According to an article on pets.webmd.com, cat’s whiskers do much more than add a touch of cuteness to their faces. They have a job to do! They are to cats as the GPS is to you when your drive your car. Whiskers are a vital and integral part of a cat’s senses.
Each whisker has hypersensitive nerves that allow cats to gauge distance and space. This allows a cat to decide if he is going to jump to reach that counter or if the box he’s eyeballing is big enough to get inside. Whiskers allow cats to get a feel for the room spatially just by walking around.
A sensory organ, called the proprioceptor, at the tip of each whisker sends messages to the feline brain. It picks up vibrations in the environment telling a cat where he is and what other creatures might be around him.
Cats also have whiskers on the backs of their legs to help them climb trees.
A cat’s whiskers also act as messengers of his moods. When a cat is relaxed, his whiskers are still, sticking straight out from the side of his head. If he is curious or on the prowl, they will be pressed somewhat forward. If he is nervous or upset, the whiskers will be pinned back towards the face.
Word to the wise, however…cat’s whiskers DO NOT require trimming! Whiskers shed. If you cut them, your cat can become disoriented and frightened. (Imagine going all day with a blindfold on. Enough said.)
Just leave your cat’s whiskers alone and let them do their job for him!