the size of things to aid in navigation, particularly at night. They are also sensory organs that are capable of sensing movement, making them ideal for hunting prey or seeing danger.
Cats often have whiskers that are as least as long as they are wide because this allows them to gauge a space’s size and determine if they can go through it.
This explains why bigger cat breeds—like Maine Coons, who are the broadest cats—typically have the longest whiskers because they require whiskers that are at least as big as their bodies.
Both the size of a cat’s body and its hair is reflected in the size of its whiskers. Consequently, long whiskers are more likely to be seen on cats with thick coats that are exceptionally fluffy.
Furthermore, cats with thicker coats will also have thicker whiskers, which can provide the impression of greater length and thickness.
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The Length Of Whiskers Depends On A Cat’s Genetics
While the general rule of thumb of the length of whiskers of cats is fairly accurate, it is also very vague and generic. And it is not an experimental result bound to always hold true.
In simpler words, there can also be cases where a larger breed of cats has shorter whiskers and vice versa. And that does not mean that the cat in question has any problems or disorders that need any intervention.
It is perfectly normal for such variations in lengths of whiskers to happen.
The variations occur due to the genetics of the cat. If the cat has the dominant gene of the parent cat whose whiskers were considerably shorter, then the cat can also have short whiskers.
Must Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Short?
Domestic longhair and domestic shorthair cats, which make up the majority of cats in the US but are not a breed of cat, are the ones where we can observe this more clearly.
Instead, they are non-breed divisions of a mixed-breed cat, which means they have a greater proportion of mixed ancestry. These cats have access to a vast gene pool and might have inherited traits from a wide variety of breeds.
This explains why there is a greater variation in whisker size in these cats, compared to some cat breeds where whisker length is more “predictable.”
However, since the genes will all come from their parents, you can get a better indication by seeing the length of their parents’ whiskers.
Every physical characteristic of a cat, not simply the size of its whiskers, is greatly influenced by genetics. For instance, the existence of long- and short-haired cats, cats with curled tails, cats with variously colored coats and eyes, and everything in between, is due to genetics!
Check out more details: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Long?
What Breed Of Cat Has The Longest Whiskers?
Now that we have well established that the Maine Coone cats tend to have the longest whiskers when it comes to domestic pet cats, let us expand a horizon just a little and see which cat in the wild has the longest whiskers in the feline community.
The mountain lion, often known as a cougar, is a bigger cat that utilizes its whiskers to catch prey. Even when it is too dark for them to see, they can still detect prey by using their whiskers.
Additionally, their whiskers aid them in determining where to bite. Because of how delicate their whiskers are, they don’t even need to touch their prey to realize it’s there.
A mountain lion’s whiskers may also pick up on changes in the animal’s body’s airflow!
Tigers are no different from other huge cats in having longer whiskers. Their 15 cm-long whiskers are characteristic of these beastly creatures.
Fascinatingly, tigers also have whiskers on the backs of their front legs to help them climb and grab prey.
The longest whiskers are seen on the largest cats. Typically, a lion’s whiskers are around 30 cm long.
Additionally, each lion has a distinct pattern on its whiskers that may be used, like a fingerprint, to identify individual lions.
Must Read: What Happens If You Cut A Cats Whiskers?
Frequently Asked Questions
Would a cat’s really long whiskers help it to see in the dark?
Well yes, in a way.
Cats are supposedly far-sighted; however, they cannot see in total darkness. Therefore, a cat’s extremely long whiskers help it navigate areas where it can’t see clearly.
What cat breeds have eyebrow whiskers?
The Ragdoll, Persian, Norwegian forest cat, Maine coon, and Siberian have strong, bushy whiskers above their eyes, but the whiskers of certain breeds are less noticeable than those of others.
Whiskers are indeed a very interesting feature in cats – both domestic and wild. The larger breeds of cats naturally tend to have longer whiskers; the length of a cat’s whiskers, however, also depends upon its genetics.
Knowing the length of the whiskers of the parent cats will help you have a more accurate guess of whether your cat will have long whiskers or not.
But whatever the length of a cat’s whiskers may be, never trim the whiskers off your cat – at any cost!
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