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Do Rabbits Have Whiskers? Complete Rabbit Whisker Guide

Rabbits are fluffy animals with great looks and bushy hair. Have you ever noticed the whiskers on a rabbit’s nose while purring or vibrating? Do rabbits really have whiskers?

Let us see about rabbit whisker’s anatomy and functions in this blog.

Do Rabbits Have Whiskers?

Yes!  Rabbits have whiskers like dogs and cats. Bunny whiskers protrude over the nose, eyes, mouth and cheek area.  Whisker hairs are filled with sensory nerve follicles used for various sensory actions.

Rabbits Whiskers are longer and thicker than normal body hair.

Rabbit whiskers are interesting and different from body hair. There are certain do’s and don’ts with bunny whisker hair.

If you are confused about rabbits’ whiskers and their functions, then don’t worry. In this blog, we have compiled all information on rabbit whiskers anatomy, functions and problems related to rabbit whiskers.

So, Sit back, relax and enjoy the Read.

Why Do Rabbits Have Whiskers?

Rabbits have Whiskers as sensory organs. Bunnies are prey animals in the wild. They have eyes to detect and run away from wild animals.

But there are certain blind spots near and over the eyes. Whiskers help cover the weakness of the blind spots around eyes.

Prey animals usually have good night vision. But Rabbit Night Vision is not the best. They depend on whiskers at night.

Bunny Whiskers also help them while moving through dark areas and detect the obstacles in front of them. Rabbit Whiskers are like hands for humans to touch and feel.

Now let us see about the rabbit whisker anatomy

Rabbit Whiskers Anatomy

Whiskers are larger hair follicles that are stiffer and thicker than normal hair. These Vibrissae go deeper into the skin follicles.

These sensitive hairs are arranged in a grid-like pattern around the eyes, nose and cheeks of the rabbit. Some whiskers are also found near the eyelids of rabbits.

Rabbit Whiskers

Whiskers are a special type of fur with sensitive nerve endings at the end of the follicle.  They are shorter near the rabbit nose part and start to grow bigger near the cheek region.

They are very sensitive and detect movements around the rabbit. Whenever the rabbits move, these whiskers are triggered and start to analyse the surroundings.

Some whiskers grow very small and some are even larger than a rabbit’s body width.

How Many Whiskers Does a Rabbit Have?

It is difficult to count the number of whiskers of any animal. They may have whiskers from smaller to larger sizes. But on average, rabbits will have more than 50 to 100 whiskers on one side of the face.

This number is on the shorter side. Larger bunnies will have more whiskers.

On average, Whisker will cover about 60 percent of the rabbit’s face. This will cover different types of whiskers ranging from very small whiskers to long hair-like whiskers.

Purpose of A Rabbit Whiskers

Some of the major purposes and functions of rabbit whiskers are

Whiskers Navigate Rabbit in Dark

Rabbits are dawn and dusk animals. They can see clearly in dim light but will struggle in dark and very bright light situations.

This is why they are seen wandering in the early morning and evenings, not at night and noon. But rabbits can see better than humans in the dark.

But they are not completely night animals. Bunnies do not have night vision like dogs and cats.

Whiskers come to the rescue in these situations. With the help of whiskers, rabbits will navigate in darkness when there is a danger or any predator threat.

Whiskers Help Rabbit Communication

Rabbits do not communicate by speech. Instead, they use their whiskers to communicate with other rabbits. Bunnies quiver their whiskers when they are in a happy and good mood.

If rabbits are showing vibrating whiskers, it may be a sign of danger or threat. When rabbits are vibrating their whiskers, it shows they are scared or sad.

Make sure to take extra care of your rabbit when its whiskers are shivering and trembling.

Whiskers Act as Rabbit GPS

Rabbits rely on their whiskers for navigation at noon and night.  This is due to their poor eyesight in dark and bright light conditions.

Bunnies can see and spot larger objects with great accuracy. But they have difficulty seeing objects nearby. They also have some blind spots in their visual area.

Whiskers will help solve these problems by perceiving and identifying the objects near the rabbit and navigating in the right direction.

Rabbits also use their whiskers to identify and assess the width of burrows and passage to sneak in case of emergency or danger.

Whiskers Protect Rabbit Eyes 

Whiskers are thicker than normal rabbit hair. They do not have eyelids or hair around the eyes. Instead, bunnies have whiskers around the eyes.

They help protect the eyes from dust and other particles entering the eyes. Whiskers are also sensitive hairs with a great reflex triggering nature.

Whiskers will also protect the eye by blinking and closing the eyes immediately when it comes in contact with any debris.

Apart from this, rabbits also have an extra membrane around the eyes called the third eyelid. This will protect the eyes from harsh dust and external debris

Analyse and Measure the Space Around Rabbit

Spatial awareness and recognizing danger are optimal for a prey animal’s survival. Rabbit whiskers help them spot dangers in nearby areas and places where they have a blind spot around vision.

Whiskers along with the smelling sense help rabbits find fresh grass and other food in the wild.

Determine the Object’s Near Nose and Face

Bunnies have a blind spot near the nose region because Rabbit eyes are located on the sides of the head.

They can see and spot dangers on either side of the head. But bunnies can’t identify the danger near the nose or just straight to the face.

If the whiskers spot any danger or obstacle near the face region, it will alert the rabbit immediately.

Whiskers along with the great smelling senses of rabbits help them always avoid danger and stay safer.

How Do Rabbits Lose Whiskers?

Bunnies lose one or two whiskers at a time and this is completely normal. Rabbits will not lose a lot of whiskers at a time.

