The stiff hairs on your cat’s face and legs aren’t just for show; they also have a practical purpose. Your cat’s whiskers double as GPS and radar systems. The follicles and sacs that contain the hairs are deep, with several nerve endings that communicate with the cat’s brain.
Each whisker is also equipped with a sensory organ. It detects movements in the atmosphere to assist the cat in determining its location and the presence of other animals.
You should never trim, curl, stain, or otherwise manipulate them because a cat’s whiskers are extremely precious to them.
The vibrissae, or whiskers, are important to the cat’s survival. They aid it in navigating in the dark, judging the distance between objects, and even detecting the presence of a predator.
They may appear to be stiff hairs, but they are much more than that. Each whisker is attached to the muscular and nervous systems and it is highly responsive and finely tuned in order to transmit signals to the brain.
Why You Should Not Cut A Cat’s Whiskers
The cat has more whiskers than the ones on either side of its nose. Whiskers can also be seen behind the eyes, on the chin and jawline, and on the backs of the front legs of cats.
When a cat is exploring, its whiskers are used as feelers, gently scratching against objects. The sensory data provides valuable information to the cat, such as the scale of objects it sees and the distance between them.
The cat’s whiskers are involved even though it is sitting peacefully. If you’ve ever wondered why it’s too difficult to creep up on your pet, it’s because his whiskers serve as an early warning device.
A small shift in the air currents will alert the cat to the presence of someone or someone approaching.
When the cat is on the run, the whiskers can even track the movement of prey, which is one of the factors that make cats such great hunters.
A proprioceptor is a sensory organ at the end of a cat’s whiskers that deliver signals to the brain as well.
Proprioceptors have details about the orientation of the cat’s body and paws, which, along with vision, allows the cat to make those death-defying, agile jumps from source to destination.
When a cat’s whiskers are trimmed, it sometimes becomes disoriented and has difficulty getting about. Even if a missed whisker will grow back, the cat will lack it.
It’s like chopping off the tips of our fingertips as we trim our whiskers. We’d make it, but it would be harder and we’d miss a lot of our sensory awareness.
Whiskers, like all hairs on a cat’s body, shed. That’s perfectly natural. Trimming them, on the other hand, is never a good idea. Cut whiskers cause a cat to feel disoriented and frightened.
Cutting them is like blindfolding someone, removing one of their means of recognizing what’s in their environment.
Although whiskers serve a variety of purposes, their primary role is to act as a form of environmental scanning device. Cats don’t need to brush the items with their whiskers to find them, which is surprising.
The nerves at the base of the whiskers are so sensitive that they can detect even the tiniest air vibrations that vibrate the whiskers.
Cats are so sensitive that they can detect air vibrations inside, such as air swirling through furniture, which alerts the cat to the presence of an entity, often in complete darkness.
This is necessary for cats that are farsighted and have difficulty seeing objects clearly up close. Since they are nocturnal, this often allows them to “see” more easily at night when hunting.
Also, check out why does my cat have one black whisker
What Happens If You Cut A Cat’s Whiskers?
Whiskers are extremely sensitive when they are attached to the nervous and muscle systems. They aid in sensing and experiencing.
And when they can’t see the source, they can feel its proximity, shape, and scale if it brushes against them.
They can even sense even the tiniest gestures, such as those in a breath. This aids in the detection of their threat or risk, as well as the pursuit of their prey.
They often assist them in detecting the size of openings and communicating their mood.
Because of their sensing and feeling functions, cutting them off increases the risk of injury and trauma.
Your cats may be unable to sense proximity (distance), incoming predators, or where their prey has gone, and they may get trapped in holes because they may not know whether or not they can get through them.
Interesting Read: Why Is My Senior Cat Losing Its Whiskers?
The second great concern is that since these pets assist them in detecting their surroundings, they will feel nervous and disoriented.
Finally, because they help articulate their mood, you won’t be able to tell whether your furry friend is frightened, startled, anxious, furious, or other feelings because they are a part of their body language.
Do not be concerned if you inadvertently cut them. They will grow back, but it will take time, just like any other body hair.
Interesting Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Long?
Is it True That Cats Lose Their Whiskers?
The vibrissae (whiskers) of cats and kittens fall down. They go through the growth and dormancy periods, much like every other fur, before shedding.
