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Whiskers: The Natural GPS for Your Cat

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Party Marty here! It’s 2015! You have not seen or heard from me since last year! Did you miss me? I bet you did! How could you live without this adorable cat in your life? Despite my need to continue with my on-going project of napping, I am taking a break from that commitment to once again share some information and further educate our audience. Today’s topic: Why do cats have whiskers?

According to an article on pets.webmd.com, adding a touch of cuteness to our faces is not the only purpose of those stiff hairs! They have a job to do! They are to us as the GPS is to you when your drive your car. Whiskers are a vital and integral part of our senses.

Each whisker has hypersensitive nerves that allow us to gauge distance and space. This allows us to decide if we are going to jump to reach that counter or if the box we are eyeballing is big enough to get inside. Whiskers allow cats to get a feel for the room spatially just by walking around. Heck! It’s so easy…we could do it with our eyes closed!

A sensory organ located at the tip of each whisker sends messages to our brains. It picks up vibrations in our environment telling us where we are and what other creatures might be around us. (Get out of the way, Jessie! So sorry…the dog got in my way just now!)

We also have whiskers on the backs of our legs to help us climb trees.

The whiskers also act as messengers of our moods. When we are relaxed, our whiskers are still, sticking straight out from the side of our head. If we are curious or on the prowl, they will be pressed somewhat forward. If we are nervous or upset, the whiskers will be pinned back towards the face.

Word to the wise, however…our whiskers DO NOT require trimming! Whiskers shed. If you cut them, we can become disoriented and frightened. (Imagine going all day with a blindfold on. Enough said.)

Just leave our whiskers alone and let them do their job for us! Now…if you and Jessie will politely leave ME alone, I can get back to my other, more pressing endeavor…naptime!

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