can you trim cat 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? |
  • Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? | VCA Animal Hospitals

Now that we’ve discussed how whiskers work, let’s look at their primary functions.

The length of your cat’s whiskers gives them the ability to sense space in addition to being a cute feature. Their long, delicate hairs that protrude from their faces can help them determine whether they will be able to squeeze through gaps or become trapped in areas. Cats are curious creatures, and as such, you may find them in the most unlikely places in your house! When a cat is entering a nook or cranny, it is important to notice if it will fit.

Communication: Your cat can convey their emotions to you through their whiskers, just as you might use your facial expressions to convey your thoughts and feelings. They may be expressing their nervousness or agitation by drawing their whiskers close to their faces. A relaxed whisker position is common if your cat is resting or relaxing. However, if their whiskers are moving around and extra active, they might be investigating what’s around them!

Aiding Their Vision: Although cats have five senses overall, their sense of smell and hearing are stronger than their sense of sight. Although your cat’s vision is probably not 20/20, they can still see objects in the distance. Your cat’s eyes have a harder time focusing as objects get closer. Here, whiskers come into play to improve their vision. Despite the lack of vision, cats’ highly sensitive whiskers serve as a kind of radar, allowing them to detect air bouncing back at them from the air they are pushing into a given area. This aids in their awareness of what is directly in front of them and what is a foot away. They use their whiskers to fill in the gaps in their vision when they are out and about at night. Telling them where their toys are, their bed, and potential obstacles to avoid are

Balance: While it’s common knowledge that cats are remarkably adept at landing on their feet, many people may not be aware of the important role that whiskers play in this ability! A cat’s body position and awareness are primarily determined by the receptors on its whiskers. Proprioceptors are unique receptors found at the end of each whisker that aid in a cat’s awareness of their limbs.

Like eyelashes, whiskers serve to protect a cat’s delicate facial features, as well as their feet. Whiskers act as a barrier to the eyes and nose of cats and alert them to the presence of dust or debris in the area around their faces. Cats’ whiskers will make contact with prickly plants before they do, alerting them to the need to stay away.

Although they resemble stiff hairs, they are far more Each whisker is incredibly sensitive and precise, communicating with the brain through connections to the muscular and nervous systems.

Additionally, cats have a sensory organ called a proprioceptor at the tip of their whiskers that communicates with the brain. In addition to vision, the proprioceptors provide the cat with information about its body and limb positions, which enables it to make those graceful, death-defying leaps from point A to point B.

Q. I was considering shaving my cat’s very long whiskers, but my friend advised against it. Why not? — N. J. , Alamo.

When a cat’s whiskers are clipped, they frequently become disoriented and have difficulty moving. The cat will miss even one whisker, but eventually they will grow back. Shaving the whiskers is like chopping off our finger tips. Though it would be harder and we would lose a great deal of our sensory perception, we could manage.

A cat uses its whiskers as feelers and lightly brushes against objects while it explores. The cat receives important information from its sensory data, including the size of objects it encounters and the distance between them.


What happens if you cut a cat’s whiskers?

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!

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.

Do cats have nerves in their whiskers?

Whiskers are more sensitive than regular hairs because the follicles they originate from are jam-packed with blood vessels and nerves. In fact, whiskers are as sensitive as a human’s fingertips. So while a human’s sense of touch is in the fingers, a cat touches the world with its face.

How long until cat cut whiskers grow back?

It can take between 6 weeks and 3 months for a cat’s facial whisker to grow back to the appropriate length to be functional. It is very normal with some coat colors for white whiskers to grow back as black, or vice versa. The color change will not affect their function.