And if they happen to be unruly or curly, you should not trim them at all. You should avoid curling or modifying them in any way.
When a person’s whiskers fall out, they are automatically substituted.
Standard shedding may cause some vibrissae to disappear, but this does not happen to all of them at once.
Just a couple (one or two) are usually absent, and it’s not always easy to note that they’re gone.
Must Read: Why Is My Cat Losing Its Whiskers?
Cutting or trimming them isn’t harmful. Unlike other hairs, they lack nerves. Since their hair follicles have so many nerves, plucking them would be extremely painful.
If they are continuously touching a surface, such as their feeding and watering bowls, they can develop sensitivity and become stressed. Try to use large flat feeding bowls to reduce vibrissae tension in this situation.
Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?
If a cat’s whiskers are cut, damaged, or shed naturally, they may grow back.
Cat whiskers, on the other hand, are more than just long, rigid hairs. They are a cat’s sensory tool, and they should never be cut or trimmed when being bathed or groomed.
Cat whiskers, also known as vibrissae, are securely attached to the responsive muscular and nervous systems, transmitting information about the environment directly to the cat’s sensory nerves, giving it a heightened sense of feeling and assisting the cat in detecting and responding to changes in its surroundings – similar to kitty radar.
Cats use their whiskers to visually calculate distance, which is why they can jump onto a narrow ledge or out of harm’s way so easily and gracefully.
Interesting Read: Why Do My Cat’s Whiskers Keep Breaking Off?
Cat’s Whiskers: Popular Myths And The Truth
The general belief is that a cat’s whiskers are used to determine whether or not it can fit its body into small spaces. The opposite could not be further from the fact.
The whiskers on cats’ faces are an adaptation for searching in low light.
To shield its paws, the cat will close them and search only with its hearing, sense of smell, whiskers, teeth, and claws in complete darkness.
Cats have adapted to kill in a certain way: the cat bites through the prey’s cervical spinal cord, and therefore must be aware of the prey’s exact position in order to perform this precise maneuver.
The whiskers encircle the prey to figure out where the victim will be before the deadly bite is delivered.
Must Read: Why Is My Cat Losing Whiskers On One Side?
There will be hell to pay if you cut a cat’s whiskers off. When the whiskers grow back, some cats will refuse to feed while others will show neurotic behavior.
You’ll never be forgiven by the cat.
This arrangement of whiskers, like everything else on a cat, is incredibly complex. It is made up of twenty-four whiskers on each upper lip of each cheek, as well as more over the eyes, on the jaw, on the cat’s inner wrists, and at the back of the thighs.
Each whisker has a strong link to nerves that contribute to the cat’s brain’s barrel cortex, which absorbs input from the whiskers in a similar way to the visual cortex.
Interesting Read: Top 5 Cat Breeds That Have Long Whiskers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Does cutting a cat’s whiskers hurt them?
Your cat should be fine, particularly if he stays indoors. Cats shed their whiskers on a regular basis, and they will regrow during the next stage of shed/regrowth. Cat whiskers are delicate antennas that deliver nerve signals to the brain, unlike men’s bristly facial hair.
What is the purpose of a cat’s whiskers?
Whiskers are finely tuned sensing devices that help a cat perform everyday tasks. Similar to the antennae on butterflies, these adapted hairs assist perception and help a kitty explore his surroundings by supplying extra sensory feedback.
What is Cat Whisker fatigue?
In the most simplistic form, whisker exhaustion is essentially an over-stimulation of the whisker’s sensory system. This excessive stimulus can cause your cat to become stressed or irritated. The failure to eat or drink from their daily dishes is one of the most frequent signs of whisker exhaustion.
Do groomers cut dog whiskers?
Some people believe that a dog’s whiskers have no reason and get them shaved off at the groomer, but whiskers are essential for your dog to explore the environment! Continue reading to learn more. The coarse, long whiskers on a dog’s face have a vital role, something many people are unaware of.
When brushing your cat, you should not trim, clip, or pluck its whiskers. It’s not appropriate.
Brushing them aggressively or attempting to straighten or curve them is not recommended. Enable them to shed naturally.
Write down your thoughts regarding this article in the comments section below and show some love by sharing this article with your cat-loving peers.
Interesting Read: What Does The Position Of Your Cat’s Whiskers Mean?
Must Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Short?
Also, check out What To Do With Cat Whiskers?