A cat’s ears and hearing are something most of us do not know very much about and from what I have learned, I now see how complex they are. At birth cats are deaf, their hearing begins to develop at approximately two weeks. A cat’s hearing is a part of their survival mechanism. Their sense of hearing is used for protection and for hunting. Cats do not have as great a pitch range as dogs do, but a cat’s hearing is better at picking up high-pitched sounds. They hear better at higher pitched frequencies because of their evolved inner ear.
Cats can hear up to 100,000 cycles per second, which is about the same pitch as a mouse’s squeal. The cats hearing capability is five times greater than a humans, and a dogs is only about one-third the ability of a cat. This is what makes cats excellent stalkers and hunters.
A cats sound sensitivity might be one of the reasons some people think they have supernatural powers. This may be why the Egyptians treated them as Gods they believed the cats had powers. This is probably in relation to how a cat can sense something coming because of their extremely sensitive hearing. For example they can hear ultrasonic sounds before a noisy event happens like an earthquake. This is due to their hearing being amplified four times greater than a humans.
The slits you see on a cats ears catch bits of sound that might otherwise have been missed and send the sound back to their eardrum. Domestic cats large moveable ears also help them amplify sounds and detect which direction the noise is coming from. They can pivot their ears 180 degrees to hear and have thirty muscles in each ear. They use twelve of the thirty muscles to control their ear movement.
Their inner ear is responsible for their remarkable sense of balance. The tiny chambers and canals of the interior of the ear are lined with millions of sensitive hairs that contain fluid and floating crystals. When a cat changes its physical position, these hairs detect the slightest movement of the fluid and crystals and rapidly send signals to the cats brain. This gives the cats brain accurate readings on the cats body position so their muscles can compensate helping the cat keep his perfect sense of balance. Which explains why cats almost always land on their feet.
So a cats ear are very sensitive and important not only to their hearing but safety and balance. This is why it is extremely important to keep your cats ears cleaned regularly . Mites, bacteria and fungus are constantly looking for a warm place like your cats ears to nest. I suggest Lambert Kay Ear-Rite Miticide it can be found here www.petsmart.com/product/index.jsp. And as a owner of three beloved cats who are like a part of the family I can attest to how important the health of their ears are to their overall health.
Sources: The Cat Site – thecatsite.com
I would like to dedicate this article to our beloved Siamese cat Sagwa who is dearly missed.