Downturned whiskers

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MarySkater
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Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

My kitten Ria has whiskers which curve downwards. Is this common? Might they straighten out as she gets older?
Ria whiskers.jpg
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Cats are supposed to use whiskers to feel their way in the dark. I'm not sure how useful Ria's whiskers would be for this. She doesn't need them for survival, and I don't mind her having a "walrus moustache," so it's not really important. I'm just curious about other people's experience of this.

(Her eyes are not odd, that's just the effect of the flash.)

Mary
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Lilith
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Aww, bless her, she's so lovely! :D

Whisker survey in this house:-

Mouse and Molly - whiskers grow straight out.
Emily - whiskers curve down like Ria's.

Em's reached the age of 15 in good health (paws crossed) despite being feral for her first year so yes, although you'd think straight whiskers would be more practical, it doesn't seem to have made much difference in her case.

Greetings and purrs to Ria and Rocky from my lot :)
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MarySkater
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

Thanks, Lilith. Interesting to know that Emily survived as a feral even with the bent whiskers.

This is Ria showing too much interest in Rocky's food. (The lid opens when he puts his head under the arch. Ria has her own feeder in a different room.)
Ria at Rockys feeder.jpg
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And this is Rocky warning her off. I thought he was quite restrained, under the circumstances!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6A7Vt5ekt0

Mary
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by bobbys girl »

I see Rocky's not too impressed! :lol:

No wonky whiskers here but Tommy did have a couple of 'permed' whiskers that corkscrewed out to the side.
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

bobbys girl wrote:Tommy did have a couple of 'permed' whiskers that corkscrewed out to the side.
If it was only a couple, I don't suppose it bothered him. I believe that some of the "curly" cats have curly whiskers. If all the whiskers are like that, they may not be much use to the cat. But I've looked at pictures of some of the Rex breeds, and there seems to be wide variation in their whiskers (and their coats, come to that). I'm uncomfortable with the thought that breeders, to meet human fashion, breed for traits that are detrimental to the animal. So far, cats have not been subjected to that as much as dogs have, but I'm wary of any extreme body modification.

Ria's mother's whiskers curve down a bit, not as much as Ria's. Her father has fairly straight whiskers. Maybe it's hereditary, or maybe it's natural variation.
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Lilith
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

A lot of these Norwegian Forest Cats have downturned whiskers - hope link works :)

http://www.bing.com/images/search?q=nor ... ay&first=1
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MarySkater
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

Lilith wrote:A lot of these Norwegian Forest Cats have downturned whiskers
Maybe they need to sense the snow in front of their feet! :)

Thanks for the link, Lilith. Lovely pictures. I especially liked the one of the cat chasing the fox.
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by bobbys girl »

Wow lovely photos - especially the cat chasing a fox!
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Mayday21 »

Mary both fur babes gorgeous. Snow & Harper straight whiskers TC slightly bent. :o Vivian
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Meant to say, brilliant video lol!

I bet I know why so many NFCs have downturned whiskers and eyebrows too - it's so they don't get tangled up with their magnificent ear tufts! :lol:
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

Thanks, Vivian. It's beginning to look as though non-standard whiskers are a sizeable minority.

Does anybody else have cats with something odd about them? Eyes not green? Extra toes (I think it's called polydactyl)? Half-and-half coloured faces? (If you google 'chimera cats' you get pictures). mr_frisky's avatar cat comes close.

Lilith, good thinking about the ear tufts! Glad you liked the video - it's always difficult to know whether to switch on the camera, because they might do something interesting. At least Ria learned from her mistake, and backed off.

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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Most of the cats I've known have had yellow eyes. My Emily has green eyes but they're so pale they can look beige or silver.

I've been owned by two polydactyls, mother and daughter; I think the mother just had an extra toe on each paw but the daughter had so many she looked as if she was wearing those old fashioned fluffy slippers like our grandmas wore.

But all my cats have had something odd about them - they take after me :o :lol:
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

Lilith wrote:But all my cats have had something odd about them - they take after me :o :lol:
Or do you take after them?!
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Lol - you could well be right! :lol:
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Mayday21
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Mayday21 »

Lillith & Mary it's called personality plus :lol: :lol: :lol: Vivian
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by meriad »

Ava (NFC) has both straight and curved.... :D
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Lilith
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Mayday21 wrote:Lillith & Mary it's called personality plus :lol: :lol: :lol: Vivian
Lol - what could be better, than to inherit our cats' purrsonalities? :lol: :D
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Re: Downturned whiskers

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meriad wrote:Ava (NFC) has both straight and curved.... :D
All Ria's "proper" whiskers are curved. (Eyebrows, too.) She has a couple of stiff hairs growing further back on her face which are straight.

Ava in a bucket? What kind of bucket is that - a well bucket? (Ding dong bell, pussy's in the well... )
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Well well she's looking very well on it!

Hi, Meriad, meant to say how much I liked pics - shows what a magnificent cat Ria's going to grow into; they really are a fabulous breed :)
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Mayday21 »

Hi Meriad Ava's a female TC. Blue & White. I tell TC he's 'my handsome boy''. Vivian
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by meriad »

Ava says thank you for the compliments; she's such a Diva and knows it :lol: but she is just the most amazing character

MarySkater - the bucket is actually a rice paddy bucket that I bought years ago at some flea market in Morden (South London); they had three, all different sizes so I quickly nabbed them - they are fab. I was emptying it out and Ava will always be the first of my gang to jump into anything that looks interesting.
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

Thanks, Meriad. I haven't seen anything quite like that before, and I was curious.
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Crewella »

Gorgeous pics of some gorgeous cats! :)

I've carried out an in-house whisker inspection. There's the odd single whisker heading the wrong way, but on the whole all mine have reasonably straight whiskers - sadly no exotic Fu Manchu moustaches here! :D
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Re: Downturned whiskers

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MarySkater wrote:What kind of bucket is that - a well bucket? (Ding dong bell, pussy's in the well... )
I thought I was kidding when I posted that, but yesterday it nearly came true... Ria was in the bathroom, looking curious about the toilet. The loo was clean and didn't have any chemicals in it, so I thought she might as well find out for herself. She jumped up onto the seat - okay so far. Then she tried to step down onto the downslope of the bowl. Of course it was too slippery, and she was in the water. At that point I went to help her out, but she had pretty much got herself out. Result - wet chest, 4 wet paws and hopefully a lesson learned. She didn't seem too upset about it, though.
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Mayday21 »

Mary cats' curiosity :lol: :lol: Vivian
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Lilith »

Aww! Who ended up with soggy pawses then? :lol:
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

She doesn't seem to mind water much. She'll go outside even if it's raining, wander about the garden getting her paws muddy or gritty - then happily come in and jump on my bed... :roll:
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Camdengirl »

Perhaps the downturned whiskers are a result of having long hair? The average long-haired cat can fit through spaces much smaller than onlookers might expect because so much of their 'size' is fluff. Perhaps the whiskers reach far enough out to correspond to the cat's actual body width and the extra curl is a feature without function?
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by MarySkater »

You might be right about the body size being deceptive. However, just in general, for a cat finding its way in total darkness, I think straighter whiskers would be more useful.

This is Ria's father Athos. His whiskers curve down a bit, but not as much as Ria's. Athos is being held by a child in the photo, but he's still a big boy!
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Re: Downturned whiskers

Post by Crewella »

I like the long haired theory, Sarah (good to see you, by the way), and I'd not thought of that.

Blimey Athos IS a big boy! Gorgeous too! :)
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