What Roles do Cat Whiskers Play?


Cats, as all of you already know, are an amazing animal.  You’d be amazed at just how many functions cats have in their bodies.   The tongue alone is responsible for countless efforts in taste, grooming, mood swings, and about 1000 more.  Their fur serves more functions that you can count.   And how about those whiskers?  Those beautiful whiskers that you see on your cat are more than just decoration.   They serve a number of purposes too.   Today we’re going to talk about four roles that cat whiskers plays.   By the way whiskers aren’t just on a cat’s face.  They are located above the eyes, on the sides of mouths, on chins and just above the paws.

1.  They are hunting aids – remember that a cat’s natural instinct is for survival.  All wild cats have this instinct as do domestic cats.  In order to survive, wild cats hunt.  To increase a hunt’s success whiskers can be vital.   Whiskers actually act as guidance for cats.  The reason for this is that whiskers can feel air currents helping determine whether something is worth going after.   Whiskers also are masters at feeling texture and can function like fingers.  They are vital to determine how to bite prey.   Whiskers can inform a cat of a prey’s size, texture, space, you name it.

2.  Help with navigation – Because they feel the air currents bouncing off obstacles, whiskers help cats navigate around objects they cannot see. Some say that whiskers also help cats determine whether they will fit into tight areas, because whiskers are the same width as a cat’s body. – via

3.  Mood revealers – Whiskers can indicate the mood a cat is in.  If the whiskers are flat back and pulled back against the face you shouldn’t approach a cat.   If the whiskers are angled away from the face a cat is usually content and approachable.

4.  Sensitivity  – Because whiskers contain hundreds of nerve cells, cats are very sensitive to how objects feel when their whiskers touch them. Often cats will avoid putting their heads in their food bowls to eat. Instead, they will dip their paws into the bowls, grab morsels of food, and eat them off their paws.

Got any tips about your cat’s whiskersSubmit them to us!

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