Have you ever thought if you can cut your cat’s whiskers when they have grown too long? Or maybe they got damaged somehow and you want to shape them so they suit its face better. So here you are, double-checking whether it is advisable to cut your cat’s whispers. If you are looking for the answers to these questions, then you are at the right place!
In this article, we will discuss why whiskers are important for cats, what happens when you cut them, and why it is better to leave them all alone.
Can you cut a cat’s whiskers?
You can cut cat whiskers, but the real question is, should you? Cat whiskers may seem like ordinary hair around the cat’s body, but they are so much more than that!
Cat whiskers are found mainly near the mouth and nose area of the cat, but they are also found near the feet, eyebrow area, jaw, and chin sometimes.
Now while we understand that if some of your cat’s whiskers fall off or get damaged, it can look unsymmetrical, but this is natural.
Cat whiskers exist for a reason; they are sensitive to the atmosphere and act as a guide for the cat whenever it is moving around.
Cutting whiskers can mess with a cat mentally, and can even cause pain to your cat, hence, you should not cut cat whiskers at any cost.
Let’s look into detail what a cat whisker does, and what happens to a cat when it is cut.
Why should you avoid cutting your cat’s whiskers at all costs?
As we mentioned above, cat whiskers are very important for cats’ mobility. Not only that, but whiskers are always working! Even if the cat is resting and not walking around, the whiskers are still playing their part in sensing the environment.
There are other reasons why cat’s whiskers are important for them to survive, and some of them are as follows:
They are connected to the cat’s brain
Remember when we said that cat whiskers are sensitive to the atmosphere? That’s right, cat whiskers have a direct connection to the cat’s brain, which means the whiskers contain neurons that perform the function of transferring the data to the brain for comprehension.
If you cut the whiskers, not only will it be painful for the cat, but also cause chaos for the cat because it now finds it difficult to navigate around.
Visually though, whiskers are just like hair. They fall and grow back normally as it is a part of nature. But as soon as another entity tempers with it, that’s where the problem is caused.
Whiskers help with hunting
This applies mostly to wild cats because if whiskers can help with finding their way around, they can also help to find prey for the cats’ next meal.
Cats have a very specific way of attacking prey, the whiskers let the cat know about where the animal is so the cat can directly attack the spinal cord and kill the prey there and then.
Because whiskers are all over the cat’s body in separate areas instead of just the facial area, when they move around, they can easily detect when prey is around.
Their whiskers also allow the cat to estimate the distance from a vertical surface, so it can jump properly. Plus, whiskers are a nice addition to acting as a guide for cats along with their night-eye vision.
These instincts will now cause the cat to use its hunting capabilities and grab a good snack for itself.
If we talk about household cats, then their whiskers also perform the same function. But because they don’t hunt and just live on canned or homemade cat food, they can detect when you refill their bowl (if they are nearby) and come to eat without being called.
Therefore, if you cut off your cats’ whiskers, you will strip it of its natural hunting abilities, and your cat will find it difficult to survive in the long run.
Whiskers can tell you your cats’ mood
Well, this isn’t really a huge benefit for the cat, but if you have a moody cat as a pet, then whiskers are great.
In addition to being sensitive, whiskers provide insight into what your cat might be feeling. You will need to learn how to read those whiskers though, and reading them accurately will only come with practice.
Cats’ whiskers can show your cats’ moods like anger, sadness, worries, scared, and other feelings as well. Depending on the situation, the whiskers may rise or droop to express emotion.
Another important reason to not cut off your cat’s whiskers!
They are a blind cat’s best friend
Did you think that whiskers are only helpful for cats if their eyes work? That is not the case! A cat that is blind can most definitely use its whiskers as a guide to move around and do whatever it wants to.
The whiskers will also help alarm the blind cat for nearby danger and give the cat ample time to defend itself from a harmful situation.
While cats do have good instincts without whiskers as well, only a blind cat will appreciate the presence of whiskers on its body because it helps it live a normal cat life.
Do cats feel anything when you cut their whiskers?
When you cut a cat’s whiskers, it will feel nothing different than cutting your hair or trimming your cat’s fur. But for cats, the feeling is terrible.
Since the whiskers play a big role in the development of survival instincts of young kittens and cats, removing them not only is hurtful but can inflict pain on cats in other ways we usually can’t imagine.
Cutting whiskers feel similar to putting a cloth on a cats’ eyes; it feels lost without it. Unable to move around because there is no bodily warning about any harm it could be running into.
Some people also say that cutting a cat’s whiskers also feels like ripping a nail from the nail bed completely. Whether it’s a human nail or a cat claw, they both hurt pretty bad. But the finger still functions without it right?
The same is the case with cutting cat whiskers.
Will your cat’s whiskers grow back?
So what do you do if you accidentally cut your cats’ whiskers off?
First off, don’t worry! You don’t necessarily need to go to the vet. Cat whiskers usually do grow back but they take a while. So if you don’t see new whiskers appearing in 2 days, don’t fuss over it.
However, if your cat is behaving weirdly after the whiskers are cut, and is nervous quite often, take it to the vet.
Give it some time and hopefully, they should appear soon enough. Besides, cats shed their whiskers quite often. Not as often as fur shedding though, but definitely around a few times a year.
Whiskers wouldn’t shed naturally if they couldn’t grow back, so don’t worry about it. But be careful to not purposely cut them, because that would be going against the natural process and the whiskers could take longer to grow back.
In conclusion, can you cut cats’ whiskers?
The answer is no. You shouldn’t cut cats’ whiskers because they are more than just hair. Whiskers have many other functions in the cat’s body and play a big part in the sensing abilities of cats.
Whiskers contain neurons and they carry the data to the brain so the cat can function according to the situation.
Especially if the cat has some sort of disability, whiskers can be life-saving and allow the cat to detect danger a few meters away. A blind cat can find it easier to hunt and move around because of the whiskers.
Cutting a cat’s whiskers also hurts cats, and they can feel scared and lost without them.
Whiskers shed and grow back just like any other hair because it is a natural process, but if you go out of your way to shape them or cut them for the sake of beauty, it can negatively impact the whisker growth and your cat’s health in general.
However, if you accidentally cut your cats’ whiskers and your cat is suddenly acting very nervous and scared, you should take it to the vet and get it checked up.