How well can dogs smell in relationship to cats?

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While cats may win the hearing competition, dogs definitely have the better sense of smell. An animal’s sense of smell relates to the number of olfactory cells that they possess. The olfactory cells receive the smells and analyze the scents in the brain. In terms of numbers, cats have around 100 million olfactory cells, while dogs have around 220 million olfactory cells in their brains.

Based on these numbers, cats can smell nearly 20 times better than humans who have only 5 million olfactory cells, and Dogs can smell almost 50 times better. Animals rely on their sense of smell much more often than humans do, and can detect faint and hidden scents that escape the human nose. For this reason, dogs are often used for precise police and military operations to detect chemicals, drugs and blood.

Both cats and dogs also use their sense of smell to detect pheromones on other animals. While humans cannot pick up on these scents, dogs and cats can detect critical information about other animals based on pheromones. A dog or cat can smell if another animal is in heat, pregnant, or hurt. Dogs and cats can smell a wide range of smells that humans cannot, and rely heavily on their sense of smell to survive.

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