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A Whisker Away

Whickers not only give cats their distinctive look, they are excellent motion detectors. Whiskers go three times as deep into the face than other hairs and are incredibly sensitive, and act as a cat’s radar. Typically cats have twenty-four whickers, twelve on each side of the face in horizontal rows. This doesn’t include the whisker-like hairs above the eyebrows and often on the back legs. Whiskers help cats hunt and move around at night. They are so sensitive they can feel the slightest of movements by vibration or change in airflow. It helps them determine the size and shape of other objects such as mice. Also, it lets them know where they can fit, by helping them feel the size of a hole other object. Never trim or wash a cat’s whiskers. Damaged whiskers can lead to difficulties in navigation particularly at night. Whiskers fall out naturally, but will re-grow. It’s has been shown that cats with damaged whiskers sometimes attack the wrong part of a mouse. Whiskers are so sensitive some cats are irritated by eating out of a bowl and will consequently knock their dish over. An essential cat trait, whiskers are part of all cats of all sizes.

 

 


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