Cat's Five Senses

Cat's Five Senses
As a cat finds his way around his environment, the concept of extrasensory perception takes on a whole new meaning. Almost all of a cat's five senses have a heightened sensitivity when compared to those of humans.

A small highly specialized beast of prey the cat possesses very keen organs of sense. Acuity of eyesight of the cat is 6 times higher in than one of the man. It distinguished color shades perfectly.

For her main "profession" - a hunter in the semidarkness in the twilight - the cat makes ready exceptionally good. It is able to catch the weakest reflection of light. The eye of the cat is fixed up by principle of aperture in camera. Its pupils send to retina so much light as it is necessary for "lighting picture". The cat's pupils are big and round by weak light. They get narrow to the thin lines by bright sunlight.

There is a third eyelid in the cat's eye. It is situated in the inner corner of the eye. Enlarged third eyelid serves as a signal of alarm for owners of the cats so long as it may be consequence of the sickness for example - strong exhaustion.

For orientation in space the cat uses its sense of touch and keen ear during its night adventures. The cats perceive sound frequency in diapason from 50 to 60 kHz. A dog reacts on sound with frequency about 40 kHz. A man is able to catch the sound with frequency 20 kHz. So sensitiveness of the cat to loudness of the sound is 3 times higher than one of the man.

Though the sense of smell of the cat is finer than ours, but the dog in this reflect is a big specialist. It hunts mainly with the help of the nose. Sense of smell for cat is important in other sphere - contact, interchange of information with the others. That what takes place with the help of words and gestures between people, the cats put into practice by the use of markings and control for their smell. The cats practice this specific interchange of compliments in a very distinctive manner. They leave odorous stream of urine and splash places with the smell of their rivals and cats, which are leaving on the same territory, acting with an enviable tenacity and constancy.

Cats leave less stronger smells by their smelling glands situated on the paws. We can't feel the smell but the cat can react on it. More cat rubs itself against that place where its sweetheart has just walked, showing its secret sexual or warlike mood. It's not the same as the cat rubs against man's cheek. In the case with the man cat demonstrates its liking. Some plants such as mint, thyme and elder may have a very strong stupefying on cats.

Tactile cats' hairs seen to be sensible antennae. With their help cats register information received, then it gets into their brain. A natural cats' oscilloscope works. In such away a cat inspects its hunting territory.

Watching a cat you may see how thoroughly it smells, and inspects all the objects especially its prey with the help of its vibrissae. The cat gets the information needed.

Long vibrissae are very striking. Thin, soft hairs above the eyes, on the cheeks, on the chin, on the paws of the forelegs also serve for the sense of touch. Vibrissae and such hairs don't come out during the molt. Sometimes the come out one by one and restore continuously. Do not cut vibrissae under no conditions! Sometimes Mom-cats are sick and tired of vibrissae of their kittens and they bite small vibrissae off. It is not quite clear whether it has another purpose. May be female-cat wants to prevent its small kid from leaving the "nest" too easy. Five or six months came before kittens get normal vibrissae.

There is only one classic saying about cats in scientific articles. It says: "A cat may differ sweet, bitter and salty". The tongue of the cat is covered by gustatory nipples. And cats are very discriminating as for the taste and consistence of food. It is the most pedantic client of food-for-cats industry. Usually cats are offered 10 tries of taste after tasting all of them, it way recognize two or three trends or none. On the bulk of the tongue there are small hooks which are perceived by man's skin as emery paper. Our skin will get red in some minutes after licking with such tongue-rasp. These hooks help cats to clean and to smooth their fur, to eat a large piece of meat. Cats usually lap water shaping their tongue into a small scoop. They get water very quickly and swallow it.


Your cat can see in only one-fifth of the light intensity that you need to make things out at night, but even cats cannot see in total darkness. That eerie glow you see when your cat's eyes reflect light is due to a layer of cells, called the tapetum lucidum, that lies beneath the visually sensitive layer (retina) at the back of his eyes. These light-reflecting cells enable a cat to see form and movement in very low light intensity, at illumination levels that would leave humans – well, blind.

The cat possesses eyesight six times keener than the man. In light sunshine the pupils narrow to the narrow chins. In weak light or in darkness they become bigger and oval. The cat uses the smallest gaps and the twilight eyesight of the cats is very keen. For a long period of time the opinion that the cat sees everything in gray color was popular. For the last decade after the multiply experiments the scientist came to the conclusion that it distinguished six basic colors and twenty-five tints of gray color. The favorite color of the majority of them is red.

