Pets.ca - Pet forum for dogs cats and humans 

-->

Cats Whiskers

tiggeriphic
November 9th, 2007, 04:31 PM
I have searched the archives and did a general search on this and haven't found what I was looking for. I know that if cats whiskers fall out they grow back and get replaced, however I was wondering what happens if they get cut by little girls scissors.

My poor cat looks a little off now since she only decided to cut one side or she just didn't have time before I caught her. If they won't grow back any suggestions on what I can do so that she has both sides back?

Thank you in advance for any help or advice.

Winston
November 9th, 2007, 07:32 PM
I think they will grow in but I thought someone said once that cats use their whiskers to sense / balance ..not really sure but someone will likely be along soon with some info..

Cindy

ancientgirl
November 9th, 2007, 07:49 PM
The ones that are cut won't grow out, but they'll fall out eventually, like regular hair and grow back.

I looked it up online when Vlad's white whisker broke off and then fell out. Your kitty might look odd for a while though.

rjesak
November 9th, 2007, 08:27 PM
My vet told me once that if you cut a cat's whiskers on only one side, they'll walk around in circles. I've never seen if that's true. If it is, should you cut the other side to match? I don't know - hopefully someone who's seen it can tell you.

Good luck! Maybe little girl could be spoken to about getting her hair cut without permission! :D My niece used to "groom" the dogs whenever she could get ahold of the dog and scissors. That dog got some really interesting hair cuts!!! :laughing:

tiggeriphic
November 9th, 2007, 09:13 PM
Thank you all.. and just so you know she doesn't walk in circles :laugh: she was talked to about it and hopefully she won't do it again. I just wasn't sure if I should "help" them fall out.. cuz I sure don't want to be plucking out her whiskers not my idea of a fun time. But at the same time I don't want it to impair her in anyway, she is after all one of my babies.

growler~GateKeeper
November 10th, 2007, 02:36 AM
I just wasn't sure if I should "help" them fall out.. cuz I sure don't want to be plucking out her whiskers not my idea of a fun time. But at the same time I don't want it to impair her in anyway, she is after all one of my babies.

NO definately do NOT pull them out - that might prevent them from growing back. The whiskers have connections to the nerve system it would cause GREAT discomfort if you removed them.

Leave them as is - do not cut the other side, they will naturally fall out & grow back when ready. :thumbs up

A cat has about twenty-four movable whiskers, twelve on each side of its nose (some cat's may have more). Whiskers are more than twice as thick as ordinary hairs, and their roots are set three times deeper than hairs in a cat's tissue. Richly supplied with nerve endings, whiskers give cats extraordinarily detailed information about air movements, air pressure and anything they touch.

The scientific word for whiskers is vibrissae, a name that suggests their exquisite sensitivity to vibrations in air currents. As air swirls and eddies around objects, whiskers vibrate too. Cats use messages in these vibrations to sense the presence, size, and shape of obstacles without seeing or touching them. Whiskers are also good hunting tools. A cat whose whiskers have been damaged may bite the wrong part of a mouse it's attacking, indicating that signals from these delicate structures provide cats with vital information about the shape and activity of its prey - interestingly, whiskers also help cats smell odours.

Whiskers can also be a bother to a cat, especially if he tries to eat food out of a bowl. The end of the whiskers touching the side of the bowl transfer irritating sensations to his brain, making it hard for him to continue eating.

Whiskers are extremely sensitive as they are closely connected to the nervous system. Any damage to his whiskers will cause your cat discomfort, and he may become confused or disoriented. DON'T ever trim his whiskers, and DON'T ever wash them, he will keep them clean himself.

Whiskers help the cat feel his way around. Whiskers are so sensitive that they can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze. At night, for example, this helps a cat slink its way through a room and not bump into anything. How? The air currents in the room change depending on where pieces of furniture are located. As the cat walks through the room and approaches the couch, he'll know which direction to turn based on the change in air current around the couch.
In addition to having sensory properties, a cat's whiskers are also a good indicator of his mood. When a cat is angry or feels defensive, the whiskers will be pulled back. Otherwise, when the cat is happy, curious or content, the whiskers will be more relaxed and pushed forward.

But the whisker's primary use is to help a cat judge whether or not he'll fit through an opening. A cat's whiskers are roughly as wide as his body -- sort of a natural ruler. The whisker tips are sensitive to pressure. You'll probably see a cat stick his head in and out of an opening before he puts his body in. He's judging the width of the opening, and is determining if he can fit into it.

rjesak
November 10th, 2007, 08:00 AM
I'm glad to know they don't walk in circles! I had always kind of wondered... :D When I got Zander, he had no whiskers... That's not true, he had stubble. Someone had obviously cut his whiskers super short. That's when the vet told me that people cut cat's whiskers for fun! :yell::eek::frustrated::yuck:

That was a really good post, growler. I knew they used their whiskers as sensory organs, but not any of the specifics.

kiara
November 11th, 2007, 06:30 PM
I really don't know if the whiskers will grow back. Cats need them for night time. I think everyone is missing the point here!!!! Why is a little girl cutting the cat's whiskers off ??? You must explain to her that what she has done has hurt the kittie and she must never do it again!!!! Next time she will cut his ears off, then what???? You will have to keep an eye on her. Sorry I seem harsh.