Cat listening to headphones

How Far Can Cats Hear?

Did you know that cats have extraordinary hearing capabilities? Their ears are designed to capture a broad range of sounds, making them excellent hunters and attentive companions. So, how far exactly can our furry companions hear?

Cats and Sound

Cats can hear sounds up to approximately 60 meters (200 feet) away, which is an impressive distance, especially considering that the average human can only hear sounds up to 20 meters (65 feet) away. This remarkable ability enables cats to detect faint noises and locate the source with extreme accuracy.

One of the reasons why cats have such keen hearing is the unique structure of their ears. The outer part of a cat’s ear, known as the pinna, is tall and erect and can rotate up to 180 degrees. This allows them to funnel sound waves into their ear canal more effectively and pinpoint the origin of different sounds.

Additionally, cats have a wide hearing range, which allows them to detect frequencies between 48 to 85 kHz. For comparison, humans can only hear frequencies between 20 to 20,000 Hz. This means that cats can hear ultrasonic sounds that are beyond our perception, which is particularly useful for hunting small prey, like rodents that communicate using high-pitched sounds.

Another interesting aspect of a cat’s hearing is that she can distinguish between various sounds, even if they occur simultaneously. This selective hearing ability allows them to focus on specific noises, such as the rustling of prey or the call of their owner, while ignoring background noises.

Moreover, cats can detect even the slightest change in a sound’s pitch or tone. This ability, known as frequency discrimination, helps them identify and locate their prey more efficiently. It also plays a role in their communication with humans, as they can pick up subtle variations in our voice, making them highly responsive to our commands and emotions.

It’s important to note that, like humans, cats can experience hearing loss or deafness due to various factors such as age, infection, or injury. Regular check-ups with a veterinarian will ensure that your cat’s hearing remains in good condition and any issues are addressed promptly.

So, what can you do to support your cat’s extraordinary hearing abilities? Providing an environment with a variety of sounds and stimuli, such as interactive toys, will help keep your cat’s hearing sharp. Additionally, make sure to handle your cat gently and avoid exposing them to loud noises, as this can cause stress and damage their sensitive ears.


Now that you’ve learned about the incredible hearing abilities of cats, you can better appreciate the fascinating world they experience through their ears. By understanding and supporting your cat’s unique senses, you can foster a stronger bond and deepen your connection with your whiskered companion.

Sound Cats Can Only Hear (Video)

"In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods; they have not forgotten this."
-- Terry Pratchett

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