If I were to ask you what a cat’s strongest sense was, would you know the answer? In case you didn’t know, it’s their hearing! But what else do you know about your cat’s senses, or how human senses pale in comparison to the feline kind? Our cats are tiny athletes, miniature versions of their big cat cousins right in our living room. Domesticated felines are predators at heart, even though they know exactly where their next meal is coming from thanks to us. Take a look at this list of fun facts about your cat’s senses to see how they are far superior to yours!
Well, as it turns out, this is actually your cat’s weakest sense! Cats also do not have the ability to taste sweetness, and it’s believed that they’re the only mammal in the world that is this way. Your cat has 473 taste buds, while you have approximately 9,000! But for what they lack in taste, they compensate with in smell. This is due to the fact that their response to food is driven through their heightened sense of smell.
For the first 7-10 days of a kittens life, they are blind. Before their eyes open up, they must rely on their other senses to help them navigate the new and strange world they’ve found themselves in outside of their mother’s womb.
As your cat matures into adulthood, touch remains a heightened sense for them. As we all know, petting our cats affectionately often lifts their spirits and results in those powerful purrs we all love. Cats also spend a lot of time grooming, which relays to touch. For each lovely hair on their body, there are nerve endings which create responses to their nervous system with each sensation over their body.
While any cat has the ability to learn and adapt, the more contact that a cat has when he is young will play a role into whether or not he is a fan of pets and touch from human as he grows older.
We also know that cats rely on their whiskers to help them decide on whether or not they should enter tight spaces. But those pretty face adornments do so much more than that. This extension of their body helps them not only to navigate their surroundings, but also to catch prey! Check out this cool video below on how they use their whiskers to do so!
Wondering why your cat’s whiskers are so powerful? That’s because a cat’s whiskers are embedded three times as deep as their fur is and allows them to detect even the slightest of movements. Changes to the environment, temperature, wind direction, and even air pressure can be detected by these wispy sensors on either side of their face.
We know that canines have a superior sense of smell, but felines have a great sense of smell, too. When compared to humans, cats have more than 200 million odor senses in their nose while us mere mortals only have 5 million. And because their sense of smell is so strong, this causes them to react with a Flehmen response should they catch a whiff of something that sends their cat sense of smell into overdrive.
These things may upset your feline friend and cause that funny little face we all know and love where their jaw is lowered and their mouth is open.
Want to know more about Flehmen response in cats? Check that out and more in our article 5 Weird Cat Behaviors Explained on our site!
We know that our cats have the ability to see in low light situations, with the ability to make out objects with only 1/6 of the amount of light we humans require. While your cat cannot clearly see details or rich colors, they are able to see in the dark because of the high number of rods in their retina that are sensitive to dim light.
But did you know that your cat’s visual abilities are actually ten less than that of a human? As you saw from the video above, cats rely on their whiskers to help them trap their prey. And not only this, but your cat’s eyes make up for their vision impairments due to their enhanced retina which also help them to catch prey due to their structure.
Wondering if your kitty has the ability to see in color? This is actually what they see:
If there was ever a cat sense that was far superior to yours, it’s easily their ears. Those erect little body parts are able to fully rotate at 180 degrees, and a cat’s outer ear is connected by 27 muscles. Your cat has the ability to hear things from a distance of roughly five times what a human can, which also means that those up close sounds that they hear are amplified about five times as loud. What’s even cooler? These radar antennas that your cat has allows them the ability to focus in on two different sounds inches apart from each other three feet away.
Out of all the domesticated animals, cats have the sharpest hearing, with the ability to hear frequencies between 45 Hz and 64,000 Hz. While we humans can hear frequencies between 64 Hz and 23,000 Hz. No wonder they startle so easily, right?!
This cat sense is by far their greatest of all their cat senses, and it’s even better than that of their canine counterparts! Take that, dogs!
REMEMBER: SPAY/NEUTER, FOSTER, VOLUNTEER, TNR & AS ALWAYS, ADOPT, DON’T SHOP!