Firstly, my thanks to the photographer who kindly granted me a license to publish this photograph here. I added the text etc. You can see that the whiskers have been cut (trimmed is a kinder description). The cat looks miserable too! I am not sure that the facial expression is as a result of losing half his whiskers. It might be. I am not criticisng anyone by the way.
If the expression is linked to the trimming, the cat would be justified in feeling fed up because of the reasons stated on the cat whiskers picture.
When you play with your cat with a feather on a stick you will see an immediate and rapid reaction in the positioning of a cat’s whiskers. They become fanned forward as if reaching out to touch the feather. They are doing just that. The same thing happens when a cat grabs prey in the dusk of early evening light. The whiskers will wrap around the prey in the area where the cat will bite at the nape of the prey’s neck to severe the spinal cord and kill the prey.
A cat’s whiskers are long, thick, stiff hairs with roots that are set deep into the cat’s tissues. Whiskers are generously supplied with nerve endings. Even when you touch them your cat might show a bit of displeasure. We don’t know what it feels like. Best leave them alone.
When they are trimmed like this, their function is severely curtailed and upsetting to the cat. Some people think that whiskers are the width of a cat’s body to allow her to gauge whether she can pass through narrow passageways. I am not sure that this is true, but my lady cat who passed on recently had very long, beautiful whiskers and she was a bit fat! Was the length of her whiskers linked to the expanded width of her girth? Read more: Cat Whiskers. Photo by Pieter & Renée Lanser on Flickr. The cat is male. Auntie Ulrica trimmed the whiskers.
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