Categories: coat

Stiffened hairs above domestic cat eyes are for triggering blink reflex

This is just a snippet of information about the domestic cat’s anatomy which I bumped into on my travels.


You know those stiff hairs above the domestic cat’s eyes which are a bit like whiskers but shorter, thinner and less stiff: they are there to protect the eyes by triggering the blink reflex. So when a domestic cat is in a fight and these hairs are moved/dislodged the cat closes his eyes.

Hairs above eyes trigger the blink reflex. Photo: Michael

There are obviously numerous instances when these hairs can be moved for whatever reason and they should under normal circumstances trigger a blink reflex in the domestic cat.

PS: Whiskers are modified hairs and where they are attached to the skin they are equipped with receptors which tell the cat how far they are bent on how quickly. Domestic cats have these different hairs also on the sides of the head and near the ankles. They work in tandem with the whiskers attached to the muzzle to enable domestic cats to judge the width of openings they can squeeze through. Muzzle whiskers also help the cat to ‘feel’ prey and assess where to bite.

In addition, information gathered from these hairs help to keep the cat up right together with the vestibular system in the inner ear which contributes to the cats amazing sense of balance.

Please comment here using either Facebook or WordPress (when available).
Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

View Comments

  • Yes, cats are amazing creatures. They would be the animal I'd want to be able to tell me all about the natural world, in the ways they are better adapted.

Recent Posts

Has this cat hater gone too far with his DIY automatic anti-cat device?

NEWS AND COMMENT: A peeved and frankly angry Perth, Australian man built a device which…

1 hour ago

Should I let my cat lick me?

This very fundamental question is asking whether cat owners/guardians they should let their cat lick…

4 hours ago

3 reasons why you might lose your cat to your neighbour

We know that we don't truly own our domestic cat companions. We might think that…

6 hours ago

What type of cat is the Whiskas cat?

The Whiskas cat 2020, judging by the latest videos on YouTube, is likely to be…

17 hours ago

Russian stray cat survives minus 27 degrees Celsius

Below is a stitched together narrative from many Twitter tweets in Russian (translated by Google)…

20 hours ago

How many cats are there in the UK 2020?

You have to specify the date in order to accurately state the number of cats…

1 day ago