If you are a cat owner, you may have asked yourself on occasion: ‘why do cats have whiskers?’ Some people think that whiskers are much like fur and clip or even fully cut off. However, this is simply not so. Cat whiskers are essential to cats and are functional parts of their bodies.
Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?
Whiskers do not exist to simply make your cat cute. Whiskers are part of your cat‘s sensory system, which are made up of delicate nerve endings that allow them to feel even the slightest touch such as a gentle breeze. Furthermore, since cats are farsighted, they use their whiskers to navigate within areas where they cannot see clearly. In fact, cats that have poor vision or who are blind rely on their whiskers to get around. Additionally, kittens that are born with impaired vision often have long whiskers, as it is nature’s way of helping them “see.” As such, if you cut your cat‘s whiskers off, they are more likely to bump into things and have a difficult time getting around.
Typical Cat Whiskers
Whiskers are not the same for every cat. Some cats have longer whiskers than others and some have more. Furthermore, while one cat may have black whiskers, one may have white or even a mixture of colors. Typically, cat whiskers can be found on the muzzle, above the eyes, on the sides of the face and sometimes behind the front legs.
Cat Grooming Routines
Cat whiskers can get very long and some people think that trimming them will help the cat. However, whiskers should never be trimmed, cut or removed. Not only will trimming your cat’s whiskers be unpleasant for your cat, but it will also make it difficult for them to get around. Since there are nerve endings in your cat’s whiskers, it can cause a lot of discomfort for your pet should you trim them. Whiskers are highly sensitive and should be treated with care. Thus, it is best to leave whisker trimming out of your regular cat grooming routine.
Care for Your Cat Properly
Now, you know why cats have whiskers and why you should never clip them. Whiskers not only make your cat look attractive but they serve an important function as well. With that said, it is best to leave your cat’s whiskers alone and only use them for occasional tickling.