Secrets of cat ears

The cat's ears are curious

The ears are essential for the cat: with them, they can know where and how far away the possible prey is, and they can even distinguish the sound of your car. He has a highly developed sense of hearing, so much so that he is able to hear the sound of a mouse from 7m away, but What message do you want to convey to us?

Often we humans try to understand them but without success. And it is that the language that we use is different from the one that these animals use. For this reason, I'm going to reveal the secrets of cat ears.

Structure of the cat's ears

Feline ears are made up of the same parts as ours: they have an outer ear, a middle ear, and an inner ear. But they also have a bag called fin, which is located on the outer edge of the outer ear and is therefore visible. Thanks to the pinna, they can rotate 180 degrees, but it also serves to bring sound to the middle ear canal.

Ear positions and their meaning

As we have seen, the ears can adopt different positions thanks to the pinna, but what do you want to convey with them?

  • If the cat has them up and moves them calmly, it means that it is relajado.
  • If they are tilted slightly forward, it is because they feel interested for something, because he is attentive.
  • If it has them backwards it is because it feels very tense.
  • If you place them horizontally, it is because is willing to attack.

Anyway, although the position of the ears will help us a lot to know how our friend feels, it is important that we also observe your body, since depending on how it has its tail, its fur and even its eyes, it may be transmitting one message or another.

10 things you DIDN'T know about your cat's ears

White cats can be deaf

With their unmistakable triangular shape, cat ears are one of their most iconic features, along with their whiskers. They are a beauty to the eyes and to the touch of our loving hands ... But these little fins hide a surround sound system of much higher quality than you think! Discover more about your cat's ears with these 10 facts that we have compiled for you, they are secrets that you will like to know.

They have a lot of muscles

Those little ears have more muscles than you think. Cat ears are controlled by 35 muscles, quite a bit compared to 6 humans. These muscles allow them to rotate their ears 180 degrees! All this to allow them to easily pick up any sound.

Funnel sound system

The outer ear of cats, also known as those cute lovely triangles on the top of their heads, works like a funnel to pick up sound and carry the waves to the inner ear for processing. They move their ears to position their little funnels as best they can to receive sound waves.

Super hearing power

Among domestic animals, cats have one of the best hearing systems. Its hearing range is much higher than that of a dog, for example, capturing increasingly higher frequencies. Not only that, but they can detect slight differences in sound as well! Through their super powers of hearing, they can easily locate sounds and distinguish different species and noises. Very useful to know if there is a prey or a predator approaching. 

Balance characteristic

Cats are known to almost always land on their feet, and the reason could be hiding inside their ears.. Inside your inner ear we can find three separate canals, filled with fluid. The brain receives a signal each time the fluid changes, so it can determine the direction of the cat's movement. The vestibule is another body inside your ears that captures movement. It informs the brain of the feline standing positions: up, face down, on which side they are lying, etc.

Soft and delicate ears

We all fall in love with those little tufts of hair that stick out of cat ears, but they serve a higher purpose. These hairs have a double function of protection and hearing improvement! For one thing, they trap dust and dirt before they can enter the ear canal, just like our own nose hairs. On the other hand, they help to capture sound waves and conduct them directly to the inner ear. A clear example of another super auditory characteristic of the cat!

Hairless cats are the only breed without these tufts of hair. Although this does not appear to interfere with their hearing abilities, it makes them more prone to ear infections.

Mood indicators

Cat ears can function as non-verbal communication systems to indicate their state of mind. They can portray a wide range of emotions, from curiosity and happiness to fear and anger. For example, when they are angry or scared, they will flatten their ears back against their heads. This is to keep them out of reach of your claws and teeth, should a possible fight occur.

Blue-eyed white cats are likely to be deaf

Do you know the genetic mutation responsible for the astonishing beauty of blue-eyed cats with white fur? Unfortunately, it is also likely to cause deafness in these beautiful felines. Between 65% and 85% of blue-eyed white cats are born deaf due to a malformation in the cochlea, the part of the cat's ears that sends sound signals to the brain. If a cat with a single blue eye is deaf in one ear, the abnormality is most likely on the same side of the head as the blue eye.

Fun fin shapes

Cats hear better than humans

Traditionally, cats' ears have a distinctive triangular shape. However, some genetic mutations are responsible in different and peculiar ways in some breeds. The genetic mutation of the American Curl or American Curi, for example, affects the cartilage of the upper ear and gives it a rolled shape. The Scottish Fold or Scottish fold also has very distinctive folded hind ears, although in their case the mutation can also cause a hearing impairment.

Cats are born deaf

Kittens are born with their ear canal sealed, which means they can't hear anything at first. The channel usually opens after a week. Your auditory system is also born immature. Even after the channel is open, It takes time for cats to broaden their sound range and choose softer sounds. 

Beware of hot ears

Any cat's ears get hot when the feline is upset, anxious, or scared. When they exercise, cats increase their adrenaline levels, improving their energy. This excess energy is converted into heat that is released through different parts of the body… Including your ears. Therefore, Hot ears can be a sign that your feline is not so happy! 

Fun fact: only the temperature in the right ear is an indicator! It is the only side that researchers have found to react directly to hormonal surge, as a consequence of stress.

Cat ears can fool us with their cute shape and fun movements, But there is more than meets the eye! Like radar dishes, they rotate and focus on the stations of the world and nature… They also connect to our hearts in the process!

As you have seen, there are many things that hide the ears of your precious kittens. They are small but very powerful and have a hearing capacity that humans would like to have, because as you can see, they are two very powerful tools to process sounds. His ears tell you how he is emotionally, but they are also wonderful to be able to listen to you when you get home and go out to greet you between purrs and caresses.

Cats have a highly developed sense of hearing

Did you know these secrets of cat ears?


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