Why Do Cats Move Their Ears Around?


One talent felines possess is the power to maneuver their ears independently. Although recent research shows that humans move their ears barely when a sound piques their interest, only about one in five people can move their ears intentionally. For most individuals the movement is involuntary. That ability may make the person a YouTube star or the lifetime of the party, but it surely doesn’t come near the best way cats swivel their ears. But why do they do that?

Pinpoint sounds

Considered one of the explanations cats move their ears is to pinpoint and discover what they’re hearing. By moving their ears toward the sound’s direction, cats improve their hearing by 15 to twenty%.

Greater than 30 muscles are involved in moving a cat’s ears, which may swivel 180 degrees. With a frequency range of 45 hertz to 64,000 hertz, cats not only have the broadest frequency range in comparison to dogs, rabbits and humans, but they’ll hear higher and lower frequencies than all of them.

As compared, dogs use 18 muscles to maneuver their ears and may hear from 67 hertz to 45,000 hertz. Rabbits can swivel their ears 270 degrees, rotate them independently of one another and concurrently hearken to sounds coming from two different sources. Rabbits’ ear talent supersedes that of dogs and cats in some respects, although their range of hearing is narrower, falling between 360 and 42,000 hertz. Humans have similar hearing ability to dogs at lower frequencies, but at higher frequencies, dogs, cats and rabbits prevail. The human range of hearing frequencies is 64 to 23,000 hertz.

Communicate feelings

Cats’ ears are also a vital a part of their body language to specific emotion.

➻ When a cat’s ears are pointing forward, he’s typically content. Contentment can be signaled by an erect tail that’s barely curved at the highest, together with head bumps and purring. Cats welcome affection and a focus once they are on this mood.

➻ When their ears are pointing straight up and accompanied by wide-open eyes and an alert stance, something they hear has their attention. In the event that they rotate their ears quickly, something can have triggered their hunting instincts. That is a very good time to get out their favorite interactive toy.

➻ Ears pointing sideways show fear that could lead on to aggression. Give your cat space when his ears are on this position. Flattened ears pointing backward indicate a cat who’s about to attack, bite or scratch. These are two ear positions, which will be accompanied by aggressive or defensive body language, indicating that your cat must be left alone. Signals of aggression include arched back, low and stiff tail, direct stare, hissing and growling. Signals of fear include crouching, tail curved across the body, hair standing on end, hissing and spitting.

➻ Much like this position, when a cat’s ears are low and facing outward, she won’t be feeling well. Cats are good at faking that all the things is OK, but sometimes their ears betray them, so concentrate to the position of the ears and other body language. Cats also often hide once they’re not feeling well.

Because these ear positions could also be similar, keep watch over your cat’s body language, vocalizations and other behaviors.

Cat ears, together with their vocalizations and other body language, are prolific communicators. Their sense of hearing, along with other heightened senses and various talents, make them a powerful species that honor us with their companionship.


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