Cat Hearing

Cat hearing

Cat hearing is very exceptional. Have you ever wondered or asked yourself what is the difference between your hearing and the hearing abilities of your cat’s? 

How a Cat's Ears Catch Sounds

The outer ear, or pinna, of the cat is exceptionally large and cone-shaped. Not only does it catch sounds, but it amplifies them too. Your cats’ ear can amplify sound waves 2 to 3 times for frequencies that between 2000 to 6000 hertz. The pinnae is controlled by 30 different muscles (we only have 6) that rotates like mini-satellite dishes picking up sounds and funneling them to the inner ear and the brain. Your cat can independently rotate each ear 180 degrees and position one ear or both in the direction of the sound. The cat’s ability to pinpoint sound is very outstanding.  I am often amused watching my cats ear move to sounds I cannot hear. 

Range and Frequency of Cat Hearing

The low-end scale is remarkably similar to human hearing range. This low-pitched range is about 55 hertz. This sets feline hearing incredibly unique compared to other mammals. Cats can hear frequencies well beyond the human range of hearing. These are in the range of much higher frequencies that humans can hear. This has a lot to do with why your cat is able to find a mouse in your house. The sound that many rodents make is in the ultrasonic range, beyond our hearing but your cat can easily pick them up. Kittens also make ultrasonic vocalizations, enabling mother cats to find them. Adult cats however do not use ultrasound when communicating. So even though they can very well hear ultrasonic sounds, they do not use ultrasound to communicate. 

Cats can hear much better than dogs. On the high-pitched scale, dogs can hear up to 4500 hertz. Humans on the other hand can hear up to 2000 hertz, and cats up to 7900 hertz. This is incredible because not only do felines have excellent hearing in general but extremely sensitive. 

Cat's hearing has an amazing capacity to localize specific sounds. The cat hearing range can differentiate sounds three feet away whose sources are only three inches apart. This enables the cat to pick up specific vibrations like ultrasonic sounds of mice and rats in a busy street or ally.

The Relation of Cat Hearing and Cat Food

Cats are carnivores and acquire their vital nourishment from meat and meat byproducts. These important nutrients include proteins, taurine, vitamins, minerals and healthy fats. 

Lack of certain vitamins like A, B12, and other B vitamins can have detrimental effects for your cat. These vitamin deficiencies can cause liver problems, hearing loss and heart disease. 

The deficiency of folic acid is a widespread problem in both feral and domestic cats. This deficiency is related to hearing loss and diseases in the small intestine. While there is no real “superfood” for your cat, the lack of vitamin A acts as the main culprit for hearing loss in cats. 

When you really think about it. A lot of the unique behavior of cats are attributed to their acute hearing. Especially how they react to sounds. 

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