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3 Reasons Cats Have Whiskers

August 25, 2022


Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

Cats have whiskers all over their bodies: on their face and even their legs. They serve crucial functions in addition to being a key physical indicator that yes, in fact, you are looking at a cat. Their whiskers, which serve as the ultimate sensory tool, are nothing like hairs (despite their appearance) and are actually very sensitive. If you are wondering why cats have whiskers and would like to learn more about your feline friend's built-in radar system, how they function and how they assist cats, keep reading!

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What do cat whiskers do?


  • Whiskers serve as radar sensors. Cats are known for having excellent senses of smell and hearing, but their vision is not as good. Cats see better at a distance and struggle to focus on objects up close. Cats with whiskers can "see" objects right in front of them because their whiskers constantly deliver information to the brain.

  • Whiskers convey feelings. Cat's whiskers can reveal information about its behavior or feelings. When a cat's whiskers are relaxed instead of rigid and drawn tightly around its face, it suggests that your cat may be pleased and content rather than feeling frightened or agitated. If your cat's whiskers are pushed forward, it can signify interest or curiosity.

  • Whiskers serve as barriers. The more sensitive and vulnerable parts of your cat - like their eyes - are also shielded by its whiskers. Because the whiskers around their eyes are sensitive to even the smallest contact (like a little piece of dust), your cat’s whiskers alert the cat to shake or blink to get rid of anything potentially dangerous before it makes contact with the eye. Whiskers provide crucial eye and face protection.



Can you cut cat whiskers?


You should never cut a cat’s whiskers. While damage to the whiskers doesn’t cause your cat physical pain, because the nerves are connected to the follicle and not the actual hair, cats rely on their whiskers to help them make sense of the world.  

Do you have any questions about your cat? Talk to one of our Pet Experts and get customized advice by submitting a request on our Mavyn website, Mavyn app or Mavyn Pet page.