There are a lot of different opinions on cutting cat whiskers. We researched the issue to shed some light on it so you know the right thing to do.

Cats can make anyone fall in love with them with their looks, behaviors and characters. (Well, actually not everyone but you know, as always “haters gonna hate”, right?) Especially their whiskers are so cute that they make you want to touch them. But what does cutting cat whiskers do for them?

You should know that the whiskers are very important for cats. A lot of pets have whiskers or similar hairs on different parts of their bodies but whiskers are one of the most important parts of a cat’s body. Cats use their whiskers to sense their surroundings, vibrations and people. A cat’s whiskers are as important to it as our eyes and ears to us, humans. They need their whiskers to lead a comfortable life.

A lot of cat owner or cat lover has thought “Can you cut a cat’s whiskers off?” or “What happens if you cut a cat’s whiskers?” As we know how important whiskers are to a cat, we should also know that they must not be cut. In the past, some people tried cutting cats’ whiskers to see what difference it made. It is rumored that a cat without whiskers loses its balance and dies. Actually this urban legend has been busted a long time ago as this is completely impossible.

A cat’s balance is provided by a part in its brain and not their whiskers. They just use their whiskers to find their ways, enter a tight spot or hunt. As a result; cats do not die when you cut their whiskers off instead they just keep doing whatever they do and walk as balanced as when they had their whiskers. However, they may have difficulty finding their ways, jumping and hunting. If you wonder why cat’s have whiskers and want to learn more about their functions, you may want to have a look at why do cat’s have whiskers but now let’s find out the answer to the question “Can you trim cat whiskers?” or “Can you cut a cat’s whiskers?” together.

What Happens if You Cut Them?
What Happens if You Cut Them?

Can You Cut Cat Whiskers?

The structure of a cat’s whiskers is thick and their roots are located way under the skin. There are nerve endings around the roots and at the tips of the whiskers. Cats sense the vibrations around thanks to the nerves at the roots and inside their whiskers. Since cats are very curious creatures, we can even say that their whiskers provide them a means to pass time.

Cats measure distances with their whiskers first and then act when they jump to high places or enter tight spaces. Especially if your cat sleeps at dark places, it touches objects with its whiskers to find directions because its eyes do not see well under a certain distance. You may also see it rub its whiskers to the furniture or wherever it wants to climb. We can say that it measures the distance and plan what it is going to do during this rubbing process.

All cats use their whiskers first and then act when they will jump or climb to a place or misbehave. Cats don’t like their whiskers touched and you can see it react or pull itself back when you touch their whiskers. It may even react during its sleep if you touch its whiskers due to the nerve cells in the whiskers. Cat whiskers should never be cut, pulled, plucked or trimmed.

Especially small children’s and babies’ attentions are drawn to their long whiskers and they want to touch or pull them.  You must make sure your child does not pull your cats whiskers or bother them. Otherwise unintended and unwanted consequences may occur, although cats are almost always good with babies. Therefore the answer to “Can I cut my cat’s whiskers?” is absolutely a big NO, you should not!

Can You Trim Cat Whiskers?
Can You Trim Cat Whiskers?

What Happens When You Cut a Cat’s Whiskers?

Cats need their whiskers to navigate, jump, leap, climb and hunt. If we think about the consequences of cutting a cat’s whiskers; a cat does not become disabled or die if it has no whiskers but cutting its whiskers leave it without one of the most important organs it has.  They can’t find their ways or navigate. But the most important of it all they can’t leap or jump comfortably and have difficulty entering tight spaces.

For instance, most people use their right hands. Imagine losing your right thumb. You do not die due to losing your right thumb or lose any vital functions however you start having difficulties during your daily tasks. You can understand the importance of whiskers and the consequences of losing it a lot better when you imagine losing one of your organs which is as important as a cat’s whiskers.

Do Whiskers Grow Back if Cut?

One of the most frequently asked questions by the cat owners is Do cat whiskers grow back?. You may observe some unusual behaviors by your cat if you trimmed, accidentally cut or pulled its whiskers or if one of its whiskers broke while playing.

Since the whiskers are a very important part of their lives and their bodies, a cat without whiskers might become more fragile or sensitive. They can’t measure the distances to places they want to jump or leap so they can fall short or leap longer than they want to, or get stuck to tight places being unable to understand the dimensions of the space.

You may realize your cat getting unwilling to jump or leap or even get inactive after a while. Whiskers are basically hairs and of course they grow back when cut, trimmed or broken. However, there are a lot of different car breeds and all cats react differently to not having whiskers. If you see your cat acting unusual or different, you may want to see your veterinary.  At least you will feel at ease.

Urban Legends about Cat Whiskers

There are some wrong but widespread claims about cats’ whiskers. It is time we bust some urban legends. Here are the claims which are not true:

  • Cats die if their whiskers are cut.
  • Cats become unbalanced and disabled if their whiskers fall off or get cut.
  • Cat whiskers do not grow back.
  • When a cat’s whiskers is cut, it bleeds and the bleeding does not stop.
  • If a cat’s whiskers are cut, its depression or mood change does not ever get better.

These claims can’t be further from the truth. All these claims are just scientifically busted urban legends. As mentioned before, whiskers are very important to cats and they help cats with some of the most important daily tasks. Please do not touch your cat’s whiskers or cut them. In this post we tried to answer “what happens if you cut a cat’s whiskers”.

Please leave a comment below and tell us about your opinions. Do not forget to mention your cat’s behaviors. Does it allow you touch its whiskers or what is its reaction if it lets you touch them?

Have a purrderful day!

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Author Yusuf Can Ekinci

Father of two cats named Tzatziki & Ouzo. Our small family tries to live without harming any living being. I am a small time farmer who tries to apply natural farming methods. Favorite activities: watching wild life at nature, passing time at home with my cats...

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