Cats have whiskers for the same reason dogs do – to help sense -- and often rely on them more than dogs, as cats are more likely to put themselves is precarious positions.
Whiskers are tactile hairs found in mammalian skin -- usually the muzzle, lip, eyelids, face, and throat. They are also known as sinus hairs (or vibrissae). The base of the hair is embedded into a sinus that contains many nerve fibers. These special hairs detect pressure and can aid in movement by enhancing the animal's ability to sense its surroundings.
This article originally appeared on www.bhg.com.