Do Cats Have Eyebrows? (Yes and No)

By Phil / October 12, 2019
Do Cats Have Eyebrows

One of the many unusual questions cat owners debate is, do cats have eyebrows?

You might think this has a simple answer, right?

Well, it kinda does. Cats do not have eyebrows. If you go and take a look at your cat (or a picture if you don’t have a cat) you won’t see clearly defined eyebrow hair.

They do, however, have fur on their brows. Most cats also have some whiskers sticking out where their brows are. This leads a lot of cat owners to state that their cats do in fact have eyebrows.

So, are cats eyebrows simply those eyebrow whiskers? Or, does the fact that they have fur all over their heads mean that they have eyebrows in there somewhere…

I’d like to hear your thoughts on this topic, here’s how I look at it:

Why Do We Have Eyebrows?

Sciencefocus sums it up perfectly. As we evolved as human beings we used our eyebrows to help keep sweat and rain out of our eyes. And, when you think about it, they do a pretty good job of this.

They also add a little extra defense against the sun and stopping bits of dirt and debris from getting into our eyes. Not as well as our eyelashes, however, as they are the last line of defense protecting our eyes against tiny particles and debris.

Related ContentDo cats have eyelashes? The answer might surprise you!

Today, we have a lot more ways of protecting our eyes, and quite honestly do not spend as much time outdoors as our ancestors. Eyebrows are more commonly known for a different purpose; facial expressions.

Most notable in cartoons and drawings, eyebrows are used to display different facial expressions and moods. For example, raising them a little shows someone is smiling or happy, or a sharp downward angle can make someone look evil. 

So, Do Cats Have Eyebrows?

No, cats do not have eyebrows. Most cats do have whiskers sticking up in the area where you’d expect to see their brows. But these whiskers do not function in the same way as an eyebrow.

From a cosmetic and functional standpoint they do not have, neither do they need eyebrows. Some mammals do have eyebrows, such as camels and some monkeys. A lot of mammals have defined brows due to their facial structures too.

But it’s very obvious to me when looking at an animal if they have eyebrows. As you can see from the picture below, cats are not one of the animals that have eyebrows.

Do Cats Need Eyebrows
Nope, no eyebrows. Just brows, eyes, and a lot of fur.

Do Cats Need Eyebrows?

If you look at the two main reasons why we have eyebrows and what we use them for;

  • Protecting our eyes from the strong sun, dirt, and debris.
  • Communication through facial expressions.

Cats do not need to do either of these things.

Sweat running into their eyes is not an issue, cats hardly sweat. They don’t like to get wet either, and will not spend time or stand around in the rain if they can help it. So, using a brow to stop water getting into their eyes is not an issue either.

Cats do not communicate with each other, or with us by using facial expressions. Sure, sometimes you can look at your cat and know what they want or how they’re feeling. But not because they are lifting a brow, or frowning.

Why Do Cats Have Whiskers on Their Eyebrows?

Cats’ whiskers are highly sensitive tactile hairs that they have on their cheeks, around their eyebrow area, and some other places on a cat’s body.

Their whiskers detect the location, feel, and size of things around them. This should, in theory, help cats not enter spaces that are too tight – although plenty of cats get themselves into compromising positions!

The whiskers cats have that look like eyebrows (to some) are strategically placed to help with all of these things. They act as extra vision and sensory perception at the top of their head where they can’t see with their eyes.

We have to assume that evolution took cats in this direction as their whiskers have been helpful to their survival. Much like our eyebrows have been for us, but two different types of brows doing two different things.

Do All Cats Have Eyebrow Whiskers?

For the most part, yes all cats do have whiskers on their brows. There are, of course, always some exceptions to the rule. If you’ve just checked your cat and can’t see any whiskers there, don’t panic. They can make do just fine without them there.

If their whiskers are falling out, there might be an underlying health issue though. But some cats just don’t have whiskers there. Have you ever noticed that most cats have whiskers on the back of their front legs too? These help them feel the movement of prey that’s in their grasps, pretty interesting, eh?

Conclusion

If you want to know if cats have eyebrows, it depends on who you ask. Cats do have whiskers on their brows, they also have hair of course. But it’s not the same as an eyebrow that other mammals like us have, so I always say cats do not have eyebrows.

What are your thoughts? Do you look at your kitty and think they look like they have eyebrows? Or, have you now taken my side of the argument into account and think the same as I do?

I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to drop me a note below, thanks!

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