Whiskers are one of those cats’ characteristics that simply make them adorable.
They are also an essential part of a cat’s body that helps her navigate, stay balanced, and keep their face protected.
This might make you think that – the larger your cat’s whiskers are, this is better for her, since she will be better protected, and will handle balance and navigation easier. Perhaps, extended whiskers might even signify that a cat is in better health compared to one with shorter whiskers.
Are long whiskers a sign of a healthy cat?
Let’s delve into this issue more deeply.
Are Long Whiskers In A Cat A Good Sign?
In general, a cat’s whiskers should be as long as the cat is wide. This occurs because one of the reasons a cat has whiskers is to assist in gauging whether she can fit through a specific space.
If you’re wondering if your cat’s whiskers are too long – you don’t have to worry about this, since they are just the perfect length they should be, if everything is in order with your cat.
Even if your cat is a bit overweight, her whiskers will not grow larger.
Certain larger breeds, such as the Maine Coon, Ragdoll, and Norwegian Forest Cat, will possess notably long whiskers, corresponding to their substantial size.
Therefore, are long whiskers a sign of a healthy cat? They are, as long as they match the dimensions of a large cat’s body! When a cat’s whisker touches the edge of the space the cat tries to get in, her whiskers help her understand just how much room she has at her disposal.
Long whiskers can be understood as a good sign, but some cats such as Devon Rex and Spyhnyx naturally have short whiskers, which doesn’t mean they are less healthy than their counterparts with long whiskers.
Why Are Cat’s Whiskers Important?
Besides making cats even more cute and helping them navigate, whiskers also have some other functions.
According to VCA Animal Hospitals, whiskers serve as radar sensors. Cats have great vision at a distance, but they might have some difficulty focusing on objects up close.
In these situations, their whiskers help them see the things that are right under their noses, because they are always sending information to their brains.
For example, whiskers are very helpful for your cat to locate her food or water bowls, or her toys, at night.
This also means your cat has fewer possibilities to get hurt by bumping into things in the dark with the help of her whiskers.
You can also learn a lot about your cat’s emotions by observing her whiskers. For instance, if your cat is content or just curious, she might elevate the whiskers above her eyes.
Conversely, if she’s feeling insecure or threatened, she might draw her whiskers against her muzzle and point them forward, directed toward the potential source of concern.
Finally, whiskers are very important for a cat’s protection. If any small particle touches the whisker above a cat’s eye, she will quickly blink or shake her head to get rid of it, meaning that her eyes won’t get hurt.
Can Cats Lose Whiskers?
This is possible, so, yes, you might notice your cat might be losing her long whiskers. Does this mean something is wrong with your furry friend?
You don’t have to panic over this, since, according to the Spruce Pets, cats lose their whiskers naturally, just like they shed their fur.
Still, it’s a good thing for you to observe any bigger changes in your cat’s whiskers, since this part of her body is very important and sensitive.
Cats usually have a total of 24 whiskers on their cheeks – 12 on each side. If you suddenly notice the number of your cat’s whiskers has significantly decreased, this could happen due to certain health conditions, such as:
• Allergies, such as reactions to pollen, some foods, or flea bites
• Trauma, which most commonly happens with intact males that are likely to run away from home and get into fights with other males, causing wounds on their head
• Feline acne, which usually occurs on the cat’s chin, might spread close to the cat’s whiskers and cause them to fall out
Therefore, if you notice your cat loses some of their whiskers only occasionally, this is perfectly natural.
However, if you notice a severe and sudden loss, you should consult a veterinarian.
In many cases long whiskers are a sign of a healthy cat, especially if they align with the cat’s breed and size. Long whiskers are excellent for a cat’s protection, balance, and navigation.
Still, some cats might have shorter whiskers and still be perfectly healthy! Shorter whiskers also serve their purpose.
Finally, we can conclude that a cat’s whiskers are an awesome trait that not only make them look so adorable, but also have many functions that cats need on a daily basis.
You might also find it interesting to learn more about whisker fatigue in cats. See you there!