In whiskers I trust
Whiskers rule! I agree with you - the smarter the whisker, the smarter the cat. It's a question of style.
It's not just the size or length - the longer the whisker the wider the cat, because whiskers allow us to put our head through a space and measure it. If the whiskers get through, the whole cat gets through.
It's also the way they move. We can't see our prey if we are too close to it but the whiskers "see" it for us. They sweep forward and touch the prey so that we know where to put our claws to grab it. You can see that in slow motion here. It is so fast that humans cannot see it unless they slow down the film.
We've also got whiskers above our eyes and on our legs (look at the photo on the right) - again to help us sense prey or the environment.