What is frequency when it comes to feline hearing?
As a basis of comparison, humans hear in the range of 20 hertz to 20 kilohertz. This means as we age, we tend to lose our ability to hear high-pitched sounds while retaining our ability to hear lower tones.
Dogs hear in the range of 20 hertz to 40 kilohertz. This explains their ability to respond to “silent” dog whistles that emit tones outside human hearing, but well within the dog’s range.
Cats, however, can detect sounds in the range of 30 hertz to 60 kilohertz. This explains, in part, why men often have trouble getting cats to respond to them. A cat may not be able to distinguish nuances of expressions in a man’s voice or even hear him at all.
In the high frequency range, however, cats are superb listeners, with an ability to detect sounds at five times the distance of which humans are capable. Their ears are individually directional. They can swivel to 180 degrees and are controlled by 30 muscles.
Because a cat’s ears are upright and erect, they capture sound and efficiently filter it downward to the auditory nerve and into the brain. Essentially, a cat is equipped with radar-like hearing, which is why he is so superbly adapted to go after prey like mice and other small vermin.
Cats are also innately curious, so if you want to get him to listen, whisper — don’t yell. Cats are either annoyed by loud sounds because they are painful on their sensitive ears, or, they’ll just outright ignore your insufferable human rudeness.