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Fun Facts About Fluffy’s Whiskers

Cats’ whiskers are very cute and iconic. You’ll be hard pressed to find a drawing of Fluffy that doesn’t include them. However, your furry buddy’s ‘antlers’ are actually quite interesting. A local White Rock, TX vet discusses cat whiskers below.

Basics

Whiskers are technically hairs, but they are not the same as Fluffy’s fur. The roots are deeply embedded into kitties’ skin, and are surrounded by extremely sensitive nerves. Those nerves help whiskers do their job.

Counting Hairs

Have you ever wondered how many whiskers your furball has? It should be 24 total: 12 on each side. Some kitties even have curly whiskers!

Purrpose

Whiskers are adorable, but they aren’t there for show. They help our feline pals stay aware of things like temperature and wind changes. They also help kitties sense vibrations, such as an animal or person going past. Given that cats are both predator and prey, this is very useful!

Tape Measure

Fluffy also uses her whiskers to help her determine if she can fit into a small opening. (Of course, this sometimes backfires with chubby cats.)

Balancing Act

Another purrpose those whiskers serve? Helping kitties keep their balance when walking along fences, branches, or the top of your sofa! Because they are so helpful with balance and position, they also help cats calculate distances when jumping.

Mood Ring

Whiskers have still one more function, though this one may be more useful to you than to your kitty. They actually act as a bit of a mood gauge. If your cat’s whiskers are drooping, she’s probably cheerful and relaxed. If they are pointing forward, she may be tracking something. Cats also sometimes hold their whiskers this way when they feel threatened. (This makes sense, as the whiskers will help Fluffy track her prey or adversary.)

Care

You don’t have to do anything to care for your kitty’s adorable whiskers. Actually, you definitely shouldn’t! Never cut or trim them: this can make your feline friend quite disoriented, which can then lead to anxiety and other issues.

Whisker Loss

It’s not unusual for cats to shed whiskers. However, if your kitty is suddenly losing a lot of hers, it could be indicative of a medical issue. Call your vet immediately!

Please reach out to us, your local White Rock, TX vet clinic, for all of your kitty’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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