The Cat's Whiskers
By Dr. Jill Kirk, Cat Depot Veterinarian
Cats have whiskers on more than just their lips - they have them on both upper and lower lips, as well as above both eyes and on either side of the face between the ear and mouth. Cats also have the same hairs on the backside of their front legs, by the feet.
All these hairs are called "vibrissae" and their main function is to help with spatial awareness. Whiskers are incredibly sensitive, even to breeze, but especially to touch. Most cats would prefer a wider bowl, so their whiskers aren't pushed back while eating or drinking.
The whiskers on the lips can also be used as mood indicators - pushed back means "I don't like this" or "I'm scared" while gently out to the sides means "I'm relaxed" and pointed forward means, "What's that? It looks interesting!"
Whiskers grow, and fall out, but should never be cut. Cutting them can cause your cat to feel off balance, it can become dizzy and even ill.
Whiskers can change color (turn white) as your cat ages.