Saturday, September 26, 2009

Human whiskers - they've vanished!

Dear George,
My male human used to wear a moustache! Recently he shaved it (I think he tries to please someone). What I’ve noticed since….is that he’s no longer able to give correct directions when asked for. Could this be because…. he shaved his whiskers?
I’m really concerned! I wanted to ask him directions to a “sushi place” (Ah! those tuna sashimi – so yummy!) but I’m afraid that he’ll send me south instead of north and so on!
What can I do? How can he grow back his
whiskers? Should I water his face? Implant?
Sir Winston

Dear Sir Winston,
Shaving off whiskers. What on earth does he think he is doing? This is one of the most worrying habits of humans. They self mutilate by shaving off the fur on their face - almost the only fur they have. They also shave off the fur under their arms and (sometimes) below the navel. You'd think, as they have to little of it, they'd want to keep all they have.
The only furry area they want to keep is the area on the top of their head. And that falls off somewhere around middle age. Some cats have tried grooming on the bald top of the head, sitting on the top of an arm chair so they can reach it. It doesn't work. Fur never re-grows though - and this is truly pathetic - some humans wear a little wig up there to hide the baldness.
Facial hair? One reason why humans shave it off or pull it out(female are particularly committed to the latter) is that their facial whiskers are so inferior to ours. The whiskers sometimes grow long and strong, but they can't DO anything with them. Their whiskers do not send messages to the brain - except for an Ouch if they are pulled too hard!
Our whiskers function as an extra sense. When we catch a mouse, the whiskers automatically move forward, touching the struggling rodent. That we, we can tell how much it is still moving and at what angle it lies in the mouth. We also have whiskers on our legs, so that when we hold down a mouse, we can measure its struggles. I have added a photo of these.
Whiskers don't just help us keep hold of our prey, they also help us measure the size of holes or small places. If our whiskers can get through, the rest of us probably can.
Love George
PS. May I say that yours are particularly fine, Sir Winston.


  1. My male human doesn't always cut his whiskers, he'll go several days without cutting them, then suddenly off they come, he dresses up and then he's off to some unknown destination. I just don't get it either. My whiskers are doing well, I had a nice tasty chipmunk just yesterday, thank you!

  2. It's good to train the male ape to only shave his whiskers every couple of days - the resultant bristle is terribly good for rubbing an itchy feline ear against. Of course you will leave some of your fluffy fur on the ape chin, but this is ok, it's fun watching the ape flap about sneezing and choking. Oh yes.

    Nice whiskers Sir Winston. Smart boy.

    Whicky Wuudler

  3. Our mom has only the slightest hint of whiskers. How does she know she'll fit through doors? The picture of the leg whisker is cool!

  4. Sir Winston,
    Personally I don't think that hair implant or watering your male human face will work.
    It seems that he is a lost cause!
    Advise him to purchase that silly, little talking box called GPS. Stay back and enjoy watching him "talking" to that little box. When the little box "talks" back to him, memorize the directions given and forget about asking him.

  5. Our "mommy" always gives correct directions when asked for! Definitely, she has an extra sense!
    Could be that she grows her whiskers inward? :-)

  6. Your Majesty,
    Make that male housekeeper of yours bring you sushi home! No need for you to ask for directions.
    Just order!

  7. There are humans who are shaving their cats too!
    I've seen on TV some "cat shows" and I've seen cats with a "lion hairdo". Even highlights (guess that's the name).


Help for cats whose humans show behaviour problems.

This blog is devoted to the study of human behaviour. We cats, who live with this sometimes unpredictable and always feeble minded species, can benefit from seeing their behaviour in its proper scientific context. The study of feline dilemmas, training problems, and difficulties with humans, can only benefit all of us. All of us train our humans - to buy the right food, for instance, but many of us do not have knowledge of how to improve our training methods. The human species is obviously not as intelligent as the cat, but nevertheless can learn quite a lot - if properly managed. Topics of interest include the use of claw and order, purring as a human reward, rubbing your human up the right way, when to bite, spraying as a method of making our wishes known, ignoring the human, human harassment, human inattention and sheer human stupidity. I welcome your questions. Photos can be sent via my secretary's website, This blog has been chosen as one of the top 50 feline blogs by Online