Whiskers have a major role it plays in the life of a cat. I say major because the grace and subtlety that cats are known for are partly due to their whiskers. So what happens if the whiskers are missing? Do cat whiskers grow back? These are questions I will be answering in this article.
Cat’s and their Senses
Just like humans, Cats have 5 senses. The sense of touch, smell, taste, listening, and seeing. We already know there will be differences in the way we adapt our senses and how acute they are. Comparing the human sense with that of the cats makes us understand why they can do somethings that we can not.
While both Cats and Humans can see well in broad daylight, cats have a better sight at night. They can not see in total darkness but they have a better vision than humans when it comes to low light situations. Enabling them to carry out activities like hunting at the night.
Even though an average human has a bigger nose than an average cat, a cat’s high sense of smell trumps that of Humans. Cats can detect food, prey, and predators with their noses. Cats sense of smell helps dictate what they should stay away from
Cats have a wide reputation for being choosy when it comes to food. What tastes good to them today might not taste good to them the next day. While Humans are evolved enough to know it tastes good does not necessarily mean it is healthy. Cats are all about the taste. That is why it is necessary as a Cat owner to balance the diet of your cat to your possible best.
The cat ears have one funny characteristic. And it is that it moves in the direction of which sound is detected. That would be hilarious on humans. This shows how sensitive the cat’s ears are. The hearing sense of cats is more acute than that of humans because it has a wider range of sounds it can detect.
The most sensitive parts of a Cat are the Paws and the Whiskers. While the paws are loaded with nerve endings, the whiskers are what the cat uses to feel its way in an environment. Cat whiskers can sense a change in weather and it also helps them orient themselves. They also use their whiskers to judge space which in effect makes them so gracious when moving.
How Important are Cat Whiskers?
As I mentioned earlier, whiskers are a large part of why Cats are so graceful. We have seen videos whereby cats nitpick their way through seemingly complex situations. Whiskers are largely responsible for that. The ability of cats to leap up and down without fumbling is also largely due to their whiskers.
Whiskers unlike hair or fur are deeply rooted in the body of a cat. It’s like direct contact from the outside world to the nervous system. Whiskers in Cats are located on the flesh between the mouth and the nose. Some shorter whiskers can be located above the eyes. Interestingly, Cats also have whiskers behind their forelegs and under their Jawline.
To break it down though, we should go over the functions of their whiskers concerning their survival.
Important functions of cat whiskers are:
They act as very good sensors
The cat will most likely move its face towards anything it is interested in. This is to get the whiskers close to the object in question. In dark areas, Cat whiskers help the cat to navigate well because of their high sensitivity.
The balance of a cat can not be over-emphasized. While our inner ear helps with our balance, the whiskers help the cats to balance. Cats landing on their feet is largely due to a term called Proprioception. In which cats can judge where their limbs are in space with respect to each other.
Act as a good Judge of Space
The whiskers help the cat to judge space when moving or when about to rest in a place. Sometimes, we might wonder how cats can find a perfect fit for themselves. Well, this is with the help of their whiskers.
Whiskers as Mood Detectors
What distinguishes a good pet owner from any other pet owner is the ability to read their pets. It is important to have insight into what your pets might be going through. This helps to quickly detect discomfort in your pets and greatly increases the trust between pet owners and the pets.
Whiskers have been discovered to give insight into the mood of a cat. The relative position or the movement of whiskers can make you know what mood your cat is going through. This helps make meaningful; decisions and not just second guess the cat.
Unmoving cat whiskers usually indicate satisfaction or maybe the cat is resting. When the whickers move against the face then that indicates a scared cat. Lastly when the whiskers point forward then it indicates that the cat is excited or it is in its hunting mood.
Do Cat Whiskers Grow Back?
Yes, they do. Should you cut them or trim them? Please Do not. The same way we need our senses working at the highest point is the same way cats need theirs too. Whiskers do fall off after they have been replaced by a new one. This is Natural and does not in any way affect the cats. But if you are used to trimming your cat whiskers, it’s good to stop it now.
Apart from grooming or cutting off whiskers, there are some unnatural ways whereby whiskers may fall off. That is why cat owners are advised to take their cats to the veterinarian for inspection if they notice a mass fall off of whiskers.
Here are some causes of Whisker Loss in Cats
Any infection that can affect the skin badly can effectively cause whisker loss to cats It is good that cats are tidy and groom themselves. It is better to pick them up and inspect them closely. With that, you might be able to catch one or two things you may have been missing. Eventually, taking your cat to the vet is the best way to deal with infections.
Trauma can cause whisker loss for cats. Trauma is sustained especially during a fight with other cats or other animals. It is always advisable to keep your cats indoors. And in cases you have more than one pet, try and provide for them individually to avoid fights.
Just like humans, animals also have allergies. Even though cats tend to be picky when it comes to food, there is still a chance they can ingest something not good. Also, allergies can come in through their environment. Allergies manifest in cats through skin infections. This skin infection, if not treated quickly, can lead to whisker loss.
Acne occasionally occurs in cats and if they are bad can lead to whiskers falling off. Acne in cats usually occurs in the chin area which is fairly close to where their whiskers are located. This means if the acne should spread then whisker fall might be unavoidable.
Whiskers are very important to the cats. How important? Well, very important. I don’t think any humans want to move around blindfolded. That’s how important whiskers are to Cats.
Do cat whiskers grow back? Yes, they do. You might not even notice if it is natural.
Can I trim the whiskers on my cat? That’s a big NO. Do not trim the whiskers on your cat.
What do I do if I notice a fair amount of whiskers that have fallen off? See an animal Doctor on your best option as regards what to do.