Many animal species have mustaches, including our domestic felines. But what can they be used for?
What is a mustache?
The “vibrissae” more commonly called mustaches, are thick hairs whose diameter can be 5 to 6 times wider than a classic hair. They are connected to several sensory sensors in the skin.
They can be found in different places on the body of cats: the muzzle, the cheeks, above the eyelids but also on the plantar surface of their forelegs.
What are they for ?
Their main role is the tactile exploration of their environment. Indeed, in addition to vision, whiskers will allow cats to master their environment by precisely detecting air movements and vibrations. Thus, they can calculate their trajectory quite precisely during jumps, distinguish reliefs and obstacles, move through narrow passages, even at night!
Thanks to this notion of tactile exploration, whiskers make our cats very good hunters. Have you ever noticed the movements of your cat’s whiskers during a play session? When hunting, felines use it to locate prey and catch it with great precision. Then, once caught, the vibrissae also inform the cat about the state of life of its prey.
Finally, in a more anecdotal way, it would seem that whiskers are also a means of communication.
Preserve them well!
Whiskers are a real 6 for your catth sense that allows him to communicate, move and hunt day and night. It is therefore important to protect them and not to cut them!
It may happen that you find a mustache in the places where your cat lives: don’t panic, whiskers like all hair fall and grow back!