Our cat's whiskers hold many mysteries! Here's a list of things that you probably didn't know about them.
1. Cat's whiskers are extremely sensitive
Whiskers are rooted much deeper in a cat's skin than their fur. The area around their whiskers is very rich in nerves and blood, making them more sensitive. In fact, they are so sensitive that they can detect even the slightest change. This could be the change in direction of a breeze for example. This sensitivity can lead to pain if their whiskers get dirty or damaged. Eating from a bowl can also cause cats pain. For this reason, it is recommended to choose a flat plate or a larger bowl for their meals.
2. They aren't just on the nose
In addition to the 8 to 12 whiskers on each side of your cat's nose, cats also have shorter whiskers. These whiskers are found above their eyes, on their chin and on the backs of their lower legs.
3. Whiskers help them navigate
Your cat's whiskers are usually as long as your cat is wide. This helps them to know where they are able to fit for example. Some people say that as a cat gets bigger, their whiskers get longer. However, we do not have enough solid evidence to verify this.
4. They help position the cat for hunting
Cats have astigmatism, meaning that they cannot see up close. They use their whiskers on the bottom of their front paws, as well as the whiskers on their chin and the sides of their nose to catch their prey. Without their whiskers, they would not be able to identify and locate their surroundings properly.
5. Whiskers are an indicator of their emotions
The position of your cat's whiskers is an indicator of how your cat is feeling. For example, if their whiskers are relaxed and lying to the side, your cat is feeling calm. If they're pointing forward, it means that they are excited or alert. If they're flattened against their cheeks, this means that they angry or scared. Of course, it's also important to look at other parts of their body such as the position of their tail or ears, to confirm what the position of their whiskers means.
6. Whiskers should never be clipped
Although your cat may lose a couple of whiskers from time to time, you should never cut them off. Doing so will disorient and confuse your cat. Whiskers help cat to receive signals that are essential for them to get around. For instance, it's like having someone blindfold you for a few weeks. Unfortunately, cats feel like this when they are without their whiskers.
7. They can change color
Yes, it's true. Just like our hair, whiskers change color. Don't be surprised if a white whisker comes in to replace an older black one. While it's not always true, some cats turn grayer with age.
You might also like this article: 5 ways to keep your cat occupied
Aren't cat whiskers just so adorable?
Originally written by Joséphine Boudoux and translated by Jennifer Eubank