Rabbit whiskers and Why Rabbits Have Whiskers

Do bunnies have whiskers? What role do they play or how do they help your rabbit? Can I cut them?

Whisker, also known as vibrissae refer to a type of long, stiffer and coarse hairs that protrude from facial areas in many mammals including the rabbit, dogs, and cats.

They are often large and thicker than ordinary hairs, and their follicles are well supplied with sensory nerves.

Rabbit Whiskers
Rabbit Whiskers

Like dogs and cats, bunnies have long whiskers. They are situated above this pet’s eyes, on the nose, mouth, and cheeks and they are of varying lengths (some are long while others are short).

Why do rabbits have whiskers

Being well-innervated, they work as sensory organs and they help this pet to detect things around it. For instance, a rabbit’s vision has a small blind spot angle just in front of their mouth and below chin due to their eye position. Therefore, the vibrissae help them detect anything close to them, i.e., they give a bunny or any other animal that has them information near them.

Whiskers are like hands in human beings that touch things to feel them. Also, they help them navigate through where they cannot see.

Furthermore, because their length is often compared to their body width, they help in detecting the girth of a passage or opening so that this pet can know if its body can go through the passage while in the dark as well as help them to be aware of their orientation. 

Remember these crepuscular animals do not have a very good night vision. Their eyes work optimally in dim light seen at dawn and twilight.

Should I trim my rabbit’s whiskers?

While grooming your bunny, you may do several things including trimming his nails if they are long, cleaning his ears, brushing his fur, and so on.

However, owing to their sensing role, you are not supposed to trim vibrissae. However, if unknowingly or accidentally you trimmed them, you should not be worried as they will grow back after some time.

How many whiskers does a rabbit have?

We have not taken time to count the number of whiskers that these pets have. Maybe that should be our next task. However, some source states that “I have a Dutch and I seriously counted over 57 on one side from very short to very long” one

Perhaps an intelligent guess will put the number to be about 60 per side of the face. It is difficult to determine with accuracy since some of them could be missing for one or the other reason.