Wednesday, October 27, 2010

The mysterious cat whiskers

  • Whiskers, like hair and nailsdo fall out and are replaced.
  • Whiskers are two to three times thicker than the cat's hair.
  • Whiskers are rooted very deep in the cat's face, in an area rich in nerves and blood vessels.
  • Whiskers are roughly as wide the cat's body.
  • An average cat has about 12 whiskers on each side of the nose, which are arranged in four horizontal rows, a few on each cheek, tufts over the eyes and bristles on the chin. Whiskers may also be found on the cat's "elbows".
  • Whisker tips are sensitive to pressure.
  • Whiskers help the cat feel his way around.
  • Whiskers are so sensitive that they can detect the slightest directional change in a breeze.
  • Whiskers are also an indication of the cat's attitude. Whiskers point forward when a cat is inquisitive and friendly, and lie flat on the face when the cat is being defensive or aggressive.
  • Whisker help a cat judge whether or not he'll fit through an opening.
  • The longest whiskers belong to a female Maine Coon called Mingo, owned by Marina Merne of Turku, Finland. In July 2004, one of Mingo's whiskers measured 6.8 inches (17.4 cm)!

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