Why do Cats have Whiskers?
Cat Whiskers, despite looking like Human Hair, are a sensory tool that are incredibly sensitive also known as vibrissae. These are connected to muscular and nervous systems to give cats a more heightened sense of feeling – allowing them to detect changes in their immediate surrounding and respond to them. They can be mostly
found on either side of their nose and upper facial lip, as well as above each of their eyebrows, with whiskers on their jaw line and front legs but they’re less visible. At the root of these hairs there’s a follicle loaded with nerves.
Cats also use their whiskers to feel their way around tight spaces and visually measure distances and feel vibrations in the air when chasing prey. Without their whiskers Cats would be disoriented and frightened, highlighting the importance of NOT cutting your Cat’s whiskers, as they use them as we would our fingertips. If you have cut their whiskers already, don’t worry! They grow back over time.
Cats also aren’t the only ones with whiskers – most mammals have extrasensory receptors to help improve their sensing of environments at night.
Cat Whiskers Determining their Mood
In addition to this, Cat’s Whiskers also change depending on their mood – this allows others to gauge what mood a Cat is in. When the whiskers are still and sticking straight out of the head it means the cat is relaxed. When they’re pressed slightly forward it means the cat is either curious or on the hunt. If a cat is nervous or upset they’ll pin their whiskers back towards their face – this highlights the importance of whiskers for cats.