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noun, plural: whiskers

(1) (zoology) One of the hair outgrowths with proprioceptor, and usually found in the sides of the mouth and of the nose, but may also occur above the eyes, on jaw lines, on the back of the front legs, etc. on an animal (e.g. cats, felines, dogs, certain fish, some birds)

(2) A hair (or that part) of the beard growing on the sides of the face or upon the chin


In zoology, whiskers pertain to the hair of animals that are prominent for their relatively longer length than the animal's fur coat, being stiffer, and with a well-innervated hair follicle. These whiskers are used for tactile sensing. They act as touch receptors. They are embedded deeply into the animal's body and connected securely to the sensitive muscular and nervous systems. At the end of the whisker is a proprioceptor that detects and sends tactile signals to the brain and the nervous system.1 They are sensitive particularly in detecting and responding changes to the animal's surroundings. In cats, these whiskers may be found in the sides of the mouth, in the sides of the nose, above the eyes, on jaw lines, on the back of the front legs, etc. Similar to other hair types, the whiskers are shed and replaced naturally. 1


  • vibrissa

See also:

Related form(s):

  • whiskered (adjective, having, or furnished with, whiskers)

1 Cespedes, Y. Why Do Cats Have Whiskers? Retrieved from [[1]].