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The most important components of cat sense of touch is a collection of special whiskers, known as vibrissae. Cats have about 24 movable vibrissae, in four rows on each upper lip on each side of its nose. They have in addition a few on the cheek, over the eyes, on the chin, the inner wrists and on the back of the legs.
Vibrissae are much thicker than ordinary hairs and their roots which are heavily supplied with nerve endings are set very deep in the cat’s tissue. Whiskers give cats an extraordinary sense of touch in their environment. Cats gain information about air movements, air pressure, vibrations, and anything they touch through their whiskers. By detecting minute shifts in air currents, whiskers enable a cat to detect near objects without actually seeing them. Vibrissae are also used for hunting and helping the cat journey through its environment during darkness. It is also very fascinating that cats use their whiskers to detect scents. Since the cat’s whiskers spread approximately as wide at its body, your kitty can make judgments as to whether he can fit through openings.
Watch your cat’s whiskers and you will also see an indication of your cat’s attitude. When the whickers point forward he is being playful, inquisitive, and friendly. When your cat’s whiskers lie flat on its face he is being defensive and angry. Your cats whiskers and also bother him, especially when your cat eats and drinks out of a bowl. When his whiskers touch the sides of the bowl, it sends very irritating sensations to his brain, making it difficult to continue eating. To avoid this, feed your kitty on a plate and have his water in a large bowl where his whiskers do not rub the sides of the dish.
Go here for more information about cat whiskers: Why Do Cats Have Whiskers?
Your kitty can greatly benefit from the cat sense of touch. Stroking and petting you cat can bring him physical and emotional sensations. His body will relax and his heart rate will slow as he begins to purr like an engine, this is very gratifying for him. If you want to have a closer connection to your cat, and make him more friendly and social, stroke and pet him as often as possible, and you will soon see amazing changes in him.
People have often wondered why are my cats so social, so friendly, the answer is because I pet and rub on them all the time. It truly makes a huge difference. Even for cats that might get aggressive with petting, a little bit goes a long ways. Start small if your kitty is a little aggressive, then increase. I also often give my cats rubs behind their ears, they love that.
He will also rub against you, depositing his scent and marking you as part of his domain, this is his way of saying “your mine.”