It’s hard to imagine a cat without a luxurious mustache! However, nature has come up with them, not for beauty. Century after century, whiskers helped cats to survive in the wild, and today home hunters cannot do without them too. So what is their function? About this in our article.
What are cat whiskers and what are they like?
Cats’ whiskers grow not only under the nose but also on the forehead, near the eyes, on the chin and even on the paws. More precisely, the correct name for them is not “whiskers”, but “vibrissae”. These are hard, sensitive hairs that are longer than the coat. In total, there are about 40 of such hairs on the cat’s body, and only 24 of them are on the muzzle.
Unlike simple hair, vibrissae are surrounded by hundreds of nerve endings and muscle fibers, and their root goes deep into the tissue.
Each vibrissa is a separate organ of touch, which, 24 hours a day, uninterruptedly transmits a signal to the brain of an animal. Vibrissae is not only in cats but also in many other mammals, including dogs.
Why does a cat need a mustache for?
Vibrissae pick up the slightest vibrations of air and help cats navigate in space. With such “instruments”, a cat, even at night in an unfamiliar room, will not crash into objects, it always considers the mouse and will accurately calculate the distance of the jump.
Vibrissae help the cat to understand whether food is safe. In the wild, a hunter seems to be wrapping around a caught mouse with a mustache, determining whether the prey is dead and whether it is possible to start a meal. Similarly, the pet analyzes the food and treats at home. Caution in such matters is never superfluous!
Vibrissae serve cats to communicate with each other and with a person. By the position of the whiskers, the attentive host will always determine the mood of the pet.
Is it possible to cut a cat mustache?
Is it possible to shorten a cat’s mustache? Any expert will answer: in no case. Vibrissae is an important organ, the loss of which will result in severe stress for a cat. A cat that suddenly lost a mustache will become less oriented in space and will feel defenseless and vulnerable until new ones grow.
Adults must explain to children that they cannot pull out a cat’s mustache. In addition to the loss of functions, it is also very painful, since the vibrissae, unlike wool, are rooted deep in the fabric. Cats’ whiskers must remain inviolable!
What if a cat does not has its mustache?
Now we know how important a mustache is to a cat. But what if they suddenly started falling out? Do I need to sound the alarm?
From time to time vibrissae are updated in the same way as animal hair and human hair. Therefore, if you notice a fallen or broken mustache at home, you should not worry. This is normal!
Another thing – if the vibrissae fall out and break in large quantities. This is a signal that something is wrong with the body. Perhaps it is a seasonal restructuring, and perhaps in the internal disease. Do not ignore the problem and consult a veterinary specialist.
Do cats grow mustache?
In place of the fallen whiskers, new ones will definitely appear. Vibrissae grow about three times faster than regular wool, which again indicates their importance to the pet. No whiskers cats anywhere!
Take care of your cat’s mustache, because they need it!