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Cat Aesthetics | Cat Have Whiskers For Reasons Beyond Looks

Cats have many physical traits that add to their unique appeal, but only one of their traits helps them avoid and escape sticky situations – mustaches!

Cats have whiskers to help them navigate their world. Whether it's hunting, exploring, or expressing feelings, whiskers are truly a cat's meow.

Wesker's Anatomy

There is more cats whiskers than meets the eye.

These antenna-like appendages are actually special hairs with very deep roots. Although it is stiffer than normal hair, it is more delicate. The follicles from which the hairs emerge are filled with additional blood vessels and nerves that give them a tactile response to touch.

Cats have whiskers around the eyes, chin, and even the front legs, but the twelve whiskers on either side of the nose pick up most of the information from their surroundings. Capillaries, which are able to detect minute air currents, can also help determine the size, shape, speed and location of specific organisms, including predators and prey.

The scientific name for cat whiskers is vibrissae which comes from the Latin word vibrio (vibrate). There is a good reason for that. When air circulates near the whiskers or when they come into contact with an object, they vibrate. The nerves in and around the follicle are then stimulated and the information is transmitted to the brain.

On top of each hair is a sensory organ called the Proprioceptor receptor. These act as beacons of the surrounding information and are responsible for transmitting it to the brain. Without these, cats may lose their balance or have less handling of their moving body.

up close and personal

Since cats see better from a longer distance, whiskers help them "see" things up close. You may have seen your cat head towards something without actually touching it. They are likely using their whiskers to sense the object. Their vibrations come in very useful in dim or dark conditions for spotting potential threats, searching for a meal, or locating them.

Emotions and more

Amazingly, the whiskers can communicate some emotions. A relaxed, happy, or contented cat's whiskers are likely to be relaxed, but a playful or curious cat may display some alert stiffness in their whiskers. Be careful that taut bristles that stick out and away from the face mean business.

Other reasons for cats to have whiskers can include protection from eye injuries as well as protection from being trapped in confined spaces.

Since a large part of your cats brain is directly. related to the parts of the body where whiskers. grow, it is important to keep them safe and healthy. It is not recommended to cut or remove the hairs, and try not to over-touch them. Also provide them with shallow bowls or saucers to reduce the chances of irritating their whiskers.

Tags: cat whiskers | Why do cats have whiskers

Posted in: cat meow
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