No, cats do not use their whiskers to keep balance. Just like humans, cats have an organ in their inner ear that regulates the sense of balance. This doesnít mean you can go ahead and cut off a catís whiskers, though. Cats use their whiskers for many other purposes that are important to their survival and well-being.
Although a catís whiskers are a type of hair, they are much different than the hair that makes up their coat. These hairs are much thicker and stiffer. They are also more deeply rooted than their fur hairs. Cats can have whiskers not only on the pads above their mouth to the sides of the nose, but also above the eyes and on the sides of their head.
Whiskers, officially known by the Latin term vibrissae, are primarily used for navigation in low light. Navigation in low light is important for hunting. Even if your cat doesnít hunt for its food, it is important for your cat to feel as though it can. This also helps if the cat has to defend itself in a fight. Its whiskers can give the cat direction on when and where to bite.
Inside small spaces, a catís whiskers extend wider than their head. When the whiskers brush up against something, it lets the cat know an object is there without having to touch or see it. When the whiskers touch something on both sides, it helps the cat judge who big the space is it is in.
Cats also use their whiskers to display their mood and send messages to other cats. When cats are curious, their whiskers move forward. They also move forward when a cat is threatening another cat. When taking a defensive stance, a catís whiskers will lie back.
You should never cut a catís whiskers under any circumstance, but it is completely natural for one to fall out every now and again. When they fall out naturally, a new one usually grows in its place. If several fall out in a short period or they donít seem to be growing back, you should take the cat to a vet, because it may be a symptom of a larger health problem.
Posted 4202 day ago