The bond of cats to humans in life is undisputed. It’s been a long time since our relationship with this animal was more than just a pet owner. You might like to adopt a cat. You may even own 1, 2 or more cats. But to say it is impossible to understand them all. There is so much to discover about this creature called the “supreme representative of the cuteness.”
Cats are often mentioned for their ability to see through the night. In the dark, cats’ eyesight is extremely sharp, and they can see 5 to 7 times better than humans. But with hearing, I do not need any condition or environment to prove my ability. And it is no exaggeration to say that cats are one of the 10 animals with the most outstanding hearing ability in the animal kingdom.
Structure of cat ears
To answer the question “How Far Can Cats Hear?” there is nothing more logical than to go from the cat’s ear structure – the source of this wonderful hearing.
In general, cat ears are quite similar to other mammals, including three structural areas: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear is made up of ear speakers and ear canal. The ear speaker’s task is to collect sound waves and bring them down to the ear canal from which the sound will go straight into the middle ear. Cat’s ear speaker is like a phone and can rotate completely independently. Up to 30 muscle groups are well developed in this area to help them control the ear’s smallest movements. This turns the outer ear into a sophisticated satellite that is spinning its head to receive the signal. The rotation angle is opened up to 180 degrees so that they do not ignore the slightest noise.
The middle ear has a webbed membrane and very small bumps that vibrate with sound waves, helping to carry out the task of sending these vibrations into the inner ear.
In the inner ear, sensory cells move and bend so that signals travel to the auditory nerve to the brain for processing. In addition, the inner ear contains the vestibular system, providing a sense of balance and spatial orientation.
It can be said that this meticulously selected structure has helped cats to be able to hear and feel the sound so well.
How Far Can Cats Hear?
Cat ears can hear sounds ranging from 45 to 64kHz, wider than 64 to 23kHz in humans. This, combined with the wide-open angle and specially designed audio transmission system, greatly improves the distance that cats can hear.
There have not been many formal studies conducted to give accurate data on the distance that cats can hear. But according to my own research, this gap is extremely respectable. Cats can hear sounds at a distance of four or five times that of humans.
Let’s start from the first milestone
The noise coming from the mouse – the favorite prey of the cat. The cat’s ears are capable of hearing a series of distant sounds like a mouse rustling in the bush 30 feet away. If you look a little closer, the mice’s limbs have the construction of quite thick meat pads, giving them the ability to move smoothly. But that did not get out of the cat’s ears. The mouse’s movements can be detected at more than 60 feet (approximately 20m) by the cat.
With the footsteps of other animals such as chickens, duck, or even humans, the distance the cat hears ranges from 100 to 145ft. When you are just about to head to the street, your cat will rely on hearing and the ability to recognize the familiarity of the sound that has appeared in the house to scratch and greet you.
And finally, sounds like loud music, car horns also show the cat listening at a great distance. Over 250ft! That’s the distance many sites specializing in animals like Canidae.com, Catheath.com … launched. And so it’s not uncommon for you to hug a cat. And it’s ok if suddenly you see the cat run away when you play an Eminem rap. But the sound of such intensity is really through endurance to the sharp hearing of cats.
But such figures have partly answered your questions yet?
Do not rush to agree. The cats’ hearing ability is also more clearly shown by the accuracy from the source location they detect. Those sources located 5-8 feet away from them can determine the exact location of these sources with an error of 0.15 to 0.31 feet. This means that they will almost immediately identify the owner, enemy or prey. Amazing, right?
Deafness in Cats
The ears are a powerful weapon for cats in both their daily life and hunting. Perhaps because of that value, the price of cats with deafness is not small.
Cats may be deaf. It was a sure affirmation.
According to the Veterinary Protection Cat Department, some cats are deaf at birth. But many cats lose their hearing as they get older. Sudden loss of hearing, which may be temporary or permanent, usually occurs as a result of illness or other injuries.
There are two main types of deafness:
- Sounds do not get into the ears, as in the case of tumors, infections of the outer and middle ears, excessive wax, or cat lice. This deafness can heal if the underlying cause is treated.
