How well can cats hear in relationship to dogs?

Cats hear better than people and dogs. Human hearing falls in the range between 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. We do well with low tones, but often lose the higher range of our hearing. A dog hears up to 40 kilohertz, which is why whistles that people cannot hear will work to call a dog.

Cats, however, have a range between 30 hertz and 60 kilohertz. This explains one of the reasons cats respond better to women than to men. The cat literally may not be able to hear a man’s low-pitched voice or to distinguish nuances of tone well.

It’s always best to get a cat’s attention by speaking softly. When cats are using their radar like ears, they are completely focused. The very structure of those ears is also an advantage. They are controlled by more than 30 muscles, can rotate 180 degrees, and are shaped to capture sound and funnel it directly to the base of the ear.

Dogs with floppy ears don’t hear nearly as well as dogs with upright ears, and there are only 15 muscles that move canine ears. While dogs can hear with the same accuracy as cats in terms of distance, size of the object or creature making the noise, and location, they also have a truly built-in mechanism for ignoring us. A dog can actually close off his inner ear to weed out sounds he finds distracting. Perhaps such as a person telling them not to do something!

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