Why do cats have whiskers? This is a question that could get you some odd looks among cat owners. The truth is that the whiskers on a cat have several functions, and many long-time cat owners may not know all of the functions of cat whiskers.
The first, and main function, of cat whiskers is to help them determine the size of an opening. If you notice, the whiskers of a cat grow to the exact same width as the cat. Thinner cats will have shorter whiskers than heavier cats. As a cat moves, he stands his whiskers out to full length, if he approaches an opening and he feels his whiskers hit both sides of the opening, he then knows he will not fit through the opening. Since he knows that the opening is too narrow, he will not try to go through the opening.
The whiskers of a cat can also help them navigate by sensing changes in air currents. Their whiskers can detect very small changes in these currents, and this helps them to avoid running into obstacles in their environment. The whiskers of your cat are so sensitive that they can detect the furniture in a room and the air currents that move around the furniture. The way your cat holds its whiskers can also help you determine the mood of your cat.
If you show your cat a new toy or a piece of food, they will push their whiskers forward in order to gather information on the object. Scared cats will pull their whiskers in so that they do not look as aggressive. Angry cats will also pull in their whiskers to keep them from being damaged in a fight or flight situation. You will know the difference between a scared or angry cat by other actions other than just looking at the position of their whiskers.