General Question

desiree333's avatar

Is It True That If You Cut A Cat's Whiskers They Will Bump Into Walls And Become Unoriented?

Asked by desiree333 (3190 points ) July 18th, 2009

I would never do this, I don’t even have a cat, I’m just curious.

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18 Answers

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

Yes, this is how they gauge width and what they cant fit through. They’re like curb finders on cars. They won’t lose their equilibrium though.

gailcalled's avatar

(psst disoriented)

I amuse myself by opening a slider to different widths just to see when my cat decides he can suck it up and wiggle through.

Bri_L's avatar

@gailcalled – poor Milo! :x)

AstroChuck's avatar

No, but they’ll become disoriented.

Supacase's avatar

If you tie a sock (or something) snugly around their stomach they will walk like they’re drunk and then fall down. It frustrates the hell out of them – or at least the one we did it to when I was in high school. (poor kitty)

gailcalled's avatar

I cannot imagine being permitted to tie anything around Milo’s waist or even identifying it. He is head, neck, shoulders, waist, hind quarters and tail.

buster's avatar

I heard cats will crawl into holes and crevices and that they use normal length whiskers to gauge if they will fit. I heard if you cut their whiskers they will try and go into smaller holes than they should really fit in and they can become lodged in pipes and crevices. Whether this is true I do not know. Try putting clear tape on the bottom of their feet. They go crazy.

tinyfaery's avatar

You evil cat messers-with. I don’t think it’s as bad as all that. People where I grew up thought that when you moved a cat to a new location you should cut just the tip of their whiskers. Supposably, this allows the whiskers to grow to a length needed by the new environment. I’ve seen it done. The cats didn’t fall over, or act differently at all.

Jeruba's avatar

I don’t see any need to cut a cat’s whiskers ever. They are as they are because that’s what works for the cat. Why would anyone want to disturb their natural sensors?

Over time, whiskers do fall out, just like hair, and new ones grow. That would be the obvious method of adjustment if any is needed.

SirBailey's avatar

I think all of the posted ways to annoy or disturb cats fall under the category of animal cruelty and not funny. Why would you do these things suggested? For YOUR entertainment?? Someone should do the equivalent to YOU and see how entertaining it is.

The poor animal doesn’t understand why what’s happening to them is happening to them.

gailcalled's avatar

@SirBailey: Most of us here adore our cats and would do nothing deliberate to upset or disturb them. Milo, however, has no problem with leaping on me several times during the darkest part of night. He finds it very entertaining.

ShanEnri's avatar

My niece did this to her cat (she was very young at the time) and my sister said it had no visible effect that she noticed. My sister stayed drunk 7 days a week too so they were probably in tandem!

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@SirBailey You’re absolutely correct. People who similarly “toy” with their cats are actually committing animal abuse but few will refer to it as such.

SirBailey's avatar

@gailcalled , one of my three cats does the same.

What I don’t understand is why you jumped in to defend anyone. My comments were addressing specific posted behaviors towards cats. Don’t tell me you think they’re OK?!

gailcalled's avatar

@SirBailey: I agree that tormenting or mistreating a cat is unforgivable. Milo finds loving and mild teasing tolerable; when he’s had enough, he nips me gently.

I was defending no one; as I said, many of the respondents here adore their cats. I am horrified by the thought of snipping a whisker or sticking clear tape on the underside of paws.

Milo just came in with a small piece of a cosmos petal stuck to his nose; I removed it. He thanked me.

The_Compassionate_Heretic's avatar

@SirBailey She confessed. She’ll be doing hard time.
That’s just incredibly cruel.

SirBailey's avatar

Not hard enough.

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