Whiskers are the long, stiff hairs that grow on either side of a cat’s nose and above its mouth. They are also called vibrissae, from the Latin word for “bristle” or “hair.”
Whiskers help your cat navigate through life by giving her touch-based feedback about her surroundings. The whiskers are linked to nerves in the cat’s face that send signals directly to the brain. Whiskers are very sensitive to touch and help cats sense their environment — including objects near them and vibrations in the air.
Whiskers also play an important role in how cats interact with one another. Cats use their whiskers as a way of communicating with other cats and humans alike. When they rub up against each other, they might use their whiskers to communicate their mood or intentions. And when they rub up against us, they’re not just being affectionate — they’re using our skin texture as a map!
Last modified: August 18, 2022