Wednesday, March 23, 2016

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?
Hover over the images for secret captions.

Welcome to another edition of From a Cat's Perspective™ where Ms Savvy Do and I both give you our opinions perspective on a topic and then you give us yours. Today's topic pertains to a cat's whiskers. Did you know cat's have a total of 24 whiskers?

Savvy brought it to my attention that some humans might actually cut their cat's whiskers. At first I didn't understand until my colleague told me that show dogs are sometimes axed to be clean shaven although their whiskers might not serve the same purpose as our whiskers. So I ax you and Savvy: should humans cut cat's whiskers and do cat's like having their whiskers cut?

I can't believe this is really an issue. Year's ago one of Pop's friends with small children said one of the brats cut the cat's whiskers off on one side. That has to be both humiliating, painful and not very smart of the brat. TW often cuts off my whiskers in photos, especially when she's shopping me into various scenes like the newsroom above. While that hurts my pride, it is nothing compared to a cat who's whiskers—scientifically called vibrissae—are actually mutilated.

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?
My whiskers cut off by the flashy box.

Without axing Mr. Google, I know that our whiskers help us balance, navigate and judge to see if we can fit into tight spaces. They act like our feelers. Without whiskers we could get caught in all sorts of predicaments. They are especially useful in helping a blind cat navigate their environment. My whiskers are sensitive and hurt when I eat and they rub on the side of the bowl. Some call it whisker fatigue. I wonder what kind of sadist would cut those sensitive feelers? The pain—and there is pain—must be extraordinary!

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?
Some stunning whiskers and eye lashes.

Before I send it over to my colleague Savvy, I gotta tell you about the peep's fascination with whiskers. While they would never pull mine out, they collect the ones that fall out.

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?
Some of the long stunning whiskers I've donated to Pop.

TW also has a collection of whiskers dating back to Faith. Can you believe that? In fact, she made art out of them by attaching them to Scruffy the Cat. Geez! *hangs head* Yeah, she's pathetic.

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?
Actual cat whiskers from Faith and Nicky.

I'm sorry you had to witness this but at least they were donated and not cut. This cat does NOT believe that anyone has the right to maim a cat by cutting, harvesting or plucking their whiskers.

Let's see if Savannah on the West Coast waiting shares my feelings. She's the brains of this operation so I'm sure she's got a lot of insight to offer. Whatcha got for us, Savvy?

From a Cat's Perspective: Should A Cat's Whiskers Be Cut?

What's your perspective on our topic? We'd like to hear from you. Leave a comment and pop over to my FB page to join a discussion there.


Summer at said...

I can't imagine any human cutting a cat's whiskers - what a cruel and idiotic thing to do! If that happened to me, I would have to wait until they grew back before I could compete in a cat show again!

Tamago said...

I often cut off whiskers in photos, too, but can never imagine actually cutting them. That's such an awful thing.
I love that art with whiskers :-)

Savannah's Paw Tracks said...

You said it straight and real CK. Most adult humans leave cats' whiskers. The danger is the little humans. Bad enuff the little ones like to cut their kitty's whiskers, so much worse if their parents allow them to pull out whiskers. Our whiskers are embedded deeply into our muscle and nervous system. *shudders*

Dragonheart, Merlin, Devi, and Chloe said...

We don't have whiskers, but they were never cut off, it's just that we Sphynx don't have them (or we only have very tiny, short ones). We get along just fine without them! We have a good sense of balance, never manage to crawl into spaces that are too small for us, and generally live normal, healthy lives without them! So we don't miss whiskers at all. I think people who write about cat whiskers have never met a Sphynx, because we manage to do just fine without them!

Unknown said...

I agree, no cutting cats' whiskers. I can't imagine why anyone would do this!

Unknown said...

I can't believe some people actually do this! Whiskers are so important!

Hopefully you writing about it will prevent it happening to some kitties in the future!


Mom says cat whiskers make us beautiful! She loves our whiskers and she collects them too. She has some from all of us including our angel sisfurs.

The Florida Furkids said...

OMC that gave Mom chills....the thought of anyone cutting a cats whiskers is awful!!! Mom saves our whiskers too!

The Florida Furkids

Rosa Silva said...

I've always heard that cutting a cat's whiskers might interfere with their sense of smell. Can't imagine why someone would do this. Besides, whiskers are beautiful and even kind of magical :)

Rosa @ Cat Lady Confidential

Cat Chat With Caren and Cody (Caren Gittleman) said...

when I saw the title I couldn't believe it. Who would even consider that? catchatwithcarenandcody

Memories of Eric and Flynn said...