- The nerve connected to the ear does not work properly; it may be due to genetic resources, such as the case of some white cats, inner ear infections, drug poisoning, noise damage, age degeneration. These problems can cause permanent deafness.
There are a few things that CP recommended to cat owners to determine if their cat is deaf. In particular, when deaf, some cats will be louder and more loud than normal because they will not adjust their volume, while others will become silent. But this method is really ineffective because many cats have adapted and can master other senses instead of ears.
So when there is a doubt about your cat’s hearing ability (they do not have biological reflexes with the sound source produced near or far), take them to the nearest veterinary facility for inspection and take appropriate support measures.
Protect your cat’s ears
When your cat responds to loud music and/or excessive noise (as is common in action movies), this is an instinctive self-defense act. Pay attention to the signs your cat is showing and try to lower the volume when he or she is in the room.
Similar to humans, cats’ hearing problems may increase over time due to illness, infection, trauma, injury, and old age. You can protect your pet’s hearing with devices like Mutt Muffs or simply earplugs made of foam or cotton.
Products that help strengthen your cat’s hearing
Nobody would want to fall into a hoarse call, but his furry friend still didn’t respond. This means that you can completely prevent a cat’s ability to be deaf (not counting the case of deafness due to old age) even in the days when they are keeping their hearing at a good level.
We have heard of products that help calcium supplements, help strengthen the immune system, or protect the liver. So what about cat ears? According to the researchers, this is completely realistic. Vitamins and minerals are generally good for health, but some are especially good for maintaining and improving hearing. Specifically:
Potassium helps regulate the amount of fluid in body cells and blood. And as analyzed in the composition of cat ears, the ability to absorb the sound of the inner ear depends largely on the amount of potassium that the cat’s body is absorbed.
As they age, decreased potassium levels are one of the causes of hearing loss.
Potassium-rich foods that you can add to your cat include bananas, avocados, potatoes, milk, oranges, apricots, tomatoes, and yogurt.
2. Folic acid
Many studies have shown that folic acid plays a role in new cell regeneration. Adult cats with low folic acid levels in their blood are at greater risk of hearing loss as they age. Scientists say getting enough folic acid can slow the hearing loss process.
Foods rich in folic acid include meat, asparagus, broccoli, and spinach …
Zinc strengthens the cat’s immune system and also affects cell production and wound healing. This means it is also helpful in preventing germs that cause ear infections.
Zinc is found in beef, pork, and chicken, brown meat, cashews, almonds, peanuts, oysters, dark chocolate, oats, quinoa seeds, raisins, dried cranberries, etc. You can supplement your cat with a standard restaurant meal to help him have healthy ears.
One study has shown that magnesium treatment can be effective for cats who have lost their ability to hear due to noise.
The researchers believe that the reason for this is its ability to counteract the effects of free radicals generated by loud noises.
Magnesium-rich foods include fruits and vegetables, such as bananas, artichokes, potatoes, spinach, tomatoes, and broccoli.
But if you don’t have the time to choose these foods on your own, then synthetic nutritional products from Amazon will be the perfect answer for you. The list I give below receives very high ratings from the community of users around the world. I hope it will be a reference channel for you.
FAQ about this problem
If you’ve only ever known the cat as an entity of cuteness, then with the issues I mentioned, you will have a more scientific look to better take care of the cat yourself. Here are the FAQs that I have researched and explored to help you better understand the issue raised.
1. When did cats begin to experience visual impairment?
Cats possess better hearing than humans. That was my assertion in the article that they have a wider listening range than people. Good hearing does not mean that cats can hear well forever.
Cat hearing is impaired as the body enters the aging process. This means that when cats reach the age of 6 to 8 years old, their bodies are sluggish, and their reflexes weaken, and their hearing loss decreases.
