can i cut my cats whiskers

Cutting them is never advised and can actually be very painful as the base of these long stiff hairs contain blood vessels and nerve endings. Because they are a sensory mechanism, cutting these tactile hairs, even if by mistake, can cause cats to feel very disoriented and wobbly on their legs.

What happens if whiskers get clipped?

Given all the benefits whiskers provide for your cat, you may see why it’s so important to protect them. Just as their whiskers protect them, they also need protection. A trimmed whisker not only takes away your cat’s sense of smell, but it also causes them to become disoriented. This is why whiskers should never be cut.

Using the analogy of a human fingertip, losing that sensory awareness can make it challenging for your cat to go about their everyday business. In addition to being uncomfortable, it may also increase their chance of getting hurt because whiskers are a warning symbol for danger. Actually, approximately 2040% of cats’ sensory brain input originates from the location of their whiskers. It might be difficult for them to navigate safely if they lack this spatial awareness.

However, whiskers can occasionally fall out naturally and shed on their own. If your cat appears to be missing one whisker, don’t panic! However, if they are losing more than one or two, you may want to consult your veterinarian to see if there is another issue.

Although necessary, whiskers can occasionally break off or require cutting for medical reasons. If so, the whiskers are comparable to regular hair in that the follicle will probably regrow hair.

It’s essential to your cat’s health, wellbeing, and senses to keep their whiskers safe and intact!Sources

  • How Often Should Cat’s Whiskers Be Trimmed? | vethelpdirect.com
  • Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? | VCA Animal Hospitals

My cat has very long hair, so the vet advised us to cut the knots out of it before she ripped them out and hurt her. Now that I’ve cut the whiskers on one side of her down from about 6 inches to about 2, I’m worried about whether she needs them for anything.

UPDATE – Got her some warm milk to make her feel better, I understand that some female cats can be lactose intolerant but she never usually gets it, i just feel like she deserves it. ( Dont mind that she’s on a treadmill ahahahha she loves it for some reason ) Also Linked her whiskers:( Cleo Archived post. New comments cannot be posted and votes cannot be cast.

What do whiskers do?

Every animal has innate characteristics that have developed over ages to aid in their ability to navigate the environment, stay safe, and recognize their surroundings. Cats are no different and possess several essential physical traits for survival, such as night vision, hearing that can travel hundreds of miles, and the ability to camouflage on their skin.

Similar to people, cats use their senses to continuously take in their surroundings. Always seeing, smelling, hearing, and feeling to gain their bearings. However, your cat uses hair, not just human hair, to sense its environment. Additionally, despite the fact that your cat’s whiskers may appear to be just a longer version of the rest of its hair, they are actually quite different!

As the most noticeable place, your cat’s face may be the only place you’ll find whiskers, but your cat also has whiskers on their chin, legs, ears, and above their eyes and upper lip. While whiskers are derived from normal hair follicles, they are coarser and thicker than the hair on your cat’s coat. Compared to normal hair roots, the whisker follicle’s root is three times deeper. There is a significant concentration of blood vessels and delicate nerves in whisker roots. Some people claim that whiskers have sensitivity comparable to human fingertips because of these extremely sensitive nerves.

Similar to fingers, whisker nerves transmit signals to the brain. Cats utilize them to position themselves because they can sense and interpret touch. Because whiskers are so sensitive, they react to movement in the air as well as touch. Because of the continuous messages that these sensory cells send to the brain, cats are able to fully perceive everything that is going on around them.

FAQ

What would happen if I cut my cats whiskers off?

Cutting whiskers is not only painful, but can decrease a cat’s spatial awareness. This can cause them to knock into things, become disorientated, less able to protect themselves from danger and less agile. So, put the scissors away and let your cat’s whiskers grow wild!

Do cats whiskers grow back after being cut?

However, if your cat loses a whisker or if you accidentally damage or pull one out, don’t worry. They will grow back if cut or damaged. It typically takes between six and twelve weeks for a whisker to fully grow back after falling out.

Why are my cats whiskers so long?

Your cat’s genetics determine the length of their whiskers, so you can rest assured they’re the exact length they should be: neither too long nor too short. Shed whiskers will grow back, so there’s no need to worry if you find a stray.

Can cats feel pain if you cut their whiskers?

Because whiskers are made of keratin, they will not feel pain if cut or trimmed—similar to the lack of sensation humans experience when getting a haircut.