A cat’s whiskers are more than just hair. They function as a sense of touch that allows cats to detect and locate prey. These tufts of fur can also be used as “touch organs” to detect airflow around them. These special sense organs can even help cats “see” in the dark. Cats can also determine the exact dimensions and location of objects they come into contact with. To understand the full range of uses for cat whiskers, read on.
A cat’s whiskers are made from a stiff protein called keratin. They are packed with sensory cells and blood vessels that transmit vibrations to the cat’s brain. The hairs are similar to insect antennae than human fingertips and are used to compensate for the poor cat’s vision in close quarters. Cats use their whiskers to navigate through their environment. And because the whiskers are so sensitive, they can sometimes be quite uncomfortable in narrow bowls.
Sense air currents
The vibrissae in cats’ whiskers help them to sense water and air currents. They help them orient in space and calculate when to turn around during a fall. They are also helpful when hunting, as they detect minute changes in air currents and help them orient in space. Cats use their whiskers to sense minute changes in the surrounding environment. While humans do not have this ability, many terrestrial mammals do.
Perception of size
A cat’s whiskers are genetically predetermined to be the same width as its body. It uses these whiskers to judge the width of spaces and obstacles around it. They do not grow longer as a cat gains weight, although this may have an effect on its perception of size. Moreover, cats use whiskers to navigate in the dark. This is because the whiskers can sense slight changes in air currents around objects.
Did you know that cats use their whiskers to communicate? Their incredibly long, thick whiskers are more than just aesthetic. In fact, they play a vital role in feline body language, allowing them to sense and communicate with their environment. When cats paw surfaces, they use their whiskers to “see” and “feel” what is going on around them. Whiskers also help cats communicate, as they can signal different emotions and moods to other cats.
Protecting the eyes
A cat’s whiskers are strategically placed around and above the eyes. When a cat’s whiskers come in contact with a blade of grass, they will move away from the blade and divert dust from the eye. A cat’s whiskers are extremely sensitive and can detect changes in air current. This is how cats can see and maneuver in the dark. Whiskers also play an important role in the expression of a cat’s emotions. When a cat is relaxed or curious, the whiskers will be loose and forward facing. In contrast, when a cat is scared, the whiskers will be pinned against the face.
Did you know that cats have built-in radars and GPS systems in their whiskers? Using these sensory organs, a cat can judge distances and hunt effectively in dark and small spaces. Those whiskers even help the cat avoid collision with a wall or other object. In addition to helping cats navigate, whiskers also aid in communication. Here’s how. The following are some reasons why cats have these sensitive organs.