Hearing in Cats
Veterinary & Aquatic Services Department, Drs. Foster & Smith

Q. Your cat hears you open the door to the cat food cupboard even when she seems sound asleep. How does she do that?
 
A. A Calico cat listening attentivelyThey say cats have a sixth sense - but in this case, it is probably another of your cat's senses that is responsible for this almost magical behavior. A cat's sense of hearing is absolutely incredible. They can hear high frequency sounds we cannot. They can also distinguish the tone or pitch of sounds better than we can. In addition, a cat's ability to locate the source of a sound is highly advanced. From a yard away, a cat can distinguish between sounds from sources only 3 inches apart. All of these attributes makes it quite easy for a cat to distinguish the sound of you opening the door to the cat food cupboard from the sound of you opening the cupboard door next to it.

It is also an example of the fact that cats hear what they want to hear!

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