Cats are curious creatures – and cat parents are even more so! If you are even a bit like the conventional “cat dad” or “cat mom” out there, then you will also be guilty of spending way too much time staring at and observing your cat at least once in its lifetime.
One intriguing observation during such moments may be that of the length of the whiskers – have you ever just looked at the face of your cat and noticed how your cat’s whiskers are so long?
The whiskers extend well beyond the face of your cat. And it may leave you wondering – are your cat’s whiskers supposed to be that long?
If these questions pique your curiosity, then you have come to the right place.
In this article, we navigate through different questions regarding the length of a cat’s whiskers, starting with why your cat’s whiskers may possibly be getting longer – so, read along!
Why Are My Cats Whiskers Getting Longer?
A cat’s whiskers will grow as the cat grows – and once the cat reaches its physical growth spurt maximum, the whiskers will stop growing in length too.
If you have had a cat since it was a kitten, then you will have observed that your pet’s whiskers grow in length as it goes from being a baby to a young cat to a fully grown adult cat.
When the cat stops growing physically – that is, in width, length, and overall size – then your cat’s whiskers will also stop growing in length.
You do not have to worry about your cat having whiskers that are “too long” because usually the whiskers only grow as long as the cat needs to – and the ones that grow longer will naturally fall off in a painless manner.
Never trim your cat’s whiskers – even if you think that they are too long, the whiskers of a cat are of the perfect length to be functional as a sensory mechanism. The extra long whiskers will fall off on their own in a natural and painless manner. You do not need to intervene.
Must Read: What Happens If You Cut A Cats Whiskers?
Is It Normal For My Cat To Have Long Whiskers?
Yes, it is perfectly normal for your cat to have long whiskers. The thing with whiskers is that a cat’s whiskers will only grow as long as the body physically needs them to.
The growth, length, shedding, falling off, and regrowing of whiskers happen in natural cycles in a cat – you do not need to worry about any of it as long as your cat is completely healthy and is not showing any other signs of infections, allergies, or illnesses.
Never trim your cat’s whiskers as they are a means for your cat to make sense of the world by feeling and navigating.
A cat’s whiskers function in a similar way to how the sense organs of humans, that is, our eyes, nose, ears, tongue, and skin function for us.
Moreover, there is no health issue that has any symptom in the form of “extra long whiskers” – that just does not happen.
So, the length of your cat’s whiskers should not be a cause of concern for you, unless your worry is that they seem a little too short for your cat’s size. The whiskers of a cat always grow in length in proportion to the cat’s size.
Interesting Read: Why Do My Cat’s Whiskers Keep Breaking Off?
How Long Are Cats Whiskers Normally?
Normally speaking, a cat’s whiskers are as long as the cat’s body width. On average, if we put this into numbers, a cat is about 5 to 8 inches wide – that is about 12.7 cm to 20.3 cm wide. So, in proportion, the whiskers of a cat will also be between 5 and 8 inches long.
This also means that the larger breeds of cats will have longer whiskers when compared to the smaller breeds of cats.
However, an interesting point to note is that these numbers and this rule of thumb of the whiskers being as long as the cat’s body is wide does not apply to the hairless breeds of cats.
Hairless breeds of cats have very short whiskers – even the wider cats! But, because they are born that way, the hairless breeds of cats learn to navigate and make sense of the world even without whiskers that are proportionate to their body.
Interesting Read: Cat Without Whiskers: Can A Cat Live Without Whiskers?
Do Cats Whiskers Grow Longer As They Age?
Yes, a cat’s whiskers will grow longer as it ages – but, this growth will only continue as long as the cat is also physically growing.
Once your cat reaches its full maturity in terms of its physical size – length and width – the whiskers of your cat will also stop growing in length. This is because the whiskers of a cat are usually as long as the cat’s body is wide.
The length of the cat’s whiskers grows in direct proportion to the width of the cat’s body.
Interesting Read: What Does The Position Of Your Cat’s Whiskers Mean?
Do Cats Whiskers Grow Longer As They Get Fatter?
No, the whiskers of a cat do not grow longer as the cat gets fatter.
Now, it is understandable why you may find this a little confusing – on the one hand, it is a general rule of thumb that the length of a cat’s whiskers is directly proportional to the width of a cat’s body, but it is also true that as the cat grows fatter, even with the excess width, the whiskers do not grow longer.
But there is a perfectly logical explanation for this. The biological and anatomical evolution of cats has not taken into account obesity – the ancestors of cats did not have to worry about being too fat, because they were wild animals who were physically active always, and they did not always get a surplus of food in the wild.
Now, the reason why the whiskers grow in proportion to the width of a cat’s body is that it will allow them to calculate whether or not they will be able to fit into certain places, and whether or not they should take that leap from one place to another.
This evolution has not translated into taking obesity into account, and so, once the cat’s body reaches its full maturity in terms of width and length, the whiskers stop growing in length.
After that, no matter how fat a cat gets, its whiskers will not increase in length.
Interesting Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers Curling?
What Does The Length Of Cat Whiskers Mean?
The length of a cat’s whiskers does not have any significant or “hidden” meaning as such. It is not a matter of deep thought. The whiskers of a cat grow in length in proportion to the cat’s physical size.
This means that the larger breeds of cats have longer whiskers, the smaller breeds of cats have shorter whiskers, a kitten will have shorter whiskers when compared to a grown cat, and hairless breeds of cats will have very short whiskers.
Must Read: Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers So Short?
Are Long Whiskers A Sign Of A Healthy Cat?
If you have a cat that is fully grown in terms of physical size, then yes, long and enough whiskers are a sign of a healthy cat.
This is because sometimes, due to allergies or infections or other reasons, a cat may either lose a number of its whiskers or may have some of its whiskers chopped or trimmed.
So, when you factor in both the length and number of the whiskers of your cat – then the right number of sufficiently long whiskers can act as a sign that your cat is neither experiencing any skin-related or other health issues nor has your cat gotten into a brawl with another cat.
And these amount to being signs of a healthy cat.
Interesting Read: Top 5 Cat Breeds That Have Long Whiskers!
Frequently Asked Questions
What breed of cat has the longest whiskers?
Maine Coons are the cat breed with the longest whiskers, as their big size necessitates this in order to effectively assess if they can fit into a confined place. The current world record is held by Missi, a Maine Coon from Finland, whose whiskers are 7.5 inches long!
What happens if you accidentally cut your cat’s whiskers?
If the whisker’s follicle, or root, is not harmed, trimmed whiskers will ultimately come back. Keep your cat indoors while the whiskers that were cut grow back; it can take a few months.
What is whisker fatigue?
In its most basic form, whisker tiredness or fatigue is just an overactive sensory system in the whiskers. The cat’s brain receives an overload of sensory information when the whiskers are handled excessively, even if it only involves a simple brush across the food and water bowls.
If there is one thing that you will never have to worry about as the owner and parent of a cat, it is the possibility of your cat having whiskers that are “too long” – because that just does not happen.
A cat’s whiskers will only grow in proportion to its width – and no, this does not mean that the fatter your cat gets, the longer your cat’s whiskers will be.
This just means that when the cat’s whiskers get too long sometimes, they naturally fall off. And when the whiskers of a healthy cat are naturally shed, they regrow in time.
What you should always keep in mind is that under no circumstance should you ever trim the whiskers of your cat or kitten – those are its sensory mechanism, and not just an aesthetic feature.
Interesting Read: Why Does My Cat Have One Black Whisker?