Acoustic irritators are perceived not only by ears, but through nerve cells of the eyes, which can hear (!) and transfer the signals to the brain. Here is the tiny ant, creeping in the distance of three meters. It is not distinguished by the mans eye. But from the cat, roaming through the garden, nothing can slip away. It's eyesight is highly developed just fantastically. The only one sight, and it "catches" everything that is in motion. For example, to the right it sees the bird jumping at the brunches of the bush and to the lift horned, sitting on the flower, and again the same ant that is in the distance of several meters from it. It is proved that in the distance of one hundred meters, when the owner passes, the cat can recognize him only by his shape. The cat's eyes are unreachable and enigmatic, are just a miracle. They light in the darkness because the minor nerve endings-sticks in the retina especially reacting at the minor current making the depiction clear. At the twilight the cat sees six times keener than the man. The pupil, changing, regulates the light supply. It is similar to "splithole" which in the bright sunny light can be narrowed into the narrow vertical hole.

Although your cat's ability to distinguish separate objects (visual acuity) is only one-tenth that of yours, he can discern movement at a much faster rate than you can. This ability to see movement, even where there is very little, is what attracts cats to television screens. On TV, even slow-moving images appear jumpy to a cat because of the way signal is displayed.

The cat is a possessor of the huge eyes. Among of all domestic animals the cat's eyes are the biggest in comparison with the size of it's own body. If the size of the eyes in relation to the man's body was the same one as the cat had, then the man's eye would be twenty centimeters in diameter!


Your cat's ears function like mini-satellite dishes, rotating to pick up sounds and funneling them to the brain. Observe your cat listening to a conversation in your home or some commotion outside. His ears move back and forth as he listens and his ability to pinpoint the source of the sound is exceptional.

Besides a cat has much thinner heaving than a man, she also deciphers "mouse language". Mice associate with the help of sound signals in the field of 40 kHz. Cats catch these "mouse conversations" without any difficulty and always have precise information at their disposal when the mouse is going to leave the burrow. According to the facts a lower thresh-hold of sound pitch is equal to 30 kHz, the upper is 60-6 kHz, the ten-days babies have the upper boundary higher than 100 kHz.

If you've ever wondered how your cat could find a mouse in your house, sound may be part of the explanation. The upper range of hearing in cats is about 60 to 65 kilohertz (kilocycles per second), which enables cats to hear their kittens' ultrasonic vocalizations and the ultrasonic calls of small rodents. Humans hear about 8.5 octaves whereas a cat hears about 10, which is why some high-pitched noises, such as certain types of music, may agitate your cat.

Cats have terrific hearing! The nature gave them wonderful organs of hearing: among all everyday noises they can filter those which the cat considers the most important (the sounds of her owner's steps, for example). And even in their eyes an it was mentioned above, there are nervous calls passing inaudible for us noises to the brain. For people it is the silence of nature, for cats it is a real concert of rustles, crunches and hums; 27 muscles settle their ears to any direction. On the edge of the ear there is a little skin it act as resonator.

What appears as two separate sounds to you may seem like one sound to a cat. In spite of your cat's ability to hear a broader range of sounds than you, his hearing ability has some limitations. For example, he requires about five degrees of separation to distinguish between two different tones whereas you can differentiate sounds merely 0.5 degrees apart.

Cats have very thin but electoral hearing: their ears react only on those sounds which have some interest for them. If the sound is loud, but familiar, the cat even won't awake, but if the sound is not familiar and rather quiet, she will prick up her eyes at once.


No cat can exist without world of smell. Having lost eyesight and hearing it will be able to adapt itself to life but without sense of smell it is doused to die.

Your cat's sense of smell is superior to your own and one of the most important ways in which he receives feedback about his environment. Sense of smell helps him communicate with others of his own kind and assess the potential risks and pleasures associated with every waking moment. Cats have 200 million odor-sensitive cells in their noses compared to about 5 million for humans.

Because of astonishing olfactory acuity, your cat can detect the presence of other cats even outside the home and can identify any strange animals you've contacted simply by smelling your clothing. Your cat will deposit its own odor by urine marking and deposition of skin secretions to mark its territory and important objects in its environments. He will also use his olfactory ability to smell, as opposed to taste his food to determine whether the food you've offered him is appealing.

