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Why Does My Cat Have Long Whiskers? They Look Amazing!

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Why does my cat have long whiskers? Some cat breeds definitely have a predisposition towards longer whiskers. Genes play an important role in determining whisker length.

In general, whiskers are longest on cats who live in environments with lots of obstacles, as they need the extra guidance to navigate their surroundings. However, there are also some hereditary factors at play.

For example, certain breeds of cats, such as Siamese, tend to have have naturally long whiskers, while others, such as Persians, have shorter whiskers. In addition, some breeds have been specifically bred to have longer or shorter whiskers.

For example, Scottish Fold is a cat breed that has shorter whiskers due to a genetic mutation that affects the development of their facial muscles and bones.

Ultimately, the length of a cat’s whiskers is largely determined by its breed and genetics.

However, all cats rely on their whiskers for essential functions, such as balance, navigation, and prey detection.

cat with long white drooping whiskers
Beautiful whiskers kitty!

A cat’s near vision is poor so he relies on the information from the whiskers to tell him whether it is ok to navigate through a certain place or space, A human’s sense of touch is in the fingers, a cat touches the world with his face and whiskers.

Are Long Whiskers A Sign Of A Healthy Cat?

Long whiskers are often a sign of a healthy diet however many cats have shorter whiskers and also have an excellent diet.

A diet rich in protein helps cats to develop strong and healthy whiskers whether they are long whiskers or short whiskers.

Whiskers are made of keratin, which is a type of protein. In addition, whiskers are relatively thick and contain a lot of blood vessels.

If a cat’s diet is lacking in protein, their whiskers may become thin and brittle. In severe cases, the whiskers may even fall out.

Cats benefit from a diet that is rich in essential nutrients, including omega-3 fatty acids. These nutrients are vital for maintaining a healthy coat.

This highlights the role a healthy diet plays in the overall health of our cat including whiskers. It doesn’t necessarily mean long whiskers though.

black cat with white whiskers
Divine white whiskers on this black cat!

Why Are My Cats Whiskers Longer On One Side?

There are several reasons why your cats whiskers may be longer on one side than the other.

If you have a multiple cat family it is quite possible that one of the other cats may be chewing the whiskers. This is completely normal and and happens frequently. There is really nothing you can do to prevent this unless you happen to see it happening. Observe your cats to see if this is a possibility.

Another reason and a common one is that some cats like to rub the side of their face on surfaces. Any surface and particularly where there an edge is popular, for example, the sides and edges of cupboards, table legs any furniture in general.

One of our cats loved rubbing his face along the side of my shoes when I was sitting. He did this repeatedly and quite vigorously.

If one side of the cat’s face is constantly rubbed more than the other, it stands to reason that the cat’s whiskers may be shorter as they have been rubbed away or they have broken as they have become weakened from rubbing.

Some breeds of cat do have brittle whiskers. The Sphynx or the Rex cats have very short and brittle whiskers which can break easily.

Another and possibly overlooked reason is that the cat’s whiskers may have been cut. Ok, I’m not blaming the kids but it has been known to happen.

Apart from the kids, I have read of an instance where an owner was giving the cat a treat and noticed that the cat’s whiskers were shorter on one side. It tuned out that she had used a pair of scissors to cut the treat into small pieces and as the cat was hovering close to the food bowl, he has an accidental whiskers cut. It can happen to us all.

More For You: Are your cat’s whiskers bent? We do worry about about things like this. Read all about bent whiskers in cats.

Why Does My Cat have Long Whiskers? Meaning Of Long Whiskers?

Long whiskers do not have their own specific meaning. The function of cat’s whiskers is the same whether your cat has very long whiskers, curly whiskers or short whiskers.

Cats whiskers allow them to judge whether a space is large enough for them to navigate. You may have seen your cat poke his head into a space before entering, eg a hole in the fence to see if he will be able to fit or small cardboard boxes.

This is how a cat gauges his ability to fit into a tight space and climb safely into that space. As as we know the spaces cats get into are often very small.

The phrase a cat’s whisker when used in human situations sums out this sentiment perfectly and indicates that something just fits, eg a car into a garage, a piece of furniture into a confined space and so on.

This incredibly clever cats whiskers system does run into a problem in overweight cats. The cat’s whiskers do not grow larger to accommodate the cat’s body size which has increased it’s girth. It is your responsibility to ensure that your cat is the correct weight for his age, breed and so on.

Beautiful Bengal with long whiskers

What Does Long Whiskers On A Kitten Mean?

Have you ever noticed that some kittens have longer whiskers than others? You might wonder if the length of a kitten’s whiskers has any significance.

The length of a kittens whiskers have no particular significance. Whisker length can be determined by the cat’s genes or the breed. As the kitten grows the whiskers will become more in proportion to the cat’s body.

Have you noticed that your kittens whiskers are super short? Often kitten’s whiskers are chewed by other kittens in the litter. This is very common.

The mother cat may also chew the whiskers of her offspring. The theory is so that the kitten doesn’t go wandering off.

I can’t find anything to back up that knowledge. It could well be true.

How Long Are Average Cat Whiskers?

The Maine Coon cat has a reputation for having the longest whiskers however they are not necessarily longer than other cat breeds.

The Siamese Cat, Turkish Angora and Turkish Van are also known for having long whiskers. On average, these breeds boast 12-14 cm (4.7-5.5 inches) long whiskers.

why does my cat have long whiskers?
The very long whiskers of a Turkish Van!

Conversely cat breeds that typically have shorter whiskers include the American Shorthair, British Shorthair, and Scottish Fold.

Some very long cat whiskers can extend up to 4 inches from the cat’s face.

Why Are My Cat’s Whiskers Different Lengths?

The length of a cat’s whiskers is determined by genetics, and they will usually grow to be the same length as the cat’s other whiskers.

However, damage to the whisker follicle can cause the hair to break or fall out, resulting in a shorter whisker. Sometimes the whiskers are damaged from being burnt on the ends.

So if you’re wondering why your cat’s whiskers are different lengths, it is probably because of an injury or genetic factor.

More Cat Whisker Reading: Has something happened to your cat’s whiskers? Are you wondering if cat’s whiskers grow back?

Should I Cut My Cats Long Whiskers?

Whiskers are an essential part of a cat’s sensory system, and they should never be trimmed or cut.

Whiskers are deeply rooted in a cat’s muscle and connective tissue, and they are connected to nerves that transmit information about the environment to the brain. Whiskers are coarser and thicker than regular hair and have roots that are three times deeper.

Because of this, whiskers play an important role in a cat’s ability to navigate their surroundings and avoid hazards.

Trimming or cutting a cat’s whiskers can disrupt their natural balance and cause them distress. In some cases, it can also lead to injuries. For these reasons, it is best to leave your cat’s whiskers intact.

a Norwegian Forest Cat with long white straight whiskers
A Norwegian Forest Cat showing his luxurious whiskers!

How Many Whiskers Does A Cat Have?

Cats actually have three times as many whiskers on their upper lip as they do on their lower lip.

They have approximately 12 whiskers on each side of their face, for a total of 24 whiskers. However, some cats may have more or fewer whiskers depending on their individual genetics.

vector - two cats reading in bed
Whisker conditioner is on sale dear! Whiskers are feeling a bit brittle!

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