I can't imagine anyone cutting off a cat's whiskers! Having said that though, when I first became allergic to thyroid medication I became very itchy. I kept rubbing my whiskers on one side of my face until I had worn some away to stubs. It was only when the vet I see now saw me as an emergency 18 months ago that he suspected I had become intolerant to most medication and it was causing me to do that. My whiskers are all back to normal now.

Shadow said...

Outside of downright cruelty or a true accident I cannot imagine a reason to cut a cat's whiskers.

Sarah and Shadow

Kitties Blue said...

That would be cruel and unusual punishment for a cat. That said, please visit us tomorrow when we will post the Universal Bill Of Rights for All Cats. We think you'll like it! XOCK, Lily Olivia, Mauricio, Misty May, Giulietta, Fiona, Astrid, Lisbeth and Calista Jo

Melissa, Mudpie and Angel Truffles (Mochas, Mysteries and Meows) said...

True story: my mom's sister is almost 10 years younger. When they were little girls (a hundred years ago) my grandmother was horrified to discover that one side of their cat's whiskers had been cut. My aunt had done it because she decided the kitty didn't fit in the window!!!

Colehaus Cats said...

We can't imagine why anyone in their right mind would cut kitty whiskers. Plain and simple. And our Mom saves all our shed whiskers when she finds one. We're not sure how we feel about that.

pilch92 said...

Whiskers should never be cut. They are amazing things, I had a 3-legged cat and her whiskers on the side with the missing leg were extra short, but I assume it helped her in some way. That is sweet that TW saves your whiskers, maybe you should collect her toenail clippings :)

MattieDog said...

If it aint broke...don't fix it! Vanity is an odd thing... why would anyone cut a kitties whiskers? Life saving measures? Nope.... it's something they have in their minds ('it will keep them clean, etc.') - but nature has answers for most things, like long whiskers (paws to pull them closer for a lick to clean em up). Not sure why anyone would do this.... I'm bumbled.

Brian said...

See CK, that just proves it, humans are not overly smart DUH!

The Daily Pip said...

Ugh, do humans really do this. Seems like a horrible and cruel thing to do.

Jane ♡ Life Stylist said...

Whiskers are what makes the cat! They serve an important purpose and are quite stunning. So sad that someone would even consider cutting them. All I can say is bless their heart❤

The Island Cats said...

Cats' whiskers should never be cut! Though sometimes when we have one that looks like it's gonna fall out, the mom will remove it.

meowmeowmans said...

OMC! Why, oh why, would anyone in their right mind even THINK about messing with a cat's whiskers? Some humans are so stoopid!

Dash Kitten Crew said...

Why would anyone do that huh?

da tabbies o trout towne said... food servizz gurl saves whiskerz two....her saves em ina book...her keepz askin if we wanna put tem bak IN....we R like, thanx...but it doez knot werk like that...cuttin whizkerz iz inn sane...just like de clawin......faaaaaaaaaaaaaa

hay...we iz outta heer fora few sew heerz two a ham samich, dino eggz, happee easturr, kinda week oh end !! ►◄►◄►◄►◄

Fur Everywhere said...

It is never okay to cut a cat's whiskers! The mom had a boyfriend once who told her that he and his sister cut the whiskers on their cat once when they were kids, and the mom was mortified!! Poor kitty!

At the shelter where the mom used to volunteer, they would save kitty whiskers that had fallen out on their own (never cut or plucked) and they would use them in their sculpture art for their big fundraiser.

Shoko Neilson said...

Of course whiskers should never be physically cut off of any animal for the reasons that CK enumerated. Not mentioned...the vast amount of time to grow these lovely white sticks on our faces. We take care of them so leave them alone....go cut your own whiskers.


Unknown said...

Mes has had my whiskers cut...that was when mes was small and by the peoples that abused mes...but that story has been told often enough.
Mes LOVES my whiskers! and mes washes them after mes eats with great care.
Kisses dear furrend
Nellie Bellie
PS mes is loving the people food. Mommy worries that mes not getting enough nutrition though. But mes a old cat and mes should bes able to eats what mes wants.

A Tonl said...

*shudder* what an AWFUL thing to have happen to a kitty!!

Pee Ess - we're trying to visit as often as our mom's health allows, but it's been a rough 6 weeks. Hoping the docs can get things under control soon!

Unknown said...

As the momma of a blind cat, I can attest that whiskers are vital! Lucy would never be able to do all of the wonderful things she does without her whiskers. They are her eyes!

Jean from Welcome to the Menagerie