If you just recently got your first cat, it is important to realize that your cat's whiskers are not just cute; they also serve many important functions for your cat. Here are four things you should know about your cat's whiskers as a new cat owner.
#1 Whiskers Are Actually Called Vibrissae
The scientific name for whiskers is actually vibrissae, so if you vet starts talking about your cat's vibrissae, you'll know what they are talking about. Vibrissae are special hairs that are generally located on your cat's jaw, muzzle, chin, and sometimes right above their eyes. What makes these hairs distinctive is that they are generally longer than their other hairs and they are stiff. If you look closely, many cats also have whiskers on their front paws as well.
#2 Whiskers Provide Information About Their Surroundings
Whiskers are actually very vital to your cat's survival, which is why you should not cut your cat's whiskers off or make them really short. Your cat's whiskers are actually connected to sensory tissue that is located under their skin. Whiskers help your cat gather information, such as how the air is moving and how close other objects are to them.
The whiskers that are on their front paws helps your cat determine if it can climb up a tree or other object. It can also allow a cat to feel and grab its prey if it takes down a smaller animal.
Cats have a hard time seeing things up-close, as all cats suffer from short-sightedness, and whiskers are what allow them to see and judge their environment more accurately.
#3 Whiskers Tell You About Your Cat's Emotions
Finally, whiskers tell you about your cat's emotions. When a cat is really scared, their whiskers often come in close to their face. When a cat is feeling happy, their whiskers will appear droopier and relaxed. When your cat is upset or on-alert, their whiskers will point forward.
Your cat's whiskers are vital to their survival. Their whiskers allow them to read the environment and demonstrate their emotions. You should never cut, trim, or pluck your cat's whiskers, as it will compromise their ability to get around. When you take your cat in to get groomed, make sure that they leave you cat's whiskers alone, and never trim their whiskers on your own. Your cat's whiskers are like their own special sixth sense that helps them survive out in the world.
For more information about your cat and how you should groom their whiskers and hairs, contact a professional pet grooming business.