What are Those Special Hairs in Your Cat’s Ears?

Have you noticed the cute hairs on the inner part of your cat’s ears? Some cats have a dense cluster of hairs, some have hairs that are quite lengthy, while others have hairs very subtle in appearance. These hairs extending from the inner part of the ear are referred to as ear furnishings.

The Role of Ear Furnishings
Ear furnishings aren’t there just to make the ears look even cuter than they already do. These hairs play a crucial role in maintaining ear health by providing a protective barrier to help prevent debris particles, mites, and dust from infiltrating the sensitive ear canal. Cats are known as meticulous groomers, but they can’t effectively clean the inside of their ears, so the hairs trap the debris, making it easier for the paws to swipe it away during cleaning. This, in turn, helps reduce the risk of ear infections that can result from the buildup of foreign particles.
The role of ear furnishings extends beyond hygiene and health. They also contribute to the cat’s acute hearing by acting as receptors to detect sound vibrations.
The Role of Ear Tufts
In addition to ear furnishings, certain cat breeds feature another set of special hairs called ear tufts. They are also known as Lynx tips. These distinctive looking hairs are positioned on the tips of the ears. The function of ear tufts is to enhance hearing by filtering sounds downward into the ear canal.
Similar to ear furnishings, the ear tufts also assist in trapping debris to maintain ear cleanliness and health.

To many cat lovers, ear furnishings, and the distinctive ear tufts add a touch of wildness to a cat’s appearance, resembling the Lynx or other wild cats, but as with all aspects of their incredible anatomy, everything on the cat is optimized for efficiency.
Oh, and if you’ve ever wondered about that little slit at the base of the ear that forms a tiny pouch, it’s called Henry’s Pocket. To read more about it:
The Mysterious Pockets on Your Cat’s Ears

Need More Information?
If you like information on cat behavior and training, refer to the books by Pam Johnson-Bennett. Pam’s books are available at bookstores and also online. We’ve included links to Amazon here on our website for your convenience.

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