If they are losing many whiskers in a single time, it may be due to

  • Fight with another rabbit.
  • Trimming while grooming.
  • Skin problems.
  • Ageing.

Rabbit Whisker Problems

Rabbit whiskers falling out

Some of the common whisker problems faced by rabbits are

Rabbit Whiskers Falling Out

As rabbits start to grow older, they start to lose hair and shed their hair. The same goes for whiskers. Older rabbits will shed and lose their whiskers as they start to age.

If rabbit whiskers are falling off at a young age accompanied by hairlessness, it is something to be concerned about.

Take your rabbit immediately to a vet if it is shedding at a very young age.

Bunny Whisker Split Ends

Split ends in rabbit Whiskers are common in aging rabbits. Whiskers are another type of hair. As the rabbits start to age the whiskers start to experience wear and tear in the long run.

This causes split ends and even dryness in the rabbit whiskers. But this is nothing to be worried about.

If you are spotting any split ends in the rabbit whiskers, don’t trim or cut them. It will fall off and regrow by its own

Trimming or cutting the whiskers might disturb the rabbit’s nature and may even cause stress.

Rabbit Curly Whiskers

Certain Rabbit breeds like the Rex and Mini Rex Rabbits have curly whiskers by nature. These rabbit types will have curly whiskers looking like mustaches. Some rabbit owners might be concerned about this.

But this is just like how some humans have curly hair. It is how their nature is.

When the curly whiskers grow too curly, they will fall off by themselves and start to re-grow.

Some of the other whisker problems faced by rabbits are

  • Bacterial and fungal infection near the whiskers.
  • Normal shedding and moulting of whiskers.
  • Loss of whiskers due to fighting with other rabbits.
  • Hormonal imbalances.
  • Infestations and skin inflammation by mites.
  • Fungal infection
  • Dermatitis and Alopecia.

If your rabbit is showing any of the above symptoms, take it to the vet immediately for a consultation.

Do Rabbits Need Their Whiskers?

do rabbits need whiskers

Wild rabbits must have their whiskers to survive and protect themselves from wild animals.

Pet Rabbits will not absolutely need their whiskers for survival. They can even live without their whiskers. But it is not recommended to remove their whiskers.

Rabbits have developed their whiskers through years of evolution to survive in the wild and protect themselves from predators. It helped them navigate, find food and even move at night.

Whiskers are like the hands for rabbits to touch and feel other objects. But just like how some humans survive without hands, rabbits can also live without whiskers.

But it is not advisable to remove or trim your pet rabbit whiskers.

Can You Trim Rabbit Whiskers?

Rabbit Vibrissae must not be trimmed or cut. While grooming, it is okay to cut and trim the rabbit hair and nails. Bunny whiskers are like sensory organs.

Rabbits will not feel pain if they are trimming the whisker. But it will cause misinterpretation of data sent to the brain from whiskers.

It may cause stress or even loss of the whisker’s sensory function. Some whiskers may grow longer than normal and it is okay to be so.

Make sure not to trim your rabbit whisker even if it is longer and untidy.

What Happens if You Cut a Rabbit’s Whiskers?

It is not a problem when you accidentally trim or cut rabbit whiskers while grooming. The whiskers will grow back within a few days. It is just temporary damage and will not cause any harm to rabbit health in the long run.

If the rabbit has any damaged or too curly whisker, you can trim the end. But it is even better to let them shed and regrow on their own.

Does It Hurt if You Trim Rabbit Whiskers?

Trimming the whisker will not cause any pain to the rabbit. But pulling the whisker will cause a lot of pain to the bunny as they are connected to sensitive nerve endings. Whiskers are just like body hair. It won’t hurt if you cut your body hair.

But it is not recommended to snip or trim the rabbit whiskers. Shorter whiskers will lose the highest sensing abilities. This will affect the normal balance of rabbit senses.

It is good if the whiskers are falling off naturally. But don’t do anything superficial to the rabbit whiskers.

What if Your Rabbit Whiskers Are Falling Off?

Whiskers will fall off when rabbits start to age. Older rabbits will start to shed body hair. Bunnies will also shed whisker hair along with the body. So it is completely normal for older rabbits to shed whiskers.

Some rabbit varieties like the Rex rabbits will have weaker whiskers and they shed every now and then. It is because of their genetics.

But if young rabbits are shedding whiskers, it may be due to skin problems. Consult a vet immediately if your young rabbit is shedding whiskers along with body hair.

Final Thoughts on Rabbit Whiskers

Summing up, rabbits do have whiskers like cats and dogs. They are present all over the face ranging from smaller size to larger than their body width. Bunnies use whiskers to navigate in the dark and fill blind spots in their vision.

Wild pets absolutely need whiskers for their survival. It is not absolutely necessary for Pet rabbits to have whiskers for survival. But it is always better not to disturb their nature.

Trimming or cutting rabbit whiskers will not hurt them, but is not advisable. Do not disturb the rabbit whiskers even if they are curly or with split ends.

It is common for older rabbits to shed whiskers. But if a young pet rabbit is shedding hair and whiskers, consult a veterinarian immediately.

So that was all about rabbit whiskers, their anatomy and their functions.

We hope this blog helped you clear all queries on why your pet bunny whiskers must not be trimmed and what to do about it.

We always welcome your suggestions. Comment below your experiences with your beloved bunnies.

Feel free to mention things that are to be changed and improved in our blogs and websites as we are learners for life!

If you liked this post do share it with your friends and family.  Cause sharing is caring.

See ya! Until then, keep hopping around with your beautiful bunnies.

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