Research has shown that cats without whiskers have trouble estimate the size of openings and can easily get stuck. Also, due to the fact that whiskers are important to a cat’s equilibrium, without them, they have trouble walking straight and have difficulty running. They also tend to get disoriented and fall.
Apart from the normal process of shedding, a cat may lose its whiskers due to allergies, infections, or feline acne. Trauma or physical damage to the whiskers may also result in whisker loss.
They are, in fact, hair
They grow from the whisker pad, which is the spot between your cat’s mouth and nose. You’ve probably also noticed shorter whiskers above your cat’s brows and on his or her chin, as well. And similar to the rest of your cat’s hair, whiskers do fall out on their own and grow back.
Even though your cat’s whiskers don’t have nerves and can’t feel pain, they’re essential for the health and happiness of your pet. Cats use their whiskers to get around and learn about their environment, so it’s important to protect them and keep them healthy.
She said that sometimes if cats are stressed they lose their hair or whiskers. Moving to a new house or getting a new pet, like another cat or a dog, can make us cats stressed. Sometimes this will cause us to lose our hair. If cats have allergies sometimes they will lose their hair and whiskers, too.
In basic terms, whisker fatigue is simply over-stimulation of the sensory system of the whiskers. What happens when the whiskers are touched too much, even if it is basic brushing against food and water dishes, is the cat’s brain gets an onslaught of sensory messages transmitted to their brain.
Generally, whiskers will shed every few months and usually not more than one or two at a time so you’re more likely to notice them on your floor than you are missing from a spot on your cat’s face.
The hair follicle of your cat’s whiskers is loaded with nerves, and the whisker tip features a sensory organ known as a proprioceptor. Together, this makes them incredibly sensitive to vibrations and changes in their environment, so cats use them like an additional sense to understand the world.
Whiskers are specifically tuned sensory equipment that guide a cat through daily functions. These specialized hairs aid vision and help a cat navigate his environment, providing additional sensory input, much like antennae on insects.
As we have discussed, whiskers have many functions and aren’t just there for cosmetic purposes. Cutting whiskers is not only painful, but can decrease a cat’s spatial awareness. This can cause them to knock into things, become disorientated, less able to protect themselves from danger and less agile.
Touching a cat’s whiskers doesn’t hurt, but pulling them does. The long, thick hairs that curve so gracefully from a cat’s muzzle and above the eyes are not just decorations – they’re more like antennae or “feelers.” They help the cat navigate, balance and keep out of trouble.
Some cats love having their whiskers rubbed. Others detest it. That’s because the whiskers are very sensitive, used by felines to take in and interpret more sensory information. In a way, they’re like small and delicate fingertips.
They can see very well in low light, however — a skill that gave domestic cats’ ancestors an advantage over their prey. As American Veterinarian explains, cats’ large corneas and pupils, which are about 50% larger than humans’, allow more light into their eyes. This extra light helps them to see in the dark.
Cat whisker fatigue – also called whisker stress – is a term veterinarians use to describe the sensory overload cats feel when their whiskers repeatedly touch a surface.
After doing some digging, cats have been discovered chewing off other’s whiskers. One website suggested that mother cats have been known to chew off kittens’ whiskers when they are young and nursing to make more room. As the kittens are weaned off this behavior should subside.
The cat’s whisker can be of two colors; white and black. Most cats have white whiskers at a young age but as they grow the melanin doesn’t work simultaneously hence making the whiskers black in color.
The average lifespan for a pet cat is probably around 13 to 14 years. However, although their lifespan varies, a well cared for cat may commonly live to 15 or beyond, some make it to 18 or 20 and a few extraordinary felines even pass 25 or 30 years of age.
The most common cause of whisker fatigue is something a cat does every day – eating and drinking. Small, high-sided bowls typically used for feeding a cat’s food and water are usually to blame for whisker fatigue.
Cats usually understand around 20 to 40 words. Some understand as many as 50 words according to scientific research. They can also learn and identify their names. However, it may be more appropriate to say that cats distinguish and associate words with certain things rather than understanding them.
Raised feeders are often used for dogs, especially those prone to bloat, but they can also be great for cats.
Let us be honest; cats cannot understand human meows. Of course, they will learn to associate it with whatever you teach them to through training. But other than that, to them, it just sounds like the normal human language.
Yes, cats can see colours! Although they can’t appreciate the full spectrum and the vast variety of shades that we humans can, their world isn’t solely black and white like many previously believed.
Whiskers should never, ever be pulled out. “Whiskers are connected to nerves at the base and it would be painful to pull them out,” Gonzalez says. “Just like cutting any other hair, it wouldn’t hurt and the whiskers would grow back but it would make them more cautious about moving in their environment.”
Many cats react to whistle-blowing, for good reason: cats have superior hearing skills, and high-pitched sounds often remind them of their high-pitched prey–birds, rodents and other small animals.