You should never cut your cat’s whiskers. In this article I will explain their usefulness and the consequences of what can happen if you cut them.
The whiskers around your cat’s eyes and nose are one of the most distinctive parts of your feline friend. The cat’s whiskers are not simply there as decoration, they play an important role, to the point that without whiskers, your cat would have serious problems.
You have most likely never seen a cat without whiskers , unless of course you own or know someone with a Sphynx cat , a hairless breed that generally has no whiskers and is hairless.
I will describe its functions and possible problems:
What are cat whiskers for?
Feline whiskers are a type of hair that grows from follicles in the same way as the rest of your cat’s hair, but apart from this, they are very different from what their fur has.
Whiskers are known in scientific terms as vibrissae , and the follicles they grow from are found in some of the most nerve-rich areas of the cat’s body , meaning that when something touches a whisker even slightly, your cat will feel it.
The whiskers around the muzzle help your cat measure distances and interpret spaces: the size of the whiskers of a healthy-weight cat is approximately the same width as the widest part of your cat’s body, thus, if the whiskers Your cat’s can’t traverse a space comfortably, this tells the cat that the rest of its body won’t be able to either!
Additionally, whiskers provide sensory input, helping them navigate in poor lighting conditions and harsh environments.
Whiskers around your cat’s eyebrows help it provide sensory feedback and protect the eyes, trapping fine dirt particles before they reach the eyes, and warning your cat about obstacles around its head.
Without whiskers, a cat’s ability to move and feel things around it is severely hampered.
Mustaches reflect your mood
Cats are hard to understand, but if you look at their whiskers, you can decipher their moods … most of the time. For example, when a cat is resting, its whiskers are immobile, but whiskers that crowd against the cat’s face could mean that the cat is afraid.
When playing for a toy, the cat’s whiskers may be pointing forward , which means your cat is in search or chase mode .
Whiskers forward , but more relaxed means that a cat is happy, curious or content. By the way, the whiskers that point completely forward , the hair on its body standing on end, means that the cat is startled or excited .
What happens if you trim your cat’s mustache?
A cat’s whiskers cannot and should not be trimmed! Without them, a cat becomes disoriented and scared.
Cats use their whiskers to make sense of their surroundings. Whiskers allow them to feel where they are, somewhat like our sense of touch. Imagine walking in the dark and you will understand exactly how cats use their whiskers to perform the same task and thus help them avoid painful situations later.
If you remove the whiskers from a cat, it cannot walk well and therefore would lose its balance and fall.
Cat whiskers (tactile hairs) will shed and grow naturally, so keep those scissors away from them!
Why does a cat’s whiskers fall out?
Most likely, you have found a whisker from your cat in your house, and since this is not something that happens daily, it is likely that it has caught your attention.
The whiskers of cats go through the three phases in their development: growth, dormancy and shedding as well as the rest of the hair , so in these phases the fall is completely normal and is not a problem.
If your cat is losing a lot of whiskers in a short time and doesn’t seem to get them back, she may have a health problem .
Next, we will look at some of the causes of whisker loss in cats .
Causes of loss of whiskers in cats
While complete or severe whisker loss in cats is not common, there are a number of causes that can lead to it:
- Regular fights with another catthat cause scratches and damage to the cat’s face.
- Alopecia, a condition that affects multiple species of animals, can cause severe hair loss throughout the body, including whiskers. If your cat is losing its coat as well as its whiskers, talk to your vet.
- Dermatitis and other skin conditions, particularly those that are allergenic in nature and cause hair loss, can cause your cat to lose its whiskers.
- Fungal infections, such as ringworm, can also affect the cat’s face, resulting in round patches of hair loss, affecting both the skin and the vibrissae.
- Feline acnewhen it occurs around the nose and chin of the cat.
- Mite infestations.
- A variety of hormonal disorders, including hypothyroidism , can cause hair loss.
Can the cat’s whiskers grow back?
Like cat hair growth elsewhere, getting whiskers back will depend on your cat’s health . The normal thing would be for them to grow back.
Sick animals, even if not seriously ill, may not immediately regain their fur, including whiskers, until they have healed.
The whiskers of a healthy cat will grow back in a few months if the underlying tissue is not damaged. The cat might have some behavior changes in the meantime.
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