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Do Cats Have Eyelashes and Eyebrows Like Us?

Do Cats Have Eyelashes and Eyebrows Like Us?

People’s eyes are maybe their most expressive features, but what about our favorite animals? We started wondering if cats have eyelashes and eyebrows like us and whether they serve a purpose. We love looking into our cats’ faces, but we have to admit we haven’t really studied them closely – until now.

Join us as we take a closer look, and let’s see what we can learn!

Do Cats Have Eyelashes Like Us?

They’re kind of hard to see because they blend in with a feline’s fur, but yes. Cats do indeed have eyelashes. They’re not exactly like humans, but they’re pretty close.

They serve the same function that ours do, as well. Eyelashes aren’t just for looks. They help filter out dirt, debris, and moisture and are another layer of protection when the eyelids are closed.

side view of cat eyelashes
Cats’ eyelashes serve the same function as human eyelashes.

Do Some Breeds of Cats Have More Eyelashes?

How prominent or visible the eyelashes are depended on what kind of cat it is. For short-haired breeds of cats, which are the most common, the lashes are short, too. In fact, they can almost get lost visually against the fur.

It makes sense that eyelashes are longer on longer-haired breeds like Persians and Maine Coons. This makes them a lot more noticeable. But on hairless varieties like the Sphynx, you won’t find any eyelashes at all, no matter how hard you look.

brown sphynx with green eyes
Not all cats have eyelashes. For example, you won’t find any on a Sphynx.

Can Cats Develop Problems With Their Eyelashes?

Most cats go through life, or maybe all nine of them, without having any problems with their eyelids. However, there are a few different conditions to keep an eye out for.

Pay attention if you see your cat blinking a lot or pawing at its eye. This could be a warning sign for a painful condition called entropion. What happens is the edges of the cat’s eyelids roll back on themselves, causing the lashes to rub against the naked eye.

In other cases, some cats develop disorders with their eyebrows, requiring them to be plucked or surgically removed. Serious conditions such as distichiasis and trichiasis result from abnormal growth of the eyelashes. They can persist for years if not treated properly.

Is your cat ticklish? Find out the science behind feline tickling before you give it a try.

Do Cats Shed Their Eyelashes?

Any cat owner knows that cats shed lots of fur and sometimes claws. This regenerative sense extends to their eyelashes. A cat’s eyelashes do indeed fall out from time to time. But don’t worry, they most certainly grow back as long as the follicles are clean and undamaged.

Do Cats Have Eyebrows Like Us?

Cats do have eyebrows, in a sense, but they aren’t exactly like ours. A human’s eyebrows are hairy shapes that stand out visually because our faces are mostly bare skin. Their primary function is for expression and communication.

Cats, on the other hand, are covered in fur, so there’s no contrast in the area above the eyes. But look at your pet closely, and you’ll see a pronounced brow line below its forehead, just like people have. However, cat eyebrows serve a different purpose than ours. With the help of special whiskers, cats use their eyebrows to sense motion and objects near their face in order to protect their eyes and face.

do cats have eyelashes
Cats have whiskers above each eye.

Do Cats Have Whiskers On Their Eyebrows?

These whiskers are called superciliary whiskers. On each cat eyebrow, you’ll see several sturdy whiskers. In a way, they’re almost like the bushy eyebrows you see on people who aren’t particularly fastidious about their personal grooming. However, you should never trim or cut these eyebrow whiskers.

How Do Eyebrow Whiskers Work on Cats?

These eyebrow whiskers are one of a few sets of whiskers that a cat has. The most prominent ones, of course, are in the muzzle area on either side of a cat’s nose.

Whiskers, essentially thicker hairs with deeper roots, have sensory functions that a cat depends on. For instance, the ones that frame the cat’s face have the same width as the cat itself. They help a cat determine whether it can fit into a particular space.

Whiskers also help to detect breezes and the presence of various threats, including flying insects. The ones on the cat’s brow play a particularly important role. They act as an advance-warning system for any kind of threat that could potentially harm the cat’s eyes. Maybe that’s why cats get so touchy or defensive when you brush against their eyebrow whiskers.

Can Cats Raise Their Eyebrows?

We all know that cats have many different facial expressions, and their eyebrows are a big reason. Though we can’t really see the eyebrows themselves, we see the movement of the muscles underneath.

Depending on its mood, your cat might furrow its brow or open its eyes widely, conveying very different thoughts. Is your cat trying to tell you something? Maybe yes, and maybe no – but the eyebrow movements sure do seem to reveal their thoughts.

Pro Tip: Reading a new cat’s facial expressions can give hints about how their settling into their new home.

tortie ragdoll with blue eyes
Cats’ whiskers are thick and stiff, like a piece of fishing line.

Do Cats Shed Their Eyebrow Whiskers?

Just like they do with their fur, claws, and eyelashes, cats occasionally lose a whisker. If you find one on the floor or furniture, look closely at it. You’ll see how much thicker and stiffer it is compared to cat hair. They almost look like a piece of fishing line!

It’s natural for a cat to sometimes shed a whisker or two, but they grow back, just like the eyelashes. If the cat loses a whole bunch of whiskers at once, though, something could be seriously wrong. If you see that your cat is mostly whiskerless, you may want to see a vet.

Never trim cat whiskers. Since they use these to sense their environment, cutting a cat’s whiskers can disorient and upset them. Cats can grow back whiskers as long as the follicle hasn’t been damaged, but this can take a very long time.

close up on a cat's eye
Eyelashes and eyebrows offer protective layers for a cat’s eyesight.

Cats Have Similar Facial Features But Serve Different Purposes

A cat’s eyelashes and eyebrow whiskers are just two features that give it a distinctive appearance. But they have important roles that go well beyond beauty.

Each offers a layer of protection for the cat’s eyesight, one of its most important senses. The eyebrow whiskers are more of an early warning system, while the eyelashes physically help to shield the eyeballs. Science aside, they both help make a kitty totally adorable.

Does your cat bat its eyelashes at you?

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About Petrics

Petrics was born out of a love of helping animals and their owners live life to their fullest! Established in 2022, Petrics was founded by Caitlin and Tom Morton of Mortons on the Move, Discovery TV Show hosts and successful RV Travel Experts. They are a full-time RVing couple who loved traveling with their beloved rescue dogs. This Petrics team strives to share the most interesting questions answered, the most entertaining news and culture, and the most inspiring rescue stories. Additionally, our mission is to give back to animal welfare organizations so they can continue their good work in saving the constant stream of animals in need. In fact, 5% of all profits from Petrics are donated to animal-saving initiatives!

Our team has been animal caretakers and lovers all our lives. We get it. We know how deep the love for your furbabies goes, and we know where all your questions come from. We have them too! That’s why we strive to bring you the best pet-related content out there, backed by data and real-life trials, as much as possible.

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