Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?

There are several wives’ tales concerning the purpose of cat whiskers. One says that a cat’s whiskers span the width of the cat’s body to help the cat determine if it can fit into small spaces. Another is that a cat’s sense of balance is controlled by its whiskers. There are even those that say that cats with more than twenty-four whiskers are psychic. But, what are the real purpose of these whiskers?

A cat’s whiskers are thick hairs that are rooted deeply in the cat’s face among a rich bed of nerves. In addition to the ones on their face (mystacial hairs), they also have whiskers on their eyebrows, chin, and “ankles” (supercilary hairs.) The hairs don’t contain nerves, but contain special sensory cells that deliver information to the cat’s brain.

What purpose do those long hairs on a cat’s face serve? What about the ones on their legs? This article takes a light-hearted look at the amazing properties of these special hairs.

The mystacial hairs, like all the other whiskers, help the cat navigate its environment. The long whiskers, just as the wives’ tale suggests, help the cat determine if it can fit into small spaces. The information the whiskers provide does not stop there. They also help cats dominate their prey. When its prey gets close to a cat’s mouth, the cat can no longer see it. The whiskers form a basket around the prey and the vibrations sent up the whiskers tell the cat where to make the killing bite. Another name for these whiskers, the vibrissae, takes its name from this very vibrational quality. The vibrissae pick up changes in wind current and pressure. This helps a cat navigate in situations where its eyesight might not be as effective, such as night hunting. These long whiskers also are a sign of a cat’s emotional state. When they are hunting or feeling aggressive, the whiskers are closer to the head. When the cat is relaxed and happy, the whiskers are pushed forward.

The supercilary hairs help cats achieve those elegant landings. Again, the vibrational sensitivity is the key. The wives’ tale about a cat’s balance being controlled by their whiskers is not accurate, even though it is rooted in truth. A cat’s balance is controlled by its inner ear, just like ours. However, if you alter the whiskers, you alter the cat’s information source. The faulty data will cause the cat to misunderstand its surroundings and the result is a less than ideal ability to maneuver.

What about the tale regarding cats with twenty-four whiskers? We know that these amazing hairs provide many benefits to the cat, but since all cats have an average of twenty-four whiskers, that would mean that most all cats are psychic. The jury is still out on that one.


Article written by April Preston

This Husky Dog Just Wants To Play With The Kitty!

Someone should teach this husky dog the proper way to play with kitties!

All she wants in this adorable video is to have a little fun, but the poor puppy just can’t figure out how to play with her new tiny friend.

Poor pup, but great to see the cat stand his ground :)

This Husky like cat.. (Funny and very cute) by Vidéos-Gratuites.com

Training Your cvjk;’ Cat to Keep Off of the Keyboard [;kncx

So, you’ve waited overnight to decide whether or not you should send that irate e-mail to your boss. Your finger is wavering between “delete” and “enter.” You decide that it is not in your best interest to send it, when WHAM! Send! Priority “high!” Curses! The cat strikes again!

A humorous article describing creative and different ways to keep your cat off the keyboard! :)

Are our cats really cyber-savvy felines deliberately sabotaging our data? No one knows for sure. What we do know is that it must be stopped. Here are some methods that you can try in an attempt to keep your cat away from your computer.

  1. Tell your cat, “no-no!” If it works, then your cat is probably actually a dog. If it does not work, proceed to step 2.
  2. Roll up some packing tape strips so that they are sticky-side-out. Give them a quick run over your pants to remove some of the stickiness. Apply the packing tape to your arms, legs, and any other point of access to your keyboard. Upon his next attempt at sabotage, your cat will run away in shock, shaking his back legs one at a time in alarm, in a frenzied attempt to remove the tape. You should then remove the tape from your cat. Repeat as needed.
  3. Think about letting your cat settle in on your keyboard. Your ability to work then becomes impossible. What can you do? Your hands are tied. Might as well take a nap.
  4. Consider designating a window of time during which your cat can use the computer on his own. By walking across your keyboard, he may be trying to tell you that he needs to Google “hairball relief” or something like that.  However, if you do let your cat use the computer, be sure and keep an eye on what exactly he’s doing. You don’t want him chatting with dogs posing as cats or finding places to score catnip.
  5. Here is a preferable method, which will cause less embarrassment to both you and your cat: place a handful of coins in a metal can next to your work area. When your cat starts to make a move toward the computer, shake the can. The noise will startle him and make him run away. Unless, of course, your cat is deaf. If that is the case, then your cat is probably really old, and you should pretty much let him do whatever his little heart desires. Klfgf.

Article written by Angela Antonelli