FunNature & AnimalCan I trim my cat's whiskers?

Can I trim my cat's whiskers?

Whiskers, also called whiskers, are sensory organs for the cat. The exact pattern and number of whiskers varies from cat to cat. On average, cats have 12 whiskers in 4 rows on each side of the muzzle . Each mustache grows from a single hair follicle that is inserted deep into the skin and is surrounded by nerve endings and sensitive cells that will be the ones that send the information to the brain.

But these are not the only sensory organs on the face. Around the eyes, the mouth and on the chin they have shorter hairs that have these same endings in their insertion.

What function do the whiskers of cats have?

Cats use whiskers to interact with the world. They are sensory organs that allow them to detect the distance to different objects.

In fact, if you live with a cat, you can pay attention to how they move when approaching an object. At that moment they direct the mustaches towards that one.

But they are not only used for this purpose. With their whiskers they can sense air movements and vibrations , allowing them to detect the movements of nearby prey or predators. A very useful function, especially in the dark as they do not have good close vision and at bedtime, allowing them to close their eyes confident that any movement will be detected thanks to their vibrissae.

And if you look closely you can see that the size corresponds approximately to the width of their body, with which they can calculate if they will be able to pass through narrow places.

As we can see, the mustaches are very sensitive and small touches can even be annoying for them. So much so that there are some cats that refuse to drink or eat from narrow bowls precisely because the whiskers touch the sides of the bowls.

And finally, the whiskers of cats can indicate their state of mind:

  • if the whiskers are forward, they indicate that the cat is alert.
  • if the whiskers are backwards, it will indicate fear.
  • if the whiskers are relaxed to the sides, it will indicate that our cat is comfortable and calm.

What happens if you cut off a cat’s mustache?

Reading the functions of the whiskers above, we can realize that a cat’s whiskers should not be trimmed.

In fact, there can be serious consequences of trimming their whiskers, it is as if they lose one of their senses:

  • they lose the ability to detect movements and by doing so they increase their vulnerability
  • they lose their stability and may even have difficulty moving.
  • they lose one of their senses with which they relate to the outside world, so it is as if we were temporarily deaf or blind

So no! The cat’s whiskers should not be trimmed.

Even so, if for some reason you see that your cat has broken whiskers, because it has burned them or a brother has bitten them, it may feel more insecure for a while, but don’t worry, they will grow back.

Why do cats lose their whiskers?

You may have found a whisker from your cat at home, which has fallen off by itself.

Whiskers, like other body hair, also shed . So from time to time you will see that one falls off, but don’t worry because, just like if you have broken or cut them, they will grow back.

How long does it take for a cat’s whiskers to grow?

Generally, the moult, both of the mantle and of the whiskers, is carried out twice a year. Although this may vary depending on the place, temperature, stress, diet, skin diseases or parasites.

If the loss of the whiskers is due to a natural moult, it will take a short time for them to grow back. If, on the other hand, the fall is due to some illness, until the problem is solved, they will not come back normally.

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