If you look at a cat closely, you will see that they have whiskers. A normal cat can have around 24 whiskers on its face, each of them measuring up to 7 and a half centimeters.
Whiskers have some vital functions to perform for your pet.
Cats do not appreciate any other object pressing their whiskers as it can result in whisker stress in cats! But do you know that cats can have whiskers on other parts of their body as well?
So let us know about the functions and other factors related to a cat’s whiskers.
Just like we humans are prone to losing good things, cats can also lose out on their whiskers. Certain conditions can lead to the falling of a cat’s whiskers. Now the question is, do cat’s whiskers grow back?
Do cat’s whiskers grow back?
Cats’ whiskers fall off during catfights as well as in some natural ways. You may also imagine a naughty child chopping your cat’s whiskers.
But as long as the follicles of the whiskers are alive, there are maximum chances of the whiskers growing back.
While you may find it difficult to believe, like usual body hair, even whiskers can grow back. The time for the whiskers to grow back varies from cat to cat.
How long does it take for cats’ whiskers to grow back?
Ideally, if the cat sheds its whiskers naturally or gets damaged due to some other condition, it will grow back in about 2 to 3 months. If not that long, it at least takes about a month for the cat to grow back its whiskers.
The growth of whiskers also depends upon the age of the cat.
Older cats or senior cats take longer to grow whiskers compared to younger cats or kittens.
The growth also depends upon the health of your cat. It becomes easier and faster for healthier cats to regrow whiskers, while the same is a time-consuming process for sick cats.
If you want to regrow the hair of your sick cat, it is advisable to take care of your pet’s health until and unless she regains her health and fitness.
Why do cats have whiskers?
Whiskers in cats are not just there to adore their appearance. Though the lustrous whiskers complement your pet’s appearance, they have some vital functions to perform for your pet.
The felines have whiskers for a reason. Whiskers help in various functions such as navigation, mood detection, and prey detection.
A cat’s whiskers have many sensory cells, which help them receive impulses and transport them fastest to the brain. It is because of these whiskers that your cat performs so many activities throughout the day.
How do cat’s whiskers work?
Did you know that a cat depends on its whiskers for navigating in the dark? These whiskers are deeply ingrained in your cat’s body, and they help your cat sense everything that’s going around, acting as sensitive receptors for their body.
The whiskers connect to the nervous system of the cats.
It helps your cat sense even the slightest motion around them, helping them to locomote safely and freely. Whiskers also protect your cat’s eyes from getting poked.
Positioning of the prey:
Cats are farsighted animals. They are unable to see close-up objects properly.
Hence, it becomes difficult for them to catch close-up prey without sensing the prey’s presence.
Your cat must know the parameters such as shape, size, and location of its prey to make a fatal attack.
The whiskers of your cat help it detect the location of its prey apart from analyzing its shape and size.
Further, your cat can also detect even the slightest of motions made by its prey with the help of whiskers. All this collectively makes sure that your feline friend can catch its prey with ease.
Whiskers are the best indicators for your cat’s mood. If the whiskers are positioned straight and flat against the head of your cat, it means your cat is frightened and aggressive at the same time.
A calm and composed cat will have its whisker situated sideways in a simple pattern.
Your cat’s whiskers will be pointed towards the front when it is about to catch its prey. Street and pointed whiskers also denote the playful mood of your furry friend.
This way, it becomes easier for you to understand what’s going on in your cat’s mind and treat your pet accordingly. Isn’t that great?
It might seem quite unlikely to be true, but cats’ whiskers are said to recognize different colors for them besides performing other vital functions. As a result, your cats can individualize objects and people based on their colors.
Since the whiskers of a cat are attached to the nervous system, they have much to do with the balance in your pet’s body language.
If you love your feline to move like fluid around you, it is because of the flawless balance it has. Otherwise, the lucid and active movement of your cat would not have been so attractive.
What happens if you cut off a cat’s whiskers?
I will never suggest plucking off or chopping off your cat’s whiskers while grooming your cat. It is an extremely bad idea that hurts your pet and hampers the functions mentioned above.
Below are listed a few things that happen when you cut off your cat’s whiskers.
By now, you know that whiskers are deeply ingrained and attached to the nervous system of your cat. Hence, plucking its whiskers is going to hurt your pet badly, leading to further problems.
Most importantly, the sensory impulses received by your cat’s whiskers are carried straight to the brain. You can well imagine the problems created after you pluck them.
This area has an active blood circulation that gets disturbed if you pluck the hair out of it. Whiskers are too painful to be plucked as they are three times thicker than the fur.
Unable to locate its prey
You know that the whiskers assist your cat greatly in locating its prey along with other information such as the shape and size of the prey.
Chopping your cat’s whiskers will reduce its receptiveness, thereby making it difficult for your cat to locate and attack its prey.
Cats navigate with the help of their whiskers. Cutting off your cat’s whiskers can extremely confuse your pet. It would become very difficult for your feline friend to understand the direction of movement because it will be unable to sense the moving objects around it.
Your pet won’t be able to trace any obstacle or hurdle in its path. As a result, your cat might keep stumbling over objects and remain frightened or confused.
Lack of balance
Chopping off your cat’s whiskers also damages emotional as well as physical balance.
Cats become unable to perform various functions, which they do with the help of their whiskers.
It loses its self-confidence, and as a result, you will see your pet getting scared with every little movement made around her. It disturbs her emotional balance causing stress and anxiety in your innocent pet.
Risks of Injuries
Things can hurt your pet badly. As you know, the whiskers above your cat’s eyes help it detect any poky object that can hurt it. Removing the whiskers can lead to little receptiveness, and as a result, your cat will be more prone to injuries.
Does cutting cats’ whiskers hurt them?
Trimming your cat’s whiskers to groom your pet is an extremely unagreeable idea because chopping off the whiskers’ endings will cause all that trouble.
Practically speaking, cutting off your cat’s whiskers is not going to hurt your pet physically. But the damages made to the functionality of your cat are going to cause emotional pain.
By now, you are aware of the side effects of cutting off your cat’s whiskers. Such an imbalance in body movements, navigation, balance, and other activities disturbs the mental stability of your loving pet.
It feels unable to perform various tasks and functions. Even small movements around your pet are going to scare it away.
In addition to the emotional pain of your cat, which is unable to see and sense objects around it, your furry pet can stumble upon things and hurt itself physically too.
If the whiskers fall off naturally, it is not going to be painful for your cat. There is a difference between falling off one or two whiskers at a time and chopping off all the whiskers at once.
If something can hurt your cat badly, it is plucking its whiskers.
The whiskers’ hair is thicker than the normal fur of the cat’s body, and hence plucking of the whiskers can hurt your feline dangerously. It can even lead to follicle damage and bleeding in adverse cases.
Do cat’s whiskers grow back if burnt?
If the burning of a cat’s whiskers leads to follicle damage, it is highly unlikely that your cat will grow back its whiskers again! Even if the follicle of your cat is left unharmed, growing back a burnt cat whisker is a very lengthy and time-consuming process.
For senior and unhealthy cats, this process is almost impossible.
To wrap it up, never risk the whiskers of your furry feline. It does not just give the felines their cute appearance; whisker stress is a stressful thing for your cat! Better be careful than sorry.
Please do not take the regrowth of the whiskers for granted as it varies from the health conditions.
Hi There, AJ Oren here. I am the founder of this amazing pet blog & a passionate writer who loves helping pet owners to learn more about their pets through my articles. I am also the content manager of this blog. I have experience in pet training and behavior, sheltering, and currently working for a veterinary clinic.
- 1 Do cat’s whiskers grow back?
- 2 How long does it take for cats’ whiskers to grow back?
- 3 Why do cats have whiskers?
- 4 How do cat’s whiskers work?
- 5 What happens if you cut off a cat’s whiskers?