Sunday, April 3, 2016

Cat comparisons: Who has the best kitty whiskers?

Maggie the cat showing off her whiskers
The benefit of having a lot of cats is that you can do a lot of comparison work. That can come in handy when you notice something unusual on your cat and you're not sure if it's worthy of a panicked call to the vet. Do the other cats have that lump/bump/walk/noise? When you have several cats, that sort of comparison is easy.

But you can also do much more interesting studies, when you have a pack of cats (as I do). Today, for example, I thought it might be fun to see how the whiskers on my cats stack up. So I took a series of selfie-like photos (so I could share them on the blog hop from The Cat On My Head), and I came up with some interesting observations.

I started with Maggie (up top), as I always thought she had long and lovely whiskers. Check out the length on those suckers! They go right out to the sides of her head in almost perfect symmetry. That's something outdoor cat Jasper (down below) can't match.

Outdoor cat Jasper shows off his whiskers in a closeup

Jasper spends a lot of his time rolling around in the dirt, squeezing between fence posts and otherwise pushing his body to its limits. He may be 16, but he has a lot of work to do every day. And his whiskers seem to take a beating. Many of his are broken or torn. And they seem to point dwon, rather than out.

Guess who else has whiskers that point down? Yup: Popoki.

Popoki cat shows off her whiskers

The facial alterations that come with the exotic shorthair breed result in some very weird whisker positions. Popoki's start lower on her face than either Jasper or Maggie. While her whiskers are very long, they don't seem optimized for eye protection. She probably can't use her whiskers to estimate the width of small spaces, as Jasper and Maggie can. Her whiskers don't point the right way.

And, check out how few upper eyelid whiskers she has. Her uppers are almost gone. Compare those to Lucy, who really has something spectacular going on.

Lucy the blind cat sitting in the sun

Check out her very long eye whiskers. She also has a lot of ear tip tufting going on, and her inner ear hair continues to grow to spectacular lengths. This is a LOT of hair. And all of that information probably helps her navigate the world, even though she can't see.

One more face to share with you on this hop. And no, this guy doesn't belong to me. He's a cat that is resting in the shelter in Salem, Oregon, where I volunteer. His name is Meowfasa, and he came to us from a hoarding situation. He never got socialized as a kitten, so he really has poor kennel presentation. He sits very, very still like this, even when people pet him. You can read more about him on the blog I write for Willamette Humane Society. But I'd love to see you share his story, too. He needs a home, and he's not doing a great job with his salesmanship.

And he barely has any whiskers!

Russian blue cat with few whiskers

This guy had to fight with other cats for food. It's likely that his whisker growth was stunted due to malnutrition. I'm hoping they'll grow back as he heals.

Thanks, as always, to our hosts for his hop!

Who do you think had the best whiskers? Leave me a note and let me know. And as always, do visit the other blogs in this hop! You'll be glad you did.


  1. We gotta admit you have a fine selection of whiskers between you, but big or small or crooked they all seem quite at home. We does hope Meowfasa gets a home very soon, he looks quite a guy. purrs ERin

  2. Now I'm going to be looking extra close at my kitties' whiskers. I love it when I take a photo that accentuates their beauty. I hope Meowfasa finds a home soon. Hopefully someone will come along who is willing to look beyond his presentation. Thank you for visiting my blog, and I look forward to reading more of yours!

  3. Nice collection of whiskers!
    When my cats are in hunting mode, their whiskers point forward. The whiskers relax when they do.

  4. I like them all, you are all cuties with nice whiskers.

  5. You all have different and lovely whiskers. My mum says I have smiley whiskers.

  6. Well, we love all these faces and whiskers but Lucy and Maggie's are quite spectacular!

    We really hope Meowfasa gets an understanding and loving forever and ever home.

  7. We hope that Meowfasa finds a wonderful forever home. We must say we don't understand whiskers. Us Sphynx don't have any, and we get along just fine without them!

  8. What a great collection of whiskers. Each cat's whiskers...or lack of...are special in their own way. ;)

  9. What a fun post. We love your variety of super special whiskers, sweet pals! :)

  10. Wow you all have great whiskers,me I have short curly ones...hehehe,xx Speedy

  11. You all have sweet whiskers! :) Malou , Levon and Mitalee don't really have whiskers! But Esme makes up for them because hers are unusually long for a devon rex!

    the critters in the cottage xo

  12. They are all great whiskers!

    Purrs xx
    Athena and Marie

  13. Those are very beautiful Whisker Selfies of all of you. I have to check out mine now. Pawkisses :) <3

  14. Poor Meowfasa, he needs a loving home who will teach him to play and let him know its OK to relax.

    You kitties all look lovely and whiskery!