The importance of Whiskers
Ok Ok … you probably think that here at Duet Images – we have finally gone mad ;o) Why would Whiskers be important? Surely they are all the same … aren’t they? You know…they help our furry friends find their way through tight spaces don’t they? And that’s about it isn’t it? Well, we didn’t get to be Melbourne’s top Family & Pet Photography Studio simply by ignoring this wonderful (if a little hard to see) characteristic. This makes all cats seem that little bit wiser, and rather oddly; both elegant and ‘wild’ at the same time.
For starters, not all Whiskers are the same length from cat to cat. On average, those that protrude from each side of the nose are typically between 3cm and 4cm long. However, those that protrude from the front of the chin are a little shorter at around 2cm long. If a food dish has steep sides that are so close that touch both these front and side whiskers, then this can deter a feline from using the dish. This is unless they are very hungry. When they grow out of kitten-hood, it may be worth getting a wider and less steeply sloped set of water and food dishes.
Officially, Cats have between 8 and 12 long Whiskers around their nose. There are another 2 to 4 ‘shorties’ from their chin. Finally, there are between 8 and 10 ‘shorties’ above their eyes. However, if you take the time to count them yourselves, you may sometimes see considerably more of the ‘shorties’ popping out all over their face.
Emotionally too their whiskers can tell us a lot. As mentioned in our previous article, the cat’s tail is showing that tell-tale upright ‘bend’ then they are probably relaxed. What isn’t so well known, is that their Whiskers tend to bend upright in sympathy with their tail. :o) Likewise – if the tail hints at something ‘not quite right’, then their Whiskers tend to stick out almost straight in all directions. Although not easy to see from a distance, there is no doubt that this is all part of the silent communication between one Cat and another.
Some of us may have had the parental warning of – “never trim the Whiskers of our Cat” … but I only recently found out from a Vet that it is not uncommon for a Mummy Cat to chew off the Whiskers of her newborn Kittens … Go figure …??!!
Here are a couple of close-ups of those lovely Whiskers:
For some more little gems on Cat’s Whiskers have a read here
Whiskers – Cat Photographer Melbourne