Except the nose cats have additional organ of smell - organ of Jacobson. These are two smell canals beginning just behind upper teeth going to palate up to Stetson canals. To use them cats raise the upper lip and open the mouth breathing the air through the mouth to the nasal cavity. It seems the cat is tasting the air. The functions of Jacobson's organ are still studying and there are some versions of its usage.

First, this organ is supposed to get the smell of food and to give more information about the food except that information got by the main organ of smell - nose, i.e. cat possesses mouth smell except nasal smell. According to the second version, this organ gets sexual pheromones, that is to find sexual partner. The third version says that Jacobson's organ register the information about all changing of chemical composition of the air and according to this version, it is supposed to be "the six sense" letting your pet have a sense of presentiment to have a presentiment of such cataclysms as earthquake and eruption.


Your cat's sense of touch encompasses his entire body, just as yours does. One of the most important components of your cat's touch-sensing apparatus is his fine collection of special whiskers. These whiskers appear on his cheeks, lips, and above his eyebrows. Special sensory whiskers (vibrissae) act as fine-sensing, object detection devices, and they contribute to your cat's ability to navigate and hunt in low light. A cat with no whiskers is like a blind man without his cane.

Even in absolute darkness and silence, when the cat can't orientate herself in space with the help of eyes and ears, she is not helpless, of course, she has sensitive hair - vibrissae. Vibrissae fulfill an inevitable role of highly sensitive antennal and help cats during neighboring orientation. They are situated over the eyes, on the upper lip, cheeks, on the lower side of the forelegs. Hair is very tough, thick but its roots are located much more deeper than the other roots and much innervated. That means that a lot of nervous endings penetrate into the root of the hair. Vibrissae don't fall out during shedding.

Your cat will benefit from being touched. Stroking or petting your cat evokes certain physical and emotional responses. His heart rate will slow and his body will relax as he starts to purr like an engine and slowly slides into euphoric, tactilely-induced oblivion. When your cat rubs against your leg, he is depositing scents and marking you as part of his domain - the feline way of saying, "You're mine." When you're petting him the reverse is probably true.

They are especially developed on the muzzle and usually they are called whiskers. Whiskers are situated over the upper lip in the form of four horizontal lines. The most powerful and the longest whiskers are in the second and third line.

Cat's whiskers are not decoration, they fulfill the functions of vital importance. Thanks to them cats receive different information. Whiskers are keenly reflect to minor irritation, catch vibrations of air and it is not obligatory to touch the objects, it's enough to catch air currents which appear during cat's approaching to different objects. The minor vibration of the tip of the hair is transferred to the root where it is perceived by sensitive nerves endings and then they immediately inform brain.

In the facial mimics whiskers play a very important role. Cat may move them forward during the pleasant wait for caress or press them to the muzzle during the angry grin.


In spite of their reputation for being finicky eaters, cats have less ability to differentiate between various tastes than humans do. While you have about 9,000 taste buds on your tongue, your cat has a mere 473. Your cat's taste buds are found in the form of mushroom-shaped papillae at the tip and sides of his tongue, and in cup-shaped papillae at the back of his tongue. Your cat's appreciation of food is more closely related to his ability to smell rather than to his sense of taste.

The organs of taste may differ sour, salty, sweet and bitter substances. Cats differ bitter and salty things better than sweet. Obviously, it is connected with such fact that alive bag of their avoid ancestor had bitter and salty taste of meat and blood.

Your cat's taste will respond to flavor and to food's texture and temperature. Food that is below room temperature is a turnoff to most cats. This particular fastidiousness seems genetically programmed and may have provided some survival benefit for cats' ancient ancestors. Perhaps eating recently killed prey was more healthful than eating it when it was stone cold. That would make good biological sense.

It's a matter of common knowledge that cats possess a terrific ability to find her home!

Cat's eye can perceive not only optical irritants in a wide range, it also reacts on acoustic signals.

Cats perceive the exact picture of their environment. They "register" different noises such as: the sound of bell, animals' voices, working noise at the peasant household, etc. they also define their remoteness, loudness and angle of incidence, perceiving this optical-acoustic picture as the part of their house environment.

A cat lost in the country-side will try to catch expressive noises, well-known rustles of her home.