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Cat whiskers look fascinating, but is there any real purpose for having them? Read on to learn the answers.
These antennae-like structures are specially tuned sensory apparatus that lead a feline fur baby through daily functions. They help a kitty cat navigate its environment by providing additional sensory inputs. Plus, these long hair strands increase a furball’s spatial awareness, aid in maintaining its body orientation, ensure agility, and allow it to protect itself from potential dangers.
Since whiskers form a vital facial sensory organ, it is essential to guard and keep them healthy. At the same time, know that cutting off a cat’s whiskers is inhumane and can cause trauma, trigger anxiousness and fear, lead to accidents by knocking into objects around the home, and disorientation. It is best to talk to your vet to learn about whisker trimming and follow their advice.
Also, consider being prepared with pet health insurance so that dealing with accidental injuries, sickness, and medical emergencies is easier. Pet insurance for cats is available in different levels of cover so contemplate purchasing a policy that best suits your cat friend and your budget. In the meantime, read this article to learn a few facts related to cat whiskers.
Fact 1: Cat whiskers are thicker than fur.
They are known as tactile hairs. Physically they are coarse, about two to three times thicker than hair in your cat’s coat, rooted about three times deeper in its skin, and stay connected to the nervous system. Touch the whiskers on your cat’s cheeks, the area above its eyes, and forelegs to feel the difference.
Fact 2: Cat whiskers are highly sensitive and transmit important information.
Whiskers are implanted deep in the skin, and their follicles are connected to many blood vessels. Also, whisker ends have sensory organs known as “Proprioceptors”. These sense organs capture information about the surroundings and help the kitty move around safely and more consciously. They can even help transmit information about the cat’s body position.
In short, these hair strands channel information to the feline body’s sensory cells. Suppose something brushes against your furball’s whiskers; they will immediately detect objects, motion, and wind flow. Whiskers also help a cat understand an object’s size, shape, and speed.
Fact 3: Whiskers enable a cat to fit into compact spaces.
If you carefully observe, you will notice that your cat’s whisker length is in proportion with the width of its body. This feature helps your cat figure out whether it can safely fit into the tight space.
Fact 4: Experiencing whisker fatigue is a reality.
Whiskers are hypersensitive, which is why your cat can feel fatigued when excessive pressure is applied to them. For instance, forcing your four paws to eat from a small food dish can make them experience whisker fatigue.
Fact 5: Whiskers talk about a cat’s mood.
Pulled-back or flattened whiskers can indicate your furry baby is scared or mad at something. When relaxed, the whiskers can move back and forth. However, when the whiskers are held forward or look tense, it may mean your cat is consuming details of the environment or is ready for a hunt.
Whiskers ensure your furball’s health and happiness, so care for them just like you would for any other body part. At the same time, consider being prepared with pet health insurance because even when you still seem to have taken sufficient precautions, many health issues are unavoidable. Pet insurance for cats can help reduce your economic burden during distressing health situations, which is why you must contemplate signing up for a policy.