Do hairless cats have whiskers? It is a bit of no and a bit of yes.
Some breeds such as the Sphynx may have no whiskers at all. They may have some whiskers but the whiskers may be sparse and often broken. This applies to most other hairless breed of cats.
See the image below for further information about hairless cat breeds and whether or not they have whiskers.
It’s a bit of a mixed bag, whiskerwise.
Do Hairless Cats Have Whiskers?
The Peterbald breed of cat is of Russian origin.
The Peterbald has a hair losing gene.
The Peterbald cat does have whiskers.
The Dwelf breed of cat is a combination of the Sphynx, Munchkin and American Curl breeds.
It may or may not have whiskers.
A Minskin is another cross breed. It has a stocky body and short legs. Whiskers are either absent or short and broken looking.
A Lykoi may be completely covered in short, sparse hair or may be hairless.
A Lykoi cat does have whiskers.
The Bambino is a crossbreed. Even as adults they can be the size of a kitten.
Whiskers on a Bambino and very short and sparse.
Related: The opposite of very short whiskers is very long whiskers. Does your cat have long whiskers?
Teeny Tiny Whiskers On A Hairless Cat
How Do Hairless Cats Live Without Whiskers?
Whiskers are sensitive to touch and vibration, which gives the cat information about its surroundings.
The root of the whisker is embedded deep within the cat’s skin. The whiskers give the cat access to information about their immediate environment.
The whiskers are incredibly sensitive, due to the large number of nerve endings that are located at the base of each hair.
These nerve endings send information back to the brain, allowing the cat to gauge the distance, shape and size of objects around them.
This ability to ‘feel’ their surroundings is incredibly important for cats, as it allows them to navigate in the dark and helps them to avoid danger.
The whiskers also help cats to judge whether they can fit through a space – if the whiskers touch the sides of a gap, the cat knows that they won’t be able to fit through.
So, how do hairless cats live without whiskers?
Related: Some cats have whiskers that are different colors? Read more about whiskers changing color.
How Do Hairless Cats Judge The Width of Openings With No Whiskers?
Without whiskers, a hairless cat such as the Sphnyx can easily misjudge distances and end up getting injured or getting stuck.
Hairless Cats Can Have A Problem Moving Around In The Dark
They also have a harder time feeling their way around in the dark.
Whiskers are particularly useful at night. Cats eyes do not focus as well at night as the do during daylight hours and their depth perception is lacking.
Whiskers enhance an animal’s ability to be aware of its environment in the dark. Therefore a lack of whiskers can make navigating in the dark more difficult for hairless cats.
Hairless Cats Need To Be Kept Indoors Whiskers Or No Whiskers
Hairless cats need to be indoor cats. With no fur or very little fur for protection of the skin, they are susceptible to the heat and also to cold weather.
Hairless breeds are often seen wearing little sweaters like the one below to help keep them warm and very cute they look too.
When choosing or making cosy clothing for your Sphnyx make sure that it is made from a soft fabric that will not irritate the cat’s skin.
The clothing also needs to laundered frequently. Use a non perfumed, eco friendly detergent or washing powder. Rinse thoroughly to avoid any potential skin irritation.
Conversely, being exposed to the sun can cause sunburn and damage to the skin.
Another good reason to keep your Sphnyx or hairless cat breed indoors where they will be protected from the weather.
Remember that hairless cats have never had whiskers or perhaps very short or broken whiskers.
As this is all they have known, we presume they don’t have whisker envy. Well, we don’t know about it if they have.
Related: Do your cats whiskers look singed? Yes, it does happen and candles are often the culprit of singed whiskers. Watch those candles when cats are around.