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Why cats can experience stress through their whiskers and whether they can grow not only on the face: interesting facts

Alina MilsentLife
What are cat whiskers for

Cat whiskers are much more than rudimentary accessories. It would be difficult for cats to perform several important functions without them.

Whiskers are two to three times thicker than normal cat hair and have three times deeper roots. They are found not only near the mouth but also above the eyes, near the ears, and on the back of the front paws - in all places that a cat needs to gather information about its surroundings. The Treehugger publication provided more information about cat whiskers.

Even number

Cats usually have 24 whiskers - 12 on each cheek. They grow in four horizontal rows of three whiskers each. Some cats have more than 24 whiskers, but the total number should always be even. The whiskers must be distributed symmetrically on both sides of the muzzle so that the cat can accurately read the environment.

A complex system

Unlike human hair, a cat's whiskers are deeply rooted and connected to the nervous system. The tips of the whiskers are equipped with sensory organs called proprioceptors. Their main function is to send messages to the brain to better determine the distance to an object and the direction of movement.

Whisker stress

"Whisker stress" occurs when a food or water bowl is too narrow. Whiskers are so sensitive that they can be damaged by frequent contact with the surface of the bowl.

Whiskers on the paws

Sensitive antennae located on the back of the front paws and on the underside of the wrists help the cat climb trees and kill prey. When a cat holds a mouse, say, in its front paws, these whiskers tell it whether its prey is moving (since the cat cannot see well up close) and whether the victim is in a good position for a fatal bite.

Mood indicators

A relaxed and sagging whisker indicates a contented animal. If a cat pinches its whiskers back, it is very scared. This is evidenced by a study conducted by the University of Melbourne. If a cat's whiskers are stuck out, and its ears are tilted back, it is cautious, as the animal is showing aggression.

Why whiskers can fall out

Whiskers should never be trimmed. They go through phases of natural growth and loss, just like hair. It is quite normal to find a lost whisker at home from time to time. There is no need to worry - they grow back on their own. However, if you notice a sudden increase in the number of whiskers, it may mean that your cat is suffering from an allergy or infection.

Earlier, OBOZREVATEL told you what mistakes cat owners often make in the summer

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