In terms of calculating the age of the cat, it also has a lot of differences compared to normal when we determine our age. By the time a cat reaches 6 years of age, it’s about time that humans are in their 40s (get the mold from when both you and your pet have just been born). Do you think it’s a joke? No. Not at all. From here, one year of the cat is 4 years of the human. And when the cat turns 12, the deafness can reach 75 to 80% along with the weakening of many other organs. So, now is the time to pay special attention to your fluffy friend with a special diet and kind gestures.
2. Kittens and adult cats, which cats are more susceptible to hearing loss?
Age is a very important factor that directly affects a cat’s hearing. As analyzed above, when entering the age of 6 to 8 years old, the cat’s hearing begins to decline and increase the likelihood of deafness. For kittens, when born, they will be completely deaf and will only begin to hear at the age of 3 weeks.
To young cats, you need to pay special attention to factors that negatively affect the cat’s ears, such as loud sounds or strong bumps.
That said, it is not possible to identify which cat is more susceptible to hearing loss at the age of the cat, but must be based on environmental factors.
3. What are the signs of a deaf cat?
Signs of deafness in cats appear quite faint, and if you do not pay close attention, they will most likely be ignored. Pay attention to the following small manifestations:
- Relying on a reaction to the sound by clapping or tapping the object that makes a loud and sudden sound behind him, the cat does not startle, run away …
- The ears did not move flexibly toward the sound like a radar, along with the direction of the head’s turn toward the sound.
- There is no reaction to loud noises when the cat is sleeping.
Besides, the accidental hearing loss allows the cat to exert his other senses. Deaf cats will tend to observe people and other pets more closely or pay more attention to vibrations through the abnormal air current movement. For example, the breeze is made up of your own when you return home from work. Others express themselves through their cry when they are hungry or calling their owners. Because they cannot control the sound themselves, they will often make a loud noise.
4. Is blue-eyed white cat easily deaf?
This is not a joke at all but has been studied by scientists or people with a special interest in cats.
This has been recognized by Darwin since 1828 and is referred to in the book Origin of Species in 1859.
However, this relationship was not well explained until recently when science “attacked” the genetic problem. Going into this story is a bit confusing, so I just summarize this: basically, deafness in cats is due to the W gene (white gene) overexpressed. Melanocyte cells (a type of melanin-producing cell) located in the upper part of the spiral ligament (called stria vascularis, including many blood vessels) are responsible for ensuring the ion environment needed for the cells—hair follicles in the cochlea.
When the W gene is overexpressed, they not only suppress melanocytes in the skin but also in the iris of the eye (which makes the eye blue, which is essentially the reflection of the sky) and the upper part of the spiral ligament. When there is no melanocyte, the upper part of the spiral ligament degenerates, the hair cells die, many of the cochlear structures collapse, and the auditory nerve also deteriorates.
According to scientists’ statistics: the number of white cats is very small, only 5%. Congenital deafness in colored cats is rare. Among white cats, 15-40% have blue eyes (maybe one eye or two blue eyes). Among white cats with one blue eye, 30-40% are deaf. In particular, white cats usually have one blue eye with only one ear deafness and the same side with blue eyes. Among white cats with blue eyes, 60-80% are deaf!
In particular, the breeding of blue-eyed cats is restricted or prohibited in some European countries.
5. How do I communicate with my deaf cat?
When your cat is deaf, your calls or whistles are useless. To communicate with your cat, you need to use body language to attract attention, simply waving your cat or clapping your hands because they are so close to the activity. This is enough for the cat to sense the change of air. Besides, cats are also attracted to light. Switching on and off lights or moving beams (such as laser lights) is especially irritating for cats.
Another method you can use is to make an object appear on the cat’s path, such as a ball or a toy. But you should also note that they do not turn into things that can be fearful of your cat.
Repeating these behaviors regularly will give your cat a habit of when to eat when to follow him to the toilet without any sounds.
Try to maintain a communication method so that your cat can easily understand what you are saying. Dedicating and gentle, and our cat will understand your feelings and desires.
Studying cats always brings me interesting facts. Cat is not only a friend but also hidden behind that furry friend is a whole horizon of knowledge. Oh my god, how adorable are those little ears!