Whether you describe yourself as a cat person, a dog person, or simply an animal lover, who doesn’t love random cat facts? Here are a few fascinating facts about our purring pals (in particular, their whiskers!) to wow your clients with.
8 interesting cat facts
Cats’ whiskers are quite weird. But aside from making a kitty look cute, whiskers serve an array of fascinating functions. Intrigued? Keep on reading to discover why cats have whiskers.
1. Whiskers are an in-built measuring tape
Whiskers are generally the width of a cat’s body, which makes them a handy measuring tool. A cat soon learns that if their face and whiskers can fit through a hole or gap, so too can its entire body fit. Handy, right?
2. Pawfect protection
Similar to human eyelashes, a cat’s whiskers safeguard a kitty’s eyes and face. When exploring, the cat’s whiskers will come into contact with sharp or dangerous objects and plants first. This can be helpful in protecting the cat’s eyes.
Furthermore, whiskers can sense the approach of a predator, which helps to keep our purring pals safe.
3. Whiskers can showcase a cat’s emotions
Here’s an interesting cat fact. Just like a dog’s tail, a cat’s whiskers can offer an insight into how the cat is feeling. Rigid, tight whiskers may indicate a cat is feeling threatened, while relaxed whiskers suggest a feline is feeling quite relaxed.
4. Trimming a cat’s whiskers is a no-no
Again, similar to the rule for human eyelashes, a cat’s whiskers should never be trimmed. A cat’s whiskers play numerous important roles when it comes to cat safety and security. If you cut a cat’s whiskers the cat can become anxious, disorientated and may find it very difficult to confidently judge their environment.
5. A cat has whiskers in more places than one
We all know a cat has whiskers at the sides of its mouth but here’s another cat fact—that’s not the only place a kitty has whiskers. Cats also have whiskers on their chin, above their eyes, across their jawline, and on the back on their front legs!
6. ‘Whisker’ is an ancient word
The word ‘whisker’ dates back to the 1600s. The old-English word refers to anything that sweeps or whisks. Indeed, a cat’s whiskers are like mini brooms that sweep away dirt and dust particles.
7. A cat’s whiskers help it to jump successfully
Cats are good at jumping—and landing on their feet. While you might think this is to do with the cat’s long tail, it’s more so thanks to their clever whiskers.
At the end of each whisker is a sensory organ (a proprioceptor), which gauges the position of the cat’s body and limbs and sends this information back to the brain. This vital data, along with the cat’s marvelous vision, enables our feline friends to make those nimble leaps without falling in a heap.
8. It’s important to safeguard a cat’s whiskers
Given that a cat’s whiskers play such a remarkable role in regards to a cat’s safety and wellbeing, it’s super important to let after them. Pet parents should be advised never to cut or pull a cat’s whiskers. When petting cats, we should run our hand along the grain of the whisker, never against the grain.
So, it seems that whiskers make a great topic of conversation when talking cat facts! However, a cat’s whiskers do need to be taken seriously. We should acknowledge the fact that a cat’s whiskers are both adorable and essential—and, as such, require optimum care and protection.
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