What are cat whiskers for?

What Are Cat Whiskers For?

THE vibrissae of the cat, which are commonly called the whiskers, are sensory organs and the animal also uses them to communicate. They are therefore very important for the little feline. This is why it is essential to teach children from an early age that you should never cut your cat’s whiskers ! Better to keep an eye on your little ones when you let them play with their little companion. Let’s see what happens to a cat that no longer has whiskers and what exactly they are used for.

Can A Cat’S Whiskers Grow Back?

Before even looking into their role, it seems important to us to specify that the vibrissae of a cat should not be cut but that fortunately, they grow back. Except that while waiting for them to reach their full length again, the cat deprived of its beautiful whiskers will be very disoriented. Impossible for him to hunt properly, to slip through a small opening without risking getting stuck, to locate prey or to make his fellow creatures understand that he is very angry or on the contrary that he is perfectly relaxed…

All cats have whiskers, but their length varies from one race to another just as their shape. They can be long and very straight, shorter and wavy or even curly, but they always have the same functions. That’s what we’re going to find out.

Whiskers: Essential Organs

Many people are unaware that the famous whiskers of a cat are of a very high sensitivity and that if we had to classify by importance all the sensory organs of the animal, they would rise to the third step of the podium after Jacobson’s organ in the first place and the pads in the second place.

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If you observe your cat carefully, you can see that it has whiskers instead of whiskers, but not only. Some are located on the temples others above his eyelids others still at the level of its carpal pads which are located on its front legs.

At the base of the whiskers are networked nerve endings whose sensitivity is extreme to the point the slightest vibration is perceptible by the cat. This is important for him who does not have very good near sight. He can at least count on his whiskers to spot prey or predator at the slightest movement. But they also serve him to use the wind since he can measure its strength and evaluate her direction. Thus, the cat is able to know where exactly the smells he perceives: a fine windfall for such a hunter!

It should also be noted that the cat’s whiskers are longer than the width of the animal. A bit like a radar, it immediately knows if it can fit into a small opening or not. It is crucial for to hide quickly or to escape without becoming a prisoner.

Cat Whiskers: Communication Tools

In addition to being sensory organs, the cat’s whiskers are used to communicate with peers. For example, a relaxed cat, even totally zen, has very relaxed vibrissae. If he pulls them back, it means he’s not reassured or downright scared. On the other hand, when he is particularly attentive, his whiskers point forwards. This can be the case when he is watching prey, when he is playing, but also if he is very irritated.

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One same position of whiskers so can translate different emotions. Also, to know if he is curious or aggressive, you have to look at his attitude, his ears, the movements of his tail. By taking the time to study its behavior, we can very quickly perceive the moods of his cat just to look at the relaxation or the position of his vibrissae. If they are pointing forward and the cat has its ears back, its eyes round, its pupils dilated and its tail wagging, this may not be the time to go after it because you risk a nice rebuff.

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