Whiskers of cats, what are they for if not as antennas? THE whiskers of cats, said vibrissae, apart from some special cases that we will tell, are not just any hairs, just a little longer: they are twice as thick as normal hairs and have roots placed three times deeper than the latter, to increase the transmission of nerve impulses. To do what they're on the snout of our feline friends, i whiskers of cats they must be particularly supplied with blood vessels and equipped with nerve endings.
What are the whiskers of cats it is easy to say: they are absolutely essential to find the way in the dark, to identify the different parts of the body of a prey just captured, to understand how to enter or exit a narrow passage, but also to maintain balance.
In short,the whiskers of cats they are used to trace "Mind maps" of what surrounds the animal itself, because they are made in such a way as to provide important and detailed information on the movements of the air, on the atmospheric pressure on the things that the cats themselves touch or brush.
How do they do it? They vibrate. Here is the name whiskers. And so with every movement of the air, even imperceptible, they capture information, record, "process the data" and implicitly suggest to the cat the maneuvers to do. In hunting as in flight and these are only extreme examples, because i whiskers of cats they always serve.
I say "they process data", because cats, just like PCs, are able to use the information collected by moustache vibrating to sense the presence, shape and size of obstacles, without having to see or touch them. Instinct, yes, but here are the whiskers of cats middle.
THE whiskers of cats they are important tools for hunting: they are used to study and capture even the slightest movement, or intention to move, of the prey. If they are damaged, it can also happen that you end up biting the mouse on the wrong side of the body, leaving it free to escape.
Each cat owns about twenty-four whiskers mobile, twelve on each side of the muzzle, arranged on four horizontal rows and semi-independent from each other: the two upper rows move, in fact, independently of the two lower rows.
Do not panic, however, do not count them every day with the fixed that if one is missing the cat will start bumping into the doors. It didn't happen. The cat naturally loses the whiskers and if we find and therefore there is no need to be frightened if we find whiskers of cats on the ground we are sure that it will surely grow back. Of course, don't start cutting them, it is quite another thing and it is something to avoid. Let alone the idea of burning i whiskers of cats, and not even to exaggerate with cleaning them: they are real sensory organ, and also very important but above all very sensitive.
At rest, the whiskers allow the cat to collect information on the direction of the wind, any humidity in the air, the micro-variations of the area immediately surrounding its position. During the movement, however, they act as a real one measure meter. Six whiskers of cats they provide information to those who own them, they also give indications to us who watch them on how, for example, is the feline's mood or its desire to perform acrobatics and predatory attacks or not.
If bent forward, then facing outwards, i whiskers of cats they are a sign of tranquility: at that moment the felines are particularly sociable, exaggerating we could say that they are dying to interact with friends, colleagues and all of us. When the whiskers of cats they are tense or curled upwards, they are a sign of nervousness and imminent attack: they have the classic 'bad moon'.
Then there are some breeds that are exceptions to these rules of interpretation of the whiskers of cats: the Cornish Rex and the Devon Rex they have short, curly mustaches. Like the hipster fashion mustache doormat. And then there is a Finnish Maine Coon, Fullmoon's Miss American Pie, called Missi, who has i longest mustache in the world: About 20 cm.
As for records and phenomena on whiskers of cats there is also Hamilton, the cat with the handlebar mustache, who has become a real star of the web. Born on July 4th as a simple foundling cat, he lives in Campbell, a town in Santa Clara County in California, this cat has spectacular mustache.
In fact, we are not talking about the simple whiskers of cats, no, no: we are talking about a pair of white mustaches that sprout on Hamilton's gray and white fur, gluing him the nice nickname hipster cat. There are those who envy him a lot and who make mustache collections like his own. There are a thousand and more nice gadgets, among my favorites without a doubt this nice cup.
Forerunner of Hamilton, in terms of hair and fame, there is Sam who had a strange eyebrow but how the Californian became famous on Instagram. Going back to the mustache last year, right the mustache of the catsthey were also the motive for a crime story in England. In the summer of 2014 a cat with the Hitler mustache he seems to have been beaten and nearly killed by neighbors because of his sad but involuntary historical similarity. His name is Baz and is alive by a miracle. He is black and white, 7-8 years old and is adored by his mistress, Kirsty Sparrow, a young man from Tredworth, Gloucester, not far from Bristol and Cardiff.
Let's stay in England, but let's go back to the more scientific part of whiskers of cats, important and with similar utility as those of rodents, a milestone in the evolution of mammals. It was precisely theUniversity of Sheffield emphasizing the strategic role of whiskers of cats and others. Scientists used high-speed digital video recording and automatic tracking, focusing attention, and theirs moustache, metaphorically speaking, about how the mobility of moustache has been instrumental in evolutionary development.
In addition to investigating animal behavior, there in Sheffield they are working to build a kind of "animal robot" capable of using whiskers of cats, but artificial, to move in dark spaces and without any light source.
If you liked this animal article keep following me on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest and… elsewhere you have to find me!
Related articles that may interest you
- The behavior of cats
- Cat with a cold: how to cure it
- Hairless cats
- Conjunctivitis in cats: how to cure it