Is It Okay to Trim My Cat's Curly Whiskers?

Jun 28th 2012  |   3 Contributions

Kattie asks, “My cat, Tweak, has long curly whiskers that get in his eyes. Will it bother him if I trim them?”

My first reaction to this question was a resounding “Nooo, please do not trim whiskers!” Whiskers, also known as vibrissae if you want to be fancy, are essential to a cat’s equilibrium and spatial recognition. There are several sets of whiskers around a cat’s body, from their face to their hind legs. Rich blood vessels and nerves connect from the whisker pads to their brains, which can alert them to minute changes in their environment.

Some breeds of cats have curly whiskers, and it’s perfectly normal. Don’t try to style your kitty’s face. The length and curl of the whiskers are sufficient for his needs.

This song comes to you from the Sante d’Or Foundation, a shelter based in Los Angeles, who co-hosted my show in L.A. this week. Special thanks to Jacquie for hosting Ask a Cat Lady and to Rain, Orangey, and Sophie for putting up with our shenanigans.

"Curly Whiskers" by Sarah Donner

Your pussy's vibrissae sounds dirty, but it’s not
It’s Latin for "whiskers," part of a cat that you shouldn’t cut

It’s a navigation aid, like GPS made for their face
Special follicles rooted to their brain
It’s like an insect’s antennae
And if you cut them off it won’t cause much pain
But it will ruin their whole day when they run into a wall with their face

Your pussy's vibrissae sounds dirty, but it's not
It’s Latin for "whiskers," part of a cat that you shouldn't cut

And the whiskers also tell their mood
If they're pulled back, they are mad at you
If they’re down, it's happy and relaxed
Straight forward means things are tense
And if you cut 'em off they would be confused
Equilibrium off and psyche bruised
It's animal abuse

Your pussy's vibrissae sounds dirty, but it’s not
It’s Latin for "whiskers," part of a cat that you shouldn't cut

SOURCES: HowStuffWorks, Cat Forum, Petfinder

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