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Why does a cat have a mustache?

It’s hard to imagine a cat without a luxurious mustache! However, nature did not invent them for beauty. Century after century, the mustache helped cats survive in the wild, and today, domestic hunters can not do without them either. So what is their function? About this in our article.

What is the name of a mustache for cats and what are they?
The mustache in cats grows not only under the nose, but also on the forehead, near the eyes, on the chin and even on the paws. More precisely, it is correct to call them not “mustache”, but “vibrissa”. These are sensitive, hard hairs that are longer than the coat. There are about 40 pieces of such hairs on the cat’s body, and only 24 of them are on the face.

Unlike simple hair, vibrissae are surrounded by hundreds of nerve endings and muscle fibers, and their root goes deep into the tissue.

Each vibrissa is a separate organ of touch, which 24 hours a day uninterruptedly transmits a signal to the animal’s brain. Vibrissas are present not only in cats, but also in many other mammals, including dogs.
Why does a cat need a mustache?
Vibrisses catch the slightest fluctuations in air and help cats navigate in space. With such “devices” the cat will not crash into objects even at night in an unfamiliar room, the mouse always learns and accurately calculates the jump distance.

Vibrisses help a cat understand if food is safe. In the wild, the hunter seems to wrap his arms around the mustache, determining whether the prey is dead and whether it is possible to start a meal. In a similar way, the pet analyzes the food and goodies at home. Caution in such matters is never superfluous!

Vibrisses serve cats to communicate with each other and with humans. By the position of the mustache, the attentive owner will always determine the mood of the pet.

Can a cat have a mustache?
Can cats be shortened? Any specialist will answer: in no case. Vibrissa is an important organ, the loss of which will result in severe stress for the cat. A cat that has suddenly lost its mustache will become worse oriented in space and will feel defenseless and vulnerable until new ones grow.

Adults must explain to children that it is impossible to pull out a cat’s mustache. In addition to the loss of functions, it is also very painful, since vibrissae, unlike wool, are rooted deep in the fabric. The mustache of cats must remain untouched!

Why does a cat need vibrissa?
What to do if a cat has a mustache?
Now we know how important a mustache is for a cat. But what if they suddenly started falling out? Do I need to sound the alarm?

From time to time, vibrissae are updated in the same way as animal hair and human hair. Therefore, if you notice a fallen or broken mustache at home, do not worry. This is normal!

Another thing is if the vibrissae fall out and break in large quantities. This is a signal that something is wrong with the body. Perhaps this is a matter of seasonal restructuring, or perhaps an internal affliction. Do not ignore the problem and consult your veterinarian.

Do cats grow a mustache?
In place of the fallen mustache, new ones will surely appear. Vibrissas grow about three times faster than regular hair, which once again speaks of their importance for the pet. No mustache for cats anywhere!

Take care of your cat’s mustache, because they take care of her!

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