A man growing a beard for the sake of fashion is pretty common. And many people compare the cat’s whiskers with the beard though it has nothing to do with style. The wishers are iconic and distinctive anatomy of a cat. But why do cats have whiskers? Have you ever thought about it? 

Well, the whiskers help the cats to have a clear vision at night. These whiskers also help the cats to keep a balance all the time. Obviously, there are many more benefits to having whiskers. 

If you want to know about a cat’s whiskers, then give this article a read. You will get many interesting facts about a cat’s whiskers, which will help you understand this cure pet more closely.

What Are Cat Whiskers? 

There is no way anyone can avoid cat whiskers. These facial hairs look incredibly cute on a cat’s face. As the whiskers can tickle us, some may call them tickle hairs. The official name of whiskers is vibrissae. 

The whiskers grow from hair follicles just like other hairs, but they have unique characteristics. These are thicker and coarser than regular hairs. Also, the root of the whiskers is at least three times deeper than the body hair. 

The whiskers do not cover the entire body of the feline. You will find whiskers on a cat above the eyes and upper lips, on the forelegs and chins, and near the ears. The total number and pattern of whiskers vary from breed to breed. Most cats have 12 whiskers. 

The vibrissae are more sensitive than regular body hairs. The roots are packed with blood vessels and nerves. You will be surprised to know that the whiskers are more sensitive than human fingertips.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers

why do cats have whiskers

The whiskers serve multiple functions, not just one. There are many interesting facts about a cat’s whiskers, which will amaze you for sure. Without wasting any time, let’s take a look: 

1. Whiskers help the feline to maintain a good balance

Have you ever wondered how a cat manages to maintain such a good balance? Yes, it is because of the whiskers. The felines have unique sensory organs, proprioceptors. These sensory organs are located at the edge of the whiskers. 

The sensory organs send signals to the brain and inform the position of the body and limbs. This way, the cat can stay aware of whatever is happening with its body. And finally, the feline can land its feet on the ground and keep an excellent balance while running or jumping. 

2. The vibrissae improve the cat’s night vision

Do you know cats can see at night? These little fellows can move seamlessly in the dark without bumping into anything. Isn’t that strange? This is possible because of the whiskers. 

The air moves differently in the room if there is furniture. The feline’s whiskers can determine the position of anything by feeling the air current. Then the vibrissae signal the brain where to move. The night vision of the cats gets more improved with the help of the whiskers. 

3. The whiskers can tell a cat’s mood 

The whiskers are a great way to tell a cat’s mood. A feline’s face has a complex set of muscles, which can move the whiskers depending on the cat’s mood. 

When the cat is relaxed and resting, the whiskers will stay straight and out from the side of its head. If the feline is happy, it will elevate the whiskers above the eyes. This is the cutest look of a cat. 

However, a curious cat presses the whiskers slightly forward. Also, the kitty will pull the whiskers on the muzzle taut if it feels frightening. 

4. Whiskers are close vision aid of the cats 

Why do cats have whiskers, and do they help in a cat’s vision? I get this question a lot. The answer is yes. The fact is, the close vision of a cat is not so great. The little buddy can not see anything that is 30 cm closer to it. 

So, the straight whiskers help the cats to navigate where the object is. Even the feline can feel the size and texture of any item with the whiskers. 

5. Whiskers protect the kitty 

The whiskers are the perfect protectors of the cats. These hairs can reduce the chance of injuries. The whiskers above the eyes will give a quick response even if the kitty gets the tiniest touch. Also, when the cat is roaming outside, the whiskers can sense the sharp objects and maintain a distance.

Do Cats Whiskers Fall Out? 

Just like a cat loses its fur, it can lose its whiskers too. And in most cases, falling out of whiskers is totally normal. Experts claim that this is a way of shedding or getting rid of the dead hairs. They also suggest that a cat can shed its whiskers if it is under stress. Moving to a new environment or house can often lead to falling out of whiskers. 

Here are some other reasons for whisker fall out:

  1. Acne 
  2. Allergies 
  3. Infection 

Do cat whiskers grow back?

The cat whiskers fall out on their own and also grow on their own. You do not have to do anything if you see this condition. Well, if your cat’s whiskers are falling due to any health issue, then growing it back can be a concern. So, consult with a vet. 

Generally, it takes 2 to 3 months for the whiskers to grow back. If your feline is old, it can take a little bit more time. 

Do cat whiskers hurt when cut?

Well, cutting or trimming the whiskers does not hurt the cat. It is because there is no sensation there. But if you try to pluck the whiskers from the root, it will be pretty painful for the feline. The roots are deeper and way more sensible. 

However, it does not mean you will trim the cat’s whisker if they do not hurt. Whiskers are important in the cat’s life. These hairs help them sense the environment and stay alert. 

Why do cats have whiskers? I hope you have got the answer. Whiskers play an important role in a feline’s life. With this facial hair, the pet’s life becomes easier and more comfortable. 

Related: Understanding Why Do Cats Sleep So Much?

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