Why do cats have whiskers

Cats have a sixth sense - their whiskers.

The whiskers are a vital part of the cat's sense of touch. You don't even have to feel the surroundings to explore it. The Vibrissae - the technical term - are connected to numerous nerve endings and perceive even the finest air vortices. As soon as a solid body moves and thereby changes the air, the cat feels it. That makes the bristly hair simply indispensable - for example when hunting.

See in the dark.

When hunting, the whiskers also support the sense of smell and give the cat a picture of its surroundings even at night. However, this only works with intact whiskers - if they are broken off or damaged, the cat can only hunt during the day. And that is also more difficult for her. Because the "cat feelers" also give information about the prey if it has already been caught - only with them the perfect spot in the neck area for the fatal bite can be located. If the cat then carries its victim in its mouth, the whiskers continuously give it information - if the prey is still moving, for example, it knows immediately.

That's what the whiskers tell you.

A cat not only explores its surroundings with its antennae, you can also get to know your cat better with them. The whiskers are flexible, and depending on their position, they tell you the mood of the cat:
  • If the whiskers are pointing backwards, the cat is afraid and may soon attack.
  • Sideways, barely fanned whiskers indicate calm and serenity.
  • Wide-spread, forward-facing whiskers, on the other hand, mean attentive tension and readiness for action.

The cat has more whiskers than you think.

The whisker hairs are the smallest part of a cat's fur: an average of 24 are located around the cat's nose. They are arranged in four rows, and the top two rows can even be moved independently of the others. It goes without saying that these all-rounders get all the attention, and hardly anyone knows that cats have even more whiskers: namely on the chin, above the eyes and on the joints.