Why do cats have whiskers? Is it just to give them their striking good looks? Or do they serve another purpose? Here are some reasons below.
Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? A Few Reasons
According to W. Mark Cousins, DVM, who was quoted by Pets WebMD he says, “They are a powerful and important part of how a cat senses the world. Cats that are blind can navigate rooms very well by just walking around and letting their whiskers get a sense of where they are spatially.”
This sentiment is also echoed by VCA Hospitals website where is it says that “whiskers are specifically tuned sensory equipment that guide a cat through daily functions. These specialized hairs aid vision and help a kitty navigate his environment, providing additional sensory input, much like antennae on insects. Although whiskers are called “tactile hairs”, they don’t actually feel anything. They simply transmit information to sensory cells when they detect objects or movement.”
The VCA Hospitals Website goes on to say, “Cats are known for their great senses of smell and hearing, but feline vision is not so wonderful. Cats see better at a distance but have difficulty focusing on objects up close.” It goes on to say that whiskers “respond when touched by the smallest particles. When a tiny speck of dust falls on a whisker above his eye, a cat will blink or shake his head and fling it off. This reaction protects the eye, which can be injured by even a tiny dust particle. “
Cats have whiskers to help them navigate through day to day life. Everything from walking, climbing, seeing and even eating, whiskers are involved in helping a cat to do these things. They are extremely important. It true that whiskers make a cat look good but more importantly it helps them to have a happy and full life.