Why do cats have whiskers?

A cat’s whiskers are more than just facial hair – they’re sensitive organs that provide the cat with information about its surroundings.

Handsome cat with long whiskersThe stiff hairs on a cat’s muzzle, eyebrows, and on the jaw are connected to follicles brimming with nerves. They are embedded much deeper in the cat’s body than the regular fur.

Cats brush their whiskers against objects and can determine things like size, texture, and location even in complete darkness. They also help the cat detect changes in air currents. They can even help the cat determine if it will fit in a small space without seeing the space.

Some think it’s okay to trim a cat’s whiskers, but that is very confusing to the cat, and can make them both disoriented and scared. It’s as if someone would take one of our senses away. It is true that some cats are born completely without hair and don’t naturally have whiskers, but those cats have had their whole lives to adapt to